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Federal Government

TRASH TALKER: Andrew Wilkie got 13,000 votes at the last election, entitling him to tell Australians how to live

High-priest of sanctimony and pokies ID card pusher Andrew Wilkie is really hamming it up today, suggesting that the PM has “trashed democracy” by declining to implement his radical and unproven ID card scheme without a proper trial.

Wilkie was elected a Member of the House of Representatives with 13,788 votes, behind the Labor and Liberal candidate and just in front of the Greens party. Prior to that lucky day, Wilkie was a Persian carpet salesman.

Little wonder he was known for demanding Duntroon recruits give him the “Hitler salute” when an officer at ADFA. In fact, the infamous unelected German ruler probably got a higher proportion of the vote when he last allowed himself to be subjected to the democratic process.

Because the numbers were so tight in the House of Representatives, Wilkie was able to use his leverage to extract commitments to do things from both Labor and the Coalition that they had not proposed to voters before the election.

If anyone has “trashed democracy” it is the man at the centre of these undemocratic maneuverings that could have seen pokies players – many of them in Labor’s heartland – stuck with a photographic ID card that would record every bet they’d ever made whether they wanted it to or not and whether they were problem gamblers or not.

No-one has voted for this scheme. It wasn’t discussed by any of the major parties before the last election. It hasn’t survived any scrutiny at all.

Problem gambling or gambling addiction does need a public policy response, ideally from the states who regulate poker machines and collect taxes from them.

The Greens have been criticised – including initially by us – for proposing a medical solution in the form of the anti-euphoria drug Naltrexone.

The more we’ve thought about it, the more it seems like the right kind of approach because it is targeted at where the problem actually occurs.

The vast majority of pokies players don’t have a problem with gambling. It’s cheap and harmless entertainment for many people.

The only problem they have is wowser meddlers like Andrew Wilkie trying to find a political reason-for-being in the issue.

It’s all so silly and Labor’s PM Gillard has done very well to pull out of the nanny-state abyss Wilkie was dragging her into.

While the chattering classes and snooty wowsers won’t be pleased, the silent majority of Labor supporters across the nation, from Sydney’s leagues clubs in the west to friendly country pubs in regional Victoria that can sell cheap parmas because of pokies, will be quietly thanking her for staying true to Labor values, not the elitist snobbery of an out-of-control independent MP who reckons the 13,000 votes he could pull at a federal election gives him the right to tell all Australians how to live their lives.

The next federal election seems almost certain to bring his political demise, with Tasmanian senior sources from both sides of the aisle telling VEXNEWS he won’t be getting their preferences because of his obnoxious and self-aggrandising misconduct since 2010.


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  1. The pokies are a blue collar entertainment. Elites do not understnd that and want to stop us having some fun.

    Posted by Teresa | January 23, 2012, 13:21
  2. “Wilkie got 13,788 votes at the last federal election. Does this give him the right to tell a country of 20 million how to live their lives?”

    It’s a Tasmanian thing.
    Even though the number of green ferals required to elect a Senator in Tassie is about 1/10th of that required to elect a Senator in NSW or Victoria, it doesn’t stop Bob Brown wanting to impose his sicko policies on the rest of us (you know …. those on the mainland with a job and paying tax)

    Posted by Toad of Toad Hall | January 23, 2012, 13:25
  3. So what , the real point s Gillard is a very dishonest bitch and the shonkiest PM ever to graceour shores.

    Posted by anon | January 23, 2012, 13:37
  4. Any suggestions as to how we could avoid someone getting a seat in Parliament with such a staggeringly low vote?

    Posted by Steve Sensible | January 23, 2012, 13:44
  5. Why do our MP’s stuff around with harmful products. Arm our soldiers with sledgehammers and have then go to the pokie venues and smash up the addicts machines. Then arrest the manufacturers of pokies and place then on a camp on king island in Bass straight.

    Also ban the importation and cultivation of tobacco – end of story.

