Despite hysterically pointing fingers at Howard’s battlers, and framing them as fat cat investors for having the audacity to squeeze young people out of the housing market by negatively gearing modest investment properties, it seems that Greens politicians are only too eager to indulge in this particular vice of conspicuous capitalism behind closed doors.
Curiously named ACT Greens Leader Shane Rattenbury has endorsed the principled opposition of his party to negative gearing by… well… negatively gearing two of his own prime pieces of real estate, one of which just happens to be strategically placed along the new light rail corridor that he lobbied for.
Unlike the evil, racist, sexist, homophobic, negative gearing policy of those jackbooted Liberals, bringing light rail to Canberra is a policy that Ratters IS passionate about.
He’s fought tooth and nail for a system of public transport that Blind Freddy could tell you will be a white elephant.
Of course he’s passionate about light rail. The Greens leader owns two negatively geared properties, one of which is along the proposed light rail corridor that looks set to increase astronomically in value the minute that first outrageously wasteful and ineffectual light rail carriage rolls by. LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
Quizzed on Canberra’s 2CC about his apparent lack of consistency with regard to negative gearing, Ratters justified his behaviour by explaining in so many words that while he is outraged by all these racist, sexist, homophobic deplorables who voted for Tony Abbott securing a future for their children by negatively gearing investment properties, it’s fine for him to do so, and it is perhaps even his duty because it is legal.
It’s an interesting leap of logic and moral justification. If Ratters were a plantation owner in the Confederacy, he’d no doubt be passionately campaigning against slavery while simultaneously taking full advantage of slave labor on his cotton farm and training Mandingo fighters. Because, you know… all this stuff is legal. He wouldn’t be doing anything wrong.
This kind of rampant hypocrisy isn’t that unusual for the Greens. In fact, it’s straight from the socialist playbook. It’s Communism 101. Everyone has to take up their tools, work hard, and make sacrifices for the good of the party and the state. That’s just the way it is. But not us in the inner party. No, we have a more important role. Unlike all you proles (or perhaps deplorables), we are paid to think and therefore we require special concessions from socialist doctrine.
I’m sure that if you asked Sarah Hanson-Young whether, in a perfect world, an unskilled worker would be paid the same as a neurologist (that is to say that an unskilled worker would see their wage raised marginally, and a neurologist would see his or her wage decreased dramatically to that level so that both could struggle equally and neither can make ends meet), she’d be totally behind it. That’s socialism.
But if you were to point out to her (or Ratters for that matter) that she can easily just bank the annual wage of an unskilled labourer and donate the remainder of her parliamentary remuneration to charity, she would no doubt default to Shane Rattenbury’s position of being legally entitled to her full wage, and will gladly (if not conspicuously so) take advantage of it while complaining incessantly about the wage gap.
The ‘but it’s legal to do it, so I’m obliged to do it even if I don’t have to and it is at odds with my moral compass!’ argument of Shane Rattenbury really doesn’t hold any water. Same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Australia. By Ratter’s logic, same-sex marriage advocates have no right whatsoever to criticise opponents. They aren’t homophobes or ‘Bible thumpers’. To use the Rattenbury defence, perhaps opponents are merely against it because it’s legal to be against it. It’s the yardstick for morality that he has established.
Instead of being critical of Cory Bernardi, Fred Nile, and others, perhaps Ratters and his socialist cronies should just shut their pie holes. The ‘homophobes’ are merely personally benefiting from something that’s legal in the same way that he is. Until he and other Greens, who no doubt also have negatively geared investment properties, align practice with policy, they really have no right to cast the first stone against anyone.
At any rate, Ratters’ rampant hypocrisy isn’t the biggest part of the story here. We should be more concerned about whether he declared a conflict of interest due to his investment property that stands to increase in value from a public transport system that he so vehemently campaigned for, despite the fact that it will never pay for itself, and that Canberra taxpayers will foot the bill for decades after it is eventually scrapped.
Photo by VeloBusDriver