Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Morrison goes for the gutter; Abbott is gutless; Hockey steps up

The opening paragraph by Kirsty Needham says it all:

SEVEN survivors of the Christmas Island boat tragedy will travel to Sydney today to bury family members. Among them, Madian El Ibrahimy will bury his eight-month-old daughter, Zahra and Hussein al-Husaini will lay to rest his three-month-old son Sam.

Both men's wives drowned, or are missing.image

The sadness contained in those three sentences is palpable, and as tragic as anything written about the Queensland floods. In fact were you to replace “Christmas Island boat tragedy” with “Queensland floods”, and you’d be hearing both sides of politics offering statements of deep mourning.

Back when the tragedy occurred, Opposition Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison, came out with this statement:

"What has occurred today off the cliffs of Christmas Island represents our worst fears realised. This is a terrible human tragedy."

"The lives of the men, women and children on these boats are as precious as our own, and we mourn their loss.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones. For those injured and in need, we pledge to take care of them as they recover from this tragedy."

Well I am pleased to announce that the families and loved ones are now completely recovered and we can stop caring for them or treating them as we would our own.

For here was Morrison today, on the news that the seven survivors would be flown to Sydney to attend the funeral:

"The Government had the option of having these services on Christmas Island. If relatives of those who were involved wanted to go to Christmas Island, like any other Australian who wanted to attend a funeral service in another part of the country, they would have made their own arrangements to be there.

"This is a Government whose failed border protection policies have increased the cost of asylum seeker management by more than seven-fold in just the last three years.

"They need to understand the value of taxpayers' dollars in this area.

"Are you suggesting, you know, that other Australians don't find financial cost pressures when it comes to getting to these types of events that they dearly want to go to?"

Yep, using the funeral of (among others) an eight-month old and a three-month old child as a means to talk about waste of taxpayer dollars.

How classy.

Really, can you get any lower? Think about it. A father is burying his three month old child. Can you conceive of anything more horrible? How about the fact that the man’s wife will not be there because she is drowned – her body lost. Even attempting to imagine myself in his shoes brings horror to mind, and tears to eyes.

But not for Morrison.

Morrison likes to think he can be leader of the Liberal Party one day. Well all I know is I will remember his words today; and so should we all.

Was he the lone ranger on this issue? Nope try this bit of compassion from National’s Senator Fiona Nash:

"It's not really an appropriate request I don't believe for the government to say to the taxpayers of Australia, we want to pay for all of this," she told Sky News.

"We need to make sure that government decisions are made on the right basis, they are not made on an emotional reaction, they are made on a well thought out policy basis."

Yeah, we really want a Government department that has no emotional reaction when dealing with the death of a three month old child… Honestly, where do they find these people, and how do they get on the Senate ticket?

Tony Abbott was on MTR this morning getting a nice old pleasure rub from Steve Price and Andrew Bolt. How tough was the interview? Well Price started off by asking Abbott about his rise in the polls: “Are you starting to cut through or does it just mean the Government is doing a really bad job?” Oh tough question Steve, you really got him on the back foot there! There hasn’t been such a tough question asked a politician since Lisa Simpson asked Mr Burns “Mr. Burns, Your Campaign Seems To Have the Momentum of a Runaway Freight Train. Why Are You So Popular?”

Abbott was asked about Morrison’s comments. Do you think he stood up and showed some of his Christian compassion (a trait which was actually raised by Andrew Bolt earlier in the interview)? Abbott stand up to right-wing talk show hosts? Yeah right, you’ve been asleep for a few years haven’t you…

I mean, look, (it's) a terrible tragedy and I think everyone shares the grief of people who have lost loved ones - particularly in these horrible circumstances - but you're right, it does seem a bit unusual that the government is flying people to funerals.

What a weak-arsed pathetic response by an empty suit of a leader. Abbott is so locked into disagreeing with everything the Government does (even before they do it), that he cannot bring himself to agree with them even when common decency would suggest this is not an issue worth politicising.

But dog-whistle politics is far too often the stock in trade of those on the right, demonstrated nicely by Senate Gary Humphries who announced today he will table a petition calling for an end to any Muslim migration.

Humphries says he is tabling it only because he believes in free speech but that he doesn’t agree with the petition itself. I have to say, sorry Gary, what a pile of dung. This petition is signed by three people. Yep three. Those three people are free to say it, they are free to publish it (heck, they could start up a blog), they can send their thoughts to newspapers. That is freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not mean any old bigot can get his petition tabled in Parliament.

