We need practical leaders who get things right
Miserly Australia cuts Pacific aid again

Slush funds corrupt, not politics as usual

Former New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian. According to documents obtained by The Australian newspaper Berejiklian had direct involvement in the administration of a controversial $252m (K625m) grants program branded as a ‘slush fund’


ADELAIDE -The politicisation of the Public Service – designed to operate in service of the public - has been an ongoing project for neo-liberal politicians all over the world.

This process is presented to the public as a means of ensuring that the public sector is 'responsive' to the government of the day.

What it actually means is that the public sector remains servile and compliant to whatever the government wishes, irrespective of the merits or even legality of the demand.

I mention this because it is the background context whereby the corruption and incompetence mentioned in this article, We Need Practical Leaders, as well as in the comments, is able to flourish seemingly unhindered by any effective efforts to stop it.

As Philip Kai Morre writes from Kundiawa:

‘They are cunning and greedy maniacs and will really fool you into believing they are real professionals.

“I have seen job applications not screened properly to get the right person for the right job.

“A lot of fake degrees are pottering around and those employment authorities are too blind to see, or they knowingly allow them to be employed.’

In Australia, the current federal government has sequestered $16 billion (K40 billion) in the current budget for unnamed purposes.

That is, they have created what was once correctly called a 'slush fund' to pay for various electoral promises they feel may assist their re-election.

That this is corruption seems not to have crossed their minds or, if it has, they airily say that it is just politics as usual.

That it is ‘politics as usual’ is a false statement: it is not politics as usual but a clear breach of the long established custom and practice that public funds ought to be allocated in an open, fair and transparent manner to achieve things that are incontrovertibly 'in the public interest'.

Once such self-serving actions are seen and imitated by others, they effectively licence corrupt behaviour more generally.

After all, if the great and the good, the politicians and their cronies, can misappropriate public monies, why not the little people too?

Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape launching the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. Like his predecessor Peter O'Neill, Marape spoke of setting up a national anti-corruption commission. Like Scott Morrison in Australia, he seems to have no intention of doing it

Thus the cancer of corruption metastasises throughout the whole body politic. Ultimately this ill produce a failed or failing state.

Lebanon, Iraq and Myanmar are examples of this problem and Papua New Guinea is already far down the same path.

It did not march down the path, it slipped down it.

Once corruption has become endemic in this way, it is very hard to suppress unless there is massive political will.

It is not necessarily technically or legally difficult, but it requires the application of diligence, honesty, practical common sense and, as the author says, to get the simple things right.


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