Monday, April 14, 2008

Local government elections recently held in Boonah, SEQ had an outcome that was decided by ping pong ball ballot. The second preferences had two out of the three candidates drawn, so rather than decide on first preferences, or have a new election we have the bouncing ball decide. Democracy INACTION I think. (story written by Rob)
We have heard it for some time now: the market is divine, lending its magical corrective qualities to sort out the good from the bad. Socialism for the rich: the unwise free market

Hungry Media Dragon The price of friendship
Parliament is a place where INFORMATION IS POWER- In WA Rayner tipped off the then Clerk of the Legislative Council, Laurie Marquet.
IN a rare public defence, the clerk of NSW Parliament Russell Grove denies he tipped off Labor Minister Milton Orkopoulos in the child sex scandal … THE clerk of the NSW Parliament Russell Grove has issued a rare public defence, denying he tipped off convicted paedophile Milton Orkopoulos and defending his role in the sacking of whistleblower Gillian Sneddon.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Grove rejected claims he had alerted the former Iemma Government minister to police investigations into his activities - which led to a string of child sex convictions. Making an uncharacteristic foray into public life, he also rejected allegations made by Ms Sneddon, Orkopoulos' ex-electoral officer, that she had been sacked because she turned police informant against her boss. "My conscience is clear, absolutely," Mr Grove said.
Referring to a report he was asked to provide to the Parliament's presiding officer, Speaker Richard Torbay, an Independent, Mr Grove insisted he had not acted improperly. He also accused Ms Sneddon of smearing him and his parliamentary colleagues with accusations they had deliberately told Orkopoulos he was under investigation after she alerted the Parliament to the allegations.

Conscience clear on sex scandal ; [Illustrated; Story on Crikey]
• · How do we ensure that political parliamentarians, self-serving and altruistic alike, don’t have access to operational case details, yet can still effectively oversight corruption commissions? How do we prevent corruption within the body itself? This is a case study of the Acting Commissioner having admitted that she advised a friend whom she knew was under investigation by the CCC for a criminal offence that his phone was “was probably being bugged” and not to make any telephone calls. Add into the mix, that the friend is the recently, quickly resigned Legislative Council Clerk of Parliaments, Laurie Marquet, now on his death bed and charged with having siphoned off $227,000 of parliament’s money into a bogus law firm he created, as well as drug possession. Or, as Ms Rayner viewed it in evidence our committee tabled, Laurie knows he’s been caught “with his hands in the till and drugs on his person.” It was in fact the case that Marquet’s telephone calls were being intercepted by the CCC, and as a result the CCC intercepted a call by the Acting Commissioner in early August, arranging to visit Marquet. From that date, the previously frequent and unguarded calls by Marquet on his mobile phone ceased. This raised a suspicion that he had been warned. Getting away with murder ; Laurie Marquet ; Laurie Marquet | Facebook
• · In NSW recent e-security concerns have been mainly internal, which is in contrast to many organisations which are usually more concerned with external security and ensuring that external parties cannot access information. Hackergate Parliamentary stories ; Off the record ;
• · · The spectre of David Draper and Alan Beverstock is spreading over Parliament House. Librarian Mark D'Arney killed himself after blowing the whistle on the discount sale of 3000 historic books from the State Parliament's library March 2004; Parliamentary embezzler blows whistle on MPs ; The view from the other side— Parliamentary consumers
• · · · ABC of The economics of terrorism; As far as I can deduce, beneath the suffocating silences of the state bureaucracy - now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Labor Party - last Monday a group of violent racists acted out their YouTube fantasies and stormed into Merrylands High School at 8.50am White lies about dark crimes; And then there was one … string of woes leaves Iemma isolated IF A journo shits on us we'll shit on them
• · · · · Matthew Benns' exclusive story - PROPERTY developers have handed the NSW Labor Party more than $4 million in donations in the three years since the laws were changed to give Planning Minister Frank Sartor control of large developments. Soil Sickeness in Sydney; Sartor rejects calls for royal commission on donations
• · · · · · Mark Bahnisch Ending political donations? Visions go to water ... Pollies exit stage left for a big cash landing ; MANY developers in NSW know exactly who to call in the Labor Government because many of their key advisers worked for it. Take former premier Bob Carr, for example. After leaving parliament he accepted a $500,000-a-year consultancy role with the state's biggest private investor in public infrastructure, Macquarie Bank. MAC Banc ; Ruthless and grubby: DPP lashes Morris Iemma's team Feels like he has been "crucified" … the Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery, in his Castlereagh Street office yesterday Ruthless and grubby