Op Ed column about corporate tax avoidance and relegating niqab wearers to glassed in visitors’ gallery

by ray goodlass

My Op Ed piece on corporate tax avoidance published in the Daily Advertiser  yesterday. It  also included condemnation of Bronwyn Bishop’s attempt to relegate niqab wearing visitors to the glassed in gallery of the House of Reps normally reserved for naughty school kinds. Captain Abbott has spoken against this so-called interim measure, but will he manage to overturn it, or is he just covering his arse because of the racist muck he has whipped up in his vote grabbing terror/war hysteria?.

Here’s the full piece:

Strange Bedfellows

Credit where credit is due, so today I wish to acknowledge being pleasantly surprised by two statements by the Coalition in the past week.

Firstly, Captain Abbott asked the Speaker of the Senate to reverse the discriminatory plan to make women wearing the burqa sit in a glassed in gallery when visiting federal parliament, an area usually reserved for noisy school children.

As I have previously spoken out against discriminatory attempts to ban the burqa, I thank the PM for his sense of social justice on this occasion.

Now, if only he will apply the same thinking to the socially unjust parts of the government’s budget. Dream on, Ray.

I should point out that the word; ‘burqa’ is being incorrectly used by all our politicians. What they are referring to is actually a ‘niqab’. The burqa is a head to toe light blue covering with a mesh for the eyes, and only worn (by a few) in Afghanistan (Waleed Aly, SMH, 3 October).

It should also be noted that police and security guards already have the power to ask anyone with a face covering of any sort to remove it for identification purposes.

And in case anyone wants to argue that weapons can be hidden under burqas or niqabs, bombs can be hidden in shoes, and suicides vest are usually hidden under an ordinary shirt.

The second incident was when I found myself in agreement with Senator Bill Heffernan last week, which came as an unexpected, though not unpleasant, surprise.

Given that Senator Heffernan’s favourite epithet for me seems to be “Troublemaker”, after his strangely prescient pipe bomb smuggling episode into Parliament House it was a title I took pleasure in returning

The cause of our agreement was the news that almost a third of Australia’s largest companies are paying less than 10¢ in the dollar in corporate tax, according to a report that exposes a gaping hole in government revenues over the past decade

A senior member of the Coalition, Senator Heffernan has warned that corporate tax avoidance and the repatriation of profits overseas is “the greatest financial challenge” facing Australia.

It is passing strange that given the concerns of Senator Heffernan, and similar bleatings from Labor that it took the Greens to move for a Senate inquiry into corporate tax evasion. “If the Abbott government wants to raise revenue for its phoney budget emergency they need to crack down on corporate tax evasion” Senator Milne said. Fortunately, the Greens motion for a Senate inquiry to expose the real options available for raising revenue from those who can afford to pay did successfully passed the Senate, with the support of Labor and PUP, but guess what? The Liberal and the Nationals, opposed it.

So much for Senator Heffernan’s concern.

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