Flying Pigs For Sale

Posted: January 9, 2017 in Ranting
Tags: , ,

Hello there, anonymous stakeholder-type person. So lovely to meet you here on the Gold Coast. Gosh – that is a lovely apartment over there. Wow – they only want $800,000 for it. And I just happen to have that here in my little purse. Oh I know – I am a terrible thing for my impulse buys.

That is what our Health Minister would have us believe. No, the taxpayer did not pay for her to go the Gold Coast on a property buying trip. She went there to meet unspecified stakeholders, and buying a $795,000 apartment there at the same time was a completely unplanned event.

Minister of Health Sussan Ley (AAP)

Minister of Health Sussan Ley (AAP)

Yep, and perhaps the Minister might also feel a whim to start purchasing when she visits my flying pig stud farm next week.

It was hardly big news when a recent study found that voters are losing faith in politicians. Yet that loss of faith sees votes go elsewhere, whether it be as a protest, exasperation or whatever. And this is having a definite impact. How else can we explain the shambolic One Nation doing so well? Or the emergence of the Trump-creature? Or Farage’s success in the Brexit con job?

People are well and truly sick of politicians and their behaviour. And the continual rorting of expenses is a major point of contention. And the fact that it just keeps happening shows just how far removed the political class is from those that they rule…lead…whatever.

We repeatedly we see politicians making ridiculous expenditure claims and when caught out, they then come up with the most nonsensical justifications for why they claimed it.

What’s that? I billed the public ten grand for the PR junket when I published my political manifesto? Whoops, my bad.

I just happened to be in the general area on secret committee business that was so secret that even the committee did not know about it. I did not use taxpayer funding to go there to attend that wedding.

But that wedding invitation that was delivered to me and addressed to me – surely that was really meant for my official office of Parliamentary Grand Poohbah for Folding Paperclips?

Yes, I have been flying my family all over the country in business class, but doesn’t everyone?

These excuses become so pathetic that there is not a chance in hell that they really meant them, which means they knew what they were doing was wrong. But when they do get caught out doing things that for the rest of us could even mean criminal proceedings, all they need do is say ‘whoops, how did that get in there’, repay the dodgy acquisitions and the slate is just wiped clean.

Sadly, I have not been really that farfetched with my examples. Tony Abbott did initially bill us for the PR when he published his book. He also pretended innocence in claiming all expenses to attend the wedding of his parliamentary colleague, Sophie Mirabella, in regional Victoria, insisting the invitation was surely to him as Manager of Opposition Business, not he, the individual. But Bronwyn Bishop’s excuse for also being at the Mirabella knees-up was at least mildly entertaining – there on secret business which cannot be discussed because it was secret. Tony Burke seemed a bit perplexed why flying his family all over the place in business class on the public purse was a cause of concern.

Surely our system of electoral expenses that keep getting rorted needs a major overhaul? Well there’s the rub. There has been review after review done. In the wake of the scandals that finally saw the end of Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, then-PM Abbott promised a ‘root and branch’ review. That was presumably to assure us something real was going to finally happen. And the review was completed last year. And nothing has changed.

For some unknown reason, reviews of Member and Senator expenditure only ever seem to tinker around the edges. Pollies still make the claims, signing off on pretty anything they feel like claiming and the Department of Finance still coughs up the readies. On the rare occasions questions are asked, out comes the ‘whoops, how did that get in there’ defence. But that is indeed a rarity. And when was the last time the Department of Finance referred an MP or Senator to the police for financial abuses?

If our major political parties want to do something to halt the hemorrhaging of voter support and avoid the horrors of perhaps Pauline Hanson as PM and Malcolm Roberts as a Tinfoil Hat-wearing President of the Senate, then they need to come down to earth and FAST. Ending the disgusting rorting of expenses would be a damn good start.

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Ross sig

  1. Paul Gillot says:

    Well said Ross! Just the sentiment here in a normally blue ribbon electorate…There is a big undercurrent starting here to move away from the major political parties. Not sure what the alternative is though.. I have forwarded your Rant to our local member Julian Leeser – not a bad bloke (yet), but he has only been a politician for a short while..



    • ausross says:

      Thanks Paul. Since drafting that, obviously more stuff has been uncovered about Ley’s rorts although she is hardly on her own. Bronwyn Bishop declared ‘secret committee business’ to claim travel to Sophie Mirabella’s wedding except the whole case fell apart when scrutinised. It was blatant fraud. But the AFP flatly refuse to look at it because it was buried at Finance under their then-Lib-friendly Secretary where nothing was going to happen. But they have a pattern the last couple of years of actually being pretty quick to act when it is in LNP interests. We are now told that all recommendations from the last review shall be implemented. I’ll believe that when I see it and even then they only tinker around the edges apart from one major one. I shall be comparing their eventual offering to the review and have no doubt even that shall be watered down further.

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