After Senator Keneally delivered accusations against the Government over corruption, the mainstream media turned a collective blind eye, writes investigations editor Ross Jones.
IT’S ALL in the headlines.
On Tuesday 9 February 2021, Labor Senate leader Kristina Keneally delivered a speech to the National Press Club.
In it, she laid out a string of Coalition corruption events, each a deliberate, considered con on the Australian taxpayer.
Rampant political corruption was the clear thrust of her speech.
The Australian led with,
‘Keneally rejects move to lower house.
Kristina Keneally says she’s keeping top Senate spot despite tight preselection battle with colleague Deborah O’Neill.’
The Sydney Morning Herald went with:
‘Albanese to unveil plan for contractors after Keneally goes on attack.
Labor will go to the next election with a plan to crack down on rolling contracts that leave workers uncertain whether they will keep their jobs, in a policy leader Anthony Albanese will unveil in Queensland this week.’
The Guardian, paying at least some very soft heed, went with:
‘Labor focuses on Coalition stumbles and controversies ahead of election.
Kristina Keneally highlights government “failures” as she begins making Labor’s case to voters to get angry about politics, rather than cynical.’
News subs opted for:
‘“Vanishing act”: Kristina Keneally slams Scott Morrison over COVID quarantine.
Scott Morrison has performed a “vanishing act” during the COVID-19 pandemic, an outspoken Labor frontbencher says.’
At least these outlets said something.
Our ABC didn’t bother to note it on any platform. No other TV channel ran it either, not even Foxtel, dripping with scorn and wittering laughter. The Right-whinge on a wall-mounted Sony.
To be fair, both The Guardian and News did eventually go on to mention at least some of the substance of Keneally’s speech.
Paragraphs six, seven and eight of an eight-paragraph News story read:
‘“Every dollar funnelled into dodgy land deals, sports rorts and splashing cash on executive bonuses for Liberal mates is a dollar that can’t be used to help rebuild the Australian economy after a recession,” she said.
“When voters’ cynicism grows, politicians like Scott Morrison flourish.
“It is much easier for a politician like Scott Morrison to serve his own political purposes if Australians have low expectations and cynical views of their government.”’
The Guardian reported:
Revisiting previous Labor attacks on sports rorts, the Leppington triangle sale, political appointments, market research, advertising spend and the aged care response during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Keneally said there was yet to be any consequences.
“When there are seemingly no consequences for gross incompetence and no penalties for scandalous negligence — that’s what undermines belief in the system and respect for the institution,” she said.’
Keneally accused the Government of building an electoral war chest worth up to $5 billion with its grants programs, some of which can only be applied for by invitation from the Government, with Coalition electorates overwhelmingly represented in the recipients.
“Billions of dollars in public funds, discreetly parked in the budget and given away – usually at the complete discretion of ministers – because no one needs the auditor to come sniffing again — money to be provided to hand-picked electorates when the electoral timing is right,” she said.
“The perfect pork barrel programmed into the Budget year after year, normalising a blatant misuse of taxpayers’ funds for the Liberal Party’s political purposes.”
Keneally said half of the first Abbott ministry “have received appointments or other favours from the Liberal Government, got jobs with organisations they worked with as ministers, or lobby their colleagues for cash”.
“This means that, right now, Scott Morrison is quietly spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars to fund the lifestyles of former Abbott government ministers,” she said.
The Sydney Morning Herald, whose editor seems to have opted not to send a reporter to the event and instead relied on an advance copy of Keneally’s speech, reported:
‘In her speech, she will claim an increasing amount is being spent via grants programs, often with limited transparency — such as the $2.2 billion community development grants program that only goes to projects invited to apply by the Government.’
Then the SMH cut to Anthony Albanese, whose yet-to-be-delivered speech about industrial relations was obviously way more important than Australia being taken to the cleaners by Lardarse and his gang of miscreants.
All Keneally’s points are big ones, things that go to the heart of governance in this country, yet what did the media do?
Seems most of those who did turn up had a nice lunch, a few drinks then toddled back to the office.
The Guardian did a bit and, contrary to the expectations of many, so did News.
But FA in the scheme of things
Viva the Great Swindle!
Not the media. Not the conservative electorate.
But we care. Independent Australia has made its name exposing corruption. Indeed, we published a book on it, Ashbygate, after ordinary Australians reached into their mostly shallow pocked to raise over $50,000 to investigate the attempted coup by displacing Speaker Peter Slipper through a poorly executed honey trap by double agent parasite James Ashby — who is now, for now, feasting on Pauline Hanson and One Nation.
We also brought down the HSU swindler Kathy Jackson and exposed Barnaby Joyce’s grubby behaviour, for which we one a Walkley Award. Just kidding, they awarded it to News Corp, despite them reporting the affair a full months after our expose.
So, we know many Australians do care. And though corrupt politicians and complicit, lazy mainstream media may wish to paper over the rot in the heart of the system, we know you know stamping out the corruption so deeply embedded in Federal politics is essential for our democracy and the health of our nation.
Independent Australia is non-partisan, however, we support the aims of a new group called Federal ICAC Now (FIN) who plan to put MPs and senators in Parliament with the explicit aim of establishing a national integrity commission.
Because we need a Federal ICAC. Now.
Click HERE to find out more about what they have planned.
Investigations editor Ross Jones is a licensed private enquiry agent and the author of 'Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker'. You can follow Ross on Twitter @RPZJones.
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