Senator Humphries tabling this petition gives it a veneer of legitimacy, and also means any crank organisation (or three friends) can sign something and send it on to Humphries for it to be tabled in parliament.

Personally I think Humphries should have sent it back and said, sorry guys I can’t support it, and given you can only get three signatures, neither does anyone else.

imageThankfully for the Liberal Party there was one person ready to show the country it has not departed the field when it comes to compassion. Joe Hockey stepped up to the plate and said what should have been said by his leader:

“I would never seek to deny a parent or a child from saying goodbye to their relative.”

“No matter what the colour of your skin, no matter what the nature of your faith, if your child has died or a father has died, you want to be there for the ceremony to say goodbye, and I totally understand the importance of this to those families.”

“I think we as a compassionate nation have an obligation to ensure that we retain our humanity during what is a very difficult policy debate.”

Well said that man.

It comes on the back of Julie Bishop announcing she would consider the views of her electorate on the issue of same sex marriage. To me this suggests there are some very deep tensions in the Liberal Party at the moment – tensions on issues that have been mostly buried for many years (in fact most of the period of Howard’s rule).

The question remains, will the moderate wing of the Liberal Party finally (after so many, many years) live up to its name, or will it give out a yelp and then cower back under a rock like it did from 96 to 07?

It is an important question, because if the moderate wing gains a voice, it will force the ALP to also show what it stands for on such issues.

On today’s funeral, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen responded:

“At the time of the tragedy there was an appropriate degree of public commentary from the opposition, which rose above politics. I think it would be better on the day of the funeral that that continued. It is perfectly appropriate for the Department of Immigration and the Australian Federal Police to make the arrangements that they have.

I think it is unfortunate that Mr Morrison would choose to politicise these arrangements.”

An understated response – and I guess it was the tone that needed to be taken – you can’t really tear strips off a guy while also at the same time trying to say the issue shouldn't be politicised. But the Government will need to watch out – if the moderate wing of the Libs gets vocal, then the ALP taking the neutral, above-politics stance won’t be enough. It has already lost many votes to the Greens because of this position; losing more to the Liberals will be death.


Righty said...

"Yep, using the funeral of (among others) an eight-month old and a three-month old child as a means to talk about waste of taxpayer dollars."

Well I'm afraid it's the government that politicised this issue by making every Australian pay for flights for assylum seekers to attend funerals.

Making them pay for their own trips would have been fair for taxpayers, who also have to pay for their own travel when they want to attend funerals.

thirdborn said...

I only hope Morrison and Abbott are taken to task on this, I am appalled.

And what about Barnaby saying today he would prefer a halt to all immigration for 10 years.

Are these guys really representing a majority of their electorates? Scary stuff.

All we need now is for Bernardi to join in, he's always a good whistler.

vp said...

As a Canberran, you know exactly what Gary Humphries is like.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the mean-spiritedness of people who don't want tax dollars to go towards a compassionate cause like uniting these families for a funeral. These are people who died trying to leave their country of origin; the survivors find their future in tatters. By accident of birth these arrivals come from countries with oppressive governments and are desperate enough to travel illegally by boat to some remote island continent... and they deserve no compassion? Or they do as long as you don't spend my taxes on it? Shame on those who enjoy the comfort of living in a democracy with a social safety net for it's most vulnerable who would deny the world's most vulnerable any human decency simply because they don't share your birthright.

Anonymous said...

A lucid summary of what seems to be becoming the norm in right-wing politics: nastiness and contradiction ... oh, and we must not forget support from a paternal media.

I am appalled at the lack of empathy and sensitivity from Morrison. In Abbott it is a given. Both professed Christians. Both completely 'unchristian' in word and deed.

Is this truly the Australia I grew up in? No. I'd rather think it is exemplified by the 'volunteers' who helped in Qld in recent weeks.

The likes of Abbott and Morrison (and indeed much of the Coalition) need to look long and hard at their behaviour and get over themselves. They have lost sight in their own humanity as they focus so strongly on trying to attain the top office!


agnes Mack said...

Late today Latika Bourke was tweeting :
"TAbbott says there's a 'herd instinct' in Canberra, a 'Gallery orthodoxy' with a tendency to 'keep kicking' when it thinks you're down. "
"TAbbott 'if you can't run yourselves you can't run the country.'"

