I’ve seen quite a few articles written recently about the outrage of Tony Abbott’s expense scandal. Van Badham made a good point about weddings, and how fuck-wit it is to charge your attendance at one to the taxpayer. Mike Carlton wrote eloquently about ‘bludger Abbott’ immorally charging the taxpayer for his election campaign. At first I thought enough had been said on this matter. I thought all bases were covered with various reasons for varying forms of outrage about the scandal. However there is still one thing which I haven’t seen said, which I feel needs to be added to the pile. And this relates to the Liberals, their sense of entitlement and the way that this sense of entitlement clashes quite inconsistently with their rabid resentment of anyone who works in the public sector.
So we all know that public servant bashing is a favourite sport of the Liberals. Every time Liberals talk about job losses with a forlorn look and talk of insecurity for families, I am reminded that they only seem to care about job losses in the private sector. In the public sector, they are the ones slashing jobs. Yet, somehow in their very well crafted rhetoric of ‘government waste’, they manage to get away with painting public sector workers as a different species of Australian worker. Public sector job losses, whether they be in Canberra, or in health, education and community services around the country, don’t really count as job losses. Because, as any Liberal will tell you given half the chance, the public sector is inefficient and over-inflated, and not as good at getting things done as companies who need to make a profit and need to keep their shareholders happy. No matter whether this idea is truth (which it is not), nevertheless, it’s always the first priority of a Liberal government to make sure public sector workers are fired, for no other reason than it must sound efficient to do this. It all relates to the very fuzzy reasoning of Liberals around ‘small government’ and ‘efficiency’ and ‘waste’ and all the fluff they go on and on about all the time.
Remember when Howard got rid of thousands of public servants who he must have thought were just sitting at their desks twiddling their thumbs, in their ‘jobs for life’, playing solitaire and drinking coffee at the taxpayers expense? But then when he realised the people he had fired were actually running the country, he hired more of them, but just as individual contractors, at a huge hourly rate, which ended up costing the taxpayer more than the public sector workers who were fired. Well done Johnny. Keep them off the books and all that. Abbott is doing the same things as Howard – promising to fire 12,000 in Canberra alone, and that’s before his ‘commission of audit’ takes the axe to who knows how many more jobs. Will these Liberals ever learn? And even Abbott’s master, Murdoch got in on the act of public servant bashing in a recent tweet, saying:
“Aust election public sick of public sector workers and phony welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy. Others nations to follow in time.”
So, if Australians really are happy to vote for someone like Abbott who promises to sack the public service, what does the Australian electorate think about his sense of entitlement in racking up thousands of dollars of expenses, and charging them to the taxpayer? Doesn’t this make Abbott the hugest of all hypocrites to ever walk the earth? Do we need a new, stronger word for hypocrite, to explain the ferocity of Abbott’s wankery in using taxpayer funded travel to attend charity events, sporting events and weddings? Saying ‘pot-kettle-black’ just doesn’t seem to cut it. How about we just agree it’s un-Australian. On the one hand, Abbott implies that public sector workers are bludging off the taxpayers and need to be fired, while at the same time using taxpayers money for his own personal entertainment and political ambition. Perhaps Abbott is the one who should be sacked. #OneTermTony.
Public sector workers are hard working Australian people who have families, who pay tax, who don’t get paid as much as they would in the same job in the private sector, who work hard, who join clubs, who raise funds for charity, who buy or rent houses, who buy cars, who shop at Coles and Woolies, who deal with all sorts of stress by never knowing whether a new government is going to fire them, who don’t and never have assumed they have a job for life.
But Tony Abbott is just an arrogant man who needed to improve his public profile, after years of being known as the resident Liberal nut-job, and who needed to be seen with his wife and daughters having fun in the public eye to try to prove he doesn’t hate women, who needed to look like he did charity work, even if he wouldn’t actually do charity work if it cost him a cent personally, who needed to look fit and sporty, if in actual fact he wouldn’t get fit or go to a sporting event without charging it to the taxpayer, for his own personal vested interest of getting a better job as the Prime Minister of Australia. No one can claim that Abbott’s helping their community by riding a bike through it. Even if they live in a marginal seat. Abbott’s only interested in getting his face on the news, for his own benefit. And the news media laps this sort of crap up.
That’s what really infuriates me about Abbott’s expense scandal. He’s firing honest, hard working public servants, to the detriment of the communities they serve (us), while he spends thousands of taxpayer dollars on his self-entitled quest to have himself elected to the position of Prime Minister. While he’s promoting his public image. But while he’s swanning around the country at our expense, and shouting his wife and daughters the lifestyles of a Paris-Hilton-esque socialite at our expense, what work is he actually doing for the community he wants to represent? How has he earned his government funded-salary, let alone the extra costs of his travel and accommodation, when he’s spent his entire time campaigning for himself? Next time Tony Abbott calls the public sector a ‘waste’, can someone please hand him a mirror.Follow @Vic_Rollison