I hate corruption in government. It’s one of those issues for me. When you’re in public office or in the civil service, you are obligated to uphold the highest of standards and way higher than anyone else in the community. And quite rightly so. If we can’t trust government the society crumbles, as I have seen in some of the countries I have worked in over the decades (like Indonesia and Papua New Guinea).
On my side of politics, there have been a few found corrupt (Tripodi, Obeid and McDonald). My view? Whatever their sentences are, double them. No matter who you are with in politics or the civil service, in my view, you should have the book thrown at you if found corrupt.
And while we’re at it, let’s get a federal corruption commission. Labor has advocated for it for five years. Who opposes it having retrospective powers? The National Party. Fancy that. If Labor gets in and we get this commission, I’ve got two letters ready to go in relation to local integrity issues involving the National Party in government.
So I am watching this soap opera in the Liberal/National NSW Government at present with the ICAC inquiry. I don’t take any joy from seeing this, as much as I would like to. It just disappoints me. I think there’s been numerous breaches of the Ministerial Code of Conduct. I think incompetent administration has been exposed. I think poor politics is on display. I think bad process is clear.
I hate seeing politics and the civil service maligned. 99.9999 per cent of politicians and civil servants are NOT corrupt. A handful spoil it for all. And it’s not all about one side of politics. When any politician gets done for corruption, the stock of the profession falls as a whole. It’s not just about their side.
One day, one day, surely those who get in these positions will learn that you have to be ridiculously squeaky clean, follow the rules, follow the process no disclose everything. Fanciful perhaps, but it’s a hope I have.