Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Four Corners on Labor's crooks & sharpies

The Four Corners show ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ screened tonight showed that the Labor Party includes more than a few schemers who have substituted making capital within their party for decent values and for the normal looney-tunes pursuits of Labor politicians. The show is well worth watching if you missed it –available online here. While mainly concerned with the NSW branch and the particular activities of the party in Wollongong and Newcastle, the fund-raising success of the NSW branch was replicated by imitation of its practices in the recent federal election. Indeed the chief fund-raiser in NSW (Mark Arbib) was awarded the safest senate seat in NSW for his efforts.

The response of the left to these accusations? My guess is they will ignore them or suggest they are ‘small picture’ distractions. Or, the other side of politics does the same sorts of things so its OK for Labor - always a favoured line. Or they might also use the superficially clever line – it has an element of truth - that the Liberals in NSW must be hopeless if they fail to defeat such an incompetent, corrupt and unattractive lot as NSW Labor. But generally the left have failed to take seriously the nasty side of Labor politics. The repeated problems of child-sex abuse that have arisen within the Labor Party are one example. The recurrent problems of corruption that have occurred in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA branches are another.

The clichés, deification of Oracle Kev and the pursuit of shallow, symbolist policies will continue for a while. But the Liberal Party should be alert to the rottenness in the party of their political opponents and should not stop reminding the Australian people of the facts. The Brumby decision to revoke the pokie licences of Tabcorp and Tattersall’s might be a move to end possibly incriminating links between Labor and these two socially repugnant businesses. I wouldn’t let Labor dismiss this issue and would continue to pursue what has and what will happen here. A policy backflip engineered by Laborite cronies working for the gambling companies or a huge payout in compensation to the companies is not an impossibility.

Update: one hostile commentor pointed me to this Green's website on the political donations scandal. One element of the left is active in opposing disgraceful behaviour by the Labor Party.


Anonymous said...

this happens to any party that is in for longer than it should be.

Those of us who remember pre1972 will understand how corrupt the federal system was getting.

I could say the same thing for various Governments of different hue in different states.

you reduce this substantially by changing the government as much as possible.

Afterall there is not a lot of difference between liberals and labour

Anonymous said...

And yet, Kevin could well be PM for 15 years, the we he's going, which is great, and the way the opposition is going, which is risibly.

It's just not fair.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of the left wing bias of the ABC. Oh wait...


hc said...

Kymbos, Your point is well taken. The ABC is often inappropriately accused of left-wing bias. The only issue is whether it delivers quality journalism and it does.

But I have always been a strong supporter of the ABC for the quality of its journalism so any implied criticism does not apply to me.

See for example:


Anonymous said...

While labelled (by myself and others) almost far lefty, I welcome the expose. I've had growing suspicions that Victorian Labor is riddled like 80s Queensland... especially under Premier "Joh" Brumby.

Rudd was capable of slapping down the factions to get control of cabinet selection, so he should be capable of forcing changes through at the state level. If he doesn't at least try, he deserves all the mud that can be slung at him.

Anonymous said...

Dear me this is pretty woeful. Try a Google search for greens ('the left' of your hate-filled imaginings) " 'corporate donations' + labor, in the .au domian we have 8,420 hits. This is clearly an issue on which 'the left' has been making a lot of running. The Greens have an entire website on it.

Myrddin Seren said...

I saw the Four Corners story last night as a repeat and the reporter seemed commendably "In the face" of the participants on what would be a story that would be unwelcome attention in a lot of quarters across the political spectrum.

But at the end of the day, all those donations turned up on registers even if the gentleman assisting The Greens had to do a lot of digging.

Worse comes to worse you can bet minds are pondering how to replace the donations with direct taxpayer party funding to keep the wheels oiled if the heat gets too intense on the current funding model.

The What-Ever-It-Takes fundraising is thus arguably open to some scrutiny but is the price of a ticket, apparently at least within the ALP, to higher positions within the Party and entry to Parliament - to what end ?

Are all the Richo proteges so committed to social democracy and social justice that they are falling over themselves to get into parliament for sake of The Cause and to lift the burdens on Working Families ?

Are we that naive ??

As they say, follow the money trail, and I seem to recall past press stories that Richo was at one stage a regular flying partner of Rene Rivkin to certain Swiss banking centres ?

Richo has been the inspiration for so many keen and ambitious players ;-)

hc said...

Geoff Robinson,

You are right - the Greens were instrumental in uncovering many of the Labor abuses. In some cases - in the Newcastle area - they were motivated by sound environmental issues.

I respect the Greens for their environmental work but generally their political views are not worth a giggle.

Their work in exposing the Labor Party was useful.

I don't have 'hate-filled imaginations' towards the 'left' - I see it accurately for what it is. But I do dislike twerps with a chip on their shoulder getting on my blog and making the inference that I do.