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When your own side does it

Friday 23 March 2018

1 The Labor Party, yes the one you have supported all your life, is caught rorting the system, or the taxpayer, or both, for $400 thousand dollars but are saved from a knockout on a technicality. But that’s not all folks, then they use a million dollars of other people’s money trying to get out of it.

When I see the headline I’m disgusted. Why on earth do they do it I ask myself? Is it that they are just corrupt, do they think that all wrongs are explainable because their party does more good and, well the others do it too?

And it’s only yesterday that my post on a better democracy advocated a federal ICAC to deal with these matters. The Victorian ALP’s use of campaign workers illustrates just how bad political corruption is in Australia.

The report by the ombudsman Deborah Glass, released last Wednesday was a damning indictment of the Victorian Labor Party. They would have known full well what they were doing was wrong.

The ombudsman found that the 11 MPs implicated, and still in the parliament acted in good faith.

Glass found the 11 Labor MPs implicated in the scandal who are still in the Parliament did not personally benefit from the rorting. She didn’t refer the matter to the police.

The police, after investigating the affair, were not interested in laying charges. Their view was that there were no indictable offences committed so it means the case is unlikely to go back to the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission – the state’s anti-rorting watchdog.

But there is no doubt, that the Labor MPs misused taxpayer funds for the 2014 election campaign and that Daniel Andrews knew about it.

The ombudsman was particularly savage on former Treasurer John Lenders, so much so that he resigned from the $90,000 job with VicTrack a couple of weeks ago, to place himself beyond any further retribution.

Labor will be hoping beyond hope that the scandal will have an instant death in this, a Victorian election year. The Party has avoided a major crisis simply because the “guidelines” are so ambiguous that one of Labor’s excuses was that it didn’t know it was doing the wrong thing.

The report explains that Labor MPs okayed payments worth about $387,800 from taxpayers, which went towards ALP political campaigning in the last election.

Using paid staff to campaign for them rather than doing the work they should be doing is simply not on. Whilst Daniel Andrews says he will clean up the ambiguity, Deborah Glass wants an independent body, able to investigate politicians “without fear or favour.

Time after time politicians keep breaking the rules and when found out, they take no notice. Instead, keep breaking them again giving the impression that they are no more than petty criminals.

What an embarrassment when they are of your own.

2 The coalition seems to be 2 votes away from passing the company tax cuts with Hinch playing hard to get, dragging out for the best deal or the most publicity. What fools they are. The taxpayer to be hit with a huge tax bill.

Howard is right when he said that you should never ever give false hope. That is exactly what company tax cuts do.

3 Howard said intelligence provided to his government confirmed there were weapons of mass destruction. Proved wrong.

He seems very sensitive about Iraq. I wonder why?

4 Hundreds of companies pay no tax anyway and the rich have ways and means to reduce their tax burdens. Family trusts etc. Large companies wouldn’t pay more than 10% tax. What a deal they are getting and by saying that they will employ a few more people. They are dictating to the government how much tax they will pay.

Company tax cuts will be paid for by the taxpayer. Where else will the shortfall come from? And wow, what about the debt?

An observation

“Never in the history of this nation have the rich and the privileged been so openly brazen”

5 A South Australian friend tells me that Weatherill was the longest-serving state premier and probably the best in a political sense. Yet, still lost. But as has been said, given the number of scandals and length of time in government the loss was quite respectable.

6 With the help of Pauline Hanson, the Senate passed welfare reforms including a loss of $1,300 to pensioners for funeral expenses. How low can they go?

7 Both Labor and liberal know they need to reign in the handouts of the Howard government. Thus far only labor has had the courage to do it.

8 I may receive some criticism for my remarks about Victorian Labor but the fact is corruption is corruption, no matter the colour it comes in

9 Over the last two years, wages have grown by only four percent while company profits have increased by a massive thirty-two percent, eight times faster than wages.

10  Cabinet ministers on $400 000 a year talking about the need to reign in welfare. The same goes for penalty rate cuts. It was so important for people on $40 000 a year to take a pay cut. When the Senators discussing it were on $200 000 a year at least.

My thought for the day

“There are real known facts in the world”

25 comments

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  1. John Lord

    A sincere thanks to all of you who responded to my post yesterday about ideas for a better democracy. The depth of thought that people put into their contributions were to say the least, outstanding. My job now is to sift through them all and add many to my original list. Then I will put my mind to using your comments to writing a comprehensive essay about a better democracy.

  2. corvus boreus

    John Lord,
    Thank you for all your work.
    I didn’t contribute to your request for suggestions yesterday, but I can offer an idea today.

    -That, if an issue is demonstrably of serious popular concern within the electorate (broad or local), as evidenced through the collection of sufficient verified citizen petition, provision be provided for a delegated communicator of such community concerns to directly address the parliamentary assembly (of both houses), with time alloted for subsequent discussion.

