I almost regret saying the other day: “It seems too that NSW Labor HQ could do with a seminar or two on the subject, or on ethics at least.” That should read, “Quite a few people in the NSW Parliament and in the media…”
I am not going to go into detail on the Orkopoulos affair and the subsequent accusations, including the ones about the links between certain development projects and politicians, which is more what I had in mind. It worries me, and I see from the ABC News just now it worries a law professor at UNSW and former Victorian (Liberal Party) Premier Jeff Kennett as well, that “charged with” and “accused of” are being treated as equivalent to “tried for” and “found guilty of.” They are not equivalents, and that concept is foundational in our legal system.
Very dangerous ground.
The attempted suicide of Mr Orkopoulos gives rise to another matter.
In the Cricket world we are having a few careless things said about anxiety and depression. Again Jeff Kennett makes some apt comments.I have had close, even first-hand, experience of all three, anxiety, depression, and suicide (the last not personally, though I did have such thoughts at one time). I have battled anxiety disorders for years, with varying severity. On two occasions at least this has been very disabling. I still have my limits. My “Fiction” page on the tab at the top of the page tells you much about this. Observant people will have noticed a link under “Cultural and other” to tAPir, the Anxiety and Panic Internet Resource, and with Jeff Kennett I also commend Beyond Blue.
We all need to pull our heads in sometimes.
Comment so far has focussed on the first part of this post rather than the second. That’s a shame really.
On another aspect of the first part, the Sydney Morning Herald this morning leads with Politics of sleaze and smears; while I concur with that story, I can’t help feeling the Herald is being just a bit po-faced and hypocritical. What do you think?
See also Iemma ‘acted disgracefully’ against Orkopoulos from ABC: “High-profile lawyer Stuart Littlemore QC says politicians and journalists have treated former New South Wales minister Milton Orkopoulos disgracefully… Mr Littlemore says the media has also treated Orkopoulos unfairly…”
The Sydney Morning Herald has led much of the coverage and its editor, Alan Oakley, has no regrets.
“The courts will deal with the issue of the charges but we’ve concentrated our efforts around the issues of was there any sort of cover-up, and if there was, who was involved?” he said. “And I think that there is enormous public interest in that and we wouldn’t be doing a job if we weren’t pursuing that part of the story.”
He denies claims by Orkopoulos’ family that his newspaper’s journalists and photographers have hounded the former minister.
“It is obviously a very, very difficult time for Mr Orkopoulos and his family, but again, I think there is enormous public interest – he is a state minister, he was a state minister. He’s now resigned, of course. Again, I don’t think we’d be doing our job unless we were bringing this story to our readers.”
Perhaps it is time to watch Frontline again.