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An Open Letter to Andrew Bragg

Dear Andrew

I am responding to your thoughtful opinion piece in The Guardian which aims to justify the Liberal Party’s creation of The Fair Go propaganda website.

I’m so sorry that the Liberal Party feel so weak and neglected by the mainstream media that you have to spend money to create a website to get your voice out there. Feeling powerless, like you have been blocked from the national debate, must be an awful situation to find yourself in. I hadn’t realised that the readership of your mastheads at News Ltd had shrunk to such an inconsequential size that you can no longer rely on them to campaign on your behalf. How horrible for you. I wasn’t aware that your IPA representatives appearing on every ABC news show are having such a hard time getting your point of view across. It must be awful to have all this coverage and still be losing the argument.

I did know, however, that your ranting right wing cheer squad on Sky News gets less views than some of my blog posts. And I’m a nobody Andrew! I don’t even get paid for putting my opinions out there, yet more people are interested in what I have to say than watching Chris Kenny whine and bitch. This must be more than frustrating for you, poor thing. It’s no wonder you felt compelled to publish a piece in The Guardian to finally get your voice out to sizeable audience. Good on you for doing that.

But, Andrew, I hope I can make you feel a bit better, a bit less meek and downtrodden, by straightening up some of the misinformation, or perhaps the misunderstanding, that you have included in your piece. Firstly, you need to remember that Australia is a democratic nation. As irritating as this fact is for you, it means that us Australians have every right to give a few dollars here and there to fund organisations that represent our interests, such as GetUp, or trade unions, or environmental groups, in order to contribute our resources towards the political debate.

I know how much you would prefer if us pesky little peasants would just sit down, shut up and let your political movement of big business money trample all over us. But that would just make things too easy for you, Andrew! Us people, we have lives and opinions and rights and needs and wants, which includes the right to join political movements that represent us.

I must admit, it is an uphill battle for the sectional interests of us small guys. As you no doubt know from your Liberal Party fundraisers, big business has infinitely more money than the individuals who donate small change to environmental groups, GetUp, unions, any progressive cause you can name.

Remember when the Labor Government wanted to even up the playing field of funds distributed from selling Australia’s natural resources by introducing the mining tax, and your Liberal Party, side by side with billionaire Australians, with the all-powerful mining lobby, campaigned to kill that policy? The miners spent $22 million, which is small change to them, I know, Andrew! But what hope do I have, who earns an annual salary the size of Gina Rinehart’s lunch bill, of having a say in political debates, without democratically pooling what little resources I have into a David-like voice to respond to the Goliaths representing the Liberal Party?

We noticed when Prime Minister Turnbull spent $1.75 million of his own money, again, loose change to him, to help himself get elected. Does this sound like the actions of the weak and powerless? We noticed that Julie Bishop’s Mid Winter Ball gown cost $36,000, which is substantially more than a Newstart recipient receives in a year. Cheer up Andrew, your power is in safe, rich hands!

So, really, you don’t need to feel so sad about your current predicament, where you think you’re voiceless and powerless, when really you’re holding all the cards in a loaded deck, and us little guys are barely chipping into the power you have to control the way we live our lives. For example, if unions are so big and powerful, how come some of the country’s lowest paid workers have just had their penalty rates cut after your side won your tireless campaign to reduce their wages? Why do unions face some of the toughest industrial laws in the world, such as not having the legal right to strike?

We know you’re disappointed that WorkChoices is democratically dead, buried and cremated, but in actual fact you should be cheering, as you’ve managed, against the odds, to bring in your WorkChoices-utopia by stealth, with casualisation, near-zero wage growth and precarious work the new norm for millions of Australians. This is all while your business mates reap 40% increase in profits, yet, in their powerful, almighty position, choose not to pass any of these rewards onto the workers who created the wealth. Geez Andrew, if this is what it means to be powerless, you guys are doing pretty nicely without power!

I hope this letter has made you feel better about your position in the political debate. It must be down-heartening every time you check the stats for the laughingly called ‘Fair Go’ website to find still no one is engaging in your content and you only have 242 followers on Twitter. You’ve no doubt paid Parnell McGuiness’s PR consultancy far too much money to create the site and it’s not getting anywhere near the audience these dollars would get you if you invested them in well written, relevant and less-propogandist content on a quality opinion site. But hey, you’re right that we should all have a fair go. Keep at it and us little guys will keep at it too. It’s only fair that we each do what’s in our best interest.

Yours Sincerely

Victoria Fielding

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  1. Freethinker

    Brillant! are you going to send a copy to Lenore Taylor asking her to considering for publication?
    If yes, we would love to see what is Lenore’s response

  2. Wayne Turner

    “The Fair Go” Liberal party website aka “The Full Of Crap” website more like it. The Lying party of no shame.

    Complain they can’t get their message across their MSM – It happens when they alleged message,is just like them: Crap.

  3. Bronte ALLAN

    Very well said Vitctoria, & so bloody true too! Poor old Talkbull etc, they are just a rabble of inept, lying obscenely over-paid so-called Liberal politicians who do not know ant better! I feel so sorry for them, NOT!

  4. Keith

    Thank you Victoria.
    I sent this off to the Guardian though I’m expecting it will not meet community standards. The Centrelink issue of creating non existent debts made me very angry:

    Does the Liberal Party know what a “fair go” is?

