Well, the other shoe has dropped. Craig Thomson and the HSU have been the subject of quite a media feeding frenzy in recent weeks. It’s now officially a probe. No pun intended, one assumes. Although money changing hands under the table and backdoor lobbying of politicians looks pretty unsavoury, it seems there weren’t any laws broken. But it’s been in all the papers so our illustrious leader has suggested making some changes. A few improvements like a code of conduct for Federal MP’s, no less. Trouble is, they don’t want it.
Under current rules, an MP must either become bankrupt or be convicted and imprisoned for more than a year before they can be kicked out of parliament for being naughty. So we’re not even talking about people being held to account for their behaviour. This does seem odd. In a nation where politicians are currently increasing penalties, increasing prison spending and toughening laws that apply to everyone who’s not in parliament, how about the leaders of this country being required to behave themselves? Do as I say, not as I do, it seems. And this is simply a code of conduct, not corrections, penalties or transparent oversight.
So while Tony Abbott is making hay out of Craig Thomson’s credit card bills, his own party don’t want himself and others to be held to the same standards they wish to apply to others. With manufacturing jobs being slashed, money leaving the country and there not being enough homes to house people… Among other serious issues… You’d think the law regarding lobbyist spending might be clarified and then move on to doing something constructive.
But that is not how the Ministry of Information seems to work in Australia. It’s all bread and circuses. Fortunately there’s enough Transition, Downshifting, Permaculture and other grass roots sustainable initiatives going on that you can do something useful and largely ignore the also rans in parliament. Except to point out to your kids that if they ever behave like that, no one would respect them for it.