On today’s news, it has been revealed that former politicians - including members who have been out of Federal parliament for over a decade - have been using the Gold Passes given to parliamentarians to spend something like half a million dollars on air travel this year alone.
These Gold Passes have been shown to cost Canberra an unknown sum of money that could, if we add all the sums and multiply by the years many politicians have been using them (ten years in the case of Ian Sinclair) run into the millions of dollars.
People such as Bob Brown and many journalists have been saying something needs to be done, but the current affairs programme on which I found these reports was one hundred percent clear that because of the vested interests of parliamentarians in maintaining benefits that they will eventually get, there is no way even after an extensive report that they will be significantly changed, no matter whom ordinary Australians vote in.
However, politicians’ pay is a very good way to unite people from disparate views to protests against the government. Most writers whom I have read over the past fifteen years have been very critical of government privilege. On the Right, it is argued that privilege should be abolished; on the Left it is argued it should be extended to all with the money of the super-rich. Whilst these views are genuinely opposite, it would as Thomas Woods implies be good if there could be united protest against the Gold Passes. Protest - genuine mass protest - and demonstration is the only means of stopping a waste of money that could if unchecked rival the obscenity of CityLink.