Authoritarianism is taking over the world. Will it…

It would seem that many countries around the world have decided that…

Imperial Venality Defends Itself: Day Two of Julian…

On February 21, the Royal Courts of Justice hosted a second day…

I'm Not A Racist Butt...

It's interesting how quickly things change! I mean wasn't it just yesterday when…

Desperation grows in Ukraine war, two years on

Australia for UNHCR Media Release Australia for UNHCR is appealing for renewed support…

Peak housing bodies and unions urge end to…

Leading homelessness advocates and unions have united in a joint push for…

Israel/oPt: UN experts appalled by reported human rights…

United Nations Media Release UN experts* today expressed alarm over credible allegations of…

Identifying Imperial Venality: Day One of Julian Assange’s…

On February 20, it was clear that things were not going to…

Urgent call for Australian Centre for Disease Control…

Public Health Association of Australia Media Release Public health experts are calling for…


Sailing into irrelevance

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were being used as a billboard for a horse race a few days ago. Regardless of the value of the horse race, or the ethics about using a UNESCO listed landmark for promotion of gambling, there is a problem about the way it was done.

According to The Guardian,

Racing NSW applied to the Opera House to use it as a venue to promote a horse race on Saturday 13 October, but Sydney Opera House chief executive Louise Herron drew the line at projecting horses’ names, the name of the race and the numbers of the barriers onto the Opera House sails.

Then Alan Jones interviewed Louise Herron. A couple of weeks after Jones, and by association his employers, had been found guilty of defaming the owners of a quarry in South East Queensland and ordered to pay $3.7 million, clearly he hasn’t yet learnt that his opinion is not necessarily fact, and bluster doesn’t change the facts. Jones

was furious and took up the case for Racing NSW on his program. “Louise I’m sorry I think you’re out of your depth here,” he said. “You should put your resignation on the table today … if you can’t come to the party, Louise, you should lose your job.”

Jones also threatened to ring NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and demand Louise Herron be sacked. Berejiklian hasn’t sacked Herron but has overruled her decision to only allow horses’ colours to be displayed on the world-famous sails. Jones was reported as haranguing Herron by suggesting:

who the hell do you think you are, you don’t own the Opera House, we own it … you manage it,” Jones said.

To that extent Jones is correct, Herron doesn’t own the Opera House. However, the NSW Government pays Herron to manage the facility on behalf of its owners — all those who live in NSW. So, by the same token Jones, the management of the Daily Telegraphor Berejiklian don’t ‘own’ it either.

All this happened on Friday 5 October and media reports the following Tuesday suggested that over 270,000 had ‘signed’ online petitions asking the NSW Government to reverse their decision. Accordingly, it would be reasonable to suggest that a large group of the Opera House’s owners are aghast at the gambling promotion pushed by Jones and News Corp (with support from NSW Premier Berejiklian) being projected onto the building.

On Tuesday night about 1,000 people shone torches to dilute the projection and peacefully protested the use of the Opera House for the promotion of gambling. Racing NSW and the Premier claim they have heard the message ‘loudy’ and the stunt won’t be repeated. Waleed Aly also ‘went to town’ on the crass commercialisation of the Opera House by vested interests, including the two major political parties.

There is a significant cost to gambling across Australia. Tim Costello, a director of Alliance for Gambling Reform, detailed some of them in an opinion piece published in The Guardian. While Jones has given a half-hearted apology four days after the event for his bullying of Louise Herron, it still demonstrates that Jones and Berejiklian persist with accepting the cash over the ethics, and still steamroll those with alternative viewpoints.

Sadly, we should not have expected better. Also demonstrating an alternative world view of acceptable is the LNP’s Stuart Roberts. Roberts, Morrison’s choice for Assistant Treasurer and former ICT Executive, has been charging the Australian taxpayer (that’s you and me) over $1,000 a month for his 4G Internet connection since 2016. As the linked article reports, Roberts lives in a ‘semi-rural’ area behind the Gold Coast and the NBN has yet to reach his home. The article also reports that:

Roberts told Fairfax Media he racked up a high bill [over $2,000] in May because he used 300 gigabytes of data, so had to pay for extra after exceeding his 50GB limit.

