Friday, October 09, 2009

JOHN Hatton must be feeling a sense of déjà vu these days.. The murder of lender of last resort Michael McGurk and the revelations the company he kept reached all the way into State Parliament would have had a familiar ring to the anti-corruption campaigner, whose tell-all biography is being prepared for the presses. Having fought for a more transparent system of government for much of his 22 years in politics, this latest episode in what seems to be a never-ending story of undue influence and murky dealings would have come as no surprise Life story of corruption fighter timely for NSW

Life story of corruption fighter timely for NSW Anti-corruption crusader highlights political woes
Using the Wood Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service in 1994 as its major case study, this thesis hypothesises that, although this inquiry had a far reaching impact in both the personal and working lives of police officers in the organisation itself, it proved ineffectual in its attempt to control corruption. It argues that corruption, and the subsequent inquiries into this corruption, can be seen to have a cyclic nature and the failure of such inquiries has a long and international history. It contends that the nature of the public inquiry itself can be seen to contribute to the continuation of the cycle of corruption. Clearly, putting an end to corruption requires more than the investigation, public exposure and punishment of a few corrupt police, followed by a generalised tightening of the chain of command. Instead, this thesis demonstrates that the problem is primarily an organisational one and it is important to look at management reforms.

A nobody who became a national treasure, John Hatton was in Parliament as an independent for 22 years and helped set up a number of anti-corruption inquiries, including the New South Wales Police Royal Commission in 1994. He says that the lack of accountability and responsibility in politics since then has only become worse. There's a huge cross-section of people of all political persuasions who are absolutely disgusted and expressing anger about the secrecy, the lying, the cheating, the abuse of process ... 'we didn't know, we're taking no responsibility.

Against the machines; [In local government a confidential meeting is a conflict in terms. The smart money will always find out In the face of improper pressure inaction is corruption; John Hatton on Wiki; It took up 451 hearing days, heard from 902 public witnesses and cost an estimated $64 million. Malcolm Brown reports on the Wood royal commission, 10 years on Holding judgement]
• · There was no holding back for former independent State Member for the South Coast John Hatton when he agreed to have a biography written about him HATTON TELLS ALL - Biography of former MP John Hatton will shake some skeletons out of the closet; Blog about newsagents
• · · NSW's tortuous road to reform; New rules allowing multi-storey development on Jervis Bay have pushed the retired anti-police corruption MP John Hatton back into crusading mode Old crusader fights tide of high-rise; Juanita Nielsen was a stylish Potts Point/Kings Cross heiress and local publisher murdered in July 1975. It is generally assumed it was criminal elements doing the bidding of high density urban developer interests reacting to her crusading for the bohemian heritage character of her suburb Juanita Nielsen, suburban news publisher foul murder 30 years ago
• · · · The fictional tale probably sounds pretty familiar, if a little exaggerated. Politics takes comedic spin in 'In the Loop'; US president Barack Obama says he feels 'humbled' after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel President: Obama's 'unclenched fist' won the prize; Google on Obama and Nobel prize
• · · · · I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me Morality, What? Where?; The orthodoxy that often does the rounds is that religions are the well springs of our moral compass and that that the diminution of religious adherence leads to a moral vacuum. This leads ineluctably to the sense that religions have a moral monopoly and that we are lost without faith. But the argument that I wish to promote in this blog is that there reverse is true O Glorious Prejudice; Arianna Huffington seems very well connected in every sense of the phrase, be it in high society or in her online offspring, the Huffington Post. But can she hold on to her maverick approach and her instinct to 'bring people together'? The queen of the digital water cooler

Post Script Coda:
October 21, 2009

Stench revisited rivals the latest
October 21, 2009
The timing could hardly be better: as allegations of corruption continue to swirl around the NSW Parliament following the murder of Michael McGurk, the veteran former state MP and noted corruption fighter John Hatton has announced the imminent launch of his biography. Its title? The Stench in this Parliament. Penned by Ruth Richmond, the book contains a glowing forward from the Sydney Lord Mayor and state MP for Sydney, Clover Moore, who along with Hatton and Peter McDonald shared the balance of power in Parliament while Nick Greiner was premier. Hatton, who sat in Parliament for 22 years and was hated by politicians from both major parties, is credited with instigating the Wood Royal Commission into corruption in the NSW Police. The book is subtitled ''The story of the Independent nobody who brought down a premier'', referring to Hatton's lead role in forcing Greiner's resignation from Parliament over the Terry Metherell affair. Richmond notes: ''In the minds of many, Greiner's sacking created a deep scar in Hatton's credibility.'' Despite the passage of time, it seems old wounds are yet to fully heal: Metherell, Greiner and his successor as premier, John Fahey, all declined to be interviewed for the book, Richmond writes. It will be launched by one of Parliament's current independents, the Speaker, Richard Torbay, on November 4. It will be launched by one of Parliament's current independents, the Speaker, Richard Torbay, on November 4. - The day after the Melbourne Cup

PS: What kind of people would meet furtively on a Saturday morning hundreds of kilometres from home, charter a houseboat, and motor to a secluded cove where, under cover of darkness, they make plans to change the course of public administration in Australia? The Cold War may be over, James Bond may have hung up his Walther PPK, but espionage of a different sort is alive if unwell - the business of spying on the bureaucracy from within, and revealing its secrets. And the nine people who set sail on the good ship Luxury Sirius on Lake Macquarie the other weekend were well aware of the extreme prejudice that can result. But whistle-blowing comes at a price ...