Talking of political scandals...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It doesn't matter which party you voted for, life in Canberra has been fascinating and horrifying this last week. We wonder when they're going to get over all this and get back to running the country... but the to-and-fro of it all has been compelling, like watching a car crash in slow motion. Watching the various players field the hot potato back and forth across the political net is at least showing us who can halde the heat in the Canberra kitchen, and who is about to get the sack from the parliamentary Masterchef...

    It's been a beauty of a political scandal here in Australia for the past week. Again, I'm not taking political sides here, this is more a moral tale of what happens when you bite off more than you can chew... or perhaps what happens when you don't do your homework.

    We have a two party system here, British Westminster. Our new PM (for just over a year) is Kevin Rudd, labor party (yes I know, US spelling - I've never understood why). The other party, the Opposition, is the Liberal party (very conservative and right wing - again, a misnomer) is led by a lawyer millionaire, Malcolm Turnbull.

    Just over a week ago Malcolm Turnbull was declaring in parliament that the PM and Treasurer Wayne Swan had misled parliament (a much greater crime than cheating on your wife and getting caught). Turnbull had asked, in parliament, if either Rudd or Swan had given preferential treatment to a car dealer mate of theirs. Both Rudd & Swan said no, they hadn't. Turnbull then went, "Aha! Gotcha!" and claimed there was an email from the PM's office which was sent to the Treasury, saying, "please give this guy a hand" or similar. The bloke saying this (under pressure, apparently) was a public servant. Godwin Grech (sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens novel). Grech prefaced his remarks with, "I could be completely mistaken about this but it is my recollection that the email said this..."

    On the basis of having hear that this email might eist, Turnbull loudly and repeatedly called for the resignations of both the PM and his Treasurer... effective immediately. "It's a public disgrace!" and so on, lots of rhetoric. A newspaper published the text of the email.

    This hit the fan on Friday last week but over the weekend the heat got turned up on Turnbull. Kevin Rudd immediately referred the mattter to the Federal Police because a thorough search of the records indicated that NO SUCH EMAIL EXISTED.

    Turnbull's party had a couple of people stick their necks out and say too much. One idiot even said, "It's easy to find no evidence, if you don't ant to find evidence."
    Actually, the way our government email system works, there is ALWAYS evidence even if emails have been deleted.

    So by Monday, Turnbull had been on record as saying that OF COURSE he and his party would cooperate fully with the Federal Police enquiry. His Shadow Treasurer (the bloke who would have had the job if they had won the last election, instead of lost) was also on record having said, "Of course I know Godwin Grech, I rang him over the weekend because I could see how stressed he was by all this. We all know him well, he used to work in my department when we were in government..."

    By Tuesday, Malcolm Turnbull was on the ropes. It turned out that the email, far from simply not existing, had actually been concocted to LOOK real and been leaked to the papers (and the Opposition). This is a HUGE offence against a number of our laws on a national level.

    Then the real big news - Godwin Grech was exposed as a mole, working for the last few years for the Liberal Party. He also had a grudge against Labor - when they won the last election, Godwin Grech lost a cushy job and got sidelined. So not only was he feeding government secrets to politicians who shouldn't haver the info (people on both sides who shouldn't have the info) but he apparently was party to a faked email designed to make people look bad, who actually hadn't done anything wrong.

    The most interesting thing now is hearing Malcolm Turnbull's political party all trying to sound supportive but also sound non-committal, so they have a chance of getting the leader's job when Turnbull gets the boot, for being such an idiot.

    We've had some wonderful suggestions for headlines - Turnbull at a Gate" was a beauty. I suggested "Turnbull Goes for the Jugular - but Forgets to put in his Dentures!"

    They've christened the saga "ute-gate" and also Ozcar fiasco" for the Ozcar funding scheme the car dealer supposedly received (he did not - the papers show he got no favours until all other dealers in his area did).

    The latest fun and games is - Malcolm Turnbull is saying that like a reporter, he shouldn't have to reveal his sources (over who told him about the email, now known to be fake). The trouble is, he had already earlier promised to "cooperate fully with the Australian Federal Police" and to backpedal now goes directly against this. So now he's saying, "I can't talk about it in parliament because it's now a police matter."
    Trouble is, he's still verbally attacking the Treasurer, under parliamentary privilege, using the same topic.

    Sometimes the best form of defence is to attack...

    funny, it's not working in this case!

    For a lawyer, who should know to really check out the veracity of evidence before going in to battle with it, this is a bit of a blunder...

    As someone so aptly said in another thread - it doesn't matter who you vote for, because what you will get is politicians!

    Or to add to it - the trouble with political jokes, is they generally get elected!

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Geez- the whole story sounds like a novel! Political corruption exists everywhere I guess.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The fun thing here - they tried to claim "corruption!" but the party screaming the loudest are the ones now with egg on their faces. And the only possible corrupotion seems to be the public servant who was trying to provide some salacious material which he was SURE would exist, if only tey looked hard enough - but when they looked hard enough, all that existed was the faked one, primed to expose what had to be there (but wasn't).

    It's sort of like saying, "Let's accuse these guys of playing around - after all, everybody does it." Only they hadn't. For once.

    Perhaps because the guys making the accusations (who until recently had a very long time in power) have been in the habit of doing exactly these sort of favours? At least, that is what some people have been saying.

    At least parliament has risen for a few weeks (school holidays coming up) so before they all come back and start throwing more public mud at each other under parliamentary privilege, the Federal POlice will have hopefully completed their investigation and the fight will be short and sweet.

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Another case where what the accuser is saying is a reflection of them, not the accused.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    watch this space...

  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You lost me with that
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What I meant was, undoubtedly more weird/stupid/interesting stuff will happen when they get back to the job of allegedly running the country.

    These are supposed to be the best brains in the country. Sometimes I despair of democracy...

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ooh! I agree! Same in our country though.
  9. MrsMcNear46

    MrsMcNear46 New Member


    It's all so interesting...scandals and politics are often not watched closely by the public in the States, as they seem to happen so frequently. Right now, you can't turn on the TV without seeing the drama of the death of Michael Jackson. It has overshadowed all the important news, as deaths of celebrities, always do. I find it quite nauseous.

    I always enjoy your posts and your eloquent writing style. Keep us posted.


    Mrs. McNear