Does Tony Abbott deserve a medal,
Riding on the Pollie Pedal,
When what’s really in his head’ll
Likely cause a major scandal?
While all along the cyclists’ way
The media scrum’s there every day
Recording what he has to say
What he really thinks he hides away.
Like – how to get more and more votes?
Keep counting those illegal boats!
That should bring in some headline quotes
And keep the Greens at Labor’s throats.
Talk about our coast’s defences
As the main event commences,
Keeping up PR pretences,
While calculating his expenses.
He’ll claim each night for a motel,
Not like Craig Thomson in Dobell,
No chance our Tones will go to hell.
He’s cleared that with Cardinal Pell.
He’s not increasing his own wealth!
He is helping the nation’s health,
Not by preaching, but more by stealth,
A good example, like himself!
So it goes on, mile after mile!
The ALP daren’t be so vile
As to criticise, swallow bile.
Peta Credlin is one big smile.
Pollie Pedal, the well known national annual charity bike ride has started in Adelaide on 28th April, and participants will ride 1,000 kilometres through South Australia and Victoria to finish in Geelong on 5 May. When Carers Australia proudly announced the launch of their much publicized, and dare I say it, exploited, fund raiser by Tony Abbott they also told us that
Since its inception fifteen years ago Pollie Pedal has raised over $2.5 million for a range of charitable organisations.
Correct me if my sums are wrong but after my very generous rounding out, after all expenses relating to its promotion are costed, acknowledging that the hundreds of participants meet their own expenses and appreciating all the work by thousands of local volunteers along the way, I make that an average raising of a paltry $165,000 each year. I use the word paltry advisedly because I know how careful one should be about belittling the work of charitable groups and their volunteer helpers, particularly one like Carers Australia who do such worthwhile work in the community. But I feel that they could be achieving a great deal more if so much of their energy were not taken up in promotion of the Pollie Pedal each year and they focussed instead on that work and their other less high profile fund raising efforts. Donations from 2GB and the Liberal Party alone, forget about the Labor Party and their other high profile sponsors, so prominently named on participants’ spandex outfits could mount up. Even personal donations from many of the prominent citizens who participate in this event could very quickly raise 2.5 million dollars in one year, but over fifteen years? There are, of course, other benefits than financial from this event. But last year journalist Malcolm Farr seemed to think that most of them accrued to Tony Abbott,
the first and major one being that he got to personally meet and chat with the locals in some of the country’s most marginal electorates.
The other two benefits are to help charity, and, he says, to set a fitness example for those who should have healthier lifestyles.
Tony Abbott himself acknowledges all that. As he told the Herald Sun
“For 15 years now, travelling through small towns, stopping at pubs and cafes and staying at caravan parks, Pollie Pedal has enabled me to engage with people in ways that are rarely possible through politics-as-usual,”
He went further to say that
“The other nice thing about the Pollie Pedal is that travelling on bikes and staying in caravan parks suggests to those who are familiar with it that politicians are not quite the creatures of luxury or the indulgent people that at least some of our critics like to think.”
All of which would be quite acceptable had Tony Abbott like many riders stayed with the original commitment to meet their all their own expenses. But it seems that many of his personal expenses like an expensive new spandex outfit each year and other equipment is met by sponsors. As well, he has always claimed from the Commonwealth a daily entitlement for accommodation which this year is over $350 a night. This, in spite of his firm statement that
“every rider, politicians included, pays $100 a day to cover expenses and is expected to raise at least $500 in personal sponsorship.”
Like many people on the left till now I’ve followed the Labor Party line of not criticising Tony Abbott’s efforts in this charitable event, even though media coverage has always been more about Abbott than Carers Australia, but listening to Barry Cassidy, Adele Taylor and Gerard Henderson describing it as ‘campaigning genius’ as he cycles through so many marginal seats, and how it has become a huge fund raiser finally stuck in my craw. Particularly when I think of Peter Slipper or even Craig Thomson being crucified by Abbott and the LNP over travel claims. A pome emerged. If my outrage has muddled my thinking so that my quotes, facts or sums are wrong, I am open to correction. As I am open to suggestions for a suitable image URL to illustrate my post as I always like to do. Well, as you can see from above Bushfire Bill has provided the ideal image.
POST SCRIPT 06/05/13, We learned today from Mr. Abbott that he has committed to participating in the pollie pedal event whether or not he becomes Prime Minister. That’s good news, isn’t it?
Truth Seeker, 29/04/13, Patricia, another fine verse, And I, like you, get pretty peeved at the hypocrisy of all the photo ops in the guise of charitable and community works that the Abbott purports to do. I really believe that there is no truth or decency in the man (?) or in fact in the entire LNP. God help Australia if the enough people are fooled into voting for him Keep up the good work. Cheers
Harry A Boniface, 11/06/13, Thank you patricia for your ‘ rhyme for the time’. Apparently, you are also a`verse to the Abbott aberration.
Patriciawa, 08/10/13, Sadly, it didn’t matter how ‘averse’ I was to him, Tony Abbott still became Prime Minister, and it wasn’t long before he was defending his dodgy expenses claims, and those of some of his ministers. Go to The Pub – http://pbxmastragics.com/2013/10/06/theyll-never-destroy-the-truth-of-me-2/comment-page-9/#comment-96219 where it seemed appropriate to reproduce this pome and got these comments.
Foreverjanice, October 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm
2Gravel, October 8, 2013 at the Pub
Patriciawa, Well worth reprising that pome – excellent then and has improved with age.