Finger pointing before the royal commission begins

Crikey readers talk the good old days of architecture, politicians and their lookalike animals, and what the government can expect from its royal commission.

Will the Coalition like what the royal commission finds?

Denis Lenihan writes from London: Re. “The Coalition’s poor record on political royal commissions” (yesterday). Someone should have warned Tony Abbott about Malcolm Fraser’s experience with royal commissions into trade unions: the 1980 Costigan Royal Commission into the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union. While it showed the union to be corrupt, it also showed many Liberal Party supporters up to their necks in the infamous bottom-of-the-harbour tax evasion scheme. This was so bad that John Howard brought in retrospective legislation to deal with it, a move that brought more howls from the Party faithful. On the subject of investigative royal commissions, they are normally set up to find out the truth rather than lead to prosecutions. In a lot of cases governments have to choose between the two.

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