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Xenophon: a box of revolting chocolates

Nick Xenophon has capitulated to Turnbull’s big business pressure group by supporting a 5% cut to corporate taxes. That’s right; the man who markets himself as a maverick, as a pox-on-the-major-parties-houses, as literally ‘a common sense alternative’ to establishment politics, as the champion of the little guy and as someone who holds the bastards to account, has shown himself to be chief bastard.

Like a plot from a how-not-to-negotiate training video, Xenophon caved on a policy that he had forever promised to stand firm on, by letting the government gift a tax cut to businesses earning up to $50 million dollars a year, in return for a useless-piece-of-paper-report and possibly a one-off discount on energy bills for welfare recipients, no bigger than the discount you already get for paying a bill on time. The outcome of this king-maker’s negotiation is akin to swapping a Ferrari for a match box car.

So why did he do it, you ask? Why, when the Australian electorate are howling at the Liberal government’s attack on wages, when Turnbull is as popular as a wet fart in a lift, when both Xenophon and Hanson are flip-flopping around trying to find a position on penalty rates which wallpapers over their Liberal roots, when the last thing the economy needs, and the government budget needs, is to have billions of dollars flooding out to off shore tax havens when it would be much better for the economy if it were going into a nation-wide wage rise, when Xenophon’s Teflon coating has protected his ex-CEO-of-the-Retail-Traders-Association, Senator Stirling Griff, from any scrutiny of his obvious conflict of interest in voting on retail wages, why would Xenophon be so electorally inept to back the big end of town over those people who put him into a position of power in the first place? Why would he decide to wipe billions off the budget from today onwards forever, a slash and burn which will see public services kicked to the curb and every Australian’s quality of life damaged because of it, when he must know this decision will come back and bite him in the bum electorally in the short term and the long term?

Simply, Xenophon, former member of the Adelaide University Liberal Club, is doing it because he wants to. He is doing it because he can. It is a myth that he is returning to type. There is no return. This is who Nick Xenophon is and always was. A company tax cut is his ideological preference and if you voted for him expecting otherwise, well, more fool you.

I have been watching Xenophon get a free ride in the media for so long that he’s become a caricature of the loss of any real journalistic talent. He is never scrutinised, beyond what deal he might do at the last minute before a policy vote takes place. During the election campaign, no media outlet provided any substantial analysis of what Xenophon stands for, preferring instead to follow his stunt-led campaign to its shallow inevitable sound bite, criticising the Labor Party for being too Labor, the Liberal Party for being too Liberal and claiming to be neither of those things, and standing for nothing, yet no one cared because, look over there a shiny object. I’ve had people literally say to me: ‘I’m voting for Nick Xenophon because he’s not Labor or Liberal’. It’s like saying ‘I eat vanilla ice cream because I don’t like chocolate or strawberry’ and when you ask if they like vanilla flavour, they look blankly and say ‘I’ve never really held it long enough in my mouth to get an idea of how it tastes’.

In Nick Xenophon’s claim to populism, in his un-scrutinised media profile, in his free ride to do whatever he likes because he has the power to do that, we all lose. Xenophon is everything that is wrong with politics and political reporting in Australia. It’s ironic, that the man who rose to political power promising to reform gambling, who hasn’t achieved a single reform to gambling, who is more interested in doing terrible deals than talking about gambling reform, is the ultimate gamble for the electorate. I like to call Nick Xenophon the vote gamble for terrible gamblers. He’s like a box of revolting chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get, but whatever you get, it is going to taste terrible.

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43 comments

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  1. Halfbreeder

    Xenophon is the King of the Cons.

  2. Bruno

    Good scathing article. Xenophon has disappointed a lot of people with this decision. Not the first time he has capitulated.

  3. passum2013

    Anther No brainer politician that can be bribed for peanuts let the Monkey dance for his treats

  4. David1

    Xenophon is an insipid ‘only if it suits my personal agenda’ selfish hypocritical tosser. He puts on the airs and graces of a savior for the middle and lower classes. he is far from it, This media troll of a personal agenda driven, like what I want and up the rest is sickening to behold. Like Hanson he is supported in the Senate by underlings frightened to oppose his ideology who tag along repeating what he instructs them to say and worse, vote as he tells them.
    What an arsole. Not another word about him from me, the stench is overpowering

  5. Jaquix

    Exactly so, Victoria. Ive been watching his M.O. for some time, and he always makes a big play of standing up to the Libs. Then he always “capitulates” in return for something or other. In this case a whole lot of not much at all. I get the feeling that this is going to be a stretch too far for many of those who voted for him. A barrister told me once before I went into court “Tell the truth even if it goes against your case. You must have the trust of the judge.” Nick has almost certainly lost a lot of trust by a lot of people over this cheap act. Once lost, trust is very hard, if not impossible to regain.

  6. Jaquix

    A question: Does this corporate tax cut apply to “family trusts”? If so, surely there will be a rush of even more high earners to turn themselves into such company entities to save tax, to the detriment of govt revenue. I imagine none of them ever actually employ anybody, so whats the gain to the economy ?

