Episode 58

VOICE OVER:   Trigger warning! This podcast contains more common sense than most people can cope with. If you can't handle the truth, stop listening now. The Conservative Revolution starts here. This is your Weekly Dose of Common Sense with Cory Bernardi.

CORY BERNARDI:   Hello everybody, Cory Bernardi here. Welcome to another Weekly Dose of Common Sense podcast, great to have you tuning in. We're going to cover a big Your Say. I'm going to talk about the follies of nationalisation and government inference in the free market, plus we've got an interview with one of my candidates from New South Wales who's going to be flying the flag for the Australian Conservatives at the election. I hope she gets elected because we need more common sense people in Parliament but you know that, and that's why you're tuning in.

Speaking of Parliament, I'm going to start with a mea culpa: I was wrong! I thought Scott Morrison was going to be calling an election last Sunday. Clearly he got cold feet and he's decided he's going to put it off for another few days or maybe another week-or-so. But I can confidently predict the election will be either on 18 May or 25 May. The reason I can confidently predict that is because they're the very last two dates left; there is no choice after that. If it's any later the Australian Electoral Commission wouldn't be able to organise things in time and there's a statutory requirement: you've got to give a certain number of days’ notice for an election campaign. With a new Senate that needs to be sworn in on 1 July, he's really boxing himself in. So get your bets on if you're a gambling person, it's going to be probably, I'm going to say the 18th but it could be 25th. Anyway.

And what an important election it is. I make no bones about it, I would prefer a coalition government because I think in the end, their underlying ethos is less damaging and less harmful - even though they don't really believe in it as much as they should anymore - but it's important because no matter whom you choose to form government, you also get another choice and that is: who do you trust to hold that government to account, to make them a better government, to act in the interest of Australia and all Australians rather than just in their political interest? And you've got a plethora of groups to choose from, I can tell you. On the crossbench, there's something for every fancy and most of them, you don't know what they believe in, what their value proposition is. Some just whinge and complain, some are half asleep in the chamber, some actually believe in something. Others make a virtue of the fact that they're the ‘sensible centre’ - I love that, you can't see the quotation marks I'm doing, the ‘air quotes’. Because ‘sensible centre’: you wait for everyone else to make a decision and you hop in the middle of it and say, "That's what I must believe in!" It's pathetic and it's damaging the country.

The politicians are stuffing this country up with their political correctness, their immigration policies, with their reckless spending, their indulgence in all these boondoggles that they promise is going to make your life better and they end up making it worse. And as they make it worse, they think, "Whoa. The only reason we can't get the result we want is because we haven't borrowed enough money and put more people onto it," and various other things; it's like an Empire Building spiral that is damaging us all. As government gets bigger, our country is worse off. Now, that's not to say there isn't a role for government; of course there is. There are critical roles for government: in regulation, upholding the rule of law and policing our borders, our defence of our nation, helping those who are less fortunate. But please, spare me, spare me all these new programmes that are virtually the same as the previous failed programmes, but they've just got a different name [and] a bit more money going on it and they'll never deliver the results just like their predecessors never delivered the results either.

What we need is actually more self-reliance in this country - more personal responsibility - because that will empower us all. It will allow government to focus on the things it should be doing rather than trying to mollycoddle those of us who should be able to stand on our own two feet. It's pretty straight forward. And you know, if you have more self-reliance, more personal responsibility, you'll have a more civil society. You won't have this dog-eat-dog, vultures-picking-over-the-carcasses-of-their-fellow-travellers as we see today where people don't do the right thing, just because it's the right thing; they only do it because they're getting some sort of reward for it. Do we really want a society like that? Shouldn't we be proud of the fact that we can stand independently and alone, we can look after our own families, we can look after others in need, simply because it is the right thing to do?

It demonstrated to me recently: I was in Queensland. I was having a coffee, it was early in the morning, it was in the Queen Street Mall - I think it is - in Brisbane, and I was having a coffee in an outdoor cafe. A homeless lady - clearly fallen on very, very hard times, and I saw a couple order some food for themselves from this cafe and invite the homeless person to order whatever they wanted from the menu as well; and they did. There was no self-adoration about it, there was no grandstanding, it was just doing something good for someone who needed it and I remember that. It set a very good example both for me and for everyone else and that's why I am sharing it with you today, because our country would be better off if we all looked around, saw someone in need, helped them to the extent that we can - not so they rely on us, but help them up, help them to be their better selves. And you know what? It inspires us to be our better selves at the same time.