Optus currently offers unlimited 4G broadband for $90 a month, while Exetel offers 250GB a month for just $70.

Now it has become ‘an issue’, Roberts is apparently going to pay it back, despite claiming he had done nothing wrong. Those in his electorate that rely on Newstart are receiving not much more than $1,000 a month to live on.

Matthew Lesh, a research fellow with The Institute of Public Affairs has recently released a book suggesting that the major parties have a lot of difficulty in being relevant to those that live in the inner and outer suburbs of Australia’s major cities. Lesh suggests the politicians are aligning themselves too closely with the ‘inners’ and leaving the ‘outers’ to splinter groups such as Katter, Palmer and Hanson. Then, when the splinter groups can’t achieve what they promise (because they don’t get enough seats in parliaments across the country), people living in outer suburbs then get frustrated and disengage with the process.

There could be something to Lesh’s theory. In the electorate of Warringah, former PM Abbott has been the elected Member of Parliament for a considerable period of time. A group of people who live in the electorate, rather than disengaging, have a plan to crowbar Abbott from the seat at the next election by following the process used by Cathy McGowan’s supporters when they removed Sophie Mirabella from the seat of Indi in country Victoria. The President of WoW (Women of Warringah)

Louise Hislop, told Guardian Australia the group was created after Abbott’s refusal to engage on issues considered important to constituents, including climate change, plastics pollution, traffic issues, same-sex marriage and mental health services.

Warringah, despite Abbott’s public posturing, recorded 75% support for the same sex marriage vote and it seems there is considerable community disquiet about Abbott’s role in the destruction of the Turnbull Government. Abbott’s schtick however does go down well in areas that support the Katters, Hansons and so on of this world.

If Lesh is correct, Jones, Berejiklian, Roberts and Abbott are all sailing into irrelevance as they clearly are not representing significant sections of their communities. Why do these people believe they don’t need to consider the views of others? It must be because those on the right are prettier and more confident!

What do you think?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

For Facebook users, The Political Sword has a Facebook page:
Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

Donate Button


Login here Register here
  1. David Bruce

    There are many possible reasons why these people ignore their electorates. One that comes to mind is that they are selected by the media baron and regardless of public opinion, they follow the allotted script. Perhaps ambition, blackmail, bribes and minders are also involved! Australia is not the only country experiencing this phenomenon…

  2. Peter F

    Time to go, Allan . Be put out to pasture, or perhaps chicken feed.

  3. helvityni

    The conservative commentator Daisy Cousens must think that Gladys, Melissa, Kelly, Michaelia are pretty and confident, and that men like Dutton, Scomo, Fifield et others are handsome and confident…

    Does Ms Cousen equate confidence with bullying…?


  4. Zathras

    My favorite Jones rant was when he was trying to trash the implementation of the NBN.

    He claimed that optical fibre was an already outdated technology because scientists had just been able to transfer an enormous amount of data (measured in copies of the World Book Encyclopedia for his eager listeners) on a laser beam!

    The fact that optical fibre was the medium used to transmit that beam seemed lost on him.

    He treats the Opera House and the Government as his own property, both existing just to advance his personal interests.

    Roberts paying back something he was entitled to and without penalty seems odd. It’s a pity that Centrelink recipients aren’t allowed the same degree of laxity.

    A Federal ICAC would be handy to sort out these confusing little inconveniences.

  5. Terence Mills

    Dave Sharma appears to be marching to the sound of a different drum than his new friends in the Liberal party.
    He said in the candidate’s debate today that he “absolutely” opposes continuing to allow private schools to fire gay, lesbian or transgender teachers and has made this clear to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

    He also said he “completely accepted the science on climate change” and was “appalled by the way his party treated former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull”.

    Is Dave Sharma really going to fit in to the Liberal party should he retain Wentworth ?

