Friday, March 21, 2014

Capanno: Maiden sunlight times in NSW

Arthur Sinodinos is a rarity among politicians: he has very few, if any, enemies. People speak of his openness, his honesty, his courtesy, his integrity.

In many cases these are people who might be in disagreement with him, whether in another party, faction or on another side in a policy argument. For nine of John Howard's 11-plus years as prime minister, he served as chief of staff and gatekeeper, arguably the second-most powerful political figure in the land.

Rarity among politicians

Should Politicians be thanking the heavens that sometimes minders save people from themselves?
For the first time in a NSW corruption case, cheats did not prosper even in the short term. Is it a turning point?

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry that has enmeshed Liberal minister Arthur Sinodinos may be a turning point in fighting the entrenched bipartisan business of corrupt crony capitalism in NSW.

It's a case, after all, where the system won. Cheats did not prosper, in the short or long term. There's no reason to thank Sinodinos for that, but, on what's been said, he appears more a fool than a crook.

It was not obvious that the con would fail to work, either as a Labor or a Liberal rort. On form, one should have feared the worst. There was Eddie Obeid and his family, with Joe Tripodi in the wings. Businessmen on the make, with few scruples about greasing the right palms to get what they wanted, which was, as ever, the transfer of public wealth to a few smarties. There were Labor ministers beholden to Obeid, and people willing, if needs be, to corruptly fake cabinet documents. And that's merely in the Labor era.
But the con failed. Because of a few honest public servants, who resisted threats and intimidation from some politicians. And because a few politicians not in on ''the joke'' were (rightly) suspicious of those who were. Perhaps premier Kristina Keneally, once accused of being a puppet of Obeid and Tripodi, had finally woken up: hers was the hand that stopped the rort for the time being.
Without fear and favour