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Fly United?

Bill Shorten has said “The only thing standing in the way of Tony Abbott winning another term in 2016 is our ability to stand together.”

I disagree.

I don’t want to just be part of a group standing there waiting for Abbott to implode. I want to rage against every injustice.  I want to expose the lies and hypocrisy.  I want to discuss what we must do to protect vulnerable people and a vulnerable planet.  Instead of the future of the budget, I want vision for the future of society to become the narrative.  I want our priorities reassessed.

The increasing level of government secrecy is very concerning. They have given themselves the right to snoop on all of us at the same time as legislating to convict journalists and whistleblowers who report on things that might embarrass our government, now called “special intelligence operations”, and designated as such by a politician.

This was supported by both major parties, as was the dismissal of the need for any form of federal ICAC.

Free Trade Agreements will be negotiated in secret but other countries’ private discussions will be bugged, not that we can report on that anymore.

Buying entry to a Minister’s office is acceptable.  Running campaigns is a costly business and if we didn’t get the money from developers and lobby groups then the public would have to pay for us to run.

Corruption? What corruption?  We don’t need no stinkin’ oversight!

We have seen this government’s willingness to circumvent high court rulings in cases regarding asylum seekers and school chaplains. Environmental protections are falling faster than old growth trees.

If the law is to be ignored, or changed without debate, and the journalists are silenced, we have created a fertile environment for exploitation.

Speaking of which, did you hear the one about companies paying tax? No?  Neither did I.

Both major parties want to decrease company tax. Gillard delayed it when the mining tax raised less than expected but Hockey is not only giving up the revenue from the mining tax, he also said in his budget speech

“To improve business opportunities, we are cutting company tax by 1.5 percentage points for around 800,000 businesses.”

One wonders why both parties consider this a priority when a recently released report shows companies gave themselves a far bigger cut by hiring good accountants. The report claims up to $80 billion was foregone by the taxman between 2004 and 2013.

“Almost 60 per cent of the ASX 200 declare subsidiaries in tax havens. For example, global broadcaster 21st Century Fox has 117 and logistics group Toll Holdings 72 in low-tax jurisdictions, including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and Singapore.

Nearly a third of companies have an average “effective tax rate” of 10 per cent or less.

James Hardie pays an effective rate of 0 per cent tax, Sydney Airport 2 per cent and Echo Entertainment – owner of Sydney’s Star Casino – a mere 5 per cent.”

When asked about the report this morning, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Australia had some of the toughest anti-tax avoidance laws in the world.  Oh really?  I can tell you from personal experience, they pursue someone who gets overpaid on Family Tax Benefit far more assiduously than they do our big players who are being offered an amnesty if they just come home…all’s forgiven.  Taking on a team of lawyers and accountants is far harder than pursuing someone who underestimated their future yearly earnings by $1000.

But the most disappointing display of bipartisanship for me is watching Richard Marles compete with Scott Morrison for the credit for the “PNG solution”. I refuse to believe there is no better way.  Why can’t we process people in Indonesia and Malaysia and fly them here?  If this is about “breaking the business model of the people smugglers”, who’s going to pay to risk their lives on a leaky boat if they can fly Qantas?

Instead we send families and unaccompanied children to Nauru who are officially out of cash.

“Nauru’s finance minister says the country is out of money and services will soon start shutting down, including those for refugees.”

Or Cambodia whose corrupt officials are rubbing their hands together at the promise of $40 million to take 5 people on trial.

Or PNG where they are supposed to resettle peacefully with the locals who beat one of them to death and sent many more to hospital.

Foreign Aid has morphed into bribes to absolve ourselves of our responsibility as a signatory to the Refugee Convention.

So Mr Shorten, there are a few reasons why I cannot currently stand together with you. At the moment I see us flying united in the wrong direction for the wrong reasons.  If you would like to take a step or two towards integrity then perhaps we can meet somewhere and talk turkey.

42 comments

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  1. Wayne Rowles

    I think the end of fairness and a fair go is drawing to a close,Abbott is hell bent on moulding this country into little United States.Where nearly every service is controlled by companies,the shock of things too come will put an end to all that is held dear by a compassionate and caring society.Even those that voted LNP will be in a state of shock;especially pensioners,they’ll see their pensions and entitlements severely eroded away by this voracious government.All I can say is God help us all;we’re going to need help,like never before,R.I.P a decent fair country.

  2. Anne Byam

    Kaye …. great article. BUT … you must find a way to get it to Bill Shorten – because what you say is spot on – and needs to be heard – by particularly him AND the entire Labor Party.