Seems Tony wants us to feel sorry for him, implying gallery journalists are giving him a hard time when he's down. He doesn't seem to think the asylum seekers burying their children & family members could possibly be cast down, as he and Scott Morrison add to their misery by kicking them wherever they can land a blow.

Disgusting. Thanks for putting out a much needed post before you're engulfed by trivia.

Kyna62 said...

"Abbott Backs anti-Muslim petition MP" http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/15/3139678.htm

I'm curious why a petition signed by 3 people in Sydney is being presented by a senator from the ACT. He doesn't represent these 3 people or their state.

Andrew Elder said...

The poverty of the response from the journosphere: "Hockey breaks ranks", like he's the one being soft in standing up for a principle.

That said, if Gillard and Swan have any brains they will just wedge and wedge and wedge again, like Labor did to the Liberals in the 1987-90 parliament, breaking one leader and heightening ideological tensions that they couldn't face up to.

DJ Maths said...

@Righty - that's not entirely true. If a person is in jail, or on remand, or in a juvenile justice centre - a situation pretty much identical to refugees in an asylum centre, the relevant department will often organise and pay for travel for them to attend funerals of loved ones.

This is done as those under control orders don't really have access to their money (or indeed often have no money), which is the same as this circumstance.

As a society we have decided that there are certain levels of dignity that we would like to allow every person. Whether they are a criminal or an asylum seeker, they are, ultimately, a human being.

So... you're wrong. And petty. It's like $0.0001 cents p/person.

Lesley Dewar said...

“I would never seek to deny a parent or a child from saying goodbye to their relative.”

“No matter what the colour of your skin, no matter what the nature of your faith, if your child has died or a father has died, you want to be there for the ceremony to say goodbye, and I totally understand the importance of this to those families.”

“I think we as a compassionate nation have an obligation to ensure that we retain our humanity during what is a very difficult policy debate.”

Thank you, Joe Hockey, for putting a human face on this dreadful tragedy. These costs are a drop in the ocean of our national budget - we cannot afford to be a nation without compassion.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what 'Righty' would've done in WW2 with the Jews. "Stuff it, they can pay to get away from Auschwitz... I hear there's a people smuggler called Mr Schindler. Oh, wait.. hang on... (brain seizure)"

Sir Ian Crisp said...

Pauline Talty, when seeking commonwealth funds to enable treatment under the Medical Treatment Overseas Program was forced to grovel and plead for 6 months. Is this that same 'compassionate' government or are there different levels of compassion?

Gordicans said...

I can just picture the party meeting this morning with Morrison saying "hey guys, I've got a great idea for us to run with today..." and after his presentation Tony saying "well done Scott" and the other Lib neo cons nodding in approval and taking notes. Out numbered at the back of the room are Bishop and Hockey standing quietly exchanging horrified looks.

2353 said...

And Abbott and Morrison call themselves Christians!

Whatever happened to compassion and humanity - something preached by most if not all religions?

kazann said...

There just are no words to express the the disappointment and hopelessness I feel about the current political climate. As a youngen (45) in my family I am pleaded with to not say what I think when older relatives start talking about crap they have heard from the likes of Jones, Price and Hadley. No shhhhh, don't rock the boat. Just let them have there rant. Why? I find their opinions offensive and often out and out factually incorrect. I have in the past been pushed to the point where I have presented them with facts, told them I would be happy to show them where to find the correct information, but there reply is always "oh well" and onto the next percieved "fact". Recently a Aunt in law was having a rant about the levy, she will not have to pay anyway, because we give those people from Afganistan $4000 to go home and if we just didn't pay those illegals we wouldnt need a levy. Yeah like the few that may take up that offer will save us from the levy. The saddest thing of all is it isn't just a rant. She truly believes it.
Hate is toxic and this country is slowly being poisoned.

Anonymous said...

What Morrison didn't mention is the $1800 per day wasted on locking up the survivors we pretend to feel compassion for or that estimates questions show that the entire process for asylum claims takes 18.5 hours, the rest of the 180 days in jail is about trying to find ways to deny people.

Anonymous said...

The duly elected government may not click into gear until July 1, and until then be seen to be treading water, but to have a Parliamentary opposition clambering over the top of government in a desperate bid to avoid drowning is not only dishonourable, to be carrying dead weight like Morrison merely sounds the knell of the inevitable descent to the depths

2353 said...

Forgot to mention above but Barnaby Joyce wrote off his $80,000 Govt funded Land Cruiser recently by driving through flood water.

