When issues affecting the interests of Big Business arise, Parliament and Councils become irrelevant
We have democratic process for all our day-to-day governance, but when issues arise where big money is concerned, an alternative sinister path is employed where key, influential, members of the bureaucracy influence our elected representatives to implement developers' schemes. Our elected representatives need to be trained to recognise when a dodgy issue comes up, and be able to counter any bad spin they are given. They should also be given good training and incentives to do the right thing, and an even more compelling reason why, if they don’t do the right thing they will lose their rcomfortable status. In short, we must demand that our elected representatives implement governance for the people, and if they don't, we must work towards ousting them and supporting alternative representatives who will.
Good Parliamentary governance is practically impossible without the permission of a very tiny brotherhood of very powerful and corrupt bureaucrats — Implementors — who are masters at distancing themselves from their unscrupulous deeds. Evidence of their machinations is hidden, burned or shredded and even if robust evidence of corruption is found, it is usually couched in obfuscating terms and signed by their heads of departments who know damned well what is going on, but who feign surprised innocence and hand the problem over to their publicly funded lawyers to prove that their underling's black deeds are merely another shade of white. Or if the heat gets too much, the heads of departments claim stress and take early retirement on fat pensions — the poor wealthy blossoms.
It is a sad reality that Parliament and Local Government (Councils) need the cooperation of the bureaucracy more than the bureaucracy needs the cooperation of Parliament and Councils. Parliaments and Councils come and go every few years, but the bureaucrats remain. The problem is that those bureaucrats are necessary to give the good advice to the elected representatives for them to govern in the best interests of their constituents. That they do well in most cases of day-to-day issues. However, when issues that affect Big Business arise, they instead proffer the spin that their governors in Big Business supply. Whether Labor or Liberal gets to have the best seats and social calendar in Spring Street is irrelevant. So unless there is a sudden flush of moral fibre from the ranks of our elected representatives, the endemic corruption within the bureaucracies will continue to fester, immune to transparency and curative measures.
Most bureaucrats are worthy, well-qualified people, of whom we should be justly proud, and who do a good job in matters that don’t affect Big Business. However, when issues that do affect Big Business arise, the small band of powerful, corrupt, Teflon-coated bureaucrats, the Implementors, take charge to serve their real masters, the businessmen. MHRs and Councillors may of course challenge this powerful force of unelected Implementors, but they soon learn that it is at their peril!
“Yes Minister”, well parodies that scene, and it should send a clear warning to the people of the dangers of tokenistic government. However, it also sends the wrong message that such practices are humorously benign — that they are of little consequence.
Sadly, our Parliament is Government in name only. Big Business is the real government, aided and abetted by the well connected and coordinated forces of the powerful Implementors within the bureaucracies and permitted by our elected representatives who dare not seriously challenge the powerful bureaucrats lest those permanently-entrenched wise old bureaucratic villains crush them and take away their enjoyable fringe benefits and the unearned prestige that goes with the job of Councillors or State Parliamentarians.
It’s easier for elected representatives to turn a blind eye to corruption than it is for them to tackle corruption from within their bureaucracies. Councillors dare not risk the arsenal of weapons and the network of Implementors that the bureaucracy has at hand. In State Parliament, it is even worse. Trying to bring a corrupt bureaucracy to heel is too hard a task for most of our elected representatives.
If elected representatives dare to tackle corruption within the bureaucracy they soon find out that they face a Herculean task. They can’t even articulate the problem of which they are part, let alone contemplate the possibility and loss of face of botching the job, of not being able to handle the truth? Their promise to be fearless seekers of the truth and true representatives of the people who elected them normally evaporates upon being elected.
As the old military bureaucrat Colonel Jessep said in the film A Few Good Men “You can’t handle the truth!”
So if any individual or party has the wit to bundle a package that will rid us of this corruptive core and sever the controls it has over Councils and Parliament, I, and a few of my mates who have matured past the Concrete Learning stage will happily vote for that party — even for the Greens. I don’t care if they have two heads, fur or scales — anything that will send the message to the feckless Parties that we need urgent and rigorous surgery in the bureaucracies of Local Council, Spring Street and Canberra.
One may well ask:
• why this small coterie of influential and key members of the bureaucracy would sabotage democratic process when we pay them to instead serve us, the people? The answer to that is probably money or money in kind.
• do our Councillors and Parliamentarians realise the preponderance of dodgy information they are fed, and do they have the skills to evaluate and check the advice their bureaucrats present to them. Or do they fully understand what is going on, but sit back to reap the benefits of sweeping it under the carpet, or at best initiate a sham investigation of the problem? There are obvious ways of testing this, and it is an obligation of everybody to challenge their elected representatives and work to unseat corrupt officers.
... pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth! (with apologies to Eric Idle’s, "The Galaxy Song,” from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.)————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
You would have to be very naive to believe that the Government valued your opinion!