Nail in the coffin

The furore that has surrounded the Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and her taxpayer funded helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong has driven yet another nail into the coffin of community trust in politicians.
The blatant arrogance displayed by Mrs Bishop in billing the taxpayer for a journey from Queensland to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser is almost as astounding as her refusal to apologise.
Almost every hard working man and woman in the nation – irrespective of their political bias – agrees with Treasurer Joe Hockey that Mrs Bishop’s actions stink.
But what smells even worse is the lack of subsequent desire from our elected representatives to tighten up the murky areas in what are considered appropriate political expenses to be billed to the taxpayer.
It is blindingly obvious that unless there is a legitimate and significant reason for a politician’s travel it should be either funded by the individual or their Party.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has called for a crackdown and wants changes to make the system more transparent and accountable.
The deafening silence from his colleagues indicates he is largely on his own.
It has been reported that a spokesman for Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson said the Government had no plans to make any changes.
This is the real issue – far bigger than a $5000 helicopter flight.
An obvious shortcoming in the system has been identified yet there appears to be little desire to fix it.
This cuts to the core of what we expect from our politicians.
Like any employer we demand they work hard.  We also demand they act in a professional manner and, if they make a genuine mistake, require them to apologise and attempt to right the wrong.
It’s not much different from what parents  expect from their children.
In this case the wrong is not righted by paying back the $5000. That’s too easy.
A true servant of the people would dedicate themselves to making sure such an occurrence could never happen again.
Mrs Bishop’s ‘error of judgement’ is one in a long line of similar examples of politicians – on both sides of the ledger – who have not yet come to the realisation that the age of entitlement is over.