Corruption and NSW Politics
Not for nothing is the love of money described as the root of all evil
Western democratic processes are constantly in danger of being corrupted because lobbyists have undue influence on policy making. In addition, lobbyists are far too often connected to the political process through monetary donations, some being previous politicians.
One hopes that the not-for-profit sector lobbies for altruistic reasons, but industry and business lobbies to promote its own interest as notoriously demonstrated by the gambling, mining, and energy sectors. Most notoriously developers lobby out of greed, they are rightly banned from making political donations and should have no direct access to the political process at any level, least of all local government. The recent “Koala debate” was much less about agriculture and mostly about developers’ interests.
Too many politicians have shown they are corruptible because of their obsession with money, or worse, they are the initiators of corrupt activity. The taint is equally present on both sides of politics
In Defence of Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Sadly, there are few politicians, who, by the manner of their life, make it intuitively clear to others that material benefit is not a driving influence in their life. I am not a member of the Liberal Party, indeed am well known for being strongly critical of policies that emanate from the right of politics. However, in the Premier I see a person of integrity and one in whom I implicitly trust, notwithstanding strong disagreement in some policy areas.
It is not clear to me that those who have been most shrill in their condemnation of her bear in their personhood the same level of integrity.
It is clear Mr McGuire was not simply corruptible through his love of money, but that he initiated corrupt activity. Ms Berejiklian, like all human beings, deserves warm and secure personal intimacy. That her heart and trusting good nature led her to trust and keep company with those who were unworthy of the trust is deeply tragic for her and perhaps has lasting personal consequences. To multiply the tragedy by denying the State of one of its most competent Premiers would be to multiply the injury.
I am confident this experience will make the Premier more resolute to root out any form of corruption and it will hopefully encourage her to put pressure on her Federal counterparts to bring in legislation to establish an independent corruption watchdog at a federal level.