Bronwyn Bishop

Like all political ideologies, socialism means different things to different people; everything from universal healthcare to the complete and total subjugation of the populace, to just kind of annoying everyone at your local offshore detention protest.

But to one helicopter lovin’, Sky News-commentating former speaker of the House, socialism has a very personal, amorphous definition. That is, “whatever the hell Bronwyn Bishop doesn’t like on any given day”.

In fighting the good fight, Bishop — a person who still gets $250,000 from Australian taxpayers every year for being retired — regularly deploys the label “socialist” as a smear. Let’s have a look at the best and most memorable ‘red scares’ Bronny bravely named and shamed this year!

 1. Criticising Sussan Ley for abusing taxpayer funds

As we all know, there’s nothing pinko, lefty, beatnik, socialist bastards hate more than public servants taking money from the taxpayer and using it for selfish, frivolous, if technically legal, reasons.

So after reports of taxpayer-funded trips to the Gold Coast, one of which coincided with the purchase of an apartment, forced then-Liberal frontbencher Sussan Ley to resign as health minister in January, Bishop knew there was only one person to blame: Karl Marx.

I know that my travel was arranged by my staff as they are paid to do, and I can only imagine Sussan Ley’s travel was done in exactly the same way…

But I do know that there are socialists out there who want to attack free enterprise and anyone who sticks up for it.

In the same breath Bronny claimed socialism was also …

2. Writing about Bronwyn Bishop’s taxpayer-funded pension

This fun little tidbit was thrown into a debate over socialism with ad guru Dee Madigan in April:

DM: If you hate socialism, fund your own damn retirement.

BB: I did, I contributed.

DM: You didn’t, you’re taking $700 a day.

BB: It certainly isn’t $700 a day,

DM: That’s what it says.

BB: That’s what the socialists write.

You got us, Bronny: you are paid roughly 700 taxpayer dollars a day for a job you used to do, and journalists are the socialists.

3. Labor Right, pro-privatisation politicians

Kristina Keneally, a member of the Labor Right best known for privatising New South Wales’ electricity assets and political ties to corrupt businesses, recently stood for the seat of Bennelong.

You’ll never guess what Bishop accused her of:

She is a failed American socialist. She is someone who can no longer be helped by Eddie Obeid or Macdonald because they’re in jail, so she had to rely on Sam Dastyari …

4. Centrists becoming South Australian premier

Bishop’s latest, haziest tirade against socialism came just Tuesday night, where it was revealed that likeable centrist and former federal senator Nick Xenophon was outpolling state Labor and Liberal opponents two-to-one.

He really is irrelevant in the sense that there is one set of principles that is as  immutable as the laws of gravity, and that is that if you go the socialist route, which he is, just even a little bit, you will find that the standard of living of workers will go down.

And:

… if he plays games for the rest of his life, South Australia will remain a socialist state, the standard of living for the workers will continue to deteriorate, they’ll keep blowing up power stations*, and finally, they will be a state that is almost totally on welfare.

Sounds like someone hasn’t gotten over Xenophon’s hippy dippy attack on parliamentary entitlements.

Peter Fray

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