Maybe Abbott and Morrison can explain how this isn't a waste of a much greater amount of taxpayer money than the claimed waste caused by flying a few people from Christmas Island to Sydney.

Pip said...

There are numbers of self proclaimed Christians on Opposition benches but their philosophy bears no resemblance to any reasonable understanding of what it means to live a Christian life.
What Morrison and Abbott said today is just sickeneing, yet I'm sure they'll sleep peacefully tonight, believing they've done a good days work.
The very thought of having to bury tiny infants is just too sad to contemplate for most of us.
These desperate refugees deserve more respect and compassion and thankfully not everyone thinks only of political advantage and the almighty dollar.

Doug said...

I don't need to add my little voice to the moral disgust but, since Morrison, Abbott, Price, Jones, Bolt, Akerman, Devine and the others of the supposedly left wing media (it's true, you can read about it in the blogs all the time) want to reduce the issue to money, then I have some questions.

When the "shit happened" in Beirut a couple of years ago, the Aust Govt spared no expense in evacuating Aust citizens by ferry to Cyprus. When the "shit happened" in Egypt last fortnight, the Aust Govt laid on a couple of QF 747s to evacuate the Australians. And when Australians were killed and injured in the Bali bombs, no expense was spared for their families, including flying them up to Bali for memorial services in following years. In each of these instances, the bill was met in its entirety by the Australian taxpayer. Would Mr Morrison like to propose that these were examples of Aust Govt prolifigacy with taxpayers' money - in particular for the Bali events, which were anniversary memorial services, not actually funerals? What a nasty little person he must be.

Joe Hockey became a man today. Pity Petro Georgiou and the Judiths (Troeth and Moylan) were not there with him. But where on this issue are Julie Bishop, Malcolm Turnbull, Chris Pyne, Greg Hunt and the other self-described moderates? How many times are they going to suck it up before they finally make a stand and confirm for us the humanity they profess to feel?

Meanwhile, Abbott, a professed Christian, is willing to set aside all humanitarian principles for personal political advantage. I hope the media will ask Cardinal Pell for his views on the issue - it might be instructive as to the meaning of Christianity in Australia in the 21st century.

Now, since Morrison and Abbott want to reduce all issues to the crass level of dollars and cents, I see that Barnaby Joyce drowned his taxpayer funded $80,000 Land Cruiser last December. According to the media, he said it was covered by insurance. Would somebody ask him with what company? My understanding is that the Aust Govt self-insures so, unless there are new arrangements in place, the insurer of which Mr Joyce is speaking is in fact the Australian taxpayer. More waste by the Gillard government.

Anonymous said...

A simple question for all the alledged Christians involved in this atrocity is this= "What would Christ say/do in the circumstances?".

Patricia WA said...

A Summer Of Sorrow For All Of Us!

Why begrudge a few dollars
The government’s spent?
Why not, this time,
Refrain from comment?
Why not just stand
And listen, and hear
The sobs and the grief
From afar and near,
Not just for ‘illegals’
Who’ve been lost at sea.
Fire and flood could have taken
From you or from me.
That great leveller, Death,
Requires our respect.
Surely today, even you,
Can pause and reflect.

Lizz said...

Thank you Joe Hockey - the past 15 years of being interested in politics, I've been so disillusioned by the LNP. You've just provided a glimmer of hope...

@kazann - I hear you there. We're in difficult times culturally. I'm also dismayed at how spiteful some people are.

Anonymous said...

I know of what you speak, although I don't engage with relatives who hold those sorts of opinions/prejudices. I do despair of the way public discourse is conducted. In the last week, that dubious Melburnian authority on everything, Neil Mitchell, has been running a campaign against smart (electricity) meters, alleging that they are unsafe and represent a fire risk. The truth of the matter apparently is that the roll-out of smart meters has identified dangerously faulty wiring - no doubt done by unqualified people (fly-by-nighters or home "handypersons" doing it themselves). Yet what his listeners are hearing is a conflation - smart meters = fire risk. It is worth noting that compared to the likes of Jones, Price, Bolt and Hadley, Mitchell is a model of sanity and a dangerous left-winger.
This is an carbon copy of the home insulation program where the received version is a cause-effect relationship between Labor Government wasteful spending causing fires and deaths. The truth as most of us know is that it was faulty wiring uncovered during the program, and incompetent operators thieving money off taxpayers - rather than the hapless Peter Garrett - who are responsible.
The BER is another example where the received version is of a fiasco a hopeless spendathon by the Government, when the truth is program has a 97% success rate and minimal complaints.
Attempting to reverse these confusions, distortions and untruths is virtually impossible.

