GetUp has garnered oodles of headlines this morning by buying their way in on a surfing lesson with Tony Abbott.

As no doubt you’ve all read (which is what makes the activist group so very clever), Abbott will be spending quality time out the back with Afghan refugee Riz Wakil — who placed the winning bid for Abbott in the Canberra Press Gallery’s Mid-Winter Ball charity auction. Wakil intends to tell Tony about his time in Curtin detention centre [insert lots of coverage on the refugee issue here]. Campaigning job done.

If his eBay total of $16,000 is anything to go by, Abbott’s the most popular man for the job by oh, thousands of dollars — but let’s remember, he’s not the prime minister … yet.

Since when do you need to buy time with an opposition leader? And won’t this just gift the Coalition with some extra invaluable images of their leader gadding about in a wetsuit, paddling into a line up and hanging 10 with a refugee in tow?

The government’s border protection policy is no picnic either. Nor is their (non) stance on climate change — an issue that GetUp has been solidly banging on about for years now.

It took a television show to be savvy enough to buy the ear of the actual leader of the country, plus his Treasurer. Not to mention their bare feet, for the bargain basement price of $12,600.

Peter Fray

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