Lordy, the Coalition’s moral compass has spun wildly out of control, via Domain:
A lobby group masquerading as a grassroots organisation of disgruntled retirees is actually a network of professional lobbyists involved in the trucking industry and the Liberal Party, with a history of campaigning against Labor government policies.
Defenders of Self-Funded Retirees says it was formed by “hard-working Australians who reject Labor’s proposal to impose double taxation and to demonise us”. However, the association is managed by Liberal Party member and ACT Senate candidate Robert Gunning, along with a number of Mr Gunning’s friends from the trucking lobby.
Meanwhile, Kathrarine Murphy sums up Tim Wilson nicely:
If it wasn’t already obvious, we have entered the “whatever it takes” stage of proceedings.
The Coalition wants to get back into the contest, and is on the hunt for the knockout blow, or blows. The core objective at the moment is to get the whole country roiling about Labor’s “retirement tax” (that isn’t a tax, just like the carbon tax was never a tax despite what Tony told us).
The franking credits issue has become a proxy for “Labor will steal what’s yours and drive the country off the cliff”.
It’s that mindset that leads you to a place where you can establish an “inquiry” into a “retirement tax” (that isn’t a tax), funded by the taxpayer (thanks for that guys), and think it’s fine for the chairman of the relevant parliamentary committee (in this case Tim Wilson) to authorise what is clearly an accompanying, partisan campaign website (endorsed by him in his committee capacity) in order to better funnel outrage to the main event.
…The foundational question is this: does representative politics continue to work when the citizenry doesn’t know whose interests are being represented? It’s the question being asked in every major democracy in the world right now.
Tim Wilson in his hurry to advance, or to “help”, has overreached, and anyone who cares about parliamentary conventions can see his position isn’t tenable.
Unfortunately Wilson can’t see it, and that, right there, is our problem.
I feel dirty just writing about it.