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NSW’S GAME OF THRONES

All out! All change!

Do you know what politicians in NSW privately call the Independent Commission Against Corruption? They call it a “Monster”.

 

And you cannot blame them. ICAC is a monster. And it must be a monster. Because only a monster can deal with other monsters.

 

I only wish it was even more of a monster. The kind of monster which comes for corrupt politicians and cops in the night, puts them in chains, parades them with their heads shamefully bowed before the assembled media, heaves them roughly into a black van, and drives them off to subterranean prison cells to ponder their betrayals of the public trust.

 

Last week, the monster came for Gladys. It was always going to come for Gladys. Her resignation was no shock, even though the media portrayed it as such, while simultaneously eulogising the mean-eyed bitch as if she’d cured cancer.

 

Deluded supporters – how it’s possible she even had any is beyond me – placed floral tributes in front of her office. These would have been the same gronks who bought flowers and Get Well cards for Tobruk, the terrified police horse the cops tortured into stomping protestors.

 

Cognitive dissonance was on display. Never underestimate just how Biblically dumb the electorate is. To these people, Gladys was the “best premier” NSW ever had. Sure, the bar isn’t very high there, but come on.

 

Gladys was the woman who tore the funding out of the Rural Fire Service. She has defunded our hospital system. She has ridden roughshod over any and all environmental concerns, and has acquiesced to the blackmail of the odious Giovanni Barilaro, who trumpets his irrevocable destruction of the Kosciusko National Park as an actual achievement.

 

Her utter failure to deal with the Plague – from go to wherever the fuck we are now – will haunt us forever.

 

Then there’s her shameful toadying to the cops, including putting the imbecile Fuller in charge of all things Plague and giving him a whopping pay-rise. Seriously?

 

This is the same Mick Fuller who was mewling in front of the TV cameras in the wake of the Lindt Café tragedy, apologising for using poorly-trained shitwads to shoot innocent hostages. The same Mick Fuller who wheels out Scummo’s garbage bins. The same Mick Fuller whose police force strip-searches children, buys and sells drugs, and brutalises and intimidates citizens.

 

This is a bloke you put in chains. Not in charge.

 

But ICAC is not after Gladys for that. That’s just shit governing. That’s legal. ICAC is after Gladys for what she may have done to assist her former (and also currently before ICAC) boyfriend, Daryl McGuire, that grifting carpetbagger from Wagga.

 

Smart boy that one. He took one look at Gladys, figured she’d be a pushover for a bit of “Hello sweetheart! Like a wine?” and the rest is history.

 

Gladys dumped him when ICAC arrived, and took up with Arthur Moses SC. Arthur was the barrister representing Gladys the first time she was hauled before ICAC to answer questions about what she knew and didn’t know about Daryl.

 

Her appearance at the feet of the monster is very soon.

 

In the wake of her resignation, her deputy, Giuseppe Barilaro, also bailed. Gladys’s biggest problem may have been her love-blindness, but Giuseppe? Well, he’s all about the pork and the barrel, him.

 

I think he’s become unhinged. The champions at Friendlyjordies (who are being sued for defamation by Giuseppe) have been chewing on him for a while. The allegations made against fat-boy Bruz are horrific. Go see for yourself what Jordan Shanks has revealed and alleged about Giuseppe. Ask yourself when ICAC might extend one of its many claws in his direction. Ask yourself if that will be when it has Gladys squirming in her witness seat, or shortly afterwards.

 

Interestingly, no-one has been laying flowers in front of Giuseppe’s office in the wake of his resignation.

 

So why are they resigning? Good question. The answer is simple. ICAC doesn’t investigate stuff for shits and giggles. It doesn’t look into things in the hope of maybe finding something. It’s not made that way. It’s looking into Gladys because it knows stuff. It might not yet know everything, but it knows enough to know it needs to dig a little deeper and then it will know more things. People will squeal. People will roll over and reveal things to ICAC. There will be a great wailing.

 

It will make grand theatre – and if there is a God, there will be charges laid, pensions will be stripped away, and we can begin to repair some of the damage these flogs have committed.

 

But I do not believe there is a God. This makes me very different to the new Premier of NSW, Dominic Perrottet. It also makes me very different to so many of the myrmidons in power.

 

The Christian Right, vile fanatics every bit as repulsive as ISIS, has long been aware of the decline of religion in Australia. We are not, as so many think, a Christian country. We are a secular country. Christians makes up barely 50 per cent of our diverse population. And it’s a number that declines year after year.

 

So the Christians – and don’t mix Pentacostals up with Catholics; they are very different but equally odious – have been busily seeding themselves into positions of power for decades.

 

That is now starting to bear fruit. Perrottet is a hard-core Catholic. They don’t get any more hard-core. Educated by Opus Dei (Google it), he is against divorce, assisted dying, same-sex marriage, abortion, women’s rights – hell, pretty much every social advancement the world has made in recent times, he’s against it. He does not believe in man-made climate change. He believes in God. He is all about big, traditional Catholic families in a country quickly becoming not about that at all.

 

Australia is a country that permits you to worship as you please. But it’s also a country that generally likes you to keep your beliefs to yourself. You get all shouty and weird about you imaginary friend, and Australia frowns at that. And rightly so.

 

I’d have your temples and cults viciously taxed, and you shackled and jailed, and your kids removed from your mental abuse of them, but I’m not in charge.

 

Dominic Perrottet is. At least in NSW. Watch him closely.

 

And while you’re doing that, also understand we have come to this pass because so many of us just don’t grasp the power we have. So many of us don’t vote, or donkey vote, or vote without understanding what it is we’re voting for. We are dumb and complacent when it comes to exercising the greatest right we have.

 

That’s unforgivable, to my mind. It’s not easy to educate yourself about who and what you’re voting for when the elections roll around. But it’s not all that hard, given what is at stake.

 

You want better leadership, it’s on you.

 

But while ever we keep shrugging our shoulders and saying “They’re all the same, so what’s the point?” we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

 

It’s what They rely on, don’t you know?

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Boris Mihailovic

Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.

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