    I don’t know if you took your first sentence from my previous post, or whether you got it by email yourself. It doesn’t matter …. he is contactable through the Labor Party website ….

    If I could write a fairly strongly worded email to him – you SURELY could. He has asked – you could reply. No use preaching to the converted here – although I think some are ‘unconverted’ …. perhaps doing a little trolling as well at times, under subterfuge ?? ….

    Link …… and then look under Contact to – “send an email” ….. all to be found here : http://www.alp.org.au/bill_shorten

    In my own email to him, I addressed the concern I had for people drifting away from Labor in their comments on websites / on-line blogs and on-line news magazines.

    Perhaps you could alter your article to address him outright – perhaps without threatening to leave Labor.

    …………..HE NEEDS TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY………………

    As for the first sentence. You disagree …. but it was only the first sentence – there was more to the request for assistance ( not money ) …. than just that. Mind you, I think the email to Labor supporters could well have been framed in slightly stronger terms …. but he’s walking a bit of a tight-rope at the moment, both of his own making, but particularly that of the incumbent pack of mongrels, pulling strings.

    And he doesn’t want to further alienate Labor followers. I don’t know if he wrote it himself, or one of his staff did …. but it was sent under his name.

    Good luck ….. hope you get your message across to Labor and Bill Shorten.

  3. John Kelly

    It is hard to see how the latest report on tax paid by our major companies won’t cause a public outrage. But if it doesn’t, our collective apathy will have reached new heights.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Hi ho, hi ho. it’s off to war we go. Local jihadists waiting under your bed to behead you. What company tax?

  5. babyjewels10

    Kaye Lee for Prime Minister! 🙂

  6. Matters Not

    I don’t know if he wrote it himself, or one of his staff did

    You can bet the rent that one of his staff did. Leaders are too busy to write letters or speeches. And usually they don’t read correspondence either, only brief summaries of same.

    Shorten will never be a great charismatic leader. He’s just pedestrian and I he think he knows it. This lack of charisma doesn’t mean he can’t win because one only has to point to Abbott, but his best hope is that Abbott will ‘lose’ which is entirely possible.

    Shorten simply doesn’t want to make mistakes. Small target and all that. Sad really. He will be a default PM at best.

    Good article Kaye.

    The ALP should attack the inertia of the current government in regard to tax avoidance but are handicapped by their own inaction.

  7. Terry2

    It seems that the Cambodians have well and truly done over Scott Morrison, having achieved a $40million dollar ‘untied’ increase in aid over four years with possibly four or maybe five refugees being relocated in the next twelve months.

    Apart from being an appalling policy it seems that it has fallen at the first hurdle and I doubt that you’ll see Morrison quaffing cheap champagne with the Cambodians again. Indeed, I don’t think you will hear much about this travesty of a policy again.

    Interesting that the budget included a reduction in company tax at a time when we are experiencing a budget emergency. Now, reliable data shows that our major listed corporation are involved in tax avoidance with very little comment from this government.

    There is so much ammunition for Labor to exploit but with the mainstream media missing in action and the ABC minding its P’s and Q’s there is very little opportunity to expose the deception and bungling by this government: very different to the Gillard days.

  8. Kaye Lee

    I should have added in the bipartisan whoring to defence spending. I know people will disagree with me but let’s get real here, it’s a numbers game. I in no way question the bravery, expertise, or commitment of the ADF but consider the population and capabilities of the regional players. We are window dressing but at a huge cost. The military get so much money they have to think of ways to spend it. Our officer to enlisted ratio is one of the highest in the world. The waste is stupendous. Our “biggest air deployment since Vietnam” is carrying out training exercises in the UAE. Defence white papers are empire-building wish-lists that successive governments have acceded to.

  9. stephentardrew

    I do not disagree with you Kaye. Bloody war will only stop when we stop building weapons and selling them of to the nearest bidder goodies or baddies. Its a bloody industry no less.

  10. John Fraser

    <

    Shorten's a tosser.

    Waiting for P.M. Baldrick to give his fireside chat about his war.

  11. Don Winther

    stephentardrew, we dont build weapons here we buy them. War makes the USA, Russia and China lots of money but it costs us a fortune. We sell iron-ore and wheat and buy in everything else because we dont like industry, it gets our hands dirty and its a bit smelly and it makes a yucky noise. Oh and it used to employed lots of highly skilled people.

  12. kathysutherland2013

    This was great, Kaye. You’ve shown all the passion that has been lacking in our parliamentarians.

  13. David

    John I wont be adding to the save lateline petition. Majority of ABC jurnos/presenters.have brought the current situation on themselves. They have been doing Abbotts bidding for the last 4 yrs trying to curry favour and this is the result. As they say in the classics..’suck it suckers’.
    Had you followed your Charter, I would have no hesitation in supporting, you blew it.

  14. Matters Not

    John Fraser, I’m not sure I want to sign a petition saving Lateline, particularly with Emma Alberici as host. But yes I did, mainly because Abbott promised that there would be:

    “No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

    Lest we forget! Not that I ever will.

    BTW, it’s a mantra that the ALP could, and perhaps should, include in each and every press release. You have to “say it again Sam”. And then say it again, and again, and again, and ag …

    In other words, learn from Abbott, particularly when you lack the wit and wisdom to develop a new, effective and affective strategy.

  15. Kaye Lee

    There will be no new spending under a Coalition government that’s not fully-costed and fully-funded.

    We will be a no surprises, no excuses government, because you are sick of nasty surprises and lame excuses from people that you have trusted with your future…

    An incoming Coalition cabinet will respect the limits of government as well as its potential and will never seek to divide Australian against Australian on the basis of class, gender, or where people were born.

    This election is all about trust.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN-hbWVXsyE

  16. Carol Taylor

    John and Matters Not, plus it was excellent to have the Libs own slogan turned back onto them regarding tax avoidance – the lifters and the leaners.

    As far as Shorten goes, from what I’ve seen of him, or rather the little which the Murdoch media permits us to see of him, I found him thoughtful, considered and probably way, way far too intelligent for the average viewer. However, as per Gillard, if he believes that he can just ride in on a crest of dismal Liberal Party stuff-ups, then he’s in for a rude awakening. Too late did Gillard discover that there is an entire world of *good publicity* waiting out there, it’s called the social media. Could it be that certain advisers pooh-pooh the idea because they care about their own jobs rather then getting Labor’s message out there?

  17. corvus boreus

    David,
    I fundamentally disagree with your conclusion.
    However flawed, undermined and politicised it has become, our national broadcaster is our main source of public information, disseminated without obvious commercial motivations and attendant blatant biases.
    Without it, we are left with Newscorp(retches), Fairfax(cringes), and the internet(looks warily over shoulder).

  18. Don Winther

    Those birds look a bit like Obama and Abbott.

  19. Matters Not

    Carol Taylor, I’ve been around politics and politicians for much of my 70 years. Some politicians could ‘light up a room’ as soon as they entered. Here I will include Kim Beazley at the Federal level, for example, and Peter Beattie at the State level. They had ‘it’, but they weren’t always good/successful politicians. I also worked with Rudd when he was a State bureaucrat. While he had a mind like the metaphorical steel trap, he was also an ar@ehole. I was surprised when they made him their leader, given that people like Swan (as State Secretary) had worked with him for years. Desperate times etc.

    The point being that there’s no certainty in politics when it comes to predicting successful leaders. I never thought for a minute that Australians would ever elect an Abbott led government but they did.

    So Shorten could be the next PM and in many ways I hope he is and the sooner the better. But I don’t think he will be successful through ‘inspiration’. More’s the pity.

  20. randalstella

    Save the supercilious swindlers at LateLine? Plenty of ABC staff would give that petition a miss.
    Surely we can let one Tory enclave of liars suffer for their success? Otherwise how is the ABC to learn? Labor won’t teach them.

  21. Garth

    Kaye, I’m sure this would have been asked of you before so if that’s the case I apologise… have you tried shopping your articles to a more mainstream media organisation to see if they will publish them? I have the utmost respect for AIMN and other independent sites but I fear many readers are simply getting confirmation of what they already know. You have excellent research skills, and more than that, a way of distilling and presenting information in a way that makes it confronting, persuading and accessible for all. I would love to see journalism of your quality reach a wider audience. Please don’t stop writing for AIMN though… Love your work!

  22. John Fraser

    <

    @Matters Not

    +1

    Only your last paragraph I disagree with.

    Then again I too thought Abbott would never become Prime Minister Baldrick.

  23. Anne Byam

    @ Matters not ……….. September 29, 2014 at 5:46 pm – – – your comment.

    I agree – – perhaps. That one of Shorten’s staff compiled and delivered that email. However, I have had the experience of personal interaction, via email admittedly, from the Victorian Premier.

    The reason I can say this ?…….is because I knew what I was talking about in my email to him. And as a veterinarian, HE knew it. So he responded under his own signature and date, via .pdf. He HAD to. ( it had to do with jumps racing in Victoria, and perhaps would be of little interest to those here ) …. however, having been a rider with much equestrian & jumps experience myself, I put it very hard and fast to the Premier of Victoria, who happens to also be the Minister for Racing !! , about proper balance for a horse approaching a jump – and many other intricate details about gathering and approach to a jump that can be interfered with by other horses in close proximity. That can be catastrophic. BUT —– that is neither here nor there in this thread.

    I only introduced that as a sign that a politician WILL respond under signature, to someone who has a real and creditable query about a situation. If you research a subject thoroughly, you CAN ellcit a response. In my case, I didn’t have to do much research – experience counted. But the Premier of Victoria, knew he had a monster on his back ….. and responded, reasonably – a few explanations, a reference to the past Labor Government in Victoria !! ( of course ), but generally a well formed reply to my blast at him.

    ———-

    Don’t EVER think they won’t respond. They will, if they believe it to be in their best interests, and it is up to the writer to challenge them, and force a ‘best interests’ response. Of course, a response will always be on their own side – but isn’t that the underscore of debate ?
    And doesn’t that tell an elected Parliamentarian something. ………. If they get enough of the ‘blahs’ from people, they WILL sit up and take notice. They have to.

    Debate – honest debate seems to have disappeared TO A DEGREE on this website. Which is a damned shame. Before blasting back at me, remember I said “TO A DEGREE”.

    Please let’s keep this thread positive …. and try to find a way to assist the Labor Party to stand up and be counted – instead of slamming it down ( on many occasions – at every opportunity ). I don’t count this particular article as the main contender in anti-Labor comment, but also to some other commenters on other article threads I have seen lately.

    There seems to have been a decided back-lash against Labor in the past week or two on AIM …. and that is alarming.

    Put your words into action and contact your local constituent. They WILL listen …. if enough is slammed at them. …. Their career ( if nothing else ) depends on it.

    And always remember – it is politicians we are dealing with. ……. Deal with them.

  24. Anne Byam

    @ Garth ……. I totally and absolutely agree with all you have said to Kaye.

  25. Anne Byam

    To Carol Taylor ………… very well said.

  26. Anna Sorensen

    I would sign a petition trying to saving Bush Telegraph, I ran into the producer the other day and she was obviously devastated. These small but important radio shows are part of what keeps the ABC from being solely another propaganda arm for the Liberal Party. Lateline with Alberici has been an extension of the Liberal PR machine for years as is 7.30 despite a brief respite with Ferguson filling in. Think the Bourkes and the Lanes, it’s been a tragic display of incompetence and obvious bias which most good people have come to expect from Murdoch, but the ABC? The Charter became irrelevant a long time ago, Howard’s dirty work can explain much. We need the ABC, but the ABC has a lot to answer for. Scott has been a disaster. No I won’t sign the Lateline petition. I hope Emma has to pick up a stinking ASO 5 temp contract writing media releases.

  27. Kaye Lee

    “Debate – honest debate seems to have disappeared TO A DEGREE on this website. Which is a damned shame….Please let’s keep this thread positive …. and try to find a way to assist the Labor Party to stand up and be counted – instead of slamming it down.”

    I do not understand this comment. Are you asking me to accept things with which I disagree just to show solidarity with a party who is disappointing me? Honest debate is exactly what I am trying to achieve. The Labor Party needs to differentiate itself from the Coalition. It needs to offer us alternatives. There is no way in the world that I will vote for an Abbott government but I also cannot support policies such as those discussed in this article.

    Shorten’s refusal to back a Federal ICAC concerns me greatly. It would be a way to win back the trust of the people. Neither party sees a problem with accepting money from individuals and groups with vested interests. If they were a union taking that cash they would be before a Royal Commission. We hear talk about cracking down on tax avoidance but the truth of the matter is that neither party are game to upset Rupert and the like by closing the loopholes that allow them to ‘legally’ avoid paying what they should. Shorten is unquestioningly going along with the new ‘war on terror’. I understand the threat posed by ISIS and agree something must be done but the very public domestic campaign against local jihadis is an orchestrated PR exercise that just evokes cynicism. As they continually tell us, our police and intelligence services are doing their job well in quashing unrest before it happens but since when did intelligence operations release film clips of raids showing people who have not been charged with any offence and their homes? The papers even printed a picture of the wrong person in a story about the young man who stabbed 2 policemen. The father of the boy in the photo said his son is devastated and has not stopped crying ever since. This approach is doing a great deal to stir up tension in our community unnecessarily and I can only assume it is being done for political reasons. You are all in danger and we are here to save you.

    I am not writing these articles to slam Labor down – I am pleading with them to become a party for whom I can vote.

  28. randalstella

    Thank you Anna Sorensen, for your post on the rotten state of the ABC.
    An opinion with experience, well beyond the experience of just posting Opinion.
    Far more people with such experience are needed.

  29. Jeanette

    I’m so depressed at reading this article because it’s true. I’m not proud to call myself an Australian. We were a compassionate country once upon a time. As for Bill Shorten, I despair, is there no one in Labor man or woman who’s 6ft. tall, a booming voice and balls to stand up to maniac Abbott.

  30. Kaye Makovec

    “I don’t want to just be part of a group standing there waiting for Abbott to implode. I want to rage against every injustice. I want to expose the lies and hypocrisy. I want to discuss what we must do to protect vulnerable people and a vulnerable planet. Instead of the future of the budget, I want vision for the future of society to become the narrative. I want our priorities reassessed.”

    “I am not writing these articles to slam Labor down – I am pleading with them to become a party for whom I can vote.”

    And so say many of us.

    PS. I signed the petition as I will sign any petition to save the ABC.

  31. Anne Byam

    To Kaye Lee …. your comment ( September 30, 2014 at 8:25 am ) …. PLEASE READ the following …..

    Having quoted something I said in one of my posts. …… Let me put it this way.

    If I had listed the people I have seen on the AIM Network – over dozens of articles, who slam at Labor continuously – rightly or wrongly,

    …………..YOU would N.O.T have been on that list.

    I also added the words “TO A DEGREE” ( about disappearance of honest debate here ) …. and MORE importantly, I specifically stated the following :

    ” I don’t count this particular article as the main contender in anti-Labor comment, but also to some other commenters on other article threads I have seen lately.” ………. the word ‘also’ was not meant to remain there – in editing, I missed changing it to ‘only’. Have often found words left by mistake when a thought changed …. many people make thought / typing errors.

    Unfortunately Kaye, you took my remarks rather personally …. and of COURSE I don’t ask you “TO ACCEPT THINGS YOU DON’T AGREE WITH “….. for gosh sakes.

    You are one of the hardest workers, writers and positive thinking people on here. I have never seen any article or comment you have ever written that does not endeavoiur to engender proper debate … and learning.

    You might not have read my post ( September 29, 2014 at 5:14 pm ) where I virtually IMPLORE you to send your article somehow to Shorten himself. I supplied a link for you to use – for his email address. It is the second comment made on this thread, please read that if you missed it. I commented there that your article is ‘spot on’.

    I am not sucking up here – I don’t do ‘suck up’.

    I repeat :

    …………..HE NEEDS TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY……………… ( ‘he’ being Bill Shorten ).

    Just hope you understand that my remarks were most definitely NOT aimed at you.

  32. Matthew Oborne

    traffic lights, colour bond and other issues, traffic lights are often the subject of government desires to keep the street where they dine alfresco quieter or direct large volumes towards something the powers that be want noticed, yet that conflicts with the original reason we have traffic lights, for safety and to ease congestion, the right turn that has a camera has been noted to turn orange quicker than right turns that dont have a traffic camera. Colourbond is required by many areas as the only acceptable fencing, yet governments are not allowed to spruik particular products in such a way. Skip ahead to a future of driverless cars, how will the government tell your vehicle to get from A to B? will they have routes for the wealthy and powerful and routes for the poor? will a driver less car take you places against your will? If you are Muslim will your car take a route avoiding landmarks?

    Our country is lurching to the right but what will our future hold? Our future has been sold short before and it is being sold short again. we havent regained rights lost under the last Liberal government and now they are on track to take away more rights. A country whose laws wont require proof to impose restrictions, wont require a court case, and is at the discretion of ministers in what will be an arbitrary system of what is deemed legal and illegal, and illegal wont require the checks and balances. Will what you do inside your home be targetted this time, In home activities is the golden goose and 1984. One thing is sure never underestimate a governments desire to mess with your lives, they promised us more freedom. Yet sold us more fear than ever before.

    Why isnt Labor standing up to this onslaught? is Shorten being Abbott Lite, because if he is we want full strength original recipe Labor,

    the one that gave workers rights and gave the working class a future, the one that created a middle class.

    will our lives be cream colourbond and cars that take us to work via routes appropriate for our status in society and how much of a threat we appear to be? while we nervously await if our bosses find out if our social media ideologies clash with company ideology? Could be our future either way if Labor keep playing the safe game.

