How can we expect these people to lead us?

Last week I had a gripe about electricity bills. They’re becoming shockingly expensive and it’s a complete joke that my average family of four forks out more than four grand a year for the pleasure of hot showers and a bit of evening light.

This week, I realised the problem.

It’s actually the inherent problem with almost everything we regular people whine about: the people responsible for leading us, for making decisions about our welfare and our lives, have absolutely no clue what an average Aussie lives like.


How could they possibly relate to us and advocate for our needs, when they blow $14,000 on two weeks’ worth of limousine transport?

That’s how much Bronwyn Bishop spent on her recent, much debated European sojourn, which set taxpayers back a total of roughly $90,000.

Bishop took two staff members, spokesman Damien Jones and official Talitha Try, on her European trip, which was designed in part to snag her a new job.

They spent over $25,000 on accommodation and food, $42,000 on airfares and almost $14,000 on ground transport in just a fortnight. They also pocketed about $6,000 in advances and for minor and related expenses.

The public response has been less than favourable, especially when it was revealed that she also dropped $5k of government coin on a helicopter flight to a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Who does she think she is, Johnny Depp?

All of this news is particularly galling when you consider that the government is considering lifting the GST to 15%.

How can we expect these people to lead us? To have any understanding of what it is like to live as an everyday Australian?

I say this from a position of relative privilege – my family enjoys a modest but adequate two-income household. What about the families who are trying to eke out an existence on a household budget of $50,000 a year?

Go get a better-paying job, Joe Hockey famously (stupidly) said earlier this year.

Bugger that. It seems that the only place to guarantee real financial security – and an unlimited travel allowance – is to secure a job in politics.

I mean, I doubt Bronwyn Bishop can remember the last time she felt slightly ill after opening an outrageously high electricity bill.

She probably pays someone to do it for her.