Bracks, Crooked Cops and a Royal Commission

Get ready for another Bracksflip. The esteemed Victorian Premier's second term seems to be defined by a tendancy to second guess his own decisions (and worse, getting them wrong in the first place). While in his first term, Steve Bracks surprised most pundits by holding the affairs of state together with a young, rather inexperienced ministerial team, his second term shows that he has unlearnt many of the lessons that he learnt in the first.

After backflipping on tolls to the Mitcham-Frankston Freeway (a road which, in Ari-on-the-web's opinion, should never be built anyhow) and then just last week on the placement of a Toxic Dump in the verbal toxic dump of ruralandregionalVictoria, Bracksflip number three is fast approaching.

After doing his best impression of an ostrich on the issue of police corruption, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Victoria needs a Fitzgerald-style inquiry into official corruption in the police force. So far, the Government has insisted that the best means of investigating crooked cops is an expanded Ombudsperson's office. However, as more and more is revealed about misdeeds in the Drug Squad, and suggestions of close links between Ganglangers and those who are policing them, the Ombudsman option looks increasingly inadequate.

Here's the deal, Mr Premier. It is time to bite the bullet (a police issue .38, with your government's name on it) and call for a Royal Commission. If you do it now, you can maintain the illusion that you are in control and that it was of your own chosing. If you wait much longer, and more allegations are made, it will appear that you have been forced into it, kicking and screaming. Not a good look.

It's a mistake that shouldn't have been made in the first place - as soon as evidence of corruption started flowing, a Royal Commission should have been called. Catch the problem early, and appear in control. Now that the mistake has been made, corrective action is needed as soon as possible.

And while you're at it, give the cops some legal muscle in their battle against Ganglanders. It looks like they need it.


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