  7. Terry2

    Did I hear right, pensioners are getting a “one off” $75 ($125 for couples) ?

    Are these the crumbs from the rich man’s ? Do we now tug our forelocks – thankee master !

  8. Jaquix

    Yes Terri, down on your knees!

  9. Arthur Chance

    Xenophon is not only a Malacca he seems to enjoy pisokolito with Malcolm and Morriscum.

  10. Pete Petrass

    If he does actually support the tax cuts then why go to all the trouble of making such a pathetic deal at all? For what he gained it just seems a waste of time.

  11. Jerry

    Be grateful Terry2 they could just give you a Golden Shower instead.

  12. Juanita Hardy (@Pikiran2ku)

    Until now there seems to have been very little scrutiny of Xenophon and what little he stands for, so if any good is to come out of this latest bit of dirty, headline-grabbing, ego-driven dealing, perhaps it is that now his voting patterns will be examined more closely and his hypocrisy revealed. As Halfbreeder pointed out here, Xenophon is the King of the Cons.

  13. Jane

    All Greek Boys are spoilt rotten by their Mothers.Which gives them no backbone.

  14. 1petermcc

    I was amazed he rolled over on the serious topic of water quality for South Oz recently. When he took a stand I was surprised, but he quickly returned to form. The concession of “We will look into it” was about as pathetic as it gets.

    I had an email exchange with him over penalty rates about 2 years ago. He cared not for the kids working their way through Uni so in that respect he is quite happy to follow the Liberal policy of moving debt from the country as a whole, onto our kids. A fan of the discredited “trickle down” theory.

    As to why he gets kid glove treatment from the Media? It makes no sense to me. He would be the low hanging fruit of dodgy pollies who grandstand about an issue, then roll over for a tummy rub.

  15. Freethinker

    Another move by Nick testing the intelligence of the SA electorate by adding in his “brilliant” negotiation skills the government guarantee the go-ahead of a solar power plant in Port Augusta by offering a concessional loan of up to $110 million for the project.
    Also, the government will commission an independent report into increasing power affordability and reliability, with legislation to be introduced by mid-2018.
    Give time and will see if he has coned the electorate again.
    guess that also we have to remember that Cory Bernardi, Derryn Hinch and David Leyonhjelm and One Nation also supported the bill.
    As long as we have people that are voting for these politicians we do not have a hope..

  16. Michael Taylor

    If anything (else) this highlights to complete hypocrisy of the Turnbull Government. After spending the last six months lambasting South Australia for their clean/renewable energy initiatives, they are now quite happy to loan them $110 million for a solar power plant.

  17. helvityni

    Nick lost my trust some time ago, he embarrasses me, he’s there with Hanson…

    I had a lunch in Sydney with old friends a couple of weeks ago. We talked politics, a Canadian friend commented; Nick is the only politician I still trust; I had not heart to tell her what I thought of the man… for the sake of old friendships and all that… 🙂

  18. Freethinker

    Michael they are treating the electorate in the way that for them will work.
    Now we have to see which are the results.

  19. Mark Needham

    ” happy to loan them $110 million for a solar power plant.”
    Yes, Pox on the Feds.
    They still haven’t worked out how to solve the power problems in SA. They, by They, I mean, it seems to be everyone with a say in the matter, or at least a say that will involve some action.
    It are so bloody obvious, yet They, can not bring themselves to say the words.
    So, Pox on Them All.
    The world is full of wishful thinking, a feminine trait, which, by itself is not a bad thing. But all that wishing does, is disallow reality to be accepted and acted upon.
    Do not, ever, increase SA base load power. Until they do, they cannot help themselves, let alone lend a hand to the rest of Australia. They are effectively Greedy Bastards.
    Mark Needham

  20. silkworm

    Need some cheering up?

  21. diannaart

    @Victoria

    Loving this: “I’ve had people literally say to me: ‘I’m voting for Nick Xenophon because he’s not Labor or Liberal’. It’s like saying ‘I eat vanilla ice cream because I don’t like chocolate or strawberry’ and when you ask if they like vanilla flavour, they look blankly and say ‘I’ve never really held it long enough in my mouth to get an idea of how it tastes’.

    Always suspected he was a big “L” on the inside.

    @Michael

    and this needs to be blazed across the MSM until reason prevails (which probably means forever): Turnbull Government. After spending the last six months lambasting South Australia for their clean/renewable energy initiatives, they are now quite happy to loan them $110 million for a solar power plant.

    Whatever is lower or more debased than hypocrites, that is the LNP.

  22. Angry Old Man

    While I endorse Victoria’s scathing article, I do object to chocolate being dragged into it. Chocolate is beautiful. It would take serious effort to mongrel chocolate, although, if anyone could do it, the Libs and their butt-monkeys would give it a good go.

  23. Barry

    Victoria you have nailed it, well done. The big problem is that MSM doesn’t write or promote articles like this, instead they just faff around and say bugger all, on Insiders tomorrow they will be trumpeting what a great week the government had (dunno why I keep watching it as I usually end up swearing at the tv). Another problem that I see is that sites such as this and others like it have a limited readership, that’s not a derogatory statement btw. Most of the population get their news from the local fish and chip wrapper or free to air tv so enough said on that point. The only way I can see a change in voters views is for people that visit sites such as this and have an interest in politics and the future of our country is to engage with family, friends and acquaintances. Talk to them, point out the problems with party x, y or z’s policies or lack thereof. I did quite a bit of that during the last election. Actually talked a few very strong anti union people in to a grudging respect for what most unions actually do. Again, well done Victoria.