    Ban packaged booze sales after 9pm and close any venues and ban and licensee for life who sell booze to a drunk. Drunks should be arrested and sent to a months boot camp in the forest at Puckapunyal.

    Its all so easy but needs a “triumph of the will” to do it.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | January 23, 2012, 13:56
  6. That the preferential voting system that the Labour and Liberal dominated parliament imposed on we voters.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | January 23, 2012, 14:01
  7. If we had one vote- one value, the party who gets the majority of votes wins the election and rules for 3yrs at at least we would get a good look at each party and there politics. If we dont like them, next election there gone, simple as that. This will cure os of the likes of Bob Brown, Andrew Wilkie and the so called Country Party as well as the other independants. If an independant or a party wish to align themselves with a larger group so be it, but no changes during there period of government. Dont like it get a job in private industry like therest of us and work for a living without the perks of the public purse.

    Posted by alan wood | January 23, 2012, 14:26
  8. I note “Clubs ACT” is getting a handout of $37m from the Federal Gumment to run the Pokies trial.

    As Julia is fond of saying, maybe she herself has some “hard questions to answer”.
    One of the members of “Clubs ACT” is the Canberra Labor Club Group.
    How much of the $37meg will find it’s way back into ALP coffers to make up the funding shortfall due loss of AEC funding due to the belting in NSW and the upcoming rout in Qld (not to mention paying Craig Thomson’s legals).?

    Posted by Toad of Toad Hall | January 23, 2012, 15:16
  9. Easy solution to our woes, give Tasmania to Indonesia and park all illegals there instead of Christmas Island.

    Ferals would love the “more humane”(tm) approach to immigration….until reality sinks in…

    Posted by Photo Finish | January 23, 2012, 19:33
  10. What a stupid article. You’re dropped.

    Posted by Ian Lucas | January 23, 2012, 21:42
  11. Broken familys, lives

    Posted by Freddy | January 23, 2012, 22:06
  12. Vexnews is bipolar – one minute it is the champion of the underdog and the next minute it is the bitch of big gambling interests.

    Posted by Green | January 24, 2012, 15:06
  13. Adrian – can’t you see any Jewish connection in this?

    Posted by RT | January 24, 2012, 15:27
  14. RT – Julia’s got a big nose in the cartoon but its a Zionist connection I am always after.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | January 24, 2012, 17:20
  15. Wilkie is just the same as any Tasmanian politician regardless of their political leanings. They are in it for what they can get for themselves first and Tasmania second. To hell with the rest of the country. The sooner we sell of Tasmania to Indonesia or Malaysia the better off the rest of the country will be…

    Posted by Taking of Pell 123 | January 24, 2012, 18:00
  16. Any young liberal lady staffers want a ride with Dick in my ride?

    Posted by RDR | January 24, 2012, 18:08
  17. The Greens will still preference Wilkie. If he outpolls them, he will outpoll the Liberals (unless the ALP vote collapses in Hobart and goes to the Liberals). Eric Abetz will then need to decide whether Wilkie or the ALP get the seat. This is really a tough call given how poorly the ALP treats Tasmanians.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | January 24, 2012, 18:29
  18. The main problem with you Adrian is that you’re too much of an uneducated bum and quite often you accidently slip from your anti-Zionist ranting to the true form an antisemitism…eg, “no Israelis would want to stay in my hotel because it is not close to any synaguge”. Well, Jews to do synagogue a lot more than Israelis do mate. Anyhoo, how is the SLEEp eZY hotel going?

    Posted by RT | January 25, 2012, 9:46
  19. RT – All places of worship are a con as the people that go to them worship something that does not exist – God. It’s all make believe written by some old men 2000 years ago in the case of the Christians and earlier for some even earlier primitive religions. Religion has no place in modern Australia.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | January 25, 2012, 14:22
  20. 13,788 votes – actually it was double that. the electoral commission didn’t take into account the second head sitting on the shoulder of Taswegian voters

    Posted by Futureproof | January 25, 2012, 21:17