Sunday, 10 January 2016

Dick Smith, politics and buying back Vegemite


When I think of great independent Australian self-publicists three names spring into my mind - Dick Smith, Nick Xenophon and John Singleton. They each have the ability to fascinate the media and thus gain influence for their views. Two of them already have had considerable influence on the nation's parliamentary politics and Dick Smith seems on the verge of doing the same.
I was fascinated by a story in The Weekend Australian some weeks ago and I give a few extracts below because it is behind a paywall.
Australia appears set for a new political force, backed by wealthy businessmen, championed by Dick Smith and confident of securing Senate seats to campaign against a “big Australia” and foreign ownership of farmland. 
Mr Smith, one of Australia’s best known and admired businessmen and brand names, is in talks with Flight Centre founders and rich-listers Graham Turner and Geoff Harris about forming a political party to contest next year’s federal election.
They are buoyed by initial research suggesting their proposed Dick Smith Sustainable Australia party — refashioned from the existing Sustainable Population Party — would secure three to four Senate seats and a key place in national politics. 
... Key policies would include lower immigration and population growth to protect Australia’s standard of living and tougher barriers to foreign ownership of residential properties and agricultural land. 
As well, Mr Smith said, the party could take the unusual step of backing the formation of a public company to buy back Vegemite from its US owners Kraft Foods.
I particularly liked the Vegemite bit. Perhaps Nick Xenophon, who at the coming federal poll will have his own party contesting seats throughout the country, will take up the same Buy Australian theme with a promise to restore local ownership of West End and VB.
Singo would be the perfect choice to do the ads for all of them
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