Alan Tudge Centrelink scandal
Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge (Image: AAP)

Crikey readers have had their fill on the government’s antics this week, calling on officials to: a) hurry up and create a working anti corruption body, and b) burst the Canberra bubble nonsense before voters take drastic action…

On the federal integrity commission:

Susan Keach-Maxwell writes: We need the hounds of the Baskerville to keep government accountable. Am I the only one disgusted by the continuing corrupt and unethical practices committed by our politicians and publicly funded organisations?

If we were to behave the way elected and appointed government officials do, with scant regard for moral resolve and honest determination, we’d most likely be behind bars.

And to add insult to injury we have to watch the bald-faced denials and porkies and listen to red herrings dragged across the media to cover up and vilify others to protect themselves, the party or organisation. When we elect people to represent us, we should expect, at least, transparency and accountability, and as a bonus honesty and fairness. We don’t get that on any level!

To ensure our federal institutions are held accountable, there should be independent oversight to ensure us, the shareholders, that our representatives behave ethically, and with integrity. Is it too much to ask our elected officials to be responsible for their commitments and obligations?

Australia needs a federal corruption watchdog which does not operate in the shadows but is totally transparent and independent.

In a democracy no one is above the law, and that includes the federal government.

On the Canberra bubble:

Julie Grint writes: Scott Morrison is a master at avoiding answering questions, changing the subject, obfuscation, manipulating the media and setting the daily 24-hour media cycle with press releases from the PMO.

The PMO has all MPs and senators on a tight leash. They are issued a daily run sheet so that they all sing from the same song sheet if they make media appearances. This becomes positively boring as they begin to sound like mindless drones.

Chris Harding writes: What happens in Canberra stays in Canberra … pfft. No way. Not on my taxpayer dollars. First and foremost, we need a federal ICAC. We need it now!

The bubble and its secrets are a threat to democracy and fuel the status quo towards the ever meaningless standards these MPs hide behind. How many times do we hear about “we must be of the highest integrity” but oh, big surprise, it never shows and is all just an act.

The hypocrisy stinks. The media covers it all up and paints it as real life private affairs none of us should stick our noses in.

As public servants on the public salary that’s a load of garbage because for years the facade has been fading. Thanks to organisations like Crikey and the Four Corners’ stellar investigation (really the only ICAC we have), the case is building for Canberra to open up and become more transparent.

The paint is wearing off and I can see the cracks. I think most people can. 

The whistleblowers are absolutely right about MPs and their conduct being revealed as public interest and absolutely right about the need for reform.

I want to know if an MP farts in the chamber, in their office or down in the Canberra Public Bar and I want it on the record. At home with their families and in their communities, of course leave the poor people alone. But in public life inside the Canberra bubble it’s different. It needs to be on the record. If that’s too much to ask I think it’s time we replace these single, easily-lobbied MPs with avatars and we just use blockchain technology to vote directly on policy.

I want a system where accountability in government is there for all to see. I want open debate and healthy disagreement. I want public inclusion. All the bubble does is stifle everything that politics needs. It is time to turn the city into a Truman show or vote one direct democracy and transparency. 

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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