Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Politicians - "We're all right"

Yesterday's (19 June 2007) announcement that politicians will get a 6.7% pay rise from next month has rankled many people in Australia. What annoys people is not that they get a pay rise, or even the amount, per se. After all, it is reasonable to pay our politicians.

What has rankled the Australian people are the following:
  1. that members of the major parties (Liberal, Labor, and even the National Party) stood before the press and boasted that they had an "independent body/umpire/tribunal" to set their pay.
    Many Australians, those under WorkChoices contracts do not: the body that sets their wages is part of the Ministry, and therefore under effective political control.
  2. that one coalition (Liberal MP David Jull) replied that "we have a judge to set our pay". This is a member of Parliament that voted to remove the power of judges in the Australian Industrial Commission to set wages independently of government. The hypocrisy of his statement is mind-boggling!
  3. that one coalition Senator (Sue Boyce, from Queensland) said the following about the less fortunate in our society:

    "I'll probably buy some extra pearls to cast before the deserving poor or something"

    Perhaps that is a modern equivalent of "let them eat cake"? Such a comment is indefensible, reprehensible and is one that would not be made by any decent person, under ANY circumstances. Poverty and disadvantage is something about which honourable people do NOT jest. (I suspect that is her preferred "defence".)
It really is the hypocrisy and and the detrimental social impacts of their policies that annoy people. If only our leading politicians would recognise that and act in the interests of ordinary Australians.

The Analyst