The great tragedy of justice delayed

In The Australian today:
“Watching Barry O’Farrell’s resignation recalled Enoch Powell’s conclusion to his biography of Joseph Chamberlain that “all political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and human affairs”.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas is a columnist for The Australian newspaper and the inaugural Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong. The SMART Infrastructure Facility is a $61.8 million world-class research and training centre concerned with integrated infrastructure solutions for the future. Henry is also Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia. Prior to these concurrent roles Henry worked as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Henry's previous career was as an economist at the OECD in Paris, where amongst other roles he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment and was Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department.
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22 Responses to The great tragedy of justice delayed

  1. Craig Mc

    Or an unhappy juncture. See JFK nostalgia.

  2. wazsah

    I can not find the article in The Australian – but if you are alluding to Obeid and MacDonald enjoying life way after ICAC exposed their monumental shady deals – that’s a good point.

  3. Cold-Hands

    A good article- although I winced at Agamemnon’s Procrustean bed.

  4. Leo G

    I winced at Lobbecke’s depiction of O’Farrell falling on his corkscrew.

  5. Myrddin Seren

    So – the question in regard to BOF being, is he midstream at a happy juncture – or a failure ?

    Barry folded his cards pretty quick over a bottle of wine – and was notably chipper the day afterwards.

    Has he stepped off the ship so quickly because he thought only worse to come ?

  6. Baldrick

    The problem with the ICAC is that it is not a prosecutorial body, it simply hears evidence and makes recommendations. Not that it made any recommendations against BoF, it didn’t. Barry fell on his own corkscrew as a matter of principle.

    The standard of evidence admitted to the ICAC is not the same as would be accepted in a normal court of Australian law, so the DPP, which has the responsibility of prosecuting corrupt public servants, needs to gather an entirely separate brief of evidence to that presented to the ICAC, which invariably takes time … thus the delay in charging Obeid et al. but it is coming.

  7. tomix

    Is Henry arguing that juries and the Right to silence be discarded because- Obeid and MacDonald?

    Sounds like it.

  8. dan

    Has he stepped off the ship so quickly because he thought only worse to come ?

    I wouldn’t know but maybe he is just tired and sick of the whole thing and couldn’t wait to leave the job. Seems like a horrible kind of life to me.

  9. incoherent rambler

    ICAC an early warning system for the corrupt.

  10. Sir Fred Lenin

    Drag tho corrupt before a Peop,es Revolutionary Trbunal,force them to admit guilt whether they are guilty or not,then take them from the Tribunal and shoot them,put their families in LABOR camps .and confiscate all family assets. Thats Socialist Justice is it not! And they are after all Socialists,being in the alp or groins?

  11. Leo G

    Has he stepped off the ship so quickly because he thought only worse to come?

    Are you asking if the affair was choreographed by O’Farrell alone or as a conspiracy with other parties?
    The evidence does imply a conspiracy, but not the conspirators.
    The premier became aware of allegations that he has accepted the gift of a valuable bottle of wine from Di Gerolamo more than six weeks ago when News’ Andrew Clennell repeatedly questioned him via text message. So journalists were being tipped off well before O’Farrell was first questioned by the Commission.
    As John Comnenus has suggested elsewhere, the most likely source was Di Gerolamo. But Di Gerolamo has publicly denied that he was the source.

  12. Crossie

    Are you asking if the affair was choreographed by O’Farrell alone or as a conspiracy with other parties?

    I don’t think he’s that smart or he would have managed the state much better.

  13. Menai Pete

    Has anyone else heard the rumours about the back-room ICAC staff high fiving each other when O’Farrell resigned?

  14. Grigory M

    Has anyone else heard the rumours about the back-room ICAC staff high fiving each other when O’Farrell resigned?

    Bit early, MP – you’ve only just started it ;)

  15. stackja

    Meanwhile the ALP goes merrily on its way. Selective MSM cover up the past.

  16. Myrddin Seren

    Leo G

    Are you asking if the affair was choreographed by O’Farrell alone or as a conspiracy with other parties?

    Couple of things.

    For what it is worth – and it is only idle gossip – a barrister acquaintance told me last week he had heard ICAC was after BOF over the water company a year ago. I didn’t even know Barry was appearing that day when this chap told me the tale. It may be nothing, but the Daily Telegraph chasing the wine story weeks ago suggests this has been rolling around insider legal sources for months.

    And yet Barry did nothing but walk straight in to the metaphoric ICAC guns.

    And amazingly, the evening Barry painted himself in to a corner, the loyal Liberal Party fund raiser Di Gerolamo finds the smoking gun note that Barry himself apparently could not recall and destroys the Premiership of the parliamentary leader of Di Gerolamo’s party – when a box of matches would have ensured no one was none the wiser. Really ??

    ICAC clearly had the goods on BOF and the jungle drums were beating. Ockham’s Razor says BOF is a blind idiot and walked in to it.

    I am now wondering if the Lobbyists Party( an apparent Obeid nexus between both the Labor and Liberal parties ) had more weights on Barry, such that falling on his sword over the Grange was the easiest sidestep for him. Others on the Cat have pointed out Barry was quite chipper on social media the next day in spite of what appears to have been the ‘end in failure’ Henry describes.

    Hence my suggestion – is this ‘end in failure’ or has Barry stepped deliberately in to a ‘happy midstream’ ?

    Regret sounding like a ‘BOF Truther’ but the overt story just makes no sense to me.

  17. IanW

    Unless the DPP can come up with a “watertight” case against Obeid quickly, the NSW Parliament should move to impeach him, recover his ill gotten gains (which money can be used to compensate all who have lost money as a result of the corruption), sentencing him to at least 5 years in prison (to be suspended if he elects to leave Australia). Then we can all move on and worry about other things.

  18. stackja

    Myrddin Seren
    #1273534, posted on April 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm
    Regret sounding like a ‘BOF Truther’ but the overt story just makes no sense to me.

    Only BOF knows! Meanwhile what about Robbo?

  19. Myrddin Seren

    stackja

    Meanwhile what about Robbo?

    Frantically trying to get everyone to ‘look over there – a squirrel !’ before any royal commissions start digging around the ETU.

  20. Grigory M

    Regret sounding like a ‘BOF Truther’ but the overt story just makes no sense to me.

    Same here, Myrddin – it seems the relationship between BO’F and Di Girolamo was better established than has been admitted to so far, and there may be more to be disclosed. But then – I would surmise that some high-fiving occurred among Baird’s supporters, and quite likely in his office.

  21. Uber

    Good riddance. Maybe somebody will now step up to fix the planning mess in NSW and the government’s relations with the mining industry.

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