Anyway, enough lecturing. We can change it all at the next election if you vote for Conservatives in the Senate. That's what it's all about. Bring back common sense: vote Australian Conservatives. I'll be back.

ADVERTISMENT:   In an age of deals, excuses and short cuts, it's time for a better way. Australia could really do with a new brand of politics: someone that will say what they mean and mean what they say; a party that will never quit, never give up and I know Cory Bernardi and his team of Conservatives will always fight for you. They will fight for affordable and reliable electricity; they will fight for stronger borders and they will stand up to political correctness and defend our Australian values; Australia together. The Australian Conservatives can bring conviction back to Canberra. Authorised by C Bernardi for the Australian Conservatives, Adelaide.

VOICE OVER:   Welcome to the home of the Conservative Revolution. This is your Weekly Dose of Common Sense.

CORY BERNARDI:   One of the statements I often get confronted with is, "The government should do something about it." Do you remember, "The government should step in and build stations," or create some monstrous scheme? "It's all going to end well because it always does," except it rarely does, it rarely does. For every Snowy Mountains Hydro scheme there's a whole bunch of duds like Pink Batt schemes. You remember people who say, "The internet should be run by the government," and, "The  NBN is a fantastic thing"? I remind them, I say, "Well, you know, a nationalised telecommunications scheme? That was Telstra. Remember that?" It used to take three weeks to get your phone answered or your phone call returned and it ended up three months to get your phone connected and somehow they think it's all going to be better now. Well, it's not.

And one of the schemes that has been perhaps one of the biggest dud of all is the National Broadband Network, or NBN. Now, when it's connected, sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't. But let's remember: this was a scheme that was cooked up on the back of a coaster on a plane by Stephen Conroy - he's not a bad guy, and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - who's not such a good guy. And they had this original $5.7bn fibre-to-the-node model that Labor promised in the 2007 election. But 7 April in 2009, a couple of years later - they said it was going to a, "$43bn fibre-to-the-premises" model. It was going to take eight years, eight years - it should have been completed in 2017 - and it was going to be an investment for tax payers. So the debt that was incurred in building it wouldn't appear on our national debt, it would be an asset; it would be an investment, and the tax payers would recoup this massive bounty through a rate of return and of course, they said that within five years of completing the build this world-class, super-asset would be sold with, "Billions of dollars returned to tax payers." All nonsense. All thought bubbles, smoke screens, rainbows and unicorns. It was, and has been, an unmitigated disaster. Not because the NBN is bad - I've got it connected at my house, it works a treat for me - but because it's costing us tens of billions of dollars more; the service is sometimes not as good as what was previously available; it is costing end users more than the alternative; and mark my words, mark my words, by the time that this is complete the service will not be the best you can possibly get. That's already happening.

One of the offices for the Australian Conservatives for example, the NBN wasn't available; it would take weeks to get another connection. So I went to a private operator who, for a couple of hundred dollars had a very fast internet connection sorted within a couple of days. That's what private enterprise is about. And this week I read about NBN, it will be defunct because there is a new group of low level orbiting satellites - that's the technical term, it's not - the satellites that are orbiting the Earth at a much lower level, that will provide super-super-fast, faster-than-the-NBN broadband, internet, everywhere on Earth without needing to lay cables or have wireless or be able to use the existing satellite technology and network. That is what capitalism provides.

The minute a government gets involved in a project it runs out of control with a costing expose, it becomes bogged down in a technology or bureaucracy or it gets bogged down in the politics while the private sector just gets on with the job. So nationalising anything doesn't have this great history in Australia; it doesn't have a great history of success anywhere and that's why I support the capitalist system rather than the socialist system.

The socialist system has been an abject failure wherever it has been tried. So the next time, the next time someone says, "The government should take that over," like we hear a few fringe parties saying, "They should take over all the power assets," or whatever it is - everything else, you know that people have really jumped the shark and haven't thought through, they haven't learnt the lessons of history. Let the market get on with providing the services and goods we want. In a competitive field, it will deliver the best possible prices that we can afford. Yes, there are areas where there's market failure, we know that, but it's where some regulation or increased competition or ensuring monopoly endeavours are not evident, will come into play. That's capitalism; it's that unknown ideal where the people who provide what we want at the price we can afford, will create more jobs and make some money for themselves. Nothing to sneeze at there. Let me know what you think: cory@corybernardi.com

VOICE OVER:   This is your Weekly Dose of Common Sense.

