‘It’s not about money, it’s about keeping the right people happy’: a new book on Australia’s rigged political and financial system

Rigged shows how the system is skewed against the average person, but also offers solutions on how to possibly change the game.

Rigged co-author Cameron Murray (Image: gameofmates.com)

Rigged — subtitled “How Networks of Powerful Mates Rip Off Everyday Australians” — started life in 2017 as an “amateur booklet” called Game of Mates. Like its predecessor, Rigged catalogues how the Australian political and financial system operates, how the trade of political favours, information and access skews the system against the average person, what it costs us, and what might be done to improve matters.

I asked Dr Cameron Murray, who co-wrote the book with Professor Paul Frijters of the London School of Economics, if part of the impetus to revisit and expand their work had anything to do with the Morrison government, an outfit characterised by a “mates first” approach and whose shambolic time in office hadn’t begun in 2017.

He gave a stark reply: “It literally doesn’t matter who is in government — your favoured political party really comes down to a preference in communication style. It’s like the old Seinfeld joke about sports teams: the players come and go, it’s the shirt you’re cheering. It’s about protecting a network of interests.”

Read more about the book revealing some dirty political secrets.

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