Flights of fancy

1. Alan Jones on a recent Q&A:

ALAN JONES: The GST is, in many ways, a very legitimate tax, in the sense that you can legitimately avoid it. So if I want to drive a Mercedes Benz and you want to drive a Holden, your will pay less tax than I do. If I want to eat at home and you want to eat out, you’ll pay more tax than I do. If my wife doesn’t want to wear pearls but your wife does, I will pay less tax.

And there was more:

TONY JONES: Let’s hear Mark Butler enter the debate because, as far as I can see, the Federal Labor Party is ruling a line through the GST forever and ever.

MARK BUTLER: Well, we’ve never been a fan of the GST because, by its nature, it is regressive?

TONY JONES: Except for the one that you kept and didn’t roll back as you promised to do.

MARK BUTLER: It is regressive. We’ve never been a fan of the GST because everyone pays the same GST on particular services and goods that are covered. It is regressive. We are a party that favours progressive taxation. Now, let’s be clear about what’s happened here. Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey cut $80 billion of spending over ten years in last year’s budget to schools and hospitals so that from 2018…

ALAN JONES: That money was never there. That money was never there, Mark.

MARK BUTLER: So that from 2018, school…

ALAN JONES: The money was never there.

MARK BUTLER: Well, you had a go, Alan. 2018, schools will be indexed by inflation only from the Commonwealth and from 2017 hospitals will be indexed only by inflation and population growth.

TONY JONES: Is it a fair point though that…

MARK BUTLER: Utterly unsustainable.

TONY JONES: Sorry, can I just – if you don’t mind another Jones interruption.

MARK BUTLER: What is it with Joneses?

TONY JONES: I know. I’m sorry. But isn’t it a fair point…

ALAN JONES: He’s my brother! No one knows that but he’s my brother.

MARK BUTLER: From a different mother.

ALAN JONES: He thinks I’m his father.

TONY JONES: I seriously don’t.

MARK BUTLER: Aberrant uncle, I think, maybe.

TONY JONES: Really I did figure that one out.


2: Charles Waterstreet

No transcript for this. I think it was the 7.30 report on the occasion of Waterstreet’s former client, Nigel Milsom, winning the Archibald Prize for his picture of him. Waterstreet lets slip in passing that he is about to appear in the trial of Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson for the murder of Jamie Gao. Waterstreet has appeared since then (and had already appeared) for McNamara. In the Milsom story he quips to roughly the following effect: supposing a film [or TV program] is to be made of the trial, which of Rogerson or Waterstreet will be played by Richard Roxburgh?

It’s a very Sydney joke. Judging from current or relatively recent images of all three, unless the film is made a long time into the future, Roxburgh is unlikely to be cast as either.

On day 2 of the trial, the jury was discharged. The trial will have to start again in a couple of weeks. We can’t be told why. I hope it wasn’t because of the Richard Roxburgh joke.

PS 14 August

But it was something to do with Mr Waterstreet (a picture and a caption on Instagram, now both, it seems, suppressed) which led to the resumed trial being put back from August to January next year, Mr Waterstreet withdrawing from the case and being referred to the Prothonotary for consideration of possible contempt charges.  It’s perilous being a celebrity criminal lawyer.

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