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Day to Day Politics: Is it ironic or just plain immoral?

Friday 31 March 2017

1 Isn’t it ironic that at the same time as the Senate is debating Government legislation to reduce the penalty rates of our lowest paid workers and Trade Unions boss Sally McManus in an address to the National Press Club is calling for a $45 a week rise, that Senior business leaders gathered in Canberra to push for corporate tax cuts for business?

Yes they were out in all their collective capitalist hunger. Ian Narev CEO of Commonwealth Bank, Jennifer Westacott Chief Executive of BCA, Richard Goyder Managing Director of Wesfarmers, Joanne Farrell, Group Executive Rio Tinto, Grant King, President BCA, Alan Joyce CEO Qantas, Brent Eastwood CEO JBS, Catherine Tanna Managing Director Energy Australia and Andrew Mackenzie CEO of BHP in Parliament House yesterday afternoon.

Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

Even when inequality is acknowledged as a growing problem and low wage growth needs to be attended too, the government says go easy on any rise in the minimum wage.

Sally McManus was very effective in her speech and might yet reinvigorate the Trade Union Movement. The tax issue is like poison for the Government and McManus knows it.

“Wage theft is a new business model for far too many employers. Inequality in our country is now at a 70-year high. And 679 of our biggest corporations pay not one cent in tax.”

Using taxpayer’s money to fund huge tax cuts in company tax while at the same time you are cutting the wages of the lowest paid workers and opposing an increase in the minimum wages is proving to be a bloody hard sell.

Labor and the Unions on this issue are in the box seat to argue that in Malcolm Turnbull we have a very rich Prime Minister willing to support the big end of town while aiding and abetting the wilful destruction of the wages of the poor and at the same time allowing the rich and privileged of society to get away with paying no tax.

The Union movement and its membership has been stagnant for years now and inequality might be just the thing to revitalise it. The attacks on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in the Parliament have been practically brutal this week and the reciprocal attacks on Turnbull also. So much so that the Prime Minister really lost it on Wednesday in Question Time.

As strange as it seems all the cards seem to falling into place for Shorten. All he has to do is make sure he ends up with a full hand.

Married to all this is an interview by Melbourne broadcaster Neil Mitchell with Michaelia Cash where he attempted to make sense of the following statement in the Government’s submission on the minimum wage

People on $17.70 an hour are ”often found in high-income households”.

2 That raging ratbag Roberts was at it again in the Senate. The One Nation Senator was claiming that race hate laws were actually protecting Muslim criminals.

Would you believe that to Malcolm Roberts, Islamists are the real beneficiaries of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, comparing restrictions on race-hate speech to “Stalinist repression”.

“If your Muslim Sudanese neighbor is engaging in female genital mutilation or your Syrian Muslim cafe owner is a terrorist building a bomb or maybe just the Afghan Muslims in the public housing flat next to you are molesting small children, chances are that you are afraid to speak out,” he said.

“Ordinary, decent people are simply afraid to speak the truth.”

“We want to be able to call out Muslim drug dealers, child mutilators, hate preachers, terrorists and perverts.”

“The smug, elitist sense of superiority that infuses these koala-hugging commos appears to leave them without the slightest awareness of the terrible repression which they champion in their pursuit of ideological conformity with their own frankly anti-human world view,” he said.

On this day last year I wrote:

A Fellow right-winger Cory Bernardi in the meantime has raised the prospect of a split in the Liberal Party by laying the background for a new Conservative party. It’s clear to anyone who takes an interest in politics that internally the party is split into two groups. The Neo Conservative, Tea Party types, and old style Small L libs. Tim Costello got it right when he said the party was two parties in one. It’s a battle royal for the ascendency.

As it stands, despite having a leftish leader, too weak to lead, conservative policies are having their way. There are many examples of this. Only last week they shelved a promise to announce the plebiscite question on Marriage Equality until after it. The extremists are having their way. They want to frame the question to their own liking.

B Tony Abbott is forging ahead with his own right-wing agenda openly critical of anything outside of his own legacy, highlighting meetings with world leaders as he travels and he intends campaigning in his own right. What he misses of course is the extent of his own unpopularity.

John Hewson suggested:

”He won’t go away, so I think you give him a role. Define the role very carefully and encourage him to be judged by his performance,”

As if he would take a role that in any way diminished his ego.

Former Howard Minister Peter Reith suggested he keep his head down lest he lose his legacy.

C On top of all their other worries they still have the problem of Arthur Sinodinos to deal with. By any measure, including the pub test, Arthur doesn’t pass. It simply beggars belief that when he was finance director of the Liberal Party that he didn’t know about the intricate scheme to channel loads of illegal donations to his party.

