As I have related before, someone online asked me and others to explain why we could not vote for the Morrison government (not that I ever would), I replied:
“The constant lies, misogyny, racism, idiocy, petulance, corruption, pork barrelling, religious nutjobbery, hatred of expertise, shirking of responsibility, shifting of blame to the blameless, the stealing of credit from the creditable. #WhyIWantChange”1
This is the third instalment and deals with the government’s petulance and their extraordinary corruption. The first instalment dealt with the government’s constant lying and their misogyny1, while the second one dealt with their racism, and their use of it, as well as the extraordinarily idiotic things members of the government say2.
In response to Emmanuel Macron’s statement that he knew Morrison lied to him, Morrison attempted to make it a slur directed at Australia, and when that didn’t really fly, he leaked one of Macron’s text messages to stenographers in Murdoch ‘newspapers’. The text message said: “Should I expect good or bad news for our joint submarines ambitions?” The leaking of this was an attempt to indicate Macron knew well beforehand that the submarine deal was history. However, this message simply indicates that Macron didn’t really know what was happening. Morrison’s leaking of it reeks of desperation, as well as petulance. French Ambassador Thébault referred to this leaking of the text message as an “unprecedented new low”, and wondered if “Doing so also sends a very worrying signal for all heads of state; beware, in Australia there will be leaks and what you say in confidence to your partners will be eventually used and weaponised against you one day”. On top of this, in response to Joe Biden’s assertion that the handling of the communication with France was “clumsy”, Morrison petulantly leaked a confidential 15-page document negotiated in secret between Biden’s National Security Council and Australian and British officials, again to Murdoch ‘newspapers’3. Like a petulant child, Morrison will do anything to get back at those who demonstrate his incapacity.
The initial rollout of federal disaster payments was eventually extended to thousands of flood-affected Northern Rivers residents a day after a NSW Liberal parliamentarian quit in protest at the initial rollout. New South Wales upper house MP, Catherine Cusack, objected heatedly to the decision to provide immediate financial support to people in the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley local government areas (LGAs) in the Nationals-held seat of Page, but not in the neighbouring flood-affected Labor-held seat of Richmond. Cusack said: “The idea that being a flood victim in a National Party-held seat makes you more worthy than a flood victim who is in the Richmond electorate … is probably the most unethical approach I have ever seen”4. How dare the people in the Richmond electorate vote in a Labor member!
A similar thing happened in the middle of 2021 when the Covid-19 disaster support favoured New South Wales over Victoria, despite the Morrison government
brazenly claiming it didn’t. Even as he was announcing changes to the disaster payment eligibility, Morrison pushed back against the idea that the rules were changing for Sydney, noting that the eased eligibility would only kick in from the third week (which Victoria’s recent lockdown never reached). But while the help the states have received is technically equal, no one is under any illusions that it would have increased for Victoria had its lockdown gone on, after the state government begged for the help, only to have it granted under strictly limited conditions. And yet the federal government’s insulting “equal treatment” line continued throughout subsequent changes to the support offered, even as the double standard grew more stark5. How dare the people of Victoria vote in a Labor state government!
As I have said elsewhere on this blog, this government is the most corrupt I have seen in decades of watching politics. It makes the famously corrupt Bjelke-Petersen government of Queensland look like amateur pickpockets by comparison. I started compiling the numerous instances of corruption from the Liberal and National parties at federal and state level. Below I include the instances only where there is major federal involvement. There are several types of corruption perpetrated by this government. These include the following:
- Snout in trough; whereby parliamentarians simply charge us for jollies (travel to holidays, sporting events, fundraisers, etc.) or their other expenses not related to their job.
- Backhanders; whereby parliamentarians are given donations by organisations and sometime later those organisations are given grants or subsidies.
- Forehanders; whereby parliamentarians give grants or subsidies to mates or donors, with the expectation that donations will be forthcoming at a later stage.
- Favours: whereby parliamentarians give grants or subsidies to media interests in exchange for favourable coverage.
- Fake enquiries and studies; whereby parliamentarians use public money to have enquiries solely for political purposes, or to undertake studies with little or no result.
- Sideliners; whereby parliamentarians can also be employed privately while being a parliamentarian.
- Insider bonuses; whereby parliamentarians who have advance or inside knowledge use that knowledge for private profit.
- Circular payments; whereby parliamentarians are made to use a service paid for by public money, with the service provider being owned by the Liberal Party.
- Nepotism; whereby parliamentarians use public money to employ family or friends.
You will notice I have not included pork barrelling here. That is for a later instalment. Despite this, there are so many instances that to write a sentence rather than a phrase on each would make this article very long. However, if you want to chase up any of these to obtain more detail, each of these instances of corruption or suspected corruption listed below is represented by a paragraph explaining their salient points in the ‘Corruption Galore’ series of articles (see ‘Sources’) and links to more detailed articles can be found therein. The list follows.
