Sam Dastyari resigned from Parliament after it was revealed he was under the influence of Chinese donors. Whether you believe his tale of being used without realising or not, that he resigned almost immediately and has since recognised his mistakes is good. But it was still corruption, and I don’t exactly feel sorry for his career falling down as a result. And now he’s trying to get us to sympathise with Gladys Liu.
I don’t often watch Q&A – a bunch of people sit at a desk and debate questions that really don’t need to be debated, just do the right thing damnit, you’re not doing it. But I do occasionally see clips online because it is one of the most popular shows in Australia (I remember my political communication’s lecturer said it was the second most tweeted about show in Australia, behind Love Island – what a cesspool we are with trending shows like that), and occasionally there is something of interest.
And by of interest I don’t mean actually interesting, although the rare good point can be made. I mean more there are things that just baffle you beyond belief, or hypocrisies to point out in someone’s discourse. In this case, Dastyari – prompted by Tony Jones – tries to make people feel sorry for Gladys Liu.
For starters, Dastyari says he doesn’t want to make it an equivalency game, that it isn’t a competition to win. While I tend to agree, it’s pretty obvious the Liu’s breach is much greater than his, and not pointing that out downplays the seriousness of it. He then goes on to tie his own experiences with Liu’s, explaining how he thinks she must be feeling now. He implores the audience to acknowledge that she is still human and that the press coverage and even the discussion they were having is probably having a negative effect on her.
She is indeed human – a human who is in a public position of power and has been directly tied to organisations that are branches of the Chinese Communist party. Don’t try to detract from that, she needs to resign and thus far has refused to do so, and the influence her connections have had on her needs to be investigated.
We can sympathise with Dastyari now because he seems to have learned from his mistakes, and yes, the idea of the media camping outside your house for weeks is extreme in my view. But if you are an elected official and are involved in corruption, you don’t just get to disappear from public view or discussion. Who is involved? How much influence is being exerted? What have they done in terms of policy as a result of that? There are important questions that need to be answered, and being human does not excuse you from scrutiny and criticism.
In my view, trying to make corruption about how the person carrying it out feels when they’re caught highlights the pathetic privilege these elitist morons flaunt about. There are so many blatant cases of corruption and outside influence in all levels of government and I do not care for a second how any of the parasites feel – they deserve to be ripped to shreds (figuratively, of course) for their dirty dealings.
Gladys Liu needs to resign immediately. Preferably, every single politician who has received corporate or other nations’ donations or gifts, or who has been involved in corrupt decision making, should also resign.
We’d have a damn near empty Parliament.
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