Tag Archives: Malcolm Turnbull

Where politicians went wrong in 2016!

What lessons can politicians (or aspiring ones) take from the 2016 Australian election schmozzle? As someone who helps organisations get their message across in the media, I’ve put together 10 points that leaders should take note of. Those wanting any ghost of a chance in 2019  should ignore these points at their peril.
  1. Don’t say something you don’t believe in. Us voters see through it even if your media advisors don’t. Malcolm had to alter his stance on many things to appease the party yet he never believed any of it. Taking responsibility for the dismal campaign performance was his latest piece of rubbish. He knows it wasn’t completely his fault yet is taking the rap. It’s like he’s drugged.
  2. Never look at the camera in a TV interview. Scott Morrpoliticiansfluroison take note. It makes us think you’re lying.  Are you?
  3. Don’t wear a hi-vis fluro vest. Sorry but we’re over it. Why you need to wear a hi-vis vest when you’re in the car park is a mystery to us all. Will cars fall? Take responsibility for your own wardrobe. Don’t listen to the media advisors.
  4. Don’t have lots of people behind you nodding at everything you say. It looks stupid and like something from a Monty Python film. Be strong on your own.nodders
  5. Don’t talk about the economy all the time. It’s boring. As a matter of fact, don’t talk about it at all. Talk about human stuff; stuff like kids education, aging, Aboriginal recognition, jobs for young people and voluntary euthanasia.
  6. Don’t mention immigration. We instantly turn off. DO talk about safe suburbs, the crime rate and the great communities that people from different cultures create. Acknowledge there’s a problem in some areas of the country. Be real about it and know you can’t please everyone all of the time.
  7. Say “I don’t know”. This would be sooooo refreshing. It’s OK to say this as we’ll all then think you’re normal. Are you?
  8. Don’t hang around with other politicians. That’s right – you can’t trust them and their very presence next to you could bring you down. Get a group of besties who are normal people who wear normal clothes (no hi-vis) and actually drive a car. You might like it!
  9. Don’t be perfect. There is a shift to REAL people making REAL mistakes but trying their butts off. Swear occasionally and do the shopping.
  10. Ignore your media advisors and PR people. You can’t trust them coceand they all take too much marching powder. Their world is of big data and big image. Your world is of real people with real human nature who can shift with the wind.  No big data here – just be the mammal you are.

Hopefully these 10 points will help. If you want to ignore them, that’s OK. You’ll just continue to get what you’ve already got.

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Phil Dye is an educator at the University of NSW, a media trainer for social causes or not for profit and a social commentator. He has written three books and made more than 300 mistakes.

 

God-Gearing: The tax rort that must be stopped

Negative gearing is seemingly off the table in the heady season of Malcolm Turnbull tax reform.  Yet perhaps Malcolm should take a lateral look at the tax problem and that seemingly untouchable bastion of our tax system: God-gearing.

While religious groups often declare that their members can in some way skirt around the death issue, they also enjoy a tax-free status most of us only dream about. And it’s not only the large corporate religions that benefit from our Aussie God-geared tax haven. Every small sect who manage to cobble together a merry band of deluded followers can claim religious tax-free status.Managing-Gods-Money

Is it because our politicians consider God-gearing a kind of insurance against group electoral action? Perhaps. Is it a small gesture in case the hereafter does exist? Unlikely.

What has always been the argument is that religious groups have significant ‘public benefit’ and therefore need some sort of special consideration. And The Australian Tax Office has a peculiar reference to the ‘spreading of religious doctrine and practice’ as being necessary criteria for obtaining tax-free status. Doesn’t the Islamic State do that?

I bet that you, as either an individual taxpayer or business owner also have significant public benefit. You either undertake work that facilitates economic and community growth or provide people with employment . Most of us, religious or not, do our best to create a world that is positive and livable. Good works are not the sole domain of the believer.

As an educator, I have hopefully given individuals some benefit over the past 40 years and will continue to do so. I find it very amusing that the ATO also gives ‘the advancement of education’ as another criterion for tax-free status. Really! Why then isn’t every teacher in the country paying less tax or none at all!

Contributing through taxes, while painful at times, is a basic tenet of democratic society. If 100% of income goes towards good works, then no tax is paid – it’s pretty simple.

Like Apple, Google, Pratt Holdings, McDonalds Asia Pacific and Hoyts, church groups are rorting the tax system while collecting property assets worth billions. Property owned by the church sits outside of the property tax system. Cardinal George Pell knows lots about God-gearing.

Yet religious groups, or schools flying a religious banner are at the very centre of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. These organisations pay no tax and hope that the government will fund any redress system for victims, a request the Government has rightly ignored.

Perhaps if the Catholic Church and all religious organisations paid their share of tax they may also find themselves adhering to the laws of state the rest of us follow for a safe, non-abused society. At the moment, the divide between church and state is not only robbing our country of tax dollars, but facilitating abuse and the misuse of power. It’s time to close the divide.

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While being an atheist, this piece wasn’t written from an anti-religion platform, but from a nagging sense that those who facilitate the worst of crimes pay the least of tax.