Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Bushfire bastardry

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-04


The dead in the horrible Victorian bushfires a few years back, and those that will die in the future from similar causes, seem to be, by misdirected investigations and blind eyes to evidence, poorly served by both current and previous governments.

Who benefits from this? Only the negligent – the privatised power supplier cutting corners on safety, or a government unwilling to pay compensation, or politicians in both major parties who do not want a proper evaluation of the fundamental dogma that pushes privatization of state assets in general and utilities in particular.

For more than two years, investigation of one fire concentrated on the man who raised the alarm, living next door to power lines known not to have been fitted with sensible safety devices, a blind eye turned to SP Ausnet despite strong evidence.

Lawyers for victims are refused access to evidence.

Information from various completed investigations are withheld from the public on the increasingly flimsy basis that investigations from tardy, misdirected, or incompetent teams are ongoing.

Evidence is even being hidden from relevant judges – by lawyers for the new Liberal government, not just the old ALP one.

While there are doubtless dodgy cops in the force, it’s hard to believe police corruption is so rife that an always promising line of inquiry was ignored without pressure from on high – Spring Street.

Further, even if flawed safety installations is eventually blamed, systemic flaws unlikely to have existed under management by the old State Electricity Commission (always accused by private-enterprise proponents of being over-engineered, "gold-plated" and therefore poor value), the costs will remain socialized, while profits from cut corners will continue to flow to private pockets.

If the incompetence causing death, destruction, and drain on the public purse was limited to SP Ausnet and the oversight of the previous government, was limited to the particulars of this case,the new government would surely take advantage of the ability to make significant political capital of it – it’s a highly charged issue that does not need any effort to capture the public’s attention.

This means there is greater advantage to the current party in power, either through ideological commitment, addiction to corporate donations for future privatizations, in defending the dominant model of privatizing everything as fast as possible and with the flimsiest of pretexts.

The current party in power also likes having it’s partner, counterfactually labelled "the opposition", not pilloried or even destroyed as deserved, as this would cause all the left-leaning voters to desert the ALP for a party that more truthfully represents the interests of the people rather than their masters.  The Liberals treat the ALP as an ally, or at worst a frenemy, their real targets being the Greens and the citizenry.

Oh, by the way, despite this being an issue ideal for sales of honest tabloids, despite the "hang-em-high" rhetoric in The Herald-Sun when mere individuals were being investigated, do you think Murdoch’s Limited News organs are similarly pushing for lynchings of corporate executives and the privatization model?

Do you think these abuses are limited to Victoria?

Do you think it is merely the privatized power suppliers that are happy about what seems to be a cover-up, or the entire plutocratic predator classes and



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