(First published by Independent Australia)
The spreading fecal stain of New South Wales corruption may reach the Treasurer by Budget night, and cast doubt on his figures and good intentions. He has received, surely, ‘funnelled money’ for his North Sydney campaign and should not be Treasurer at all.
The measure of his party’s criminality is clear from what Sinodinos was to be paid. He was to receive twenty million dollars for persuading O’Farrell to sign a deal bringing sewage pipes to new suburbs. Twenty million dollars would earn interest, each week, of 1947 dollars. His paymaster was Nick Di Girolamo. In twenty-five weeks the amount Craig Thomson misspent over seven years would be doubled, in interest alone.
Keep that sum in mind; and follow the thread. Nick Greiner said last week that lobbying was integral to how the Liberal Party worked, and he ‘of course’ would have accepted — and drunk — the infamous Grange. This was the Liberals’ way. And though Nathan Rees in 2009 outlawed all donations (‘not one cent’) from property developers, the Liberals were getting, of course they were, laundered money from property developers. Did some of that feed the campaign costs of Joe Hockey? Of course it did.
So…we have an illegally elected Treasurer taking money, in billions, from ordinary people his leader promised would not be so thieved from. This includes pension money, down the track, in old age, and unemployment money, now, in youth. He is allocating money to a year-long air-sea search for scrap metal without purpose to a ‘private’ company that might else pay student fees, or raise pensions. It is hard not to see this as corrupt.
Most of the rest of their ‘infrastructure funding’ (roads, fighter-bombers, harbours) must be looked at by ICAC, surely, also. Once a Police Minister is involved in ‘funnelling’, any NSW politician is suspect too.
A McCarthyist tactician would here begin to accuse anyone seen in a room with Gallacher of having been potentially corrupted, as those who dined with Brian Burke once were. Did Hockey, did Abbott, shake hands with Gallacher once? They must surely stand down.
The politics of staining – that which impelled Pyne and Abbott to run from the chamber when Craig Thomson was voting their way – are coming home to roost. Anyone who dined with Sinodinos, O’Farrell, Hartcher, Webber, Spence, McNamara, Gallacher will wear the odour of corruption. Anyone who went to Mirrabella’s wedding. The Treasurer, surely must resign.
He will not, but he cannot evade the suspicion, now, that his figures may not be fair and his good will is in doubt. Does he soak the working poor and shield the wealthy, like Sinodinos, from inconvenience? Of course he does. Does his ‘share the pain’ cry reach his own wife and the annual millions she brings to their kitchen table? Of course not.
The Liberals are not now well placed to rail against money Labor wasted. They will not now be thanked for having closed down Holden, and with money that might have saved it paid friends to search the seven seas for uninformative Chinese corpses. They will not now be admired for giving to pregnant millionairesses the unemployment money of kids who will now, for the want of it, begin pushing drugs, and overdosing sometimes and dying young, or glassing one another after midnight in pubs.
They will not be thanked because it is clear now that corruption is their middle name.
A Senate committee, chaired by Faulkner, should now look into ‘the culture of criminality of the Liberal Party’. And it should run and run, till PM and Treasurer soon resign and the Governor-General decrees an early election.