The Nick Zhao Million; Josh Frydenberg’s fake signs; Angus Taylor’s forged documents; Peter Dutton’s fake ‘How to vote’ cards; George Christensen’s Philippines bar tabs; Barnaby Joyce’s non-existent drought reports; the Great Barrier Reef Foundation scam; the Paladin scam; the Helloworld scam; the au-pair scandal; Campion’s sinecures; the Foxtel $30 million; the Warren Mundine scandal; Stuart Robert’s internet scandal; the Port Darwin scandal; the water rights scandal; the Jam Land scandal; the Shine Energy scandal; the Eastern Australian Agriculture scandal; the Nolan meats scandal; the Freedom of Information scandal; the Country Universities Centre scandal; the Scullion scandal; Sussan Ley’s apartment purchasing trip; Stuart Robert’s company trip; Stuart Robert’s fake independent candidates; Stephen Irons’ trip to his own wedding; Scott Morrison’s trip to Irons’ wedding; Barnaby Joyce’s trip to Michael Smith’s wedding; Barnaby Joyce’s campaigning; Barnaby Joyce’s helicopter trip; Teresa Gambaro’s and Julie Bishop’s attendance at a wedding in India; Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter trip; Tony Abbott’s attendance at Sophie Mirabella’s and Peter Slipper’s weddings; Joe Hockey’s investment property scandal; the Bruce Billson scandal6.
The Parakeelia scam; the gun club and church scandal; the Indigenous Advancement scandal; the secret payment scandal; the Christopher Pyne scandal; Julie Bishop’s Palladium scandal; the Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation scandal; the Shane Stone scandal; Barnaby Joyce’s landholding scandal; the Australian Water Holdings scandal; the Job Access scandal; the George Brandis scandal; the non-existent scholarship scandal; the Adani groundwater management scandal; Matt Canavan’s flight; the Coronavirus Information Line scandal; Peter Dutton’s, Kevin Andrews’ and Eric Abetz’s trip to the Abbott farewell; Tony Abbott’s pay rise7.
The Canstruct scandal; Bridget McKenzie’s shooter’s expo trip; the fair Work Commission scandal; the Andrew Laming family holiday; the National Covid-19 Commission Committee scandal; the gagged public servants scandal; the Rolex watch scandal; Stuart Robert’s, Dan Tehan’s and Simon Birmingham’s trip to Liberal fundraiser; the Amanda Vanstone scandal; Michael McCormack’s trip to the Melbourne Cup; Pauline Hanson’s fundraiser; Eric Abetz’s trip to a mining gala8.
The Southern Strategy donation scandal; the Pacific Blue Capital scandal; the Australian citizenship scandal; the Hughes pre-selection scandal; the Alex Hawke minutes doctoring; the Toondah harbour scandal; Stuart Robert’s government IT contract scandal; Tim Wilson’s franking credits inquiry scandal; the poker machines policy scandal; Matthias Cormann’s, Steve Ciobo’s and David Bushby’s trip to the AFL Grand Final; Stuart Robert’s Seniors Expo scandal; Peter Dutton’s and Matthias Cormann’s trip to Morrison’s swearing in; Tim Wilson’s Human Rights Commission scandal; the COVIDSafe app scandal; the Foxtel $10 million scandal; Bridget McKenzie’s trips to sporting events9.
Luke Simpkins’ and Natasha Griggs’ holidays on Cocos Islands; the Commtract Communications Services scandal; the Australian Small Business Ombudsman contract scandal; Linda Reynolds Brisbane and Broome trips; Christian Porter’s National Security Information Orders scandal; Cory Bernardi’s trip to Australian Conservatives fundraiser; Dave Sharma’s CSL shares scandal; Dave Sharma’s Qantas shares scandal; Andrew Bragg’s Raiz Investments scandal; Michael Sukkar’s employment of a friend; Urannah Creek Dam scandal; Refusal of FOI request into Fox Sports scandal; Cleaning up Woodside’s mess; The ServeGate contract scandal; Wesfarmers Indigenous Advancement grant scandal; Stuart Robert’s Hillsong trip; the Kurri Kurri gas plant donations scandal; The Leppington triangle land purchase scandal10.
The Mable technologies scandal; the $10 million phone call; Scott Morrison’s and Josh Frydenberg’s market research scandal; the Barnier contract scandal11.
The Ellume scandal; Scott Morrison’s and Josh Frydenberg’s trip to Lachlan Murdoch’s Christmas party; the bushfire recovery grant scandal; Josh Frydenberg’s Flower Drum restaurant scandal; Keith Pitt’s Northern Territory gas subsidy scandal12.
The Northern Endeavour scandal; the Forbes Lowndes contract scandal; Greg Hunt’s $20,000 Queensland holidays; another bushfire recovery grant scandal; the Vales Point power station grant scandal; the National Retail Association grant scandal13.
The Rural Business Tasmania grant scandal; Peter Dutton’s trip to Tasmania; Josh Frydenberg’s ASIC report whitewash; the Redlands organisations grants scandal; Scott Morrison’s trip to the Christian Churches Conference14.
Another Kurri Kurri gas plant scandal; the Monaro Farming Systems grant scandal; the McKinsey and Company contract scandal; the Beetaloo Basin subsidy scandal; Angus Taylor’s trip to the Beetaloo Basin15.
Senator Hollie Hughes’ second job16; the South Arm Pipeline scandal17; the Costa Group scandal18; the Australian Property Reserve contract scandal19; another Urannah Creek Dam funding scandal20; the Ukraine coal scandal21.
The scale of this corruption is almost unimaginable. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.