Recent events in NSW have shown that its Independent Commission Against Corruption is doing its job, despite the protests of Scott Morrison: the Obeids and Ian Macdonald have been sentenced to jail for attempting to embezzle $100 million through a coal mine lease licence between 2007-2009.
It was the NSW ICAC which commenced proceedings against these former NSW Labor MPs; and it’s the same NSW ICAC which is currently investigating the arrangements between former NSW Liberal Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, and former Wagga Wagga MP, Daryl Maguire – who decided that getting a cut from a corrupt land deal wasn’t enough; he just had to get his hands on a corrupt cash-for-visa scheme through a 10% commission. And Maguire was also running this scheme through his Parliamentary office.
Dispatching visas is the responsibility of the Department of Immigration. And who was the Minister of Immigration during the time Maguire was operating his cash-for-visa scheme? None other than Scott Morrison who, of course, has denied any involvement with the scheme. But Morrison is a pathological liar and it’s in his interests to deny any involvement. Perhaps this is an issue a federal ICAC could investigate… if only we had one. It gives us an insight into why Morrison isn’t keen on establishing a federal ICAC and confirms our suspicions that a prime minister who does everything possible to deter a body that investigates corruption in federal politics, is more likely than not, corrupt.
The federal parliament saw one the most egregious acts committed against the Spreaker of the House of Representatives: the Morrison government ignored a ruling by the Speaker, which has never happened in the 120-year history of federation. We now have a federal government which ignores Parliament, it ignores convention, it ignores the Constitution, it now ignores the rulings of the Speaker – which is akin to a criminal ignoring the findings of the judge. It’s contempt, and it’s the reason why corruption is allowed to fester. And a complicit media who were happy to ignore one of the most scandalous incidents ever in federal Parliament.
It seems a November election is out of the question… but December? We always felt Morrison would call the election for May 2022 because, as a procrastinator, holding the election on the last possible date on May 22 means the decision will be made for him. Or, at least, that’s what our theory was.
Why December? It’s obvious: the success of Scott Morrison depends on distraction. NSW and Victoria are coming out of lockdown, it will be close to Christmas; people will be thinking about the end of year, Christmas shopping and everything else… except for politics. It’s a perfect remedy for Morrison: a seal of approval because the electorate is too distracted to carefully scrutinise his poor performance over the past three years.
It’s cynical, but that’s Scott Morrison. And it might just work.