Just a day after this post on wrongdoing in the pursuit of the government’s anti-union agenda comes the news that the AFP is liaising with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions about whether charges should be laid over leaks from Federal Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash’s office about raids on the Australian Workers Union. It remains to be seen whether charges will be laid – if so, it will be a breach of the normal protocol under which unionists are charged in the most trivial cases, while business owners and politicians are almost invariably let off.
A striking, and closely related, example was Human Services Minister Alan Tudge’s release, to a friendly journalist, of the social security files of a blogger who had complained about the department. This contrasts notably with the routine invocation of “client privacy” when the Department is accused of wrongdoing and wants to avoid responding.
As an aside, following discussion of the previous post, I tried to think about a benchmark for the (very limited) criminality and wrongdoing exposed by the Commission. Thinking about it, most Australian universities would have had a broadly similar record exposed over (say) the last ten years. That is, one or two cases of large-scale embezzlement (I get examples of this in compulsory training on what not to do), a handful of cases of fraudulent research and lots of trivial offences that would normally not be prosecuted.