  3. Terry2

    Whilst Pauline Hanson had fervently told us last week that she would not under any circumstances back the governments’ corporate tax cuts. A week goes by, and she has changed her mind and is happy to support the tax cuts in exchange for the government funding a paltry one thousand apprenticeships in regional areas where youth unemployment can be as high as 25%.

    Pauline, you have been played, 1000 apprenticeships is only scratching the surface of this problem and, whilst the full details are hard to find in the media, it does seem that this is only a ‘pilot’ program with only twelve months funding.

    Pauline, you had the opportunity to do something really worthwhile and you could have demanded ten thousand apprenticeships or twenty thousand in an ongoing fully funded program but you accepted the crumbs form the Turnbull banquet table : you have sold us all out, including yourself.

    These people are still giving me a headache : time for a Panadol !

  4. corvus boreus

    Terry2,
    ‘Pauline changed her mind’?
    A differing shade of birthday suit is not a change of clothes.

  5. Keitha Granville

    The crossbench senators think they are so smart gaining a few cents here and there for their own pet ideas, falling over to back the government thinking they have won something massive. Fools.

    What happened to keeping the bastards honest ? Silly me, that was senators who actually gave a damn.

  6. Alpo

    If the police is not involved then it is true that there is ambiguity. But the facts look bad from the outside anyway and hence Andrews must show leadership and prevent them from recurring, full stop. Using this to favour the political ambitions of that Guy and his Neoliberal mob in the Liberal party is something that can only be favourable to Murdoch and his puppet Turnbull. We should apply the “Liberal strategy”: problem detected, issues understood and solved (not always in the case of the Liberals)…. move on (always in the media when the Liberals are involved)! That’s what the Liberals do each time they are caught into doing something dodgy…. and they keep winning elections and forming government (e.g. in Tasmania and SA recently).

    Oh, and I am afraid there is no third party alternative. We must improve Labor from the inside…. and we can….
    The Liberal party can’t be improved…. The Greens are lost in space at the moment.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Terry2,

    Each of those apprenticeships therefore cost $65 million. Way to go Pauline. High five. Just one question……where are these regional apprentices going to go to tech?

    And I note Pauline’s latest facebook post is about relaxing gun laws

    “One Nation has always and will always, support the rights of law-abiding Australian gun owners.”

    Seems the full court press by the gun lobby is bearing fruit.

  8. Meg

    This has done real damage – now every red-shirted volunteer is under suspicion. Dan may as well have painted a bullseye on our campaign T-shirts.

  9. johno

    @ Kaye..where are these regional apprentices going to go to tech? FIFO ?

  10. helvityni

    When a progressive Premier like Weatherill loses the election, when Pauline is voted back, I have to start believing that the things aren’t going to change (for better) in a hurry…

    Terry2 takes a Panadol, I need something stronger…

  11. diannaart

    John Lord

    I applaud your comprehensive work from yesterday. And today is of no less importance:

    9 Over the last two years, wages have grown by only four percent while company profits have increased by a massive thirty-two percent, eight times faster than wages.

    Yet, our Federal government would have us believe if large companies are given tax reductions they will pass on extra $ to workers? Our Federal government is living in a fantasy land called TrickleDown.

    8 I may receive some criticism for my remarks about Victorian Labor but the fact is corruption is corruption, no matter the colour it comes in

    Not from, yours truly. Daniel Andrews had better do more than tighten up some ambiguity and pay the costs to the tax-payer in full – not just the $387,000 but the $ million trying to weasel out of their responsibility. This event may bring in a Matthew Guy government – where “lobster with the mobster” will look like party games.

    C’mon Labor stop behaving like an insipid imitation of the LNP.

  12. Keith

    Politicians State and Federal need a code of ethics, breaking that code should bear the same consequences as borne by Professional people, potential dismissal.

  13. babyjewels10

    Well said, Mr. Lord. My thoughts exactly. I have little faith in politicians of any colour. Now a chunk even less.

  14. Pierre Wilkinson

    Just like cutting penalty rates was supposed to create new jobs, this company tax cut will do nothing for wage earners.
    Most companies pay less than 17% anyway due to tax offsets, and those are the ones who pay any tax at all!
    Expecting Pauline, Cory and David to do other than vote with the Libs is a folly, but I had hoped better of the other senators.

  15. New England Cocky

    I dunno, your readers are being a little impractical expecting state politicians to have higher moral standards than Federal misgovernment politicians.

    I mean … look at the MDB water theft matter … Barnyard Joke just dismissed the evidence from the ABC Four Corners program as irrelevant before he misled the electorate in the New England Kiwi bye-election over a “little personal family matter” of adultery while prosletysing “family values” to the electorate. Perhaps the father-in-law of the new Minister for Water could throw some light on this matter about alleged water theft … I mean, the water is there so why can’t it be used in NW NSW???