    The 2014 Budget is an indication that the Liberal Party hasn’t the foggiest. We are extremely lucky that the then ” Prime Minister” and “Treasurer” are no longer holding those positions.

    Since we have had the down right rubbish Centrelink program create non existent debts for numerous clients. It was brought to the attention of the Minister; but, we can now conclude he wouldn’t know if his arse was on fire. He was absolutely useless in dealing with the matter; it was just left to fester through no response for too long.

    The NBN in many quarters has been a real fizza judging by the complaints.

    The concept of privatisation is coming home to roost with energy prices going sky high.

    It is my understanding that 70% of the media in Australia is owned by Murdoch, the usual mouth piece for the LNP.

    Should the LNP govern for all Australians; then, Getup and other privately funded groups would not get the political traction they do.

  5. Michael Fairweather

    It is obvious to me and the people that I Know the Liberal’s do not know what”fair go” actually means. When in our society as it was before the Liberal’s started to take it to pieces we helped each other, admittedly it was with Tax Payers money but most worker accepted this as we never knew when we might be in a position when we would need help. I for one never felt that my money was wasted when helping people in need. I have not yet met a homeless person who chose to be homeless, and for a Prime Minister (Abbott) to say that shows just how stupid he is.

  6. Jaquix

    Wondeful Victoria, top marks! I read his pathetic complaints about GetUp and how wonderful TheFairGo was. Checked it out and just couldnt believe that the “adults” thought this was any answer in any shape or form to the popularity of the Labor and other parties. I like Freethinker’s great idea re sending to Lenore Taylor at the Guardian and see her response. That website is just woeful, I actually cant think of the right word, its so pathetic. The word “union” seemed to feature in every “article” and never in a complimentary way (of course).
    Bottom line – great that they have shown themselves up as inept idiots completely unsuited to the running of this fine country. I just wish they had put it up at the beginning of the election campaign, it might have made a difference.

  7. Zoltan Balint

    There is no need to abuse or to question Andrew Bragg directly. All you have to do is tell people you know what he said. That way you will ensure a greater number of people would not even piss on him if he was on fire, by accident.

  8. Stephen Brailey

    When I read Andrew’s piece in The Guardian I thought that it was satire. As the name sounded familiar I googled it only to find out that Andrew is acting Liberal president. I was reminded that Daria’s reading at the Lawndale Coffee Club ended in an anti-communist riot?!

  9. Susan


  10. Frank Smith

    Thanks Victoria. “The Fair Go” – as if the Murdoch Press and Sky News were not enough right-wing propaganda.

  11. Graeme

    Your survey just asked me if “Australia should introduce a universal basic income”. I have read articles lately that suggest that this would lock in the underclass and, at the same time, ensure that big business still had customers to without having to employ anyone. What do you think?

  12. Johno

    Good stuff Victoria.

  13. Zoltan Balint

    Dear Graeme, basic income suggested is way below minimum income and is about as good as newstart. It might give the individual a few hours a week free time to look for a job rather than spending all their time having to beg. Trust me if a business has more customers for their products they will have to manufacture more and thus employ more people and the more employed will pay more income tax that will help to pay for the basic income. If you do not have a job or money to eat you either beg or … and yes in jail you get a bed and a free meal. But jail costs the tax payer about $80000 per person per year and you might as well pay them less to stay outside.

  14. Trish Corry

    Haha high five! Bloody brilliant!

  15. Mal

    In reply to Graeme re UBI: As the title implies it would be universal and in its pure form given to everybody regardless of income and therefore not means tested. With globalisation, robotification and AI spelling the inevitable chaotic end of the utopian dream of full employment, a UBI is the only humane solution if we want to avoid a nightmare scenario: an impoverished underclass unable to provide for themselves apart from crime and ultimately becoming slave labour in privatized prisons while the uber wealthy overlords (mega parasites) owning all the wealth and all the means of production. If it was a living income it would provide the means for people to support themselves while pursuing other goals, like creating music or works of art, establishing their own businesses, helping the community, growing food, volunteering or whatever they want to do. Employers would be forced to treat workers more fairly and pay them higher wages. The macro economy would benefit from a cash injection at the grass roots level, money would be spent on goods and services and creating more jobs. It would enable a ground swell move away from the currentr rapacious consumer economic model which drives inequality and is destroying the ecosphere on which we all depend for life. We could move towards a steady state “doughnut” economy and finally a resource-based economy where money is no longer needed as a means of exchange. Call me a dreamer and a fool but what are the alternatives? We are passengers on a bus hurtling towards a precipice and the driver has a white-knuckle grip on the wheel and his foot pressed firmly to the accelerator pedal. If we beg him to stop he brandishes a gun in our faces and calls us “alarmists” and “extremists”.

  16. Phil

    Well said VR – I see the Guardian readers gave right-wing Andrew a damned good serving – well deserved.

  17. Graeme

    Thanks for your views Zoltan and Mal. Most of the survey respondents thought it was good idea and so did I initially but in the hands of those with the money and the power I fear it would end up worse than New Start. One scenario I read (I think in the NY Times) had it that you’d get the UBI only. No more Medicare, Public education, Public transport etc. etc. There wouldn’t be much room to pursue music or art in that future world. ….maybe I’m just too cynical.

  18. Glenn Barry

    This is a truly wonderful piece – the tone was perfect

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