Unlike Ian Macfarlane who feels that he’s just wasted on the backbench … Mm, perhaps I should rephrase that as it may be a little ambiguous. What he actually said that he didn’t want to be a “passenger” by just sitting around on the backbench. Which sort of makes one wonder about his opinion of all those fellow MPs who’ll never be anything more than backbenchers.
Anyway, unlike Ian Macfarlane and others, Bronwyn Bishop is apparently happy to be a passenger, as is the recent ex-minister Mr Stuart Robert. One could say that it’s surprising that Mrs. Bishop would be happy to stay a “passenger” when her preferred method of transport won’t be allowed, but I guess Bronwyn knows that she isn’t going anywhere, so she doesn’t need to worry about things like that.
Stuart Robert, on the other hand, must be happy being a passenger. Or else he must be hoping that, after a suitable period of penance, he may once again rise like a phoenix from the ashes. After all, just look at Arthur Sinodinos. He was promoted, even before ICAC anounced that he had no case to answer because well, nobody could remember anything that he’d done in his job at Australia Water Holdings, let alone anything he’d done wrong. Whatever, he was returned to the ministry in spite of the fact that, not only had he demonstrated an inability to retain information with his testimony at ICAC, he was still to be cleared.
So, maybe Mr Robert may be of the view that, once we’ve got that little matter of the election out of the way, he may be given a more important job when the next minister stuffs up. Perhaps, some of the trolls will jump on me and suggest that I should have written, “if another minister stuffs up”, but, let’s be real here, folks, this is still a ministry where Christopher Pyne is one of the top performers, and, well, Barnaby Joyce … Need I say more!
After all, as many on the Coalition suggested: it’s not like he did anything wrong. I mean all he did was go over to China on a private trip – a holiday, really – where he wasn’t acting as minister and as a private citizen he met with various government officials which is pretty much what anyone going on a holiday overseas does.
However, it’s the whole Rolex thing that strikes me as rather odd.
From time to time, students have given me the odd gift at the end of the year. Occasionally, it’s been chocolates. Sometimes a bottle of wine (never Grange!). But none of them have ever given me a watch. Not even a fake Rolex … And I’ve never thought of these as anything more than an expression of gratitude, because generally they’ve come from students that I’m unlikely to teach ever again.
However, if I were to receive a present at the start of a year – even something as trivial as a fake Rolex, worth a mere $300-$500 according to those who received them – I’d feel that it was an attempt to bribe me and I’d feel obliged to say that it was inappropriate.
Actually, when I think about it, even ignoring the bribery implications, I’d be concerned about accepting a fake Rolex watch from a student, because I’d be sending him or her a message that it was OK for these people to rip off Rolex by making imitations. How would I explain the difference if I caught the student plagiarising someone else’s work?
I guess, though when you’re in Opposition you don’t have to worry about things like someone bringing a load of fake watches. I mean the borders are to keep out people, not watches!
Mm, did Li Ruipeng pay import duty, I wonder. Possibly not, because from what I’ve read, there’s quite a few things that he hasn’t paid in China, like his creditors and his employees.
But no worries, that’s just a matter for him and the Chinese officials who’ve described him as “still on the run”. I’m more concerned that he just handed over Rolex watches worth more than a quarter of a million to people he expected to soon be Australian government ministers.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Their election prospects may have had nothing to do with it. Mr Li Ruipeng may just be a generous sort of man … After all, he gave watches to their spouses as well. Why he even gave one to Peta Credlin and she was just a simple worker in the Opposition leader’s office! I wonder if he also drops coins in beggars’ cups or sponsors orphans. He must be the sort of man who adopts stray kittens.
Whatever, I just hope he paid import duty on those watches because it’d almost be enough to eliminate the need to raise the GST …
Yes, I know, Malcolm has taken the GST off the table …
Although actually, he hasn’t said that they won’t introduce it. He just said, and I quote directly:
“the Government will not be taking a proposal to increase the GST to the election”
“After you take into account all of the compensation that you would need to ensure the change was equitable, it simply is not justified in economic terms.”
But nowhere did he say that they wouldn’t do actually raise it – just that they wouldn’t be taking it to an election. and that it wouldn’t be justified in economic terms after all the compensation to make it “equitable”. So, if he says, screw equity, we won and we’re implementing the promise we made, not the one you thought we made, it wouldn’t be without precedent.
So, getting back to what to what we’re meant to take from this little saga: It’s OK to accept a fake watch, so therefore it must be OK to accept a pirated copy of a DVD. Or illegally download music …
Or will someone argue that they only thought they were fake, and the fact that they were real means that they’ve done nothing wrong and should be congratulated for handing them back.
Yeah, it’s one of those confusing ones all right. Sort of like the Intervention, where we sent in the army because of the violence and sexual abuse in some aboriginal communities and we were told we couldn’t stand back and do nothing and strong action needed to be taken. However, now that there’s violence and sexual abuse on Manus and Nauru, not only are we meant to stand back, but it’s an offence to even report it. And doing something about it would just give hope to all those people smugglers to start the boats again and then we wouldn’t be able to turn them back like we’ve been doing because suddenly they’d have hope and with hope they’d be able to slip past the navy ships we have patrolling and sail straight into Sydney Harbour.
Like I said, it’s confusing.
Anyway, just in case, the AFP arrive on my door wanting to confiscate the chocolates and wine, I’d like to put on record that I personally have never received any presents and I was making up that example for the purposes of illustration!
If that doesn’t work, I’ll try the Arthur Sinodinos approach …
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