[LINK] 'World's biggest Luddite' in Telstra plasma TV row

Chirgwin, Richard Richard.Chirgwin@informa.com.au
Fri, 14 Feb 2003 09:40:39 +1000

Jan - let's just say that the lack of an equivalent to ICAC at the federal
level is problematic.

Hmmm. The question of corruption is interesting. Was a benefit asked for in
return for the loan? Probably not. Was the loan (and other stuff) kept a
secret - no, but I love the way the pecunary interests register seems to be
one of the few documents in parliament that's NOT on the Hansard Website (I
may be wrong).

Does it >look< dodgy? No more so than Shane Warne's mum's tablets. Is
looking dodgy enough? No.

As far as impeachment goes, well, we don't have a president do we? In
Canberra, the foxes do the guarding - it starts with the various house
ethical committees (I don't know their correct titles offhand) which are
made up of ... other members of the house.

Mind you, some of the press reaction is a little precious, given that the
largesse of business towards my profession is pretty much constant! You have
to be ascetic (sp?) by nature to resist ... "Oh look, here's a bottle of
wine from (vendor)." "No junkets" rules get debated fairly hotly among the
IT media (whereas no political journo ever considers a seat on the touring
PM plane to be a junket).

My personal line got crossed in the dotcom boom when some vendors were
handing out casino tokens with press releases. OK, none of the people
writing about this have plasma TVs, I guess (unless "Friends of Telstra" is
still in existence...). I'd love to walk through the Canberra press
gallery's various wine cellars.

To relate an outstanding example of personal ethics from last year: at a
vendor's Christmas party, a journalist refused the door prize when her name
was drawn from the hat, on publisher's policy grounds. She got applause. (I
kept my little domino set, sad to say...)

Richard Chirgwin

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jan Whitaker [mailto:jwhit@melbpc.org.au]
> Sent: Friday, 14 February 2003 06:56
> To: Bernard Robertson-Dunn
> Cc: Link
> Subject: Re: [LINK] 'World's biggest Luddite' in Telstra plasma TV row
> At 11:01 AM 13/02/03 +1100, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> >
> >TELSTRA has showered key decision-makers in the federal 
> Government with
> >gifts ranging from plasma televisions to weekends away at an 
> exclusive
> >winery.
> Pity in the relative importance of things at the moment that 
> the general 
> public would care less about the corruption. I wonder if it 
> would get any 
> air in Parliament if Howard et al were accused of corruption?
> Is there an impeachment process in this 'representative' 
> democracy of ours?
> Jan
> JLWhitaker Associates
> Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
> jwhit@melbpc.org.au  --  
> http://member.melbpc.org.au/~jwhit/whitentr.htm 
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