There have been calls for an overhaul of the entire system of political donations this week, following sensational allegations of illegal donations to the NSW Labor Party from blacklisted billionaire Huang Xiangmo in the form of an Aldi bag full of cash.

While some are calling for the Aldi bag full of cash method to be retired entirely, it’s unlikely that this will be enough to dissuade abuse of the system.

As such, Labor will only be accepting donations that observe the following rules:

  • Do not hand over your donation in a supermarket bag. This includes bags from any of the major chains or the little ones that seem like family-run businesses but turn out to be owned by Coles.
  • Please avoid donations contained in a big burlap sack with a dollar sign on the side. Similarly, avoid coin pouches, loose handfuls of coins or hefty bags overflowing with big clinky gold coins and jewelry.
  • Donations can no longer be accepted from known influence agents, spies, intelligence officers, mafia guys, burglars in masks and stripy tops, or big-bellied rail tycoons chomping on cigars and rubbing their hands together.
  • Donations can no longer be accepted if the donor accompanies it with a big cartoonish wink suggesting some clandestine understanding with the recipient, while loudly declaring, “Here’s that legal money we didn’t talk about”.
  • Do not leave a donation in the form of a coin glued to the ground, thereby making the recipient look foolish when they bend down to collect it. Similarly, do not leave a donation in the form of a note (any denomination) attached to a string which is then continuously yanked away as the recipient waddles along reaching for it.
  • Do not leave your donation buried in a crypt, ruin, or mausoleum discoverable only through a cypher contained within the pages of an ancient manuscript thought lost by scholars.
  • In fact, any donations that require a series of intricate and progressively more dangerous clues to be solved will not be accepted unless the donation amount is in excess of $500. Sick of it.
  • Do not leave the donation in a tall tree which is the home of a bird who may suspect the recipient is trying to steal its eggs, scratching the recipient with its talons and scaring me with its big wings.
  • Do not palm a single $10 note and surreptitiously pass it over in a handshake, repeating this process ten or eleven thousand more times as necessary until the full amount is donated.

With these simple changes, we can stem the nefarious influence of illegitimate donations and make a fairer future for all Australians. I’m winking as I say this.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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