His evidence at the ICAC enquiry was astonishing. It seemed that the poor Senator had an early onset of dementia, so bad was his memory. In fact one has to wonder how a person with such a poor memory could possibly serve in any capacity.

Surely now it’s time for a national ICAC.

Once these accusations surface they usually have a way of growing legs of their own, with an inevitable guilt ridden conclusion.

It’s all very well for Mike Baird and the PM to say just fess up and reveal who the donors were, but the implications in doing so may be very bad indeed if favours are seen to be involved.

D I have often wondered why it is that politicians address each other as honorable when it is obvious to most that they are not.

They are certainly not honorable when it comes to their expenses and the recent findings suggest that the proposed changes supported by the Government won’t make them less so. The proposed changes are an improvement but superficial at best.

My thought for the day.

“Everyone has a choice. You can either whinge about the issues of society or do something about them.”



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  1. Jerry

    Malcolm Roberts is like that tiny little yapping barking dog you know you could kick for 6 but you know you shouldn’t. Then you feel sorry for him because he’s so pathetic but you know he’ll be back for more.So you end up leaving the gate open or do something worse.

  2. Peter F

    Roberts: “We want to be able to call out Muslim drug dealers, child mutilators, hate preachers, terrorists and perverts”

    Doesn’t this idiot know the the correct place to ‘call out’ these people is at the local police station? This right has ALWAYS been with us.

    Anything else, including his generalisation is simply racism.

  3. Terry2

    As Sally McManus pointed out, $45 a week is a little over $1 an hour for a worker on the basic wage over a forty hour week : not such a big deal to a politician but it means a lot to a battler – even if they do live at home with mum and dad ??.

    McManus in her Press Club address was very dignified in destroying an attempt by News Corp to undermine her over an allegation that she had fudged her CV : it turned out that poor research by the Australian attack journalists got it so wrong.

    I am very impressed by Sally McMahon and her fact based assertions and her calm delivery even the PM is looking silly having said that he could not work with her : she says that she is prepared to work with anybody.

    Can we finally say that the IPA sponsored changes to Section 18C are dead, buried and cremated ?

  4. Ella Miller

    A sad reality check Mr. Lord.
    You forgot to mention that MSM have started a personal attack on Sally McManus I think it was the Australian…
    is it because she is a strong woman? I think it is more than that , she is prepared to take on corporate greed.
    It is a pity that not enough is done to take on dark political donations and expose their effects on policy making.
    As for giving Mr, Abbott a job….garbage collector seems appropriate to me.

  5. Arthur Tarry

    Time for a federal ICAC. Right. Why is there such resistance from politicians?

  6. Harquebus

    I’m all for ineffective leadership. When they get their way it usually ends up with us being screwed.

  7. Egalitarian

    Ella Miller The Australian an Exteme right wing racist Multinational groveling machine who is fed propaganda by our current inept and corrupt government.

    “Think of the press as a great keyboard ― on which the government can play.” Joseph Goebbels

  8. Johno

    My sentiments exactly re The Australian. Can’t stand the paper. I am always hounding my mum to stop her subscription.

  9. helvityni

    Isn’t Mr Roberts concerned about the crimes committed by our true-blue white citizens, or don’t we have any home-grown white drug dealers, tax-avoiders, wife-killers, Christian child molesters. Are all the white people white as the driven snow….?

  10. Egalitarian

    Johno Mums what to do with them? Habits are hard to break.We live in a Parallel Universe.

  11. Johno

    Malcolm Roberts = quintessential embarrassment.

  12. Keitha Granville

    Anyone who thought for a minute that this government would actually make meaningful chnages to pollies exepnsesis living in some alternative universe. And they will be ably supported by the Opposition because they don’t want to lose their perks either.
    This is one issue on which all parties are 100% together.

  13. win jeavons

    The not-so- honorable M.Roberts is not even worth $17.70 an hour, but a few fools elected him to get a much bigger reward. Time to revisit our priorities and core values!

  14. 1petermcc

    In a classic example of shooting themselves in the foot, The Australian called out McManus but didn’t fact check before going into print. (I’m assuming they have such a position but its hard to tell). In one fell swoop they exposed themselves as unreliable and partisan and at the same time promoted Sally as the person to look to for dealing with the imbalance in incomes. She simply called them out as in error and did it in style. No song and dance just pointed it out and dismissed them as not worth paying attention to.

    Beautifully done and I suspect really irritating for those of the poison pen to be so easily embarrassed.

  15. Kronomex

    Gosh, that $75.00 will pay one month of a quarterly power bill for me. Thank you, thank you Nick, you are my hero.

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