Friday 16 November 2018

ICAC will be as corrupt

as the corruption it is intended to investigate if the present state legislation remains in place.
The present government may not be the best but the present Opposition left behind a litany of disasters and underhand dealings. Why on earth did they want to goad the Attorney-General into "breaching the provisions" of the legislation? 
Parliament was where the problems started. I haven't read the Hansard transcripts but an inner source tells me that was not the only problem. The Opposition was well aware of the answers to the questions it was asking because those involved were appointed by them when in government. They were going to take it further whatever the A-G did. That they themselves were actually responsible for the cause of what the Independent Commission against Corruption is investigating is, in their minds, beside the point.
The media has tended to portray the A-G as being out of her depth. They should perhaps be more on her side. She is the one who is attempting to bring in legislation to make the ICAC proceedings much more public. At the present time nobody is even supposed to know if people are under investigation by ICAC. The new proposals would allow the media to report much more.
I have mixed feelings about all this. People's lives can be ruined by media reporting. It isn't simply those under investigation who can suffer damage. It isn't just their colleagues either. Families and even friends can suffer harm. I remember the intense misery of the two sons of a former federal A-G turned High Court judge who was investigated. They were primary school age children then and, I am told, have never really recovered from what happened then. 
But, if we don't open up the commission which deals with corruption then it is in danger of becoming corrupt too. What is really needed is genuinely responsible media reporting of such things, not simply stories designed to sell the news.
The question then surely becomes (if I have my Latin right) is not "quis custodiet ispsos  custodes"  but "quis custodiet ipsos media"?

No comments: