The Goldstein trough

By January 2, 2022Australian Politics, Society

The electorate of Goldstein was named after the suffragist and women’s rights activist Vida Jane Goldstein. She was born in Portland, Victoria in 1869, the eldest of five children and was raised in an affluent middle-class home and educated at Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne. Goldstein’s mother Isabella was an early feminist and undertook ‘good works’ in the slums of Collingwood. Tagging along with her mother, Vida saw the underbelly of Melbourne’s boom economy of the 1880s and never forgot the scenes of misery and turmoil in the slum houses, where women tended to large families, suffering violence and abuse at the hands of drunken husbands, while babies starved and children resorted to petty crime1. Given Goldstein’s activism in the cause of women’s suffrage and other rights, it is ironic that the seat named after her is now occupied by such an appallingly hypocritical vacuity as Tim Wilson.

Tim Wilson was the Director of Climate Change Policy at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), one of the main climate change denying organisations in Australia (apart from the Murdoch media, the National Party, and most of the Liberal Party)2. He has extolled climate change denial3, or the works of those denying climate change4, such as the unhinged Ian Plimer5.

Paradoxically, Wilson now maintains climate change is something that needs to be dealt with and the federal government’s Nationals-mediated ‘net zero by 2050’ is the only way to do it. The government has tried to put their new ‘net zero by 2050 plan’ across as some sort of policy change. However, it isn’t. Morrison only removed the word ‘preferably’ from his non-plan with the acquiescence of the Nationals. When then Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, signed up to the Paris Agreement in 2015, he signed up for such a net zero target. All Australian states have signed up for a net zero target already (by 2050 or earlier). This ‘new plan’ is simply more spin from the government and its willing regurgitator Wilson6.

Before Wilson entered parliament, the Abbott government aimed much vilification at the then President of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, especially after she delivered to them, the 2014 report “The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention”. This report was a damning exposé of Australia’s appalling conduct and its damaging effect on the welfare of children in offshore detention centres. The government attempted to bribe Triggs into leaving her position early, in exchange for another job within government, but that failed. This was designed to make her job vacant so that it could be occupied by Wilson, who had been promised the position by then Liberal Attorney General, George Brandis. So, the government created a $300,000+ job for Wilson as ‘freedom commissioner’. Wilson resigned this position in 2016 to ‘seek’ Liberal preselection for the federal seat of Goldstein. In his resignation post on his personal website, no mention was made of Triggs, who was still in her position7. The hatred was palpable.

A trove of internal emails, which Wilson fought to keep from being released, shows he used his official Human Rights Commission email account to help arrange an international speaker for an Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) event, organised his own attendance at functions for IPA donors, and asked for a political endorsement for his 2016 Liberal preselection from someone who approached him in his capacity as a Human Rights Commissioner8,9.

Everyone knows that the current federal government is the most corrupt government in living memory, and its members seem to specialise in misusing taxpayer funds for their own political purposes. Tim Wilson is no exception. In the lead-up to the 2019 election, Wilson chaired an inquiry into Labor’s proposed changes to franking credits. He had a private website for the inquiry that was badged as official, and which solicited submissions and attendance at public hearings from just one perspective (i.e. against the Labor policy). Wilson is also an investor and shareholder of Wilson Asset Management, founded and chaired by his cousin, Geoff Wilson. That company was very vocal in its opposition to Labor’s policy on franking credits, because part of the company’s income relies on franking credit refunds. On an audio recording, Geoff Wilson has been caught boasting about using the taxpayer-funded inquiry to maximise the chances of defeating the policy. Geoff claimed he contacted Tim to ask for the parliamentary hearings to be scheduled at the same time as one of his six-monthly investor Franking Credit Roadshows. And so it turned out to be; one of Wilson Asset Management’s roadshows coincided with a hearing of the parliamentary inquiry in Sydney on November 20, 201810,11.

Everyone who has a modicum of interest in politics knows that the economy was on the skids long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Australia in early 2020. This was demonstrated by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) dropping interest rates to stimulate the economy.

During the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), from September, 2008, to February, 2009, the RBA dropped the cash rate 4.0% (to 3.0%) as a stimulatory measure, while the Rudd Labor government undertook its exceptionally effective stimulus package, which prevented Australia falling into recession. The latter was so successful, the Liberals hated it12. After the GFC, to stop the economy overheating between October, 2009 and May, 2010, the cash rate was raised from 3.0% to 4.5%, but since early 2012 it has been in a long decline, as the economy has weakened13. The cash rate is now at a record low of 0.1%14. Tim Wilson used to be the chair of the Economics Committee (a position now occupied by Jason Falinski) and, in 2019, he blamed the RBA for not stimulating the economy sufficiently. With the Liberal Party, who have been in government almost 9 years, anything that goes wrong is always blamed on someone else13.

Tim Wilson is one of the most inconsequential members of parliament, and is one of those people who rarely has an original thought apart from developing plans to use taxpayers’ funds to for his own benefit. He also will do and say whatever he thinks will benefit him politically. There are no principles, no scruples, nor is there any consideration for the future of the nation or its citizens. All that concerns him is having his snout ever deeper in the taxpayer-funded trough.




  • Mark Dougall says:

    Liberal/IPA nerds love using taxpayers money to feather their own nests but when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable in society they just couldn’t give a RATS.

    • admin says:

      especially when it is their mates gouging the public for RATs. Harvey Norman is a case in point. Just as an aside and something that made me laugh, the Chaser had a headline on one of their stories: ‘we started 2021 with a mouse plague and we finish it with a RAT shortage’. You have to laugh, otherwise you’d go mad.

  • Russell says:

    Perhaps the pompous, ruddy complexioned and snappily dressed chap Wilson will soon discover that “all that glitters is not Goldstein” ! OK, I agree with everyone, that my coinage is,, if one is easily made to laugh, sort of faintly amusing. Apologies, and please, oh please, no commentary.

    Ah, another bad one: “Goldstein digger”. Hilarious (………….OK, OK!!)

    • admin says:

      I really think the pig with snout in trough is more appropriate to Wilson. I know it is an insult to pigs, but I won’t tell them if you won’t.

  • Russell says:

    Correction! The original saying, found in The Merchant of Venice, has Portia’s line as: “All that glisters is not gold”. Gasp, just in the nick of time, lest I be peremptorily (and “pettily”?) pilloried or austerely upbraided. (We now say glitter, Shakespeare said glister.)

  • Russell says:

    Oh dearie me, chaos reigns and I was wrong. The Prince of Morocco said that line TO Portia; she didn’t say it herself…………

  • Warren says:

    Chaser had a headline on one of their stories: ‘we started 2021 with a mouse plague and we finish it with a RAT shortage’. Except in Parliament of course.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.