Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Is The ICAC Just A Theatre For Political - Economic Drama ?


The revelations at the Independent Commission Against Corruption surrounding Hunter MPs have prompted many to ask, 'will the system change?'


Mark Rolfe is a Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of New South Wales and said the ICAC's framework for operating limits its ability to put those it finds corrupt behind bars.

"[ICAC] is doing a lot of the investigation itself as opposed to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) which is not an investigative arm," he said.

The ICAC makes recommendations to the DPP after its investigations and can find people corrupt based on a balance of probabilities. For someone to be found guilty of a crime, they must be convicted beyond reasonable doubt. Mr Rolfe said the extensive media coverage of the ICAC hearings creates a culture of 'naming and shaming', something that is powerful in its own right. "[Publicity of proceedings] is an important component, as much as it's been criticised," he said. "I think the public process and exposure of so many people is still necessary in the cleaning out of the system, as much as it may cause cynicism."

Mr Rolfe said while corruption has been prevalent in Australian politics for decades, the intense public interest in the ICAC inquiries in recent years has made politicians more accountable.
"They didn't have the media then that we have now. But also they didn't have the culture of transparency and exposure which we have these days," he said. "That may make voters more cynical about politicians, but on the other hand, voters were cynical 100 years ago, so we do have the benefit of naming and shaming."

With Operation Spicer set to continue hearing evidence about alleged corruption, Mr Rolfe said change in the system needs to happen. "I don't think it's only DPP [charges] that will restore public confidence; parliament needs to do something about [corruption]. There is the capacity for parliament to expel [malfeasant politicians]; although both major parties don't want to go there at the moment," he said.
"It'd be too hard to [water-down] the ICAC, given what has been exposed. Premier Baird would be in all sorts of problems if he was seen to attempt to [water-down] ICAC, but I don't think he's got that intention anyway.

"There needs to be things done with parties and donations, because now the ICAC is exposing a trail to the federal level, and there's going to be pressure on the federal Liberal... and federal Labor parties to do something about this."

Mark Rolfe spoke to 1233 ABC Newcastle's Paul Turton.

Is The ICAC Just A Theatre For Political- Economic Drama ?

Has the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) taken on a logic which has yielded to the "logic"of the Political-Economy ?

What is the relationship of political decisions to underlying economic forces ?

We may not always see a bag of money being passed from one actor to another; sometimes it is not that
clear.  Graft can be hidden through the market place.

The rise of China’s "interest" in Australia shows us that we are being recolonised
by a new money system: it’s now CHINESE Capitalism V's Wall Street Capitalism. We see this manifesting through the extent by which Chinese Imperialism is penetrating into Australia on every level of business and politics AND "Policy-making" !!

The ICAC must take into account this political-economic conflict when looking for corrupt conduct.

So why have the ICAC declined to investigate Chinese-connected political corruption in NSW ?

This apparent corruption can also be described as economic sabotage as well as brazen deception of the Public.

We provide examples: the Wagga Chinese Trade Centre fiasco, where actors in that game were identified
as Immigration fraudsters by Scott Morrison (when in Opposition) and were also involved in the Fitzgibbon
Affair. A Wagga local councillor (Andrew Negline) admitted to being offered "political support" from the
Chinese developers. And there’s more, MUCH more.

This project was ex Premier Mr O'Farrell’s and Mr Maquire's "baby". Perhaps Mr O'Farrell
is relieved that all that is (allegedly) hanging around his neck is a bottle of "red"?

More recently we have the situation of the China Theme Park on the Central Coast at Wyong and the
questions surrounding Mayor Doug Eaton, who has already been publicly identified as being embroiled in the Eightbyfive slush fund, and in various other improper matters.

Local Councils in NSW are becoming increasingly involved with Chinese developers.

It appears where big Chinese money and development is the order of the day, allegations of Political corruption do not get off the ground, in NSW. Correspondingly, it appears, certain major Chinese projects do NOT "get off the ground" UNLESS there are corrupt politicians involved.


We allege the ICAC is a vehicle to placate the masses with perceived anti-corruption efforts, based on
seemingly select issues.

Is it all an illusion based on Political-Economics ?

Are Federal Politicians EXEMPT from investigation when found to be connected to corrupt matters occurring in New South Wales ?

Is there some "special rule" which "IMMUNISES" Local Councils from corruption investigations into matters involving Chinese projects ? Is this an insane extension of the imaginery "LAWS" of Political Correctness ??

We agree with Mr Rolfe's assertions that "change in the system needs to happen". We would suggest
adopting the USA Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO law. See:

Under this type of Act many who have been found corrupt under ICAC rules and indeed those seemingly
immune from investigation, would by now already be behind bars.

We are bemused that Joel Fitzgibbon remains in Parliament after he was dumped as Defence Minister for his
involvement with Chinese "developers" and Chinese government spies. Under RICO he would be behind
bars, not enjoying his current position of Federal Member for Newcastle.

We are not suggesting the ICAC itself is at fault, but something is radically wrong somewhere

We note that politicians have a notorious record for creating, with great verve, ever more Rules, Restrictions, Penalties and Losses of Freedom for the General Public. Perhaps, when they review this issue, in order to be in "the right frame of mind" they might adopt the same CONTEMPT for themselves as clearly they hold for the General Public.

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