All NSW political careers end suddenly with a difficult conversation at an anti-corruption hearing about property development.
Don’t blame me, I only observed the pattern;
Exhibit 1 – Eddie Obeid
Exhibit 2 – Ian McDonald
Exhibit 3 – Eric Roozendaal
Exhibit 4 – Barry O’Farrell
Exhibit 5 – Gladys Berejiklian (pending)
Exhibit 6 – Rod Staples (pending)
That’s just a small, hastily-collated sample, of course. Readers with a better grasp of history will no doubt be able to furnish us with multiple examples from all political hues, as this is a problem that crosses the ideological divide.
It’s not that these politicians are more or less corrupt than any other group of politicians, they aren’t particularly smarter or dumber either.
It’s just that Australia’s economy is so heavily skewed towards property as the only reliable way to make capital gains that the inevitable subset of corrupt politicians will top up their salaries almost exclusively in that sector.
Who can blame them though, when the executives managing the nation’s pension funds are shameless in their contempt for their customers by switching their own funds to avoid losses whilst letting the regular punters take the hit.
Of course, any reasonable “civilian” would look at that behaviour, conclude the deck is stacked against them ever seeing useful capital gains and that their pension fund is simply a forced deposit account. They logically conclude that the only safe place for their savings is in bricks and mortar.
Which brings us back to the incentives for politicians to take a dip; it’s not going to stop, ever.