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Power Corrupts Absolutely

By John Hargreaves - 13 August 2014 49

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Did anyone notice the oceans of salivation over Eddie Obeid’s, Joe Tripodi’s and Ian MacDonald’s discomfort when sprung by the NSW ICAC? All those Labor haters thought the wrath of God had finally arrived on those scumbags.

I need to say that I love Labor desperately. The Party has been good to me and has given me the opportunity to do things for other people that I otherwise would not have been able to dream of.

Imagine my joy at the discomfort of those Labor haters now that we have Hartcher, Cornwell and Owen sprung now! And there is a suggestion that Mr Loughnane, Federal Director of the Libs, knew about the dodginess.

And before anyone screams libel, defamation and slander, I merely quote from articles published in the fourth estate, in print and online.

However, after all this entertainment, let us consider and acknowledge the state of corruption in ACT politics since 1989. There has been none! So to all those Assembly haters out there, take note! Your preference to be governed by NSW as we are just a “country town” is to endorse governance by the corrupt.

All sides of politics during my 15 years there and my research and personal contact with colleagues of all persuasions have confirmed this; have not had the slightest hint of political corruption. And there was none between 1989 and 1998, either. Something to be immensely proud of!

Corruption only comes from the addiction to money or power. It is interesting to note that those who have indulged in the corruption for greed have usually been supremely well off. By Mr Cornwell’s own admission he took the money to pay off a PAYG tax debt. Obeid did what he did to feather his own nest financially. Neither needed the money! It was just pure greed! And both knew what they did was illegal!

No doubt some of our pollies have been offered bribes but to my recollection none has even contemplated accepting them. And they are the worst paid ministers and Members in the country.

We should be consistent in our condemnation of corruption in NSW by all parties and congratulatory to our home grown pollies here.

What’s Your opinion?


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49 Responses to
Power Corrupts Absolutely
Matt_Watts 10:43 am 14 Aug 14

None? It depends on one’s interpretation. Like… banning pokies from pubs and the casino, when the ruling party owns one of the largest clubs (and is supported by pokies). Or how about the government sponsored Civic/ ANU development where it was only *after* the development’s announcement that the Labor club, which had been sitting on the Workers Club site for years, sold the site?

Masquara 10:40 am 14 Aug 14

“There has been none!”
How do you know?

dungfungus 10:27 am 14 Aug 14

miz said :

None . . . [that have come to light as yet]. Perhaps it’s harder to identify corruption in the ACT because the whole process is so lax and there are things like ‘call in powers.’
You must admit there have been some pretty dodgy developments that have inexplicably gone ahead despite smelling pretty bad.

I would like to see what probity checks are planned for the Canberra tram tenderers given what has happened in Brazil with recent rail contracts.

housebound 10:21 am 14 Aug 14

The only real difference is that NSW has an ICAC to uncover these things. The ACT doesn’t.

martin75 8:20 am 14 Aug 14

neanderthalsis said :

Imagine the wonders that may be unearthed if some brave soul stared digging around the development deals done by ACT Labor during their time in power here.

What about the 460,000 dollar deal for a CBR logo and hastag?

Given to the same advertising agency that worked on ACT Labor’s last election campaign?

miz 7:22 am 14 Aug 14

None . . . [that have come to light as yet]. Perhaps it’s harder to identify corruption in the ACT because the whole process is so lax and there are things like ‘call in powers.’
You must admit there have been some pretty dodgy developments that have inexplicably gone ahead despite smelling pretty bad.

ghughes 9:46 pm 13 Aug 14

By paragraph 6 I was giggling, by the end of the post, well …

dungfungus 9:12 pm 13 Aug 14

“Obeid did what he did to feather his own nest financially. Neither needed the money! It was just pure greed! And both knew what they did was illegal!”

That’s a big call Johno.
I don’t recall Obeid being charged with anything as an outcome of his appearance at the ICAC hearings and I would expect that he won’t be charged.
Ever hear of the “octopus syndrone”? Obeid will bring more people undone if he is charged with anything.

Nothing like that in the ACT fortunately but we have a sort of oligarchy running things.

HiddenDragon 6:07 pm 13 Aug 14

“…let us consider and acknowledge the state of corruption in ACT politics since 1989. There has been none! …” – until the creation of the NSW ICAC and similar bodies in other States, some might have made similarly sweeping statements about those jurisdictions, as well.

With four year fixed terms, a unicameral legislature (not advocating an upper house, just noting that we don’t have one to keep an eye on the executive branch) and a local media which is not exactly relentless in its scrutiny of the ACT Government (more often than not serving as a mouthpiece/cheer squad) there is every potential for cosiness and arrogance to develop and lead to outcomes which are not in the public interest.

A decently resourced ACT ICAC, with the senior appointments made for a non-renewable fixed term (ideally of people from outside this little town), would be public money well spent.

MERC600 5:58 pm 13 Aug 14

Steady on John .. those Labour haters your on about may be back. Isn’t there something going on down in Victoria about a house being painted under dubious funding arrangements. Haven’t followed it much past the headlines but it seems to involve some Labour type peoples.

chewy14 11:09 am 13 Aug 14

LOL,

Or they simply haven’t been caught.

magiccar9 10:44 am 13 Aug 14

No doubt some of our pollies have been offered bribes but to my recollection none has even contemplated accepting them. And they are the worst paid ministers and Members in the country.

John, how can you know whether they ‘contemplated’ accepting the bribes? Do you have a secret power to be inside their heads?
Also, our ministers may be (according to you) “the worst paid ministers in the country” but I bet I could muster a large crowd who would argue that they’re still paid far to much in relation to the work they do for us.

Reprobate 10:21 am 13 Aug 14

Fair call John, but incompetence can be as bad as, if not worse than, corruption – and Ministers in ACT Governments of both colours have been guilty of that since 1989.

neanderthalsis 9:42 am 13 Aug 14

Imagine the wonders that may be unearthed if some brave soul stared digging around the development deals done by ACT Labor during their time in power here.

davo101 8:44 am 13 Aug 14

Two things:

The title should be “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”. I have the power at my place of employment to choose between a felt-tip or a ball-point pen despite of which I haven’t taken any bribes.

Also absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. We don’t have anything like ICAC in this jurisdiction, who knows what we might find if we start turning over some rocks.

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