Jaded said...

"Joe Hockey became a man today."

I dunno, Doug. The cynic in me says Joe Hockey remained a politician today... Maybe he is standing up for the right thing, but chances are he's just positioning himself the leadership spill - or didn't get the memo.

Unknown said...

I agree entirely with your article

Evan said...

Grogs, Barry's office isn't that far away.... Maybe we should put together a petition? I reckon we could get a lot more than 3 signatures....


Anonymous said...

I understand the Defence department paid travel costs for 60+ soldier colleagues to come from Darwin to Launceston for the memorial service for Corporal Richard Atkinson on Monday. Two of his closest mates were flown back from Afghanistan to be there. This seems as appropriate to me as flying seven people from Christmas Island to Sydney for the funerals of their families.

Hardly accurate to suggest there is something strange about the Australian Government paying for funeral travel costs in such cases.

han said...

I wonder if the "breaking ranks" by Hockey was a clever ploy to have it both ways: bigots get to vent their bigotry through Abbott and Morrison while moderate voters are reassured by Hockey that they can remain in the Coalition camp with their conscience intact.

This does work I have to say. In fact on most social issues Turnbull appears to be more moderate than Gillard. I am prepared to vote Green and preference Coalition next time if Turnbull gets leadership back and the ALP continues its drift to the right.

On the petition issue, I heard on the radio that the three had tried their local MPs but got no where that is how it ended up at Garry Humphrey's hand. I suggest we organize a three-person petition to the freespeech defending Senator that we should ban Jewish people from immigration for ten years and see if it gets tabled too.

Nigel said...

It's always the noisy Christians, the praise-the-lorders who lack compassion, and the quiet ones who get down and do something about grief and loss and loneliness, who show compassion. It's getting so that one doesn't want to call oneself Christian in case others think you are like these hypocrites.

sam sunshine said...

It seems this Hockey has made a "sackable" error in breaking team discipline.

@AndySHastings said...

I find Hockey's words interesting: "No matter what the colour of your skin, no matter what the nature of your faith..."

Seems like he's confirming the Liberal's policies are based around differences in skin colour and religion.

Unknown said...

Barnaby Joyce questions the use of taxpayers money for these funerals.

However he also thinks that writing off an $80k government provided 4x4 while working on his private farm is good use of our tax dollars.

_vTg_ said...

If Australian taxpayers don't want to pay costs associated with funerals when the family has no means to do so, perhaps the Coalition can stop bereavement payments to our pensioners through Centrelink? I am disgusted that apparently intelligent politicians felt that this was an issue they could politicize.
Rest in peace, Baby Zahra and Baby Sam.

Anonymous said...

I think that banging on about Barnabys landcruiser in relation to this issue is irrelevant and wrong. As i understand it insurance has covered the cost of the vehicle and the use of the vehicle by the senator is not an issue. Morrisons statement was repugnant to say the least. Unfortunately it will find favour with a section of our community that think no further than "those bludging towelheads". I have not seen the reported statement from Joyce that he would prefer a halt to immigration for ten years but it doesn't surprise me.

Fair_go said...

What in the hell has happened to our much-vaunted self image as a nation where a "fair go" is the norm?

I'm utterly appalled to find that, almost daily, people like Morrison and Abbott continue to attack those who desperately need our help and who can't defend themselves. Where are their Christian principles? Where is their humanuty? How can they possibly look at themselves in the mirror or sleep soundly at night?

I'm titally disgusted!

Fair_go said...

I'm totally disgusted!

Anonymous said...

Seems Hockey has stepped back from his compassion of yesterday.

emjar said...

How am I expected to explain to my niece who is currently studying the asylum seeker issue in religous education at her Catholic school why one of the most prominent Catholic Australians, whilst professing Christianity, has done nothing to hose down this issue and show some compassion? Talk about double standards?
And it just goes on and on and on.

cranston said...

Where was Scott Morrison & his Liberal colleagues' concern for the taxpayers' dollars when they blew $169 million on Sea Sprite helicopters that never flew? Which cost more - these funerals or Peter Reith's phone bill? The list could go on and on.
Scott Morrison personifies everything wrong with churches. Smooth, smug, self satisfied. Seen any eyes of needles lately, Scott?

han said...

