Saturday, March 28, 2009

Joel Fitzgibbon

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon's friendship links with a Chinese national seem to have gone well beyond the point of occasional, friendly personal encounters. Free trips to China and gifts from someone also making hefty financial contributions to the ALP seem completely over the top. Particularly when Fitzgibbon lies about the gifts until they are revealled to be facts and particularly given that he is the nation's defence Minister.

Can he be so naive as to assume other countries do not seek to influence and compromise ministers in pursuit of their national interest? How could a person in this position put himself in a position of appearing to be compromised?

Several major Australia-China issues are currently on the Australian political agenda. China seeks a substantial stake in the Australian resource sector.

Joel Fitzgibbon should resign or be sacked.


Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

I tend to disagree with you Harry. Not because I wish to be seen to be carrying a torch for Fitzgibbon but because the rapacious mandarins who are playing hardball to protect their $22 billion annual budget ought not to be able to get away with playing an unethical and illegal game at the expense of Australian democracy. Their crime is far greater in terms of transparency than Fitzgibbon accepting a free flight and not declaring it.

Fitzgibbon has embarked on fiscal reform of his bloated department which seems to be beholden to the US military industrial complex and hates questions and scrutiny of its quite possibly corrupt waste of our tax (and the Chinese bondholders') money.

Note this: the department is fighting back the best way it knows how: dirty.

You furnish no evidence that Fitzgibbon has lied. The link you provide says no such thing. I know this may seem pernickety and technical to you but non-disclosure is not actually lying.

Sacking Fitzgibbon would be giving in to the dark forces in the defence department who are using illegal means to spy on their own minister. That way lies rule by blackmail and is a clear intimidation of a minister to dissuade him from doing his duty as a democratic representative of us civilians.

Such intimidation of an MP is in itself illegal and in contempt of parliament be the ability of MPs to carry out their duties without fear or favour. This is why parliamentarians have so-called privileges. Parliament even has the means to defend itself by being able to call up inidividuals before the bar of the parliament for trial and punishment of attempting to deny the MP his/her privileges. See the case of Frank Browne here.

hc said...

He denied the gifts until they were pointed out to him.

He forgot? I do not believe that.

I think the mandarins had legitimate security concerns. This was a very foolish action and already may have compromised the australian Government's freedom to act in the Oz Minerals and Rio deals.

Very serious.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

You have got to be joking.

This is a pretty irrational way of dealing with security concerns.

On the other hand, what compromises Australia's "freedom to act" is the information that Australia is on a $500 million-a-week-drip from China, and not some $2500 seat on an aeroplane or a $1000 suit.

hc said...

The Australian Government may have been forced to reject the Oz Minerals bid because it did not want to be seen as fawning to China. Certainly at least one journo in The Australian took this line.

The minister of Defence in Australia should not take compromising gifts on the sly from anyone.

hc said...

After I responded to you Sir Henry I noticed this. It makes the exact point I am making very forecefully in relation to Oz Minerals.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

Crosby's point is more specific than yours, Harry. Where you made vague generalisations, Crosby suggests that the Oz minerals decision was a deliberate subterfuge. Maybe it was.

But it is a rather vapid comment just the same.

Politically, you could make case against the Rudd government in either case: if they allowed the takeover then they could be accused of being China's puppet, especially when there could be potential security considerations; when they did disallow the deal they stand accused of shutting down the takeover as a political gesture to draw away attention from the notion that they might be doing China's bidding - the evidence being that Joel Fitzgibbon took free flights to China in 2002 and 2005.

Obviously that strategem has now failed because Crosby is on the case. Jeez.

Liberal Party's propaganda mill and its freelancers riding shotgun are muddying the waters trying to connect the flights to Fitzgibbon being a Minister for Defence, whereas it is obvious to most people over 13 that the election took place in 2007 and that Fitzgibbon was not then a minister nor in government. Indeed, in 2002 the Howard government got another term.

Perhaps the Chinese rigged the election so they could get value for their airline tickets.