How politi­cians telling big porkies make pigs of them­selves on our taxes

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION - PIERS AKERMAN

“The crea­tures out­side looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but al­ready it was im­pos­si­ble to say which was which.” That quote from Ge­orge Or­well’s clas­sic An­i­mal Farm sums up the po­lit­i­cal class in NSW to­day.

Politi­cians from both sides of the di­vide are im­pli­cated in the grub­bi­est of cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions.

The Aldi bag stuffed with $100,000 in il­le­gal cash con­tri­bu­tions re­ceived by the NSW ALP at its Sus­sex Street head­quar­ters was just the lat­est chap­ter in La­bor’s long-run­ning saga of money for in­flu­ence.

That the money was not packed in

the tra­di­tional brown paper bag was the only new wrin­kle to this story.

The rev­e­la­tions should have seen the state’s Lib­eral-Na­tional Coali­tion gov­ern­ment turn­ing som­er­saults in Martin Place but Premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian is reap­ing her own field of home-sown weeds.

Hav­ing shunned the con­ser­va­tive el­e­ment of the party, hav­ing re­jected re­forms pro­posed by two for­mer Lib­eral prime min­is­ters, John Howard and Tony Ab­bott, and hav­ing em­braced the Left-wing Mod­er­ate fac­tion dom­i­nated by lob­by­ist Michael Pho­tios, the NSW Lib­er­als have been left in a glass house with its win­dows shat­tered by their own ques­tion­able ac­tiv­i­ties and in­ept po­lit­i­cal judg­ment. Premier Bere­jikian should have been a shoo-in for a sec­ond elec­toral vic­tory when La­bor’s Chi­nese donor scan­dal first broke but her ap­palling lack of lead­er­ship on the Abor­tion Bill, the ca­pit­u­la­tion to the La­bor-Green-lean­ing Pho­tios fac­tion on the cli­mate change fash­ion and aban­don­ment of tra­di­tional Lib­eral val­ues have now made the next elec­tion ques­tion­able.

Kerry Packer fa­mously said you only get one Alan Bond in your life (af­ter he sold his tele­vi­sion prop­er­ties at an un­re­al­is­ti­cally high price to the for­mer sign painter and bought them back again at below bar­gain base­ment prices). Premier Bere­jik­lian had her

Alan Bond mo­ment with for­mer Op­po­si­tion leader Michael Da­ley.

Even the fac­tion-rid­dled and pol­icy-crip­pled NSW La­bor Party might not make the same mis­take again — al­though there is no cer­tainty there.

Pat Garcia, the act­ing sec­re­tary of the NSW La­bor Party, can’t take much joy yet from the forth­com­ing ICAC in­quiry into al­le­ga­tions that Sports Min­is­ter John Si­doti didn’t prop­erly de­clare his stake in a $70-mil­lion prop­erty de­vel­op­ment near the new Rouse Hill metro sta­tion, which he de­nies.

The NSW ICAC has a sad his­tory of go­ing off half-cocked and has been rep­ri­manded for its im­proper find­ings. No doubt it will take its time and will at­tempt to en­sure that it doesn’t find it­self to be the vil­lain rather than the in­ves­ti­ga­tor this time around.

On the fed­eral level, the curious case of newly-elected Hong Kong-born Gla­dys Liu, and her links to Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party pro­pa­ganda bod­ies has be­come mired in racially-charged ac­cu­sa­tions.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son has gone out on a limb to de­fend the Mem­ber for Chisholm per­haps be­cause she nar­rowly won the seat af­ter it was de­serted by the treach­er­ous for­mer Lib­eral Julia Banks, who chose to stand (un­suc­cess­fully) in Flin­ders against Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt at the May fed­eral elec­tion.

Ms Liu’s vic­tory gave the Coali­tion its two-seat ma­jor­ity. But her links to or­gan­i­sa­tions with di­rect links to the CCP are not easy to for­give or dis­miss. This is about so much more than a “clumsy in­ter­view” with my old friend and col­league An­drew Bolt.

The Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party is not a wel­com­ing power, it is an ac­knowl­edged in­ter­na­tional threat and more par­tic­u­larly, it is a grow­ing threat to na­tions in our own re­gion.

Its ruth­less pursuit of lo­cal in­flu­ence in every coun­try it has been in­volved with is ob­vi­ous to all but our avari­cious uni­ver­sity vice-chan­cel­lors.

Too many mem­bers of our par­lia­ments, state and fed­eral, think it is well and good to play footsy with Chi­nese busi­nesses — but they are deny­ing the re­al­ity that the Party has an in­ter­est in al­most every main­land-based Chi­nese cor­po­ra­tion.

Our politi­cians and bu­reau­crats have fool­ishly de­nied this and we have not only sur­ren­dered the port of Dar­win but we have sold out vast chunks of our na­tion, through min­ing, agri­cul­ture and other in­vest­ments to the au­to­cratic to­tal­i­tar­ian regime.

As Or­well’s an­i­mals found as they gazed through the farm­house win­dow at the evil Farmer Jones and the clique of swine who they had fol­lowed in their rev­o­lu­tion, it was hard to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the pigs and the peo­ple.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.