CORY BERNARDI:   Welcome back. This is the Common Sense podcast and I'm being joined by one of these fantastic Australian Conservative candidates, Sophie York, who is the Lead Senate Candidate for New South Wales. Sophie, you're on the line. Welcome.

SOPHIE YORK:   Cory, thank you, and thank you to all the listeners.

CORY BERNARDI:   It's great to have you as part of the Common Sense community, which you have been for a very long time. You're a long-term Liberal who recognised there's a better way and the Liberal Party was a pretty bad machine in New South Wales.

SOPHIE YORK:   Yes, that's true.

CORY BERNARDI:   So what's motivated you to run for the Senate?

SOPHIE YORK:   Look, Cory, of course it was your inspiration, actually. I saw that things were very important and obvious that they were being overlooked by the Liberal Party and the leadership just didn't want to know about it. And it ranged from so many things. It was: our national sovereignty; the education of our children, children are being taught false and confusing things about gender at school. Now, we want our children to learn the 'Three Rs' when they go to school. These things are very serious, but what I saw was that the leadership of the Liberal Party was doing next to nothing about all sorts of things. They were allowing our freedom of speech to be lost. They allowed 18c to remain in the Racial Discrimination Act - that's been so misused in high profile cases - - -

CORY BERNARDI:   Well, Sophie, you covered a lot of ground there and I guess a lot of that is tied to your own personal history. You're a naval barrister, is that correct?

SOPHIE YORK:   Yes. I'm a navy legal officer and I'm at the Bar in New South Wales and I also lecture in law.

CORY BERNARDI:   Wow, that must be a very busy time, particularly when you couple it with your parenting duties and your role as a mum to how many children?

SOPHIE YORK:   Yes. I have four boys, Cory. I'm actually not going to court at the moment but I do lecture and I very much enjoy teaching my students and it's a really great life. Obviously you're always juggling things but I have a very good family and my boys are very self-reliant and they're really good.

CORY BERNARDI:   Tell me -  if you're anything like me, occasionally you have to lecture your own children, so I'm sure you double-up the role occasionally, is that right?

SOPHIE YORK:   Well, they did say to me the other day that they're becoming good at 'jurisprudence'.

CORY BERNARDI:   Sophie, of course, you've also written a book about Aceh.

SOPHIE YORK:   Yes. It's called Angels of Aceh. It was a response to the terrible Boxing Day Tsunami in '04 and the book came out a year later in '05. A quarter of a million people were killed in that tsunami; it effected 11 countries. It was a massive tragedy and Australia - to their credit, sent a surgical team up to Banda Aceh in Indonesia at very short notice and my husband was one of the anaesthetists on the team. So the response was extraordinary, the whole world got involved in that but Australia could really pat themselves on the back because they were just so amazing, so quick, and their response was so generous. They definitely saved lives; they operated within 48 hours of arriving, set up a field hospital and just went from there. So what I did was, I interviewed 35 people and I wrote the book in the middle of the night while I was breastfeeding my fourth child and yes, that was a very good life experience. I was very proud of Australia because it showed that we can organise things very rapidly and very competently for a good cause, and we did.

CORY BERNARDI:   You know, Sophie, the things that you've accomplished in your life - the experience you've had both as a professional, as a parent, as an author, gives you this understanding about the basics of humanity, about the importance of common sense and practical solutions rather than theories and that really is what conservatism is all about. It's about learning from our forefathers and applying the lessons of history to contemporary problems and practical solutions, and that's what politics has lost. That's why we need people like you in the Senate to bring some common sense back to Canberra.

SOPHIE YORK:   Couldn't have put it better, thank you, Cory. That's so true. Look, you lead the way because you show that with a bit courage and a bit of clear thinking that anyone can do it - obviously it takes a special person to do it - but you have done it. So it can be done, if that makes sense?

CORY BERNARDI:   Flattery will get you everywhere on this podcast. All the listeners know that.

SOPHIE YORK:   It's very inspiring. So thank you.

CORY BERNARDI:   Sophie, thank you so much for your time today and thank you for being part of the Common Sense community and putting yourself forward for politics because it's not for the faint of heart; it's a really important calling. This election - which is only just around the corner, is going to shape the future of the country and we want you to be a part of that. So thanks very much for joining us on the podcast.

SOPHIE YORK:   Thanks, Cory. Thank you, everyone.

VOICE OVER:   Keep listening. This is your Weekly Dose of Common Sense.

