Sunday, May 04, 2014

The Commission of Corruption

Oh, you have to be kidding.

In NSW, corruption hearings in the ICAC haven't just claimed a decent bag of NSW politicians: federal politicians have also had their careers dented by being named, fundraisers have been thoroughly traduced, and …

That same party wants to create, at a federal level, corruption honeypots of unimaginable vastness, courtesy of the report of its hand-picked commission of audit.

Apart from its nasty attack on the poor, the sick, the unemployed, the student, and the scientist; apart from its naked embrace of failed ideologies as the basis for policy; apart from its utterly risible inclusion of Institute of Public Affairs wish-list policies like a legislated cap on tax take as a proportion of GDP …

Apart from all this, the thread of privatisation runs throughout the document, and not only in the selloffs of the Snowy hydro scheme (an IPA idea), Australia Post (also an IPA idea), the NBN (already planned), the Mint and so on. It's also in the privatisation of service delivery in health, disability services, and so on.

You'd have to be a first-rate idiot, blind and ignorant of what's been happening, to think that self-interest appears nowhere in an entire political party when an unimaginably vast money-pot is opened up, after it's already been exposed by the NSW ICAC.

Buy shares in brown paper bag manufacturers, people, because there's going to be a shortage. 

Venality is written large in the Commission of Audit's recommendations, far beyond the list of privatisations: putting NDIS out to contract, outsourcing visa processing and passport production, outsourcing the Department of Human Services' payment system, and so on.

The Commission's aims are so naked it's an embarrassment: 

  • Cut taxes for the rich
  • Cut services for the rest
  • Pour money into the private sector in the name of efficiency

There are recruits and cannon-fodder, as there always are: dupes who believe passionately in an ideology and can't feel the corporate hand at their back. And there are knaves, who pretend to believe in the ideology but are in it for the honeypot.

We know the knaves exist. ICAC has proven it. It's now down to us: if we don't stop them, they will feed on the misery of the sick, the degradation of the disabled, the starvation of the poor, the theft of services and society to enrich the choice few that are already rich enough and large enough to bid for the contracts.

No comments: