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I’m flying myself to the footy and I’m wearing Hugo Boss, so suck it up you sexist socialist serfs

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday made a desperate attempt to staunch the bleeding from wounds inflicted on his government by his own ministers thieving from the public purse for personal gain.

An independent parliamentary expenses authority will be a compliance, reporting and transparency body, he said, applying the tourniquet.

It will monitor and adjudicate all claims by MPs, senators and ministers, ensuring that taxpayers’ funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules…

The sacrifice intended to appease the howling socialist, sexist pack of rabid dogs is former Health Minister Sussan Ley, whose cavorting between capital cities in a hired plane piloted by her own self, cost us thousands more than if she’d taken commercial flights along the same routes.

(By the way, the above link is to a quote from Bronwyn Bishop, late Speaker of the House, now quite settled into her spot in the Sky News Graveyard for Former Politicians, along with the likes of Ross Cameron and Mark Latham. Bishop, you might recall, was also finally brought undone by her penchant for helicopters as a means of transport, and feels Ms Ley’s pain.)

Fairfax intimated that Ley exploited her ministerial position to up her flying hours, and fulfil CASA requirements for commercial pilots.

When confronted with evidence that he’d attended the footy in 2013 at our expense, Minister for Trade Steve Ciobo brazenly declared that people expect Trade Ministers to show up at such events as part of their job description. Unfortunately for Mr Ciobo, it was later revealed that at the time he wasn’t the Trade Minister at all, merely a lowly back bencher with aspirations. Proving, to my mind, the validity of deep and raucous public suspicions of the justifications trotted out by politicians for entertaining themselves at our expense.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop impulsively cancelled a long-planned appearance at the Portsea Polo when it emerged that last year she attended, with her partner, at a cost of some $3000 to the taxpayer. No doubt she has Ms Ley to blame for ruining her Saturday. The Foreign Minister was to have been dressed for the occasion by couturier Hugo Boss. The story took a totally unexpected turn when it was revealed with much mirth on Twitter that the Boss fashion house was also responsible for outfitting the SS in Nazi Germany.

It’s a terrible indictment of our 45th Parliament that ministers can’t be trusted to properly manage their expenses. These people are elected to take responsibility for our budget, our legislation, our daily lives, and our country’s future. Yet they cannot be trusted with public money. They are thieves. They ought to be referred to the AFP, investigated and if necessary, charged with fraud.

In Gough Whitlam’s day, politicians were forced to fly economy class as their contribution to reducing the deficit. To paraphrase the man, a pissant is still a pissant even if it flies first class. Or its own plane. Dressed in Hugo Boss. To the footy or a wedding or a book launch or, in the case of Kevin Andrews, a prayer meeting in the USA.

If these people want to live the capitalist dream they need to clear off out of politics and get jobs in the private sector. Politicians are not celebrities or high-flying CEOs. We are not their customers, their clients or their share-holders. We are their employers, and they are servants of the public. That’s neither sexist nor socialist. It’s democracy.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.


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  1. Carol Taylor

    And they still don’t get it. Detail of the many sojourns by Mathias Cormann to Broome and Cable Beach includes that he attended local Liberal Party meetings. No Mathias, meetings of the Liberal Party do not relate to business of the parliament. Didn’t B. Bishop and choppergate give you a clue about that one.

  2. Carol Taylor

    All praise apparently for Turnbull, who has finally taken “decisive action” (according to some in the msm). So decisive that he sat on the report since February last year.

  3. Ginny Lowndes

    Well, you got to start somewhere, don’t you? I’ve just written to my MP about climate change, global warming, environment and education. Feel free to use or adapt.

    Dear (insert name)

    As my representative would you tell me:

    How many STEM, science graduates or scientifically literate people work in your office, other MP offices or for the (political party)?

    If there are only a few, would you tell me if the (political party) are going to actively recruit them in the very near future to help disseminate factual information and/or propose solutions about global warming, climate change, environment and education?

    Are you actively recruiting atheists to (political party) positions and parliament to balance the malevolent medieval mistrust of science and learning that currently imposes inactivity on global warming, climate change, the environment and education?

    Thank you.

  4. bobrafto

    With most things an evolutionary change is happening and one can’t help notice the evolution of politicians in as much as their noses have evolved into elongated snouts that enables them to pig out in the treasury coffers.

  5. 245179

    Mr turnbull, you really are a shallow individual. I really have contempt for you now.

  6. Ella Miller

    “Foreign Minister Julie Bishop cancelled…appearance at Portsea Polo”
    She is very good at strutting her stuff on the world stage at our expense!!!! That is bad enough BUT..
    her insatiable appetite for the ‘good life’ is beyond belief.
    It is easy to live the good life on other people’s money !!!!

  7. Gangey1959

    Too little, too late, and they still think that we are (that) stupid.
    YOU should have quit, talcum.
    When ley’s story first broke.
    It’s not like you are in it for the money, and you are a cardboard cutout pm who wont go down on history’s page as anything at all.
    Quitting would have given you your bollocks back.
    Sad really.

  8. Desiree Lyons

    I have noticed it is the liberal side of politics being caught out in larger numbers than the other parties. I would love someone to do a proper comparison, dating back say 5 years. Anyway, this just makes me think that is why the rich get richer, they never spend their own money unless they really have to

  9. Catriona Thoolen

    I don’t want Turnbull’s group to oversee politicians ‘work expenses’.

    I want politicians who do not require someone to explain what is right and what is wrong.

    Is that too much to ask?

  10. Roswell

    Jennifer, I’m convinced that you, Kaye Lee, Eva Cripps and Victoria Rollison are amongst the best female writers in the independent media.

  11. Bill Shaw

    I agree Roswell.

  12. Tanya

    What about all does Office upgrades the had too have what cost us millions Barnaby Nearly $800000.00 and Gillard $750000.00 does that not count also Barnaby was also the Biggest Spender(and He is for Live Export) why just single out one

  13. Keitha Granville

    Hear hear Roswell, absolutely right. Any of those ladies for PM.
    No wonder the SS looked so good, always in impeccable uniforms
    They have to be stopped, this flagrant abuse of public money has to be stopped.
    I suggest the Swedish system might be a place to start. Google it.

  14. Terry2

    Senators get an electorate allowance depending on the size of their electorate and, of course, a Senator has responsibility for the entire state or territory that he or she represents :

    Electorates of less than 2,000km2 $32,000
    Electorates of 2,000km2 to 4,999km2 $38,000
    Electorates of 5,000km2 or more $46,000

    So, as I understand it, they don’t have to account for how they spend that allowance but is Cormann claiming expenses on top of that allowance with his trips to Broome ?

    Sussan Ley is a different case as she was charging the taxpayer for umpteen trips to the Gold Coast which is well away from her electorate of Farrer in Southern NSW.

  15. Alison White

    I wonder, do I HATE them as much as they obviously, demonstrably and intensely LOATHE us???

  16. George Swalwell

    A splendid, savage attack on recent financial splurges by government ministers
    and other rorters.

    Yes indeed, politicians (Ministers or back-benchers) are not CEOs or “stars” to be
    whisked around the country by jets (private or commercial – first class of course) –
    they are elected to SERVE the people, not the other way round.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    And the MSM as usual are attempting to help Turnbull. Their reporting is of “Turnbull’s parliamentary entitlement reforms.”

    They are not Turnbull’s reforms at all but 36 recommendations made by a review forced on Abbott by public backlash and opposition parties on the back of Bromwyn Bishop blatantly and unashamedly rorting entitlements. A review Turnbull thought so important he ignored it until yet another Liberal minister abused their entitlements by unashamedly stealing from the public purse. A review so important to Turnbull that he, like Abbott, is only acting because of public and opposition backlash on his ministers’ failures.

    They are also helping by making sure they mention the Labor ministers like Burke who have rorted the system, sometimes ahead of the L-NP ministers, though as is being revealed the rorting is overwhelmingly being done by the LN-P.

  18. James Mason

    Make ALL politicians pay for their own travel and then apply for a refund, that fits all the criteria set down by the ATO/’Independent Payments Office’/’Public Accountability Office’ or whatever it will/would be called, but not organised or operated by pollies or their ‘mates’ ..

  19. Slapsy

    Only one question to ask regarding Truffle’s new organisation. Who will set the rules?

  20. LOVO

    …and who will write the loopholes 🙄

  21. David Bruce

    I sent this to, seems appropriate here:

    I started paying taxes in 1962 when I was 16, and retired from full time work in 2010. It makes my blood boil when I see the scumbags freely rorting their system, and then killing Christmas for so many people dependent on pensions for survival! Every politician needs to attend and be subjected to Competency Based Assessment on Ethical Behaviour 101! We need a new system in Australia to provide every adult citizen with a living wage of at least $600 per week, funded by the corporations who have been raping and pillaging Australian assets at relatively low cost. I could go on and on, but enough is enough!

  22. kerri

    Once upon a time the Portsea Polo was actually a really good function.
    Not long after it began we got an invitation from friends (very wealthy and quite snobbish friends). We took our esky and camp chairs and hats and sunscreen and like everyone else parked the other side of the polo pitch and dragged everything over to a ringside seat where we drank, ate, enjoyed the company of others and for me learned what polo was all about. The entire event was run by the Portsea Surf Lifesavers to raise money to help them in their work. The players were volunteers (very wealthy volunteers) happy to get a game and give their horses some exercise and happy to support their local, albeit holiday home, surf lifesaving club. Yes! there were many “names” because let’s face it to play polo you need to keep at least 4 horses and as I learnt polo horses are useless for anything else.
    (I found that aspect especially interesting as the horses put up with a lot of argy bargy that other breeds would baulk at. Quite un horse like behaviour) As time went on and Land Rover became a sponsor the day ended with the announcement of a key to a new Land Rover buried somewhere in the pitch. Find it and the car is yours!
    All good fun! Kids went. People took their dogs. It was more like a country race day.
    Then the corporate tents arrived. We had always been directed to the far side of the pitch. The tents occupied the near side. Closer to the loos and no need to walk or stumble any distance. The corporates had best spots and swanned around with logos, fashion and loads of free booze. We had always dressed as for a picnic, which it pretty much was.
    Eventually it got too much even for our snobby wealthy friends. “It’s just not the same they declared”
    You see when it began it was a quiet little affair with the odd coffee van and pony rides for the kiddies and just a nice afternoon chatting and enjoying a sport rare in Australia while supporting the lifesavers.
    Julie Bishop exemplifies what went wrong with the Portsea Polo!
    I wonder how much the Lifesavers get these days.
    Sorry I kind of miss the event as it originally was.

  23. Chad Clist

    All that is occurring is these entitled thieves are stealing from the public purse no thought why they were elected and with being elected the encumbent responsibilities and duties. Their duty as occurring is to rob the public purse. The elderly are easy prey as being witnessed with the budget but no semblance of fairness where the higher incomes and wealthy are not paying their way.Then what of top companies not paying tax. No wonder these people are seen as scum ,there to look after themselves and cosy matesThe system is corrupt having no independent wage tribunal to judge fair wage rises for elected members and especially all those privileges and perks. This entitlement has to be smashed. Social media clearly is hearing quite loudly there is no trust in our current federal government and with the exploitation of their wages and perks.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fantastic article, Jennifer Wilson.

    I can smell an election in the wind before the close of 2017.

    (copyrighted as JMS’ prediction.)

  25. Jaquix

    I often wonder whether Ms Bishop actually pays for her endless new designer outfits, out of her own purse? Are they bought outright? Are they “on loan”? Or does she receive hefty discounts for promoting the designer? A common industry practice. Or are they gifts? (Some of these outfits resurface, most of them seem to be one-offs.) If on loan, discounted or gifts, should they be declared? If she is actually paying for them herself, she must be forking out thousands of dollars per week. Probably her entire base salary would be going to Hugo Boss et al. I find that difficult to believe. Turnbull’s new “board” will be receiving a submission from me along these lines. It could be a cosy little rort that the Lib boys club hasnt thought of, seeing they only recently let a few girls in on their turf.

  26. Deanna Jones

    Great Goddesses I hope you’re right, JMS.

    Well said, Jennifer.

    I don’t want a whatever to make them comply with the rules. The rules themselves must be changed.

  27. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    Bishop should be declaring them in whatever capacity she receives them. She should also be scrutinised as to whether she declares them on her tax.

    Yes, Deanna,

    it will be very interesting.

  28. Faye Cox

    Thank-you Jennifer.

  29. Salina Florek

    I am an old lady, but boy what would I give to have a new pair of pearl earrings ( a la miss Julie ) everyday, I was just commenting the other day about the size of her house, it must be extensive to accommodate all those clothes and jewellery, she must have a dedicated person to oversee her collection. Please dont see this as jealousy or sour grapes just an observation, it takes me hours to try on a pair of shoes, imagine the time she spends in choosing, trying and buying clothes and jewellery, and dont get me started on hair and makeup, when does she have time to work?

  30. keerti

    It seems perfectly fitting that a member of the neo-fascist liberal party of australia be dressed in designer clothing made by a uniform designer for the Hitlererian army!

  31. Steve Laing -

    If Turnbull thinks this scandal is now over, he needs to think again. As the crown prince of expenses scamming, Abbott had to turn a blind-eye to any of his team doing similar, so very clearly they all went for it like it was going out of fashion. Yet another pile of poo for Turnbull to have to deal with. Hopefully Labor will start to put the pressure on.

  32. Jennifer Wilson

    Many thanks, Roswell and Keitha, for your generous praise.

    I agree with Deanna, it really won’t help that much to install a panel to check MPs’ expenses until the rules are changed. I think the report Turnbull has been sitting on for the last twelve months makes that point: while the “entitlements” come within the existing rules, at the same time they don’t pass the “pub test”

    Salina, I’ve often wondered how Julie Bishop has enough time to present herself as high fashion perfection, & do her job!

    Jaquix, I assume if Bishop is being gifted clothing (and it’s the designer stuff that costs in the thousands) she ought to be declaring it? I did read somewhere that she was wearing jewellery to give publicity to it’s creator – strange pastime for a Foreign Minister. Didn’t Peacock’s wife cause a lot of trouble adverting sheets, way back when politicians were not yet Canberra Kardashians?

  33. My say

    Enough is Enough,all those ministers who stole money from the tax payer,should be treated the same way Mr Slipper was ,he was charged with defrauding the public of a lousy $900 lost his job and almost his life ,All the while many ministers have stolen thousands and get off Scott free,Why can’t charges be made against all those who stole money,by the tax payers ,

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    In time, My say, I predict we’ll come to some agreed arrangement that these parasites are penalised and criminalised for proportionate amounts on a scale likened to how other law-breakers are.

    Meanwhile I want to see more lenient consequences for ordinary law-breakers, who are coming from stressful or poverty-driven circumstances, which are not what scrawny little Julie is coming from.

  35. Shogan

    “It will monitor and adjudicate all claims by MPs, senators and ministers, ensuring that taxpayers’ funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules…”

    It really doesn’t matter what the rules say as any decent honest person should really know what the rules mean & should be able to see how any claim would look if it was published for all to see.

    I suggest putting the following on the front of the claim form may well end up with the desired result without the expense of a new body to police it.
    Before making this claim answer the following questions…

    1- How would this claim look if it appeared in the MSM?
    — GOOD…[_]…NOT GOOD…[_]…REALLY DODGY…[_]

    2 – Was I completely honest in answering question 1?
    — YES…[_]……NO…[_]

    All claims, no matter whether they are approved or not,
    will be published with all the claims details weekly in the
    Government Gazette.

  36. My say

    The rules should be very clear ,if your claims are not work related,then that is called theft ,charges will be made against you,simple,

  37. John Brame

    Here here, good article Jennifer. These politicians are our employes NOT employers !!

  38. 245179

    “work related”…….they could make a trip to the beach work related, and they’ve done that. The policy is so flawed it’s a farce.

  39. Kaye Lee

    Family reunions/holidays have to stop.

    Would Matthias Cormann make 5 trips to Broome if his wife wasn’t with him?

    Would Greg Hunt have visited Queensland holiday resorts 12 times in a period of 15 years without his family?

    It is painfully obvious that these trips to “meet with stakeholders” are total crap. Speaking to one voter can be used as justification for claiming work expenses. The fact that you took your family with you makes it NOT a business trip.

    Stop the rorts and pay for your own holidays. Make announcements from Canberra or leave it to the local member.

  40. Adrianne Haddow

    The devil makes work for idle hands. And these politician’s idle hands have certainly been busy.

    Maybe if they were required to work hours commensurate with their large salaries, they’d have less time to spend on amusing pursuits which they expect the public purse to fund.

    The age of celebrity has influenced these wannabes. Time they realised they are servants of the public, and the celebrity they seek should be that of a job well done in service to the community,

  41. John

    It’s very easy to substitute ‘politician’ for ‘journalist’ in this exchange about the corruption that influences our decision makers, in this case CIA control of the press. Sponsorship by banks, coal and alcohol remains a dirty, unspoken, open secret.

    “Q: Mr. Ulfkotte, you’ve said that you were given a lot of money to write pro-American articles. How profitable is to be a pro-American journalist in Germany?

    Udo Ulfkotte [former correspondent from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the largest German newspapers] : I didn’t get money – I got gifts. Things like gold watches, diving equipment, and trips with accommodations in five-star hotels. I know many German journalists who at some point were able to take advantage of this to buy themselves a vacation home abroad. But much more important than the money and gifts is the fact that you’re offered support if you write pieces that are pro-American or pro-NATO. If you don’t do it, your career won’t go anywhere – you’ll find yourself assigned to sit in the office and sort through letters to the editor.

    Q: According to what you’ve said, journalists are corrupted surreptitiously, by inviting them for all-expense-paid trips to the US. But do serious professionals really sell themselves for so little?

