With all this talk of a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, it’s worth noting how great ICACs with extensive powers would have saved billions of taxpayer funds in multiple universes. Not only would sports rorts be under the microscope; entire films and franchises would be non-existent if powerful ICACs were the norm.
Gotham City is rife with corruption and every Batman villain relies on the malleable morals and greed of those in power. Batman, a masked vigilante who frequently beats up petty criminals in grimy alleyways, needs to learn that real justice involves a lot more paperwork. Bruce Wayne should have curbed his playboy ways to study law, pay his HECS upfront (he’s rich) and work his way up to being a stern and impartial Commissioner for true systemic change. But then again, if that is how the plot played out, we would miss the spectacle of George Clooney as Batman wearing a suit of armour with rubber nipples. Superb.
So, look, the Star Wars storylines didn’t always make sense. Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader to save his pregnant wife from death in childbirth – but there was not a single scene that showed the couple attending the obstetrician together. The existence of a twin as a plot twist 25 years later confirms he didn’t even attend an ultrasound (the deadbeat). That aside, a Galactic ICAC would surely have investigated the links between Chancellor Palpatine and a personally commissioned army of clones programmed to execute his enemies, a scheme paid for with public funds! Use of office for personal gain in a plot so nefarious is worthy of the Obeids.
Okay, so nine out of 10 of the storylines may have gone ahead, but the Barnaby Joyce-style fantasy of the Prime Minister’s affair with a staff member probably would be a little messier if there was better scrutiny of staffing practices. We see Hugh Grant and a junior member of the household staff exchange significant looks, cheeky laughs and longing gazes that end in steamy romance. But that just scratches the surface as to whether she got special treatment as an employee in an illicit relationship with a terrible power imbalance. Does not stand up well in the era of #metoo. You can dance your way right out of office, Mr Grant.
Warning, plot spoilers ahead for any readers unfamiliar with this troubling film. Assistant Mayor Dawn Bellwether uses public funds to pay for a serum to frame predators who … it’s actually quite complicated? All you need to know is that this film contains glamourised police violence, high-level corruption and a disturbingly sexualised gazelle played by Shakira. The plotline would’ve been moot if an ICAC was able to nip this little scheme in the bud. If Barry O’Farrell got done for a bottle of Grange, imagine what would’ve happened to a deputy mayor framing animals for murder. Behold, the disturbing gazelle.
When Arthur Met Gladys
But, plot twist: there’s one film, which could happen, that has ICAC front and centre. I’m talking about the romantic comedy When Arthur Met Gladys, when Arthur Moses SC met our Premier as her lawyer during ICAC proceedings last year investigating her dud ex Daryl Maguire. I really hope Arthur and Gladys get married and have their first dance to Rihanna’s “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place”.