  6. totaram

    Terence Mills: If Dave Sharma did not say the things he said, he would be decimated as polling would have revealed by now. So he follows the time-honoured coalition strategy: say what they want to hear and once you are elected do what ever you want to. No one will remember how you lied (or so you think). How do you think Campbell Newman hoped to get away with his actions? And in spite of everyone seeing what he had done, no one thought that Abbott would do the same thing! Now, it seems people are waking up. You don’t only have to see what they are saying, but you have to have an assessment of how likely it is that they will actually do what they are saying they will do! Tough call. But that’s life!

  7. helvityni

    Sharma is saying those things NOW, just few days away from the election day, Kerry Phelps and the Labor candidate have been telling us what they stand for all along….not so Sharma…We have not seen much of him at all….

  8. Kyran

    Hmmm. Apparently, we have much to consider at the moment. All of which is dominated by some idiot, his idiotic mutterings, and his idiotic belief that his mutterings are worth something. It is now fair and reasonable to consider any icon as a hoarding, the value of which is gauged by the $ value of a square metre, rather than the import (or otherwise) of the use of a square metre.
    Well, so be it. The best way to convince a fool, sometimes, is to let them have their own way, if it’s not too harmful. You wouldn’t give an infant a sharp instrument and tell them to go for a run, would you? By the same token, if you give a ‘man-child’ a crusade and live by its edicts, well, so be it.

    “On Tuesday night, our iconic Opera House was turned into a billboard for a horse race. I’m asking for your help to secure Australia’s “biggest billboard” to help get the #KidsOffNauru.”

    We’ll probably never know the cost of the advertising on the sails, or the exponential benefit to the advertisers for the global free advertising. But now we have established that the sails are for sale, and that this is acceptable to idiots, whadayareckon?
    Mr Holmes a Court put in 10k, the funding got to a 100k, with a deadline for November. Deadline will be the headline for these kids. At least if the sails are for sale, the deadline won’t be in vain. Maybe one of the kids won’t be dead.
    My care factor for the likes of the idiot in Sydney is none existent. But, if he is the oracle that he, and everyone else, says he is, and he prescribes the rules, well, so be it.
    Over to you, Gladys.
    Thankyou 2353NM and commenters. Sailing into irrelevance, indeed. When does this madness end? Take care

  9. Matters Not

    Re Roberts:

    been charging the Australian taxpayer (that’s you and me)

    Maybe Roberts has been billing you but he certainly hasn’t been billing me. If he did, I wouldn’t pay – and I suggest you follow suit. But fear not, because Roberts is most probably billing the government, or at least a government agency and giving you a miss. That’s the correct legal path because taxpayers owe obligations (or not) to government not individuals. (Think of the unpaid bills if Roberts billed you direct or if the US billed you for planes that won’t fly.)

    Further, when taxpayers fulfil their legal obligations to government by paying their taxes, they lose control of that money. It’s no longer theirs. When I pay my legal obligation to a butcher, baker or candle stick maker I lose control over those dollars. I can’t tell them how to spend it because the dollars now don’t belong to me.

    Certainly, governments collect monies from taxpayers and others including overseas corporations, civil offenders and the like as well as a whole range of fees and charges which the law demands. Having done so, it’s now government money. It’s not now taxpayer money. Governments are not beholden to taxpayers. Heaven forbid!

    Rather they are responsible to the citizens who elected them, broadly defined. The same group of citizens (acting as electors) who will decide their fate in due course. That’s where government responsibility resides.

    Yes citizenship and taxpaying may intersect but neither are necessary nor essential to each other.

  10. Keith

    You wrote” .. ” he “completely accepted the science on climate change” and was “appalled by the way his party treated former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull”.”
    Sharma has stated he is confident that the LNP have the policies to reduce emissions. Meaning he goes along with no policies on climate change; or, he actually believes the nonsense put out by the LNP. The official Department figures show that emissions are going up, they have done so in the past. Private Agencies in the past have stated emissions are going up eg Pitt and Sherry. So when Morrison stated that the last report of emissions going up was a once off; was he telling a lie, or was he just plain ignorant?

    Roberts needs to be stood down from being a Minister; in the real world when employees seek re-imbursements far exceeding what the regulations state, they are likely to be sacked, Police investigation could occur. Paying back what has wrongfully been applied for is pretty well an admittance of guilt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page