After years of vilification and harassment from the notorious Western Australian Corruption and Crime Commission, former Premier Brian Burke has trimmed down to fighting weight to confront his accusers in the courts.
There is a rising tide of public resentment and concern about the conduct of the Corruption Commission, which has been likened by some to the French revolutionary Committee of Public Safety. There are two excellent blogs here and here operating in the state where too many live in fear that merely opposing this dreadful Commission will cause their email and telephones to be monitored by it abusing its Stasi style powers.
A one-time titan of the Labor Right who wrestled control of the WA Labor Party from leftist control, Brian Burke yesterday asked for a “fair go” in the hearing of the Commission’s accusations against him.
We have to start to wonder about a process where a former Premier has to plead for that ahead of a trial. It’s pretty clear he has little faith in the process that’s brought him to court. And given the Commission’s form who can doubt him?
It seems very doubtful to us that after the Commission has so desperately and comprehensively tried to blacken that his name in public that a fair trial could ever occur in that state.
If it were legally possible, it would be well worth considering trying Burke elsewhere where the CCC’s thuggish tactics would be seen for what they are.
In Western Australian bookshops, there is a vile and hateful tome, a purported biography of Brian Burke titled “Godfather“. The author Quentin Beresford is at pains in the book to say he didn’t mean to link him with gangsters/organised crime despite doing so in the title. That’s the climate in which the charges against Burke will be heard.
It’s always those who whine loudest about human rights at swanky inner urban dinner parties who are the first to be willing to trash them in pursuit of political foes. That’s certainly been the case with Burke’s foes like Carmen Lawrence and others that have kept the extreme Left in control of the now completely dysfunctional WA branch of the Labor party.
In a public statement released by Burke last year, he offered a shocking insight into what the CCC does to its victims. It’s essential reading for those who want to look beyond the media’s attempted lynching of the man.
It obstructs justice by doing everything within its power to nobble defendants, besmirch, bully and bankrupt them.
It resists any attempt by the courts and the Parliamentary watchdog to scrutinise its conduct.
It is a Star Chamber running out of control.
But like every tyrant riding on the tiger’s back, there can be little doubt that the CCC’s boss Len Roberts-Smith will have much to regret from his reign of error.
He is the playground bully and junkyard dog of Western Australian political life. Willing to crucify and wanting to destroy people he knows just have to suck it up. And all the while, organised criminals in that state sell dangerous narcotics, engage in people smuggling, human trafficking, prostitution and many other activities you’d think might be worthy of the attention of an agency like the CCC.
Instead Len Roberts-Smith focuses on cardigan wearing bureaucrats and highly vulnerable politicians knowing that such efforts will always draw headlines and boost his prodigious ego.