Green Left Weekly's $250,000 Fighting Fund: Howard and Costello

November 17, 1993

Peter Boyle

Have you had enough of the tug of war between John Howard and Peter Costello over who gets to run the government of the corporate rich in Australia? You promised me I could be PM, whines Costello. Howard responds with standard Howardian bluster: "Blah, blah, blah ... (barely between the lines you can read his sneer: "You really expected me to keep a promise, Peter?")

With one bastard or the other in the PM's seat, is there much of a difference, other than who gets the latest $20,280 pay rise, bringing the PM's annual salary to $309,270? They share the same monstrous politics, captured nicely in the following letter to the July 14 Sydney Morning Herald:

"Twisted logic leads to Hillsong's welfare role.

"The Federal Government cuts welfare funding so a greater number of people will be totally stripped of income. Then it funds an already wealthy fundamentalist Christian church to counsel the people who lose their benefits ('Hillsong emerges to serve jobless', July 13). Twisted logic? Not in Howard's Australia. — Ian Rodgers, Petersham"

Another letter writer made a suggestion. Noting that the Howard/Costello welfare-to-work changes "include eight weeks' removal of benefits for paltry mistakes", the writer queried why we don't suspend the pay of politicians for two months every time they lie or make a mistake?

Howard and Costello are cruelly punishing the worst-off in society and slapping $28,600 fines on workers for striking to protect their wages and working conditions. Wouldn't it be nice to give them a taste of their own medicine?

I got out the calculator and worked out what Howard's latest very public porky would cost him under such a regime for pollies: $51,545! And if that penalty could then be diverted to the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund, instead of the (indecently wealthy-winking-at-the-eye-of-the-needle) Hillsong Church, our Fighting Fund total today would be $145,668 or 58% of our target!

End of fantasy: we battlers depend on less dodgy ways of raising funds. Since the last issue, our supporters raised $4190, bringing the total raised this year to $94,123 or 38% of our target. Can you help us reach it?

If you can, please send your donation now to PO Box 394, Broadway 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line 1800 634 206 (calls from within Australia only), or donate online at: <>.

From Green Left Weekly, July 19, 2006.
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