Friday 26 May 2017
1 Philanthropy is a virtuous thing and when given without accompanying issues of dishonesty, either true or perceived, the giver gives with a pure heart.
Therefore, because Forrest and Fortescue Metals Group have demonstrated an aversion to paying tax his donation is tainted with a feeling that he is only giving back what he has taken from the Australian taxpayer.
FMG officials told a Senate hearing in 2011 that the company had never paid company tax (but had paid $450m to $500m per year in mining royalties).
And of course his company has received enormous amounts of subsidies from the Australian Taxpayer to help him make his fortune.
Forgive me if I’m sounding a little cynical. I don’t mean to be because Twiggy Forests donation of $400 million (tax-deductible) to various institutions is a good thing. As to whether all the public clapping and government enthusiasm was necessary, is another. If given without all the fanfare then it is blessed with the grace of rightousness.
You might remember that in 2013 Twiggy was so averse to paying tax that he challenged the mining tax in the High Court and lost. It was pointed out in 2015 that FMG generated $9.1bn in sales on a taxable income of $208m, and paid just $13.2m in tax, which was less than the Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory.
Hearing the Prime Minister and hangers-on like Russell Crowe and Jack Thompson making the announcing $75m for early childhood development, $50m for regional communities, $75m for higher education, $75m for cancer research, and so on grated with me to the point where I questioned the need for all the glitz.
It lacked the dignity that a true philanthropic gift should have and in knowing that the donation may have been given with the best of intention, it will always be tainted with the fact that the person took willingly from the public purse and didn’t like to pay taxes.
”I never judge people but I do form my own opinions of course.”
2 Peter Dutton: Q&A a waste of taxpayers’ money but punting Abdel-Magied a start Immigration minister Peter Dutton says the ABC’s Q&A show is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
He took issue with the show, its direction and its effect on his blood pressure.
I think there is a fundamental problem with the ABC, particularly around Q&A, the composition of the audience, the selection of these people on the panel, the direction given it by Tony Jones, so you’re right, you’ve raised my blood pressure and I don’t watch it and honestly it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Asked by RayHadley about“punting” Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Dutton says:
Good. That’s a start. One down and many to go.
It’s an ongoing fascination with me as to how people opine about things the haven’t seen.
”There are three kinds of people. Those who know. Those who know when they are shown, and those who have no interest in knowing”
3 On this day last year I wrote:
There are no winners in this election. If the Polls are correct there can’t be. The latest Newspoll has the major parties too close to separate. In the House of Representatives the most likely outcome is a Coalition win with a greatly reduced majority. Labor could win by a whisker or we could have another hung parliament.
If the Coalition win with a small margin Malcolm Turnbull will also have lost and still be captive to those in his party who have destroyed old Liberalism and become neo conservatives. He would have had a victory of dubious legitimacy.
At present he has a 30-seat majority of which he stands to lose most. Abbott won it and Turnbull goes into this election with Abbott’s policies and he is delivering them with the same Abbott mendaciousness.
If Shorten wins narrowly he could govern, but he could never claim a mandate. If the Greens or Xenophen hold the balance of power, well who knows? But the country is the loser.
So given that Turnbull scrapes in both he and the country lose because he will still be beholding to those elements of his party who adhere to the policies so inappropriate for our future. Policies that are born of discredited neo conservative unfairness, inequality and voodoo economics.
Policies that Turnbull won’t believe in. He would lead a party internally hostile toward him with Abbott waiting in the wings for the opportune time to challenge even though his first crack at the leadership was a dismal failure.
Or as they look to the next election they might even turn to Scott Morrison.
Even though Labor could win with a very small majority it is hard to see them winning the necessary seats. 23 seats is a big mountain to climb.
At best if the result was drawn it could form a minority government as was the case in 2010. Although one has to say that it was effective, despite opinions to the contrary. The Greens have high expectations of forming Government with Labor and even wanting a minister and when push comes to shove Labor would not refuse a Coalition, however, at this stage that is very much crystal balling.
The Senate is wading into deep water and with the new voting system it is impossible to predict anything. We could even end up with a Senate not much different to the last. The fact that voters will now be, in the main, making up their own minds means we are headed into a fog of unknown concentration.
There is still much water to flow under the proverbial bridge. Another five weeks of it, actually.
My thought for the day.
”We can learn so much from people we disagree with that it is a wonder we don’t do it more often”