Tonight on TV, again: The Biggest Hypocrite

March 9, 2007

The Blue Team appeared to regain some advantage after the leader of the (mislabeled) Red Team was forced to admit he'd made an "error of judgement" in meeting up three times last year with convicted fraud and former WA premier Brian Burke (now a professional lobbyist).

"Anyone who deals with Brian Burke is morally and politically compromised", weighed in Peter Costello in a recent episodes of The Biggest Hypocrite, that too-long-running "reality" show set in the federal parliament.

Burke went to jail for using his office as former WA Labor Premier to help out big business mates in a regime that became notorious as "WA Inc". Today he is in trouble with Corruption and Crime Commission of WA for allegedly getting WA cabinet members to advance business interests he was promoting.

What exactly is Costello attacking as morally and politically compromising? Is it the fact that Burke had links with politicians which he used to advance big business interests? Is it the connection between pollies and big business interests?

But aren't Costello and the rest of the Blue Team proud of their close relationship with big business? So it cannot be those interests which Costello considers morally and political compromising — though you and me may think different.

Indeed, it turns out that one big business figure that Burke now lobbies for, Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest (the head of the Fortescue Metals Group), met Costello in Canberra in February last year and PM John Howard just a couple of weeks ago in Perth.

Could it be the fact that Burke was jailed for fraud? But the Blue Team's bruiser Tony Abbott regularly visits his former campaign manager Ian Macdonald, who is currently in jail for a $7 million fraud.

Indeed, shady Burke has links to at least two pollies in the Blue Team: Ian Campbell who resigned from cabinet when his meetings were exposed and even his replacement WA Senator David Johnston.

And reaching for the Biggest Hypocrite gong, Costello had the gall to release — in the same week he was raving about Burke and Rudd — a proposal to limit jail terms and other criminal sanctions against company executives guilty of corporate wrongdoing!

The links between Rudd and many other Labor politicians and the lobbyist Burke are disgusting signs of the political degeneracy of the Labor party. But Howard, Costello, Abbott and the rest of the Blue Team are bloody hypocrites.

Both Liberal and the ALP governments serve the corporate rich — and both take millions of dollars in donations from big business and have stacks of skeletons in their closets to show for it.

Part of the secret of "reality" TV shows, it is the desire of the audience to watch people do something shameful. There's certainly a lot shameful in every episode of The Biggest Hypocrite.

Want to feel a little cleaner? Here's an idea: switch off the TV, reach for the phone and make a donation to the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund on the toll-free line 1800 634 206 (calls from within Australia only). Green Left is committed to breaking the domination of society by the corporate rich. You can also send your donation by cheque to PO Box 394, Broadway 2007 or donate securely online (protected by SecurePay) at: <http://www.greenleft.org.au/fogl.htm>.

Last week our supporters raised at total of $3918 for the Fighting Fund (Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest and the like do not make a donations to Green Left Weekly), bringing the total raised this year to $35,520 (14% of our $250,000 target for the year).

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