"after Kirsty Needham broke the story in the Herald yesterday, Julia Gillard was questioned on her arrival in New Zealand about the opposition criticism. She said it was up to the relevant ministers back home to respond."


I wonder when will the PM realize she is the Prime Minister and has the podium and the microphone and status associated with the job title and act like a leader.

Dong said...

It is alright for Morrison to say they should pay their own way like any other aussie but what he doesn't mention is that we have them locked up thousands of kilometres away for no other reason except they tried to flee the horrors of their home country. Even criminals are transported to funerals of close family and they are not criminals, it is not illegal to seek asylum.
He also neglects the fact that it is the government who took away the bodies for post-mortem. The government therefore has obligations to these people. I am horrified at what is happening to my country, Australia. Are we really trying to be callous and uncaring as a nation? We had started to move away from White Australia and other horrors of the past. Now they are returning.

Anonymous said...

You might like to recognise that Ms Gillard has adopted the position, across the board, of refraining from remarking on domestic issues whilst abroad. This she leaves to the Acting Prime Minister and senior ministers so that she can concentrate on the task immediately to hand.
To imply that she is in some way wimping out or dodging responsibility is more than a little partisan.
On the topic, I am disgusted by Morrison's and Abbott's stance on this subject and today's so-called contrition extends only as far as timing, not the substance of the complaints.
Christians? Bah!

emjar said...

I've just read an article by Barrie Cassidy reporting on an interview with Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Jon Faine of the ABC radio regarding an orphaned refugee boy who was made to go back to Christmas Island folllowing the funeral of his parents in Sydney. He apparently could have stayed with relatives in Sydney but permission was refused. All I can say is it would seem that lack of compassion is a fault of both sides of politics. Are they having a competition??And when are people going to wake up and realise the terrible toll in terms of mental health issues, now and when all the minors in detention grow up. This is abuse!!

Anonymous said...

Will Barnaby Joyce be using the Senate Estimates to question how much it cost to fly Br'er Abbot to Afghanistan so that he could shoot guns and talk shit?

sam sunshine said...

The Lbs have achieved their objective of getting the One Nation support onside.

They can now afford "contrition" to try and get the "wets" calmed down.

Its a bit of a stretch to make both positions look any other than they are - a contortion.

The Lib staffer attack on Hockey has now been withdrawn. Hockey should be under no illusion of his support within the NSW Liberal party..

Sonia said...

Funnily enough One Nation have said
that the Libs went too far. Tell the Libs that. All Morrison regrets his the timing.

Anonymous said...

Look at moi, I've got two words for yu ..... State Election. They all crawl out of the woodwork, all the pus gets squeezed, 'anything it takes', not just a labour motto. That's PR Politics, watercooler waffle and I'll have mine with a Gloria Jean's Coffe thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else catch a glimpse of Barnaby workin' man Joyces hands? The only reason ol' Barnie needs a Landcruiser (by the way is Toyota sponsoring this blog?) is to ferry the clan to church each Sunday. They are the most beautiful girly man hands I've ever seen, really take a good hard look next time. Know the policies to understand the theatre and the illusion will be no more.

Anonymous said...

Hypocrite Morrison and Abbott. Politicians have no scruples when it comes to using taxpayer funds for their own pleasure and political business. They are rarely questioned over airfares and as for their travelling allowance payments, what a joke. They claim their hundreds of dollars per night, find find the cheapest accommodation they can, eat out at someone else's expense or grab a toasted sandwich at the local cafe and pocket the rest. Question: Did Morrison and Abbott fly around the country at taxpayers expense during the election campaign drumming up votes for their colleagues? I would think so.. I haven't even started to think about the cost of their entourage (family and staff). I have heard that many Canberra-based Liberal staff were relocated to Melbourne during the election campaign and taxpayer picked up tab for all their airfares and travel allowances. The Bill would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hypocrites.
I would rather pay for these people to attend loved ones funeral than to pay for politicians to go to the tennis or a fundraising junket.

Anonymous said...

Poor Barnaby, we all have a bad day sometimes. Would be interesting to know just how many other politicians have written off their cars. Local panelbeater told me he has lost count of the number of tims local politician has brought their car in for repairs. Fact is that they just don't care and they dont even pay the excess it is paid for by government. At least Barnaby had the grace to admit his mistake.

Alistair Baillieu-McEwan said...

And so it goes - and goes.

Thank you PatriciaWA - you always bring a touch of sanity wherever I find you.

And once more, thank you Grog.