3 April 2012

What the media wanted to know, I already knew!

politcal corruption in NSW
If you have read my main blog i On Global Trends, you will have noticed that I feature a large number of articles on political skullduggery, green crinkly stuff in brown envelopes "accidentally" left on tables, high level corruption - or as politicians prefer to call it, "an error of judgment". It was while reading one such article, I remembered my own intimate brush with political corruption.

Sit down, make yourself comfortable and I shall induct you into the murky world of Australian politics!

It is a tale of cash for favors, political mates looking after mates, media pursuit and plush bars with scantily clad waitresses clad in pink leotards with white bunny tails! A time when I witnessed first hand - censorship of the media!

Exciting isn't it!

I wont name the person concerned as he served his sentence and has since passed away. The politician was a high profile Minister in the New South Wales government in the early 1980s - an era that was rife with political and corporate scandal.

Among other things, he had been accused of, (and later convicted for) accepting payment in return for political favors. The media and political opponents were out for his blood, demanding his resignation. Each new news bulletin brought new allegations.

His political days were numbered.

At the time I used to frequent a very nice bar situated on the top floor of a complex of bars. It was a nice place to relax after the madness of the day's work. At the risk of having the,"All men are pigs" brigade after me, I have to say the ambience was enhanced by waitresses scantily, but I hasten to add, tastefully dressed as pink bunnies. Hence it's name which was either The Bunny Bar or The Bunny Club.

Of course I am older now and would not frequent it these days. Anyway, it closed long ago!

I was there one night having a drink and listening to the piano player while trying to figure out which character in Billy Joel's song* I most resembled. That's the problem with plush piano bars. Even if you don't have any hang-ups or worries, you start listening to the piano player and suddenly you seem to have the whole spectrum!

I made a phone call form the bar's public telephone and was immediately informed that the subject of this post had resigned. Not only had he resigned but he seemed to have disappeared. The media were searching for him everywhere.

What the media did not know, (and would no doubt would have been generously keen to know) was that he was with me!

Perhaps I had better clarify that statement!

Just five minutes earlier I had popped to the gents and was doing what a man must do in such circumstances. Along came another chap and stood next to me. There was that awkward moment when men never quite seem to know what to say under such circumstances. Somehow however, the silence is usually broken by the other chap saying, "G'day. How's it going mate?" That's what happened this time. I turned around to give the usual response and immediately saw it was - him! The beleaguered politician!

As we washed hands he looked appealingly at me and asked, "You won't tell anyone I'm here will you mate?"

What was I to do?

I was in my late twenties and it all seemed somehow exciting to me. There I was, sharing a gents toilet with the most sought after politician in Australia. I replied, "No mate." He smiled and thanked me and went back to his table - which was quite close to mine.

The bar had a television. The news came on carrying the resignation as the main story. As soon as the politician's name was mentioned, the manager turned off the TV!

Why did I not inform the media?

At that time I wasn't too impressed with the media and I knew there were bigger crooks than this chap getting away with far more serious offences. The MP had been caught and justice would be delivered. I was young and thought, "let him have one last fling."

Would I do the same now?

No.

Since then I have seen far too much political corruption and I wouldn't give a corrupt politician a second chance. Would I call the media? Hell no. I would blog live with video!

Providing of course I could get someone to show me how to do it!

* See "Music Tells My Story" (only until April 05, 2012)

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