A lot of righteous noise has been made Mark Vaile’s and Wilson Tuckey’s business funded trips overseas. These trips were used as proof that Liberals are mean and lazy. Calls were made for offending MP’s to be cast out of the parliament. Unfortunately this exposes a shocking double standard of Australian media who seemingly forgotten everything they learned at journalism school and became a cheer squad for the Australian Labor Party. As reported by the Adelaide Advertiser:
MATT Price, who died the day after the federal election, was the nicest and funniest person who ever worked in the Canberra press gallery. He used to say that for the gallery the Liberals were always guilty until proven innocent and Labor was innocent until proven guilty. Labor set up detention centres for illegal migrants but when the Liberals inherited that system … well, that was unacceptable!
We saw it again in Steve Lewis’s articles in this paper last week about Mark Vaile’s and Wilson Tuckey’s overseas trips.
(Kevin) Rudd, as an Opposition frontbencher, made four trips overseas in the last four years, all paid for by businesses.
The massively wealthy Guangzho-based property developer Zhou Zerong paid for one of those trips. He also paid for Wayne Swan to visit China. Woodside, the Perth-based energy company, also paid for Mr Rudd to go to China.
A company called Beijing AustChina Technology Ltd funded Mr Rudd’s trip to England, the US, Sudan and China in June-July 2006.
I checked these trips against the parliamentary timetable. That last trip happened when parliament was sitting. Mr Rudd missed not one but several question times, all funded by a telecommunications company. Quite a few lunches during question times there, Mr Rudd! Shock horror, dereliction of duty, an outrage, an insult to the electors of Griffith! No, not a word.
Now Lewis and other notables in Canberra apparently thought all of that was OK. It wasn’t worth reporting. Why not? Now these politicians are running Australia, the media should be asking probing questions about these relationships.
The public deserves more objectivity than these disgraceful double standards.