spent taxpayer money when she should not have done it. Sussan Ley must resign.
Or so the media would have us believe. She wants us to believe it is "an error of judgment". The Opposition of course is making much more of it. They want to see her forced to resign.
The problem is that she isn't the first politician to make such "an error of judgment" - and she won't be the last. There are other politicians who have committed worse sins and have somehow managed to retain their positions.
I spent a good deal of last week working for the government. I did not get paid for this. I won't be paid for it.
There will be other people who did similar work. They won't be paid for it either.
Why did we do it? We did it because people we know needed help. We did it because people we don't know needed help too. We weren't "volunteering". We were simply performing an essential service without which other people might be in dire financial straits. The government knows full well it can rely on it happening and it will take full advantage of it. Why spend taxpayer dollars on something you know people will do for nothing?
The government knows full well that the media will write any story up in such a way that it will seem the community is at fault. The media will suggest that neighbours simply didn't care enough to be bothered to help. Yes we pay taxes in the belief that they are used to provide the services we need but if someone needs something then family, friends, neighbours and those strange people who "volunteer" are responsible. Seeking help from those we elected to govern us should be a last resort.
Mmmm....I think I understand that. It means that it is fine for a politician - of any persuasion - to spend a few extra taxpayer dollars. If they don't get caught out that's even better. But if the illiterate Jo Bloggs wants enough to pay the power bill and eat in the coming week then he or she had better be able to account for every cent and have someone else fill out the form for them. That "someone" will not be a paid government employee. There are thousands of them - but they are all busy doing other things.
When I was seeking a job with the public service I was told there was a place for me. They would be happy to "employ" me - as long as I did not expect to be paid. Indeed, rather oddly, they couldn't understand why I wanted to be paid. Didn't I want "experience"? No, they had someone to work the photocopier - someone with Downs' Syndrome on "work experience". This would be something else. There was no guarantee of paid employment at the end of it but they were sure I would understand that. They told other people the same thing. Some people did go to work unpaid but I don't know anyone who got a job that way.
In any other area it is considered wrong to pay to do an internship but apparently it is fine in a government department. It is still fine for the government to demand people "volunteer" their time too. I am however wondering what would happen if I put in a formal bill for the time I spent last week.
I suspect they would just put it in the pile to be shredded - by someone with Downs' Syndrome on "work experience".