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ONE FELL SWOOP April 17, 2014

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.

Barry O’Farrell resigned suddenly this morning. He should have declared the $3,000 bottle of wine – or possibly returned it. And now the political game has been changed in NSW.

The focus of attention should now be on the role of the network of influence peddlers.

Guardian’s political editor Lenore Taylor offers some musings on not only O’Farrell’s resignation, but the wider implications Icac has had for the Liberal party:

The Eric Idle award for looking on the bright side of life must go to the prime minister who, having now lost a premier as well as a minister owing to Icac’s investigations, chose to interpret the event as evidence Barry O’Farrell was acting with honour and integrity never before seen in Australian public life.

However, it is the lobbyists who should be watching their backs:

As the prime minister would be only too aware, in a broader sense Icac is also shining a light on the influence of lobbyists and fundraisers in the NSW Liberal party, something party members have been deeply concerned about and trying to change for a long time.

These problems have been somewhat overshadowed in recent years by the breathtaking corruption inside the Labor party but, according to party insiders, they are nonetheless acute.

Barry forgot too much. Red wine has different effects. Perhaps this is the art of (Nicholas) di Girolamo in action. Influence peddling of a significant order.

Eddie Obeid so far runs clear, but Barry O’Farrell is caught by the ICAC process. What would have if there was a ICAC at the Federal level. Would Tony Abbott survive his blatant political lying? Perhaps tendentious. Nonetheless, the influence peddlers are at work in Canberra as well as Macquarie Street, and the strange group of ideologues that surround the Prime Minister as the products of the same political party that operates in NSW.

Tony Abbott proclaims that Barry O’Farrell is is an honourable man:

He should know. There would be plenty for a Federal ICAC to examine beyond the staple of political lying.

The promotion of neoliberal ideology, now the fashion across the Anglo political world in the damage it does to the common good and the promotion of social inequality, would be worth investigating. The governments of Australia and Canada stand out by combining it with denial of climate science. Tony Abbott equivocates to the point of dishonesty in relation to his beliefs on climate change. The cruelty inflicted on refugees, which arguably is criminal, for example in relation to Australian-born children and their parents, adds to Australia’s shame and the determination to break conventions of human decency and human rights.



1. wmmbb - April 17, 2014

I omitted to comment that “Liberal Party Fund Raiser” has taken on new connotations.

I assume that people may be confident that an ICAC would not be necessary in Canberra.

2. wmmbb - April 17, 2014

Gary at Public Opinion identifies the problem as “a corrupt political culture” arising in large part from the need to raise money for electoral campaigns.

3. wmmbb - April 19, 2014

Quentin Dempster, with long experience of State level corruption, summarises the demise of Barry O’Farrell for The Drum.

Then there is Politically Homeless recounting of NSW political history: The Bottle and the Damage Done.

Norman Abjorensen at Inside Story provides background on the Liberal factions, without introducing the door openers, fund raisers and so forth.

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