  24. Olivia Manor

    I once sent an email to Xenophon, urging him to take a stand against keeping children and refugees locked up in Nauru. He actually took the time to reply personally. Alas, it was all about mantaining border security, how hard it was to make a good decision etc. etc. in short, I don’t give a fundamental and I agree with Dutton and what he is doing. That proved it that Xenophon is in politics for one reason only: Nick Xenophon! No morals, no compassion, no spine!

  25. Kronomex

    I have more respect for Bernardi (and that’s not a lot) than I do Xenophon. At least with Cory you know what a ratbag he is while Xenophon is a wishy-washy pollie who, like the rest of the LNP only cares about keeping himself in the trough. I’m so thrilled that the $75.00 one off will pay for about a month of my quarterly power bill. Yay, for Nick, the cheap little scumbag.

  26. Victoria Rollison

    If I had known by writing about Xenophon I would get a clean sweep of comments in agreement, I would have done it years ago. Kidding. Sort of.

  27. Freethinker

    Kronomex, it works out to a massive help of $0.2055 a day.
    Just wonder if Nick is satisfied with the insult to the pensioners or looking into more in the future.

  28. Michael Taylor

    What it shows, Victoria, is that outside his own electorate or state, not many people Australia-wide think much of Mr X. Across social media over the last 24 hours I’ve seen lots of “I never liked him much anyway, but now I like him even less” (or similar). I don’t recall seeing one comment in support of him.

  29. my say

    Something is really wrong when a business can get a tax cut ,when so many dont pay tax ,
    pensioners and low income earners get a pay cut,Turnbull and Hanson were bad enough
    now we have old Nick joining them ,he hasbeen bought for a few pieces of silver ,They are like a cancer killing Australia slowley

  30. olddavey

    Posted this yesterday on GA, but I’ll plagiarise myself and repeat it.
    “”Zerocred’s taken another one up the arse.
    Fizz and the Gang will find an excuse to renege, as always.
    And what did he get? A few measly dollars for those on welfare and some empty promises.
    Reminds me of the old joke, “What do you call a bus full of Greeks going over a cliff?”
    “Condescending”.
    My apologies to those of Grecian heritage, but I don’t believe the Xman is up to your standards.””

    One poster said they hoped I didn’t get an 18c notice, but I think true Greek folks would be appalled by Rank Xerox’s kowtowing to his masters.
    Appalling behaviour!

  31. Victoria Rollison

    I’ve already seen a couple say ‘I won’t vote for him again’

  32. Terry2

    The credo of this government is that every outlay must be matched by a corresponding cut in expenditure : everything must balance according to the coalition.

    This being the case, if the Treasury is to forgo between $25 and $50 billion in revenue because of tax cuts to corporations then it makes sense that corporations with turnover over $50 billion should have an increase in tax to balance the shortfall : isn’t that the way it works in the coalition ?

    This is what Xenophon should have focused on, in my view.

  33. Trim

    Beware of Greeks bearing Gifts! There ARE some South Australians who have NEVER voted for this little poser; and NEVER will. The STUPID will continue to.

  34. Keitha Granville

    $75 !!!! gosh I can hardly wait, we’ll be able to leave our heater on for a whole evening instead of switching it off and grabbing a blanket. Or maybe we’ll leave the lights on a few minutes longer. How to decide . . . . . .

  35. Freethinker

    $0.20.5 per day, I doubt that the heater will be on more than 5 minutes extra.

  36. babyjewels10

    A liberal at heart, it wouldn’t have taken much for him to cave, and it didn’t.

  37. Kronomex

    Freethinker, I just realised that the $0.20 a day would buy two lollies and the quick sugar rush would be better than running the heater and tastier as well.

  38. Johno

    He didn’t get my vote but some friends in the seat of Mayo voted Rebecca Sharkey. Rebecca kicked out long time lib held seat of Jamie Briggs. Thanks Victoria & commenters. Just sent off message via get up.
    My friends voted for the Xteam for the same reasons as mentioned above.

  39. MAlcolm in the Muddle

    Xenophons flip flopping position on renewable energy signals what you can expect from him. While a Liberal in sheeps clothing, he occasionally looks and sounds sensible, but could it be that he is doing exactly what Hanson does. Playing to the audience. Being popular and telling people what they want to here (without actual plans) never ends well on a policy front.

  40. Paolo Soprani

    On the basis of this fine article, which should be printed in the mainstream media, but who will do it? I have donated 50 dollars to the AIMN. Ms Rollison, your work is truly spectacular. Thank you very much.

  41. Kathy Heyne

    I was one of those who’d not looked too closely and thought Xenophon was ok until this. Not anymore. Tell me, do aged pensioners get sick and tired of being treated like cheap whores by politicians?

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