    UU: When you fly to the US again and again and never have to pay for anything there, and you’re invited to interview American politicians, you’re moving closer and closer to the circles of power.And you want to remain within this circle of the elite, so you write to please them. Everyone wants to be a celebrity journalist who gets exclusive access to famous politicians. But one wrong sentence and your career as a celebrity journalist is over. Everyone knows it. And everyone’s in on it. ”

    I like the suggestion by John Passant,9926, “..let’s pay politicians the average wage of about $80,000, or even the lower median wage, so they too know what the vast majority of their constituents have to survive on.” Paying them the median wage would force them to look at raising the salaries of everyone.

  42. 245179

    It’s their “smugness” that pushes my buttons, they manipulate to ensure the “code of ethics / guidelines etc” is set, so “they” can by slight of hand, still legit, gain monitory benefits / rewards etc. Over and over we hear ” the claim is within the guidelines”. The arrogance of it all.
    If mooted changes are engaged, it will be cosmetic with a hidden tunnel back to ” the way it was “, the pollies will not be losers here.

  43. Geoff Andrews

    It is reasonable that a politican, like any other employee, should not have to bear the costs of the obligations that arise because of his election. (When I write “his”, I really mean “his/her”, of course. I would not like to be seen to be inferring that only males rort the system.)
    For a backbencher, the basic costs would be servicing his electorate and all the costs of attending parliament. Also, it may be that occasionally. say once a year,.that a backbencher could argue that his attendance at a seminar or conference would benefit his constituents.and his costs should be covered.
    For a minister or shadow minister, as well as the costs applicable for a backbencher, it seems reasonable that the costs of the obligations relating to the relevant portfolio should be paid eg overseas trips for the foreign minister. or even the shadow minister.
    The costs of servicing every electorate are apparently established ie large electorates get more that city electorates. The cost of assembling, feeding and bedding over 200 parliamentarians a half a dozen times a year is calculatable.

    Let us assume that an independant commission as envisinged by our glorious leader assess that the reasonable cost of ensuring that our hard working representatives are not out of pocket for three years is, say, $400 million. I read somewhere that it is $500 million, so I;m assuming that $100 million is being rorted.

    My suggestion is that the LNP, because of their numbers, ministerial responsibilities and the fact that they have so many country members (yes, I remembers) should be GIVEN say $195 million to divest as they please; Labor could get, maybe, $190 million, the Greens, One Nation and the Independents sharing proportionally the remaining $15 million.

    This would mean that they would have to convince their own party that it was absolutely essential that a helicopter hire was necessary to get to the polo game and that their own collegues could voice their anger and disgust instead of us.

  44. Matters Not

    Geoff Andrews

    For a backbencher, the basic costs would be servicing his electorate and all the costs of attending parliament. Also, it may be that occasionally. say once a year,.that a backbencher could argue that his attendance at a seminar or conference would benefit his constituents.and his costs should be covered.

    The reality is a bit more complicated than that. A practical and historical example,

    Should ‘prostitution be legalised’ in Queensland? We need to investigate. A backbench Committee is formed, including cross benchers. When to meet? Frequently! (Allowances and various costs – flights, daily allowances and the like go with the territory.) Where to investigate? At various local and interstate locations and also overseas. New Zealand at a minimum.. Again, the costs mount as does the politicians personal ‘rewards’.

    Why? Well we really need to understand the ‘ins and outs’ of this prostitution business because we really want to get the legislation ‘right’. The public expects nothing less. And besides all investigative expenses are covered. So perhaps another few side trips? Why not?

    And so it goes.

    Than comes the writing of the Report. More meetings, more flights, more daily expenses, more ‘refined’ research. Truth is it can go on for years.

    And clever backbenchers are on numerous Committees of Inquiry. That’s how it works.

  45. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    No wonder they never come to any resolution or solutions. It’s more lucrative to not.

  46. Geoff Andrews

    Matters Not,

    The scenario you offer is what happens at present: they are drinking from a bottomless cup.The proposed system can accommodate the sort of committee meetings you put forward. In fact, the amount of expenses that each party recieves would be based on how much such committees had cost in the past; less, of course, a percentage for assumed rorting.

    If each party has to administer a fixed amount, a member claiming expenses will be incentivised (god, I love that word) to be a little bit more frugal as he knows his fellow party members are looking over his check that he’s not rorting THEIR money.

    In an earlier article, Terry2 suggested that when parliament sits, members could be accommodated in hotels specially purchased or built for the purpose.
    And why not?
    You will, no doubt, recall the Bellvue Hotel in Brisbane?

    Perhaps you’re right: it matters not that the swill are into the swill. Let’s all have a good whinge and offer no alternatives.

  47. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sounds good to me, Geoff Andrews.

    Not only would it be a great way to keep potential rorters in control, but it would bring all ego-driven, celebrity politicians right back down to earth with the knowledge they are there to work for us and not to pamper themselves.

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