This column tries to give politicians the benefit of the doubt.
As editor, I deal with politicians a lot and I know they work hard on behalf of the people they were elected to serve.
But they remain a bunch that are generally untrusted by the public and every so often something happens which shows exactly why so many people loath them.
The most egregious recent example was the news that Deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie's office made up its own rules for doling out sporting grants in a program the Australian Auditor-General described as possibly illegal.
Auditor-General Grant Hehir found the minister's office ran its own "parallel" assessment process for determining where grants went under the $100 million scheme, that was "inconsistent with the published guidelines" from Sport Australia.
While her office did take into account how Sport Australia ranked projects, it also took into account factors that were not in the criteria.
It also considered past grants the electorate had received under separate programs. Her office also relied on "local knowledge from MPs" about the need for the project and whether it was viable.
As a result, nearly two in three grants went to organisations scored below Sport Australia's cut-off for funding.
This, in old-fashioned parlance is blatant pork barrelling in favour of Liberals in marginal seats but Senator McKenzie brazenly defended the misuse of public saying it was not illegal.
"No rules were broken," Senator McKenzie said.
"Every single one of those 684 projects that were funded was eligible for funding under the guidelines."
Senator McKenzie's actions may not have been illegal but they are deeply unethical and the worst kind of politicking.
I tend to agree with Independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall who said it showed Australia needs a national integrity commission with "real powers".
It's further proof that places like North West Queensland are poorly served by being in a very safe seat. We didn't see much of the $100 million fund in our region. It's a disgrace and the Prime Minister needs to step up and sort it out. Derek Barry