Wednesday, August 11, 2021

WALSH: A Ministry of Fear Rules


  ATO corporate plan 2021–22

The Mayne Report Rich List

Why Stacy-Marie Ishmael doesn’t see leaving a job as a failure

Easy Lies and Influence 

Delighted to announce the forthcoming launch of my book - Easy Lies and Influence by Monash University Publishing

In Australia, corruption spends public funds in pursuit of power, rewards favour, and strips support from worthy programs. It silences journalists and those charged with upholding standards of integrity by depriving them of funding. Grift and stacking are commonplace as those chasing influence infiltrate the structures of power. Corruption rewards loyalty through appointments to office and by preferencing those within the favoured network ahead of others of equal or greater talent. It conceals itself through unfit-for-purpose access to information laws and processes, vague budget commitments, the assertion of unchecked executive discretion, a quick media cycle and overburdened parliamentary committees. It undermines trust in government at a time when trust is vital to keeping us safe. Corruption allows mistrust to fester, offers nourishment to conspiracy theories, and engenders civil unrest.

In Easy Lies & Influence, I consider what corruption can do to our cherished democracy, and why it is imperative that we address it.

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy..

MICHAEL WALSH: A Ministry of Fear Rules America.

Back in 1943, the British novelist Graham Greene published “The Ministry of Fear,” a thriller set in World War II London involving mercy killings, exploding suitcases, seances, Luftwaffe air raids, outright murder, insane asylums and undercover Nazi spies. It was successfully made into a movie the following year starring Ray Milland as the troubled protagonist, and directed by Fritz Lang, himself a refugee from Hitler.

Both novel and film capture the paranoid atmosphere during that troubled time, with danger lurking even in something as innocent as a cake. Whom or what can you trust? As the world falls apart, and the future is shrouded in threat and mystery, society devolves into a dog-eat-dog struggle for survival, in which neither the old verities nor the old pieties obtain any longer.

On December 18, Karantzis was served with a Departure Prohibition Order by the Australian Taxation Office, four days after it had learned Peter Dutton’s Department of Home Affairs had granted him “permission to depart Australia on the grounds that he was relocating to Cyprus”. Attached to the DPO was a $5 million bill for unpaid tax that Karantzis is now fighting.

iSignthis’ Karantzis banned from leaving Australia

Why Morrison’s culture of secrecy is so damaging

As has been widely observed, Prime Minister Morrison is obsessed with secrecy. This obsession with secrecy damages both the policy capability of government and the integrity of public administration.... 

Not good enough, Premier Berejiklian

The NSW outbreak of delta infections is worse after six weeks of lockdown. As I am sure is true for many readers, I am frustrated today by the obvious loopholes in our current “lockdown”.... 

What is the difference between current awareness and horizon scanning?

Vable: “Legal professionals are busy people. They are concerned with doing the best they can for their clients and making sure that their business runs smoothly. Trend spotting or horizon scanning isn’t necessarily at the top of their daily “to do” lists but if they want to grow the firm effectively, everyone – from trainee to managing partner – needs to anticipate future events.  The best way information people can help to do this is to first understand how everything fits together. We need to look at the difference between current awareness and horizon scanning – and put them both into a wider strategic context. When we present our management teams with evidence that they need automated current awareness, we should also be dazzling them with future information possibilities…”

I resign from association with the Tax Justice Network

Further to John Christensen’s resignation from the Tax Justice Network earlier this week I sent this mail to Alex Cobham, its CEO this morning: Dear
Read the full article…

  1. “The truly valuable skill here isn’t the capacity to push yourself harder, but to stop and recuperate despite the discomfort of knowing that work remains unfinished, emails unanswered, other people’s demands unfulfilled” — advice about work
  2. When should we act for the sake of past people or our own past interests? — a discussion about our duties to the past
  3. Plunderous Plato, Dangerous Descartes, Lethal Locke, Ferocious Frege, and the rest of the Philosophical Powers action figures — from way back in the day
  4. That “interval during which we might not only speculate among ourselves about what might happen next, but also about what the characters should and should not do, and about which were ones are admirable or cowards or downright despicable” — Noël Carroll (CUNY) on the costs of binge-wacthing
  5. Kant’s view is that “trying to provide God’s reasons is itself evidence that you’ve got a culpably messed up view of what you can know, and trying to use evil to disprove God shows the same” — Robert Gressis (CSUN) interviewed on Kant, religion, ethics, the current state of philosophy, and more
  6. “We should keep in mind there’s a collective aspect to privacy. Every time you give out data about yourself, you are also exposing others” — Carissa Véliz (Oxford ) interviewed by Evan Selinger (RIT) on data privacy in The Boston Globe
  7. “What is X?” is a new philosophy podcast from Justin E.H. Smith & The Point in which he hosts interviews with experts on questions like “What is nature?” or “What is beauty?” — the first episode, “What is Philosophy?” is with Agnes Callard (Chicago)

Labor’s plan for an anti-corruption body

The ALP this week released an outline of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) it would introduce ...