  33. Terry2

    Seems that Nauru is now officially insolvent and that explains why Morrison was in such a hurry to start shifting refugees to Cambodia – the Cambodians have since thwarted that plan.

    Morrison is busily looking for another Pacific Island to imprison these wretched people : Pitcairn perhaps !

  34. Kaye Makovec

    How about Malaysia?

    She said sardonically.

  35. John Fraser

    <

    History will not be kind to Morrison.

    People will be saying …. "how could anyone be proud that they stopped refugees from coming to Australia ?"

    No ones laughing with Hockey now.

  36. David

    Agree John and one of the reasons why Mr Shorten is not the punters choice as leader. He hasn’t got the danglers to go to the party and tell them to change the absurd off shore processing policy. As with the latest Abbott wedge on terrorism and troops in Iraq and/or wherever, his submission over journalists and ‘our’ freedom of speech, Abbott has got him right up the crotch and counting.

  37. randalstella

    The claim is made so often that the existence of the ABC is literally under threat – from without. Whoever is in Government.
    Care needs to taken with any petition to ‘Save Our ABC’ that this is not just the political spin and manoeuvres of management: e.g. “Save Lateline!”.
    Otherwise –
    A vote to “Save Our ABC” is a vote for the Tories who run it.
    It is a vote against those remaining who dare still to argue for independent function.
    It is a vote for TV celebs over radio workers.
    It is a vote for Entertainment values over substance.
    It is a vote for the allocation of resources to 24-hour per day High Definition News inanity, recycled derivative pap; that suits the powerful and corporate interests.
    It is a vote for self-appointed deriding comedians over people who would prefer to tell the whole truth fairly.
    It is a vote for ‘At Home with Julia’ – and silence on any sustained ‘satire’ on the peculiar menacing boofhead now PM, and his ‘gifted’ kids.
    It is a vote for arrant panel-gabfests, over investigative reporting.
    It is a vote for 4 Corners to continue to avoid inquiries into the heart of Aust. politics and its vested interests.
    It is a vote for the internal machinations and menace that keep things that way.
    It is a vote for ‘The Business’ that caps Lateline.
    It is a vote for the entrenched assumption of the IPA as objective and expert commentators.
    It is a vote for the Breakfast Shows on RN and TV to persist in reading to air the Murdoch headlines and slant as Gospel, to the exclusion of what really goes on.

    It is a vote for the most corrupt accountability processes I have ever encountered. And I’ve dealt with corrupt cops.

    It is a vote that plays a Political game and does not engage political realities.
    It is a vote against the much-overdue review of the running of the ABC, for the sake of fair report and tax-payer funded probity.
    It is a vote against funding what should matter, influential cultural autonomy.

    Are the LNP leadership so stupid that they would actually seek to close down their most reliably entrenched supporters in the MSM; the insinuators of reaction, the final confirmers that there is no alternative to their agenda and terms of debate?
    Instead they will continue to threaten reprisal to keep its eager supporters within the ABC on their toes, and in charge; flattening any hint of internal dissent with drastic internal notices.

  38. David

    Precisely!!! Every point you make is spot on and now the jurnos in fear of losing their huge salaries for doing SFA have decided to scream help when they think, think mind you their precious protected world under the Tory stooge Scott will come crumbling down. 98% of the rhetoric is Govt bluff

  39. Kaye Lee

    The senator who defended the rights of smokers and said they were being disproportionately slugged through tobacco taxes has confirmed his party accepted donations from tobacco giant Phillip Morris.

    Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm confirmed the donation to Fairfax Media and said while he could not recall the exact amount given to his party by the tobacco company, it was in the “tens of thousands”.

    And in a provocative comment, said the donations had influenced his stance on plain packaging.

    “We are very pleased to receive the donations and we hope to receive them from the other tobacco companies,” he said.

    Speaking about the tobacco excise

    “Those who would tell us how to live, back this flagrant theft, not because they’re prone to agree with [Prime Minister] Tony Abbott, but because they are troubled by the worrying thought that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

    “Those havers of good times, smokers of Australia, are you.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/phillip-morris-donated-to-liberal-democrat-senator-david-leyonhjelm-20141001-10oux4.html#ixzz3EwT5mWEF

    And this guy is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to sit in Parliament spruiking the tobacco lobby’s voice.

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