Friday, 5 June 2009

Is there such thing as a free car?

I doubt very much that motor vehicle dealers are any different to other donors to political parties and individual politicians. Most contributors expect a little pro quo for their quid even if it is nothing more than getting someone in a political office to take their phone call and give a little advice. And there would be very few politicians of any party who do not accept such offerings. It is just the way of the political world and because they all live there the public rarely hears much about it. When the subject of political donations is raised, all parties and all politicians suffer.
Which is what surprised me most about the enthusiasm the Coalition showed in pursuing Joel Fitzgibbon over accepting those free trips to China. Doing so was an invitation to see what little black bugs are found when Labor turns over rocks hiding Liberal and National Party travel arrangements. Perhaps the only reason the Opposition did so was that the Melbourne Age was so relentless in its pursuit of the story that it had no option.
But having got its scalp yesterday was it good politics to try and smear the Prime Minister over being giving the use of an electric car? What we certainly will see when Parliament resumes is Labor seeking pay back. Malcolm Turnbull can expect to her a lot more about his previous activities as a merchant banker.
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