Sunday, December 16, 2012

Race to the bottom

It's been a depressing time the past week or so if you're concerned about standards and where we're at as a society.

Banks given huge fines for money laundering but, even though they've broken laws, can't be prosecuted because they're too big, too powerful.

Politicians and businessmen being exposed by ICAC (New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption) for colluding with tip-offs and government approvals to help each other make tens of millions of dollars.

A federal judge, to the surprise of no-one, throwing out the case against Peter Slipper as 'abuse of process' involving politicians intent on bringing down the government, lawyers, PR people and Murdoch 'journalists'.

The exposure of the commercial radio staple, hysterically funny to their listeners, of what's given the innocent-sounding description of  'prank calls' - in fact infantile, spiteful calls designed to embarrass or humiliate people.

Ongoing corruption in the building industry highlighted by the Bankstown apartment fire in which a student died.  That's put the spotlight on the system of apartment block approvals in NSW being open to abuse, because since deregulation developers buy their certification from private certifiers.

The very dodgy relationship between government and clubs, especially where poker machines are concerned.  It's been going on for years but a good example cropped up when a club was given approval to install over 100 extra machines in return for 'a donation to the local community'. (That's one of the favourite sound bites of the pokies/club industry - supporting the local community). In reality the 'donation' was for the club to build a new grandsand for itself.

Standards, what standards?

Here's a list of links to more on each of the stories:

Banks too big


Abuse of process


Apartment blocks


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