    Then what about the Northern Inland Railway project reported as failing because the notorious NW NSW black soils cannot support the 50 tonne axle loads required for double stacked container rail cars. The 2017-2018 Federal Budget allocated about $700 MILLION to purchase the railway “easement” but many farmers are holding out because dividing broad acre farms creates considerable difficulties for food & fibre production. Bt it may have been preferable to have tested the ground for the rail bed before spending hard earned dollars taxed out of the pockets of Australian citizens … for the benefit of foreign owned mining corporations???

  16. Maxoz

    John, a little niggle. Kings have reigns, horses have reins to rein them in.

  17. John O'Callaghan

    How about those cross benches hey! chuck em a bag of lollies and some coloured beads and they roll over like little puppy dogs,talk about dirty deeds done dirt cheap!

  18. guest

    That wages have increased by 4% and industry profits have increased by 32% is a clear indication that trickle-down economics does not work, just as Emma Alberici and others have said with regard to tax reductions for business. Yet the right wing pundits try to claim that it does. Unbelievable!

  19. Matters Not

    Re:

    Using paid staff to campaign for them rather than doing the work they should be doing …

    So what is it that they should be doing? As Ministers are wont to argue – their ministerial staff work for them and those staffers certainly know the truth of that. When the Minister departs – so do they. Thus staffers have skin in the game and they will do all in their power to see that their boss survives. Sometimes that work might involve electoral matters – sometimes factional alignments – sometimes .. whatever it takes. It might even mean nominally changing residences (to get on the electoral roll at least) so that a particular by-election becomes more winnable.

    This is certainly not a new development and as pointed out above, it is the practice on all sides of the political divide – albeit in different degrees at different times.

    In recent times, South Australia ousted the ALP and welcomed in a Liberal government. For the Federal Liberals, that election victory is a two edged sword. On the downside, the incoming government will soon lose some its gloss which will then impact negatively on the Federal brand. On the upside is the bountiful political resources (human and material) now available to the Liberals for campaign purposes. Such is (political) life.

  20. silkworm

    Marshall’s first promise as SA premier: Kill Tesla battery plan

    “The newly elected South Australia premier, the Liberal Steven Marshall, has made his first promise – his government intends to kill the Tesla plan for the world’s biggest “virtual power plant” that would install batteries in low income households for no cost.

    The Tesla plan – which aimed to install 5kW of solar and a 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery storage unit in 50,000 homes – would have created a virtual power plant with 250MW of capacity and 650MWh of storage.”

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/marshalls-first-promise-as-sa-premier-kill-tesla-battery-plan-68601/

  21. paul walter

    More beat ups courtesy of the conservative press?

    No rest for the wicked, but we can see the devil finds work for idle hands and minds at big msm.

  22. jimhaz

    [off topic]

    “No rest for the wicked” is perhaps my favourite modern song at present. Surprisingly it is multicultural.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBmMzabdEKQ

    (all the music is created by looping sounds they make from their voices)

    If anyone likes that song (and I have my doubts) – try this one as well – Dub FX ‘Flow’ feat. Mr Woodnote – so cool! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhBoR_tgXCI

    Uumm…an oldies reaction to a Dub FX song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88QoPiZXsm8

  23. Jaquix

    Re the SA Election – the rather odd SA electoral boundary system made a huge difference to the Liberals – by carving out 4 new seats full of Lib voters, for them. Its been calculated that had that not happened, Labor would have won by 1 seat. Still Weatherill has left a very good legacy, now watch the Libs muck it up.
    Missed John Lords call for suggestions about better democracy. My beef is the media in Australia has no real checks and balances on it, and is far too skewed fo the Murdoch family/groups of companies. A Press Standards independent body WiTH TEETH would go some way towards reining them in. Also they have 70% of the print media in this country, plus TV. That is very dangerous indeed.

  24. Harry

    If we are trying to stimulate demand best to do so directly via more spending on social programs (health, education and welfare) including a Job Guarantee and higher Newstart and DSP payments. Lower income groups tend to spend nearly all their low income. The wealthy do not or spend it on trips OS.

    Tax cuts do help. But company tax cuts will have very little effect. Better to cut the taxes paid by low and middle income earners and ideally raise the tax free threshold as that means all wages earners benefit and as a bonus it makes negative gearing a little less attractive.

    What about the effect on the budget deficit I hear you ask? Well budget deficits add money and so are beneficial to the economy. They are nearly always needed and any attempt to run a surplus will result in a downturn.

  25. Helen

    It starts at the top, when Panama papers reveal that Our Leader sent his wealth to the Caymans, one of the many UK Overseas Territories that pay their own way…The Iceland PM had to resign for that, but ours repatriates over a million of his stash to fund his re-election. How legal. and how sleazy. Why were we not out in the streets, as the Icelanders were?

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