The Guardian 14 March, 2007

Corruption greases the wheels…



Julie Messenger

In last Thursday’s Sydney Morning Herald (March 8, 2007) on page 16 they printed the usual daily cartoon by Moir. (Without a doubt one of Australia’s most brilliant of his profession.)


It was of a television news presenter describing a political scandal.

Over six frames it read: "In sensational breaking news it has been revealed that the newly appointed minister … is said to have shaken the hand … of the man who is rumoured to have danced with the wife … of an ex-colleague … who once was seen to slap the back of … disgraced ex-Premier Burke".

Exactly!

The front page news reveals that despite John Howard flinging all the mud he could scrape up at Kevin Rudd over the "scandal", the Rudd-Burke affair did not hurt the opposition leader — in fact his popularity increased!

The Australian people are so used to the lies, the secret deals, the sackings of disgraced ministers and internationally-criminal multi-hundred-million-dollar "Wheat for Oil" — type scandals, it should not come as a surprise if a few dinners between an opposition leader and an ex-premier with a criminal conviction were bound to sink from sight after a few days.

The Iemma Labor Government in NSW is set to be comfortably re-elected on March 24, despite the "jobs-for-the-boys", the Cabinet reshuffles to "punish" incompetent ministers and the hundreds of millions of dollars lost on doomed-from-the-start public/private partnership deals. Not surprising either is that all of the publicly acknowledged funding from property developers to the Carr and Iemma Labor governments over the last 10 years has outstripped contributions from trade unions.

The cases of corruption that come to the surface involving individual politicians or the businessmen who buy them off are just the tip of the iceberg. The system is corrupt. It is more true today than ever before: "Corruption greases the wheels of capitalism".

Kevin Rudd has dinner with Brian Burke? The least of our worries.

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