What about the fat cats?

Crikey readers talk Martin Parkinson, Arthur Sinodinos' memory problems and where the "hand on heart" gesture came from.

Let's get corporations to pull their weight John Richardson writes: Re. "Parkinson leaves the rich out of talk of fiscal sustainability" (yesterday). Like Bernard Keane, my heart leapt in joy upon hearing the news of the unexpected rapprochement between Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and his political bosses in Mordor, as evidenced by his enthusiastic readiness to tout their ideological line and the 11th-hour delay in his departure from the scene of the crime. While Keane is right to question the lopsided view of our nation’s health offered by the soon-to-be ex-mandarin, in particular in regard to welfare for the wealthy, he had nothing to say about the other elephant in the room: the corporate sector. Parkinson was content to echo the lies being peddled by the government on the productivity front, completely ignoring our real success in that regard, as evidenced by the record levels of profitability being achieved by the private sector. At the same time, in commenting on the dangers of a decline in tax revenues, the government’s mouthpiece had nothing to say about the fact that company income tax as a share of GDP has never been lower. He had nothing to say about the "free ride" being enjoyed by the corporate sector at all, as is clearly evidenced by the fact that almost 60% of companies and 70% of mining companies pay no income tax at all, while hypocritically echoing Uncle Joe’s argument that "everyone must pull their weight". For my part, I’ll start listening to Martin Parkinson and his handlers the day they cancel the licences to pillage and steal that are freely handed out to both foreign local corporations, while ordinary Australians are expected to pay a whole lot more, receive a whole lot less and be grateful for the privilege. You know nothing, Arthur Sinodinos Colin Cook writes: Re. "Sinodinos takes the stand: if he didn't know, it doesn't wash" (yesterday). The AWB "I know nothing ..." performance has not hurt Alexander Downer one little bit -- look where he is now! Boys, salute!  Laraine Ferris writes: Re. "Heartfelt gesture" (yesterday). I write regarding your columnist's article on the "American" habit of placing your hand over your heart when the National Anthem is being played, or for other ceremonial occasions, and whether this is yet another example of our willingness to be a cultural "copy cat". As a schoolchild beginning in the 1950s, we had to assemble outside every Monday morning regardless of weather, face the flag, sing God Save the Queen and recite the oath of allegiance.  Before all this happened, the headmaster would issue the instruction "Boys salute, girls, right hand over left breast" (acceptable terminology in those days), and off we would go -- never questioning or complaining. So I don't think this is an action of cultural cringe, but possibly an instinctive action learnt long ago. Follow Friday Crikey writes: Missing Follow Friday? Matthew Clayfield’s interview series will be back next week.

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