Less corruption, or more blindness?

Idiot/Savant blogs on corruption in Australia as opposed to New Zealand.

Meanwhile, over the ditch, former Queensland Cabinet Minister Gordon Nuttall has just been convicted on 36 charges of receiving secret commissions while in office and sentenced to seven years. And he’s not the first. He’s the fifth Queensland Cabinet Minister to be jailed for corruption (four were jailed as a result of the Fitzgerald Inquiry) – and that’s just Queensland. Other Ministers have been jailed for corruption in New South Wales, where Corrections Minister Rex Jackson took bribes to let people out of jail, and Western Australia, where two former Premiers and a former Deputy Premier were jailed after a Royal Commission into corruption.

While we have a lot in common, this is a fundamental difference between our two countries. Despite the [concerns raised by blogs I/S disagrees with], New Zealand is fundamentally not a corrupt country. Meanwhile, tight connections between business and government mean that high-level political corruption is endemic in parts of Australia. So how did things manage to go so wrong over there?

But wait, what is the Fitzgerald Inquiry?

The Fitzgerald Inquiry into Queensland Police corruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald QC. The inquiry was established in response to a series of articles on high-level police corruption in The Courier-Mail by reporter Phil Dickie, followed by a Four Corners report, aired on 11 May 1987, entitled “The Moonlight State” with reporter Chris Masters. With Queensland‘s Premier of 18 years, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, out of the state, his deputy Bill Gunn ordered a commission of inquiry.

Wait… isn’t a comission like that exactly what the right of the blogosphere has been asking for?

Pointing to lack of prosecutions or convictions for corruption is idiotic – the fact is we’ve just assumed that we’re less corrupt, and there hasn’t been the political will to look at the evidence that has been piling up.

Now, if we had had such commissions and found no corruption, then Idiot/Savant might have a case. But we haven’t.

Oh, perhaps such a commission might be setup to address the concerns raised by this blogger?

Unfortunately, there is nothing the Electoral Commission can do about it. When they drafted the law back in 1993, politicians included a cosy little out for themselves in the form of a six month time limit on prosecutions. It’s been more than six months since the donation in question was made, so no charges can be brought. And so Winston and his cronies get to walk on this one, despite pissing on the law and our democracy for years.

There is however something the public can do about it, and that is don’t vote for New Zealand First. By their actions they have shown themselves to be deeply corrupt, not to mention grossly hypocritical. And we should remember that at election time.

Does this make I/S a member of the “sewer”? Or just “grossly hypocritical”?

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