Everywhere you look lately there is evidence of the Liberal Party taking bribes for access to their politicians. The most recent allegation by the ABC and Fairfax Media is that the Liberal Party have been taking bribes off the Mafia. Add that to the recent NSW ICAC Liberal Party bribery scandal and the “Treasure for Sale” defamation case “partial win” and things aren’t looking good for the Liberals.
There is a massive storm heading the way of Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party and it is worth having a look at one of the key reasons why which is how the Liberals fund the party and the favours they do in return. You only have to put a few of the headlines together from the media over the last 12 months to realise there is deep-seated corruption in the way the Liberal Party is funded.
Four Corners / Fairfax Media investigation
The ABC’s Four Corners program televised an episode on Monday (29/6/15) titled “The Mafia in Australia: Drugs, Murder and Politics”. (Click here to watch) It is part-one of a two-part series that reveals how the mafia is linked to the Liberal Party. At the same time Fairfax Media ran a story titled “Key Liberal fundraising body took Mafia money for access” which start off:
“Mafia figures donated tens of thousands of dollars to the discredited NSW Liberal Party fundraising vehicle, the Millennium Forum, as part of an ultimately successful campaign to allow a known criminal to stay in Australia.” (Click here to read more)
A key part to the story is that the mafia paid the Liberal Party $1,000’s for the then Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone to allow mafia member and convicted criminal Frank Madafferi to stay in Australia.
The story is an old story as any internet search will tell you and one that also includes Labor Party politicians. But it is fair and reasonable for the ABC and Fairfax to focus on the Liberal Party and this time they have dug deeper than before.
In 2009 it was reported
“According to an investigation by The Age, in late 2003 three Sydney Italian businessman – Pat Sergi, Tony Labbozzetta and Nick Scali – saw the NSW Liberal senator Marise Payne about assisting the Melbourne-based Madafferi to obtain a visa. Payne contacted the office of the then immigration minister Amanda Vanstone twice to discuss Madafferi’s visa case. In 2005 Vanstone allowed Madafferi to stay on humanitarian grounds. Last August Madafferi was arrested over his alleged involvement in the world’s largest ecstasy bust but is yet to face trial.” (Click here to read more)
The original investigation and article in 2009 was written by The Age which said:
“Exactly how much money was given to the Liberal Party and for what purpose remains unclear. At the very least, the donations have created a perception that help was bought by, in at least some cases, some very questionable figures.” (Click here to read more)
There will be ongoing bad publicity from this as part two of the Four Corners program is next Monday. It might be a lot worse than the first one for the Liberal Party.
A couple of weeks ago (18/6/15) The Australian Financial Review ran a story about Kerry Stokes and the influence he has with the government.
It starts off:
“A series of angry phone calls from Seven proprietor Kerry Stokes to Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop early on Wednesday morning resulted in a push for media industry reform being permanently shelved.” (Click here to read more)
It must be true because regular readers know what Kerry Stokes is like with suing.
It raises many questions that Prime Minster Tony Abbott needs to answer.
1. Why does he take direct calls from Kerry Stokes? Is it because Stokes donates to the Liberal Party? Is it because Stokes owns Channel 7 and other media?
2. Why did the PM shelve media industry reform after the phone call with Kerry Stokes? What did Kerry Stokes say to the PM to make him shelve reform in the media industry?
(Picture from The Australian Financial Review article titled “Kerry Stokes’ fury over media reform felt in Canberra”) (Click here to read)
In the last year or so at least 12 members of the Liberal Party have been either sacked or resigned from the party because of revelations of corruption at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Most of it related to money the politicians were corruptly receiving from people who obviously wanted favours.. This included the resignation of the then NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell last year. (Click here to read more)
The fall out and damage from the ICAC investigations and ongoing court cases will do damage to the Liberal Party for years to come.
Joe Hockey v Fairfax Media – Hockey v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Limited  FCA 652 (Click here to read the judgment)
While Joe Hockey might have won the defamation case and been awarded $200,000 (Click here to read) he has done millions of dollars damage to the credibility of the Liberal Party. The case was always about Joe and his ego and he didn’t care what damage he did to the Liberal Party.
He was awarded a “partial win” as many commentators are saying. The article he complained about which is titled “Treasurer for sale” (Click here to read) is still on the internet and always will be I suspect.
What Hockey’s court case did was highlight the fact that if you want access to politicians like Joe you need to pay big dollars.
I wrote in May last year:
“Didn’t the Liberals learn anything from the Craig Thomson defamation proceedings. If Fairfax Media do not settle and I suspect they will not, then a lot of media attention is going to be on Hockey and his financial dealings for a long time and most likely right up to the next election. A lot of people see the dealings as being dodgy even if they are not illegal. I can’t and most people cannot afford a lazy $22,000 to get a meeting with Hockey”. (Click her to read more)
There is a lot of money flowing into the Liberal Party and everyone who donates seems to want something in return. Worse still, is the fact that the Liberal Party politicians seem happy to do favours for the cash. Even for members of the mafia.
The call for a Royal Commission into the Liberal Party and its fund-raising is going to get louder and louder. The Liberal Party have spent tax payer’s money investigating the Unions/Labor Party and that is fine. But now there needs to be a Royal Commission into the Liberal Party and their grubby backroom financial deals. While a Royal Commission will obviously be a few years away and will never happen while the Liberals are in power there is nothing that I can see that would stop the Australian Senate setting up an inquiry straight away.
The battle to force the Liberal Party to clean up corruption within their own party has well and truly begun and it will not stop until it is won. It seems very few people within the Liberal Party realise it yet.
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