By Janine Perrett

Maybe the Federal politicians don't need to hold a royal commission to find white-collar misconduct - they have a perfect case right under their noses, in their own ranks, in one Clive Palmer.

We don't know yet if the avalanche of allegations about Mr Palmer’s questionable business practices are true or note, but they certainly deserve scrutiny - even from his colleagues.

Certainly from his colleagues.

Not that we would expect them to hold him up to any parliamentary standards anytime soon, despite indications he might have held the parliament in contempt.

He has certainly held the rest of Australian in contempt, from his workers to his electorate.

The recent revelations about his dubious behaviour at his failed Queensland nickel refinery are now the subject of investigations by ASIC and others, but they also show there is a case for inquiries into his role as a parliamentarian. Aren't there meant to be some standards at least?

The whole issue of whether he used the fake email name of Terry Smith to be a shadow director on Queensland Nickel is a problem for him with the corporate regulators but the fact he might have used the same email in dealing with issues as a parliamentarian, and ones that directly affected his companies like carbon tax, is a serious allegation.

In his disingenuous interview on the ABC Lateline last night (and yes after all their carry-on they did give him a live platform to spin the story), Mr Palmer once again claimed he had nothing to do with the collapse of Queensland Nickel because he was off doing his parliamentary business. 

This will be news to those in Canberra where he has barely graced the chamber with his presence.

Not that he has been censured for dereliction of duty there either.

So it is all very well for Mr Shorten and Mr Turnbull and members of both sides to rail against white-collar crime and promise a crackdown on corporate crooks but if anything is proved against Mr Palmer's business behaviour, what are they going to do about that?

Of course they will wimp it because he will certainly be tossed out of Federal Parliament by then. The voters of Fairfax are poised to remedy their heinous mistake and replace him at the upcoming election.

But it just proves the hypocrisy on both sides regarding this issue.

I mean let's not forget that most of the current allegations were uncovered by one Adele Ferguson of Fairfax. 

Labor is now suddenly all for a royal commission only months after voting against a Greens proposal for exactly the same thing.

They are cynically using the issue as a political wedge.

And doing a damn fine job of it even if it does look like payback for the unions’ royal commission.

The government's push against even its own members for a royal commission into banking is consistent with its continued efforts to roll back all crackdowns on white collar malfeasance. 

Remember the embarrassing FOFA battle anyone? Yes it was only a year ago they were trying to roll back Labor's previous efforts to tighten up the financial services industry.

So no wonder even their own members, like the esteemed Philip Ruddock, yesterday had a whack at the government for ruling out a royal commission when they were still holding a government inquiry into financial services - indeed might be best to at least wait until it reports.

But the biggest hypocrisy award this week goes to PM Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison yesterday for claiming ASIC was the "cop on the beat” with the power to fight this problem.

Couple of key points boys.

Firstly your last budget slashed ASIC's budget to the point its own chief warned it would prevent them doing their job.

Secondly, the Senate inquiry into the whole banking scandal was just as critical of ASIC's failings and their atrocious work that helped cause the problems anyway.

As for ASIC chief Greg Medcraft off on his tangent about criminalising corporate "culture', good luck with that one went you can't even catch the criminals under the more obvious laws.

Another day, another scandal. Target inflating its earning numbers the latest. Dick Smith collapse still out there.

And let's not forget the Clive Palmer running sore.

Pardon me if I don't hold out much hope the current outrage against white-collar criminals will last. Seen it all before in the seventies, eighties and even this century.

You can't legislate against greed. But you can at least pretend you're trying if you are a politician.