The Herald Sun’s Padraic Murphy deserves a special mention for this ridiculous anti-Greens beat-up.
What’s this? Has Senator Ludlam been using parliamentary allowances inappropriately to support a book he’s writing or selling, as another parliamentarian was once accused of? No, it’s actually worse than that:
Senator Scott Ludlam slugged taxpayers more than $4500 in a year on books and publications
That is a lot of books, how is he getting away with it?
Parliamentary rules allow senators to spend up to $4870 a year on publications “of their choice for purposes related to parliamentary, electorate or official business, but not commercial business”.
So Scott Ludlum is just doing something he’s entitled to do, what’s the big problem? Thankfully the Hun spells it out for us.
Murphy doesn’t seem to like what the Senator is reading.
Murphy lists some of the titles that are supposed to bring taxpayers into a rage.
Pornography of Power: Why defence spending must be cut; How to Make Trouble and Influence People, a book celebrating disruptive protest; and The Bittersweet World of Chocolate, billed as a guide to socially responsible chocolate cooking.
Because we all know that there’s nothing more upsetting to taxpayers than Fair Trade chocolate. But there’s more:
Senator Ludlam also claimed $13.63 for a copy of teen fiction novel Tomorrow When the War Began
Outrageous, he’s not even reading books for grownups.
The Herald Sun asked Senator Ludlam about the spending and whether taxpayers got value from the purchases, including the $44.50 claimed for Fifty Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International.
Situationist International is an obscure movement of revolutionary Marxists in 1950s France that sought to overthrow capitalism.
He’s reading history books? If that doesn’t prove that he’s a danger to democracy then what does?
Strangely enough, Murphy didn’t provide any comparisons to ALP, National Party or Liberal Party Senators so that readers could see whether or not Ludlam’s bill was out of the ordinary, and he didn’t tell us what they’ve been reading. I wonder what’s on the book list of some of those other senators? Has Mary-Jo Fisher got a copy of Winona Ryder’s biography? Is Cory Bernardi putting together a collection of Geert Wilders’ writing? Are there any Liberal Senators who’ve got their hands on a hundred and sixty eight copies of Battlelines? Did former Senator Steve Fielding buy any books at all?
The article could have simply said “We don’t like the Greens” and readers would have been just as informed as they were after reading this sad attempt at whipping up a bit of outrage.
(H/T Jason Wilson)