11/03

“DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO” – Australian MPs.

By Geisha Bar

Yet another MP has come into the spotlight for misbehaving, joining a long long list of Australian MPs who have come under fire for offences such as drink driving. Troy Buswell may not be charged with drink driving (as the police were unable to perform a blood alcohol test at the time) but he has certainly bowed out of Parliament hastily, claiming health issues. I have to ask, what is it with high-profile people who seem to commit all sorts of crimes and misdemeanours, only to have a spokesperson claim “mental health concerns” (perhaps in order to avoid the wrath of John Q Taxpayer) only to slip quietly out of the spotlight, appearing at a later date seemingly unscathed and unpunished?

I’m sorry for Mr. Buswell if he has had a tough time, but there are many people in this country that have mental health issues, who don’t get to use them as an excuse for breaking the law and putting others’ lives at risk.
So why are so many MPs above our laws?

In 2007, MP Karen Struthers, who claimed that “some politicians were young drivers in an era when “many drove with a belly full of alcohol” was convicted of drink-driving whilst in a government vehicle. In the same year, Buswell and Jim McGinty were two of several WA MPs who racked up thousands of dollars in speeding fines in their taxpayer-funded cars. In 2011, Buswell admitted to being fined nine times for speeding in just three years. Former WA Transport Minister Alannah MacTiernan was fined for using a mobile phone while driving, yet claimed she had done nothing wrong. This particular Transport Minister had also lost her licence three times in twelve years for drink driving.

So why in the hell would we want these people in charge of our laws? Politicians need to lead by example and stop with the “do as we say, not as we do” bullshit.