CORY BERNARDI:   Hello again, Common Sense people. It's time for Your Say, and once again we've got a pretty broad mix of suggestions and comments this week.

Mark says he loves the podcast, “... and I hope the Australian Conservatives do great in the next election. My question for you today though is: with the farmers experiencing record breaking droughts in western Queensland and New South Wales, we're seeing Prime Ministers and Premiers visit with their Akubra hat and pretend they actually care - which we know by their actions, their only care factor is for votes and not what the real issue is. So what is the plan from the Australian Conservatives to help compensate for these farmers and sending supplies to help keep their livelihoods which has lasted for generations, alive? We can't afford to lose what has been the backbone to this great nation." Hey, Mark. Thanks for the feedback and thanks for your support for our farmers. You're quite right; we can't afford to allow family farms and the agricultural heartbeat of our nation to disappear. I've got to say that many, many farmers have planned for drought; they have drought plans and they manage through the good and bad times - and that's what they have for hundreds of years, in some instances, multi-generational families. But there's no doubt that huge issues at work for some. They’ve had seven or eight years of soul-destroying drought and government needs to play a role in assisting in this because it's too important to lose.

But do you know what? I'm focussed on the really long term - not the immediacy, because we can deal with immediate issues, money or support will assist in that area, but we've got to make sure that we're looking after the long-term future and that means drought-proofing the land where we possibly can. It means increased water storage and capacity, it means that making sure that water is available both for environmental needs and for human needs; we don't want to have to choose between them. There's an abundance of water in this country, it just needs to fall in the right places and it needs to be available where it's most needed. That means that we've got to build dams and we've got to build pipelines and we've got to have desalination plants if it's possible. And how do you power pumps and desalinations plants? Well, you need electricity and electricity makes everything easier and better, particularly when it's cheap.

The Australian Conservatives put together a plan for South Australia, for example, where we could irrigate vast swathes of the Eyre Peninsula through a desalination plant which was part and parcel of a small modular nuclear reactor. You can do these things but you've got to have baseload electricity in order to do it. That's what we want to do in the long term: we want to help Australia be as productive and as self-sufficient as it possibly can.

Pete says, "How about instead of the big push towards quotas for male and female candidates, we have quotas on the former careers and qualifications? Too many lawyers, doctors and union reps and near-zero representing farmers, fisherman, mining, manufacturing and tourism." Hey, you know, Pete? Why not? Why not?! It would make more sense to have that than to have gender quotas or have specific roles in Parliament based on the colour of your skin or where you were born. You know what? Some of the most practical people I've met in the parliament come from the non-traditional careers, meaning they're not lawyers  or political staffers - that undertakers and publicans and farmers have got a good understanding of what's going on. We've had people who've not really worked that have been homemakers - that is working, that's really hard work actually - but people who have just raised families; they've got this practical sense, this understanding about how the world does work and how politicians sometimes don't.

Scott says, "Just listening to one of your speeches where you were at the Friedman 2017 Conference. Be good to have these as an extra on your podcast." Well, thank you, Scott. The Friedman Conference - for those who don't know, is run by the Taxpayers Alliance; it's about freedom from government interaction, it's about reducing the level of bureaucracy and empowering every individual. I haven't heard that speech myself. I gave it but I haven't heard it, so I might tune in and we might make them available on the website.

Stuart says, "I'm not a member of AC, as stated I would be after the podcast interview with Kevin Bailey." So Kevin's the big salesman for us? That's great. Thank you, Stuart.

A question referencing the Banking Royal Commission outcomes: "Are the AC worried that Commission outcomes will only address the administration conduct of the banks rather than question and change Australia's banking policy?" Well, I'm not quite sure about that, Kevin. It is the conduct of the banks that was examined by the Royal Commission. I'm not sure what you mean by 'banking policy'. Perhaps you can get back to us? Happy to look at it. But the Australia banks occupy - the four major ones, and the minor ones as well, but the major ones - occupy a verified niche: they have implicit government guarantees, they're underwritten, they should be serving us and we've said that for quite some time. Happy to consider whatever you want to send through.

Craig says, "Just a suggestion for a video: It would be great if starting now, have an explanatory video on how to vote on the ballot sheet so that elderly voters 'get it'. You'd be surprised how many are unsure. If you do this ASAP." Craig, good idea. The difficulty is that we don't know what the ballot is going to actually look like. We've got to wait for our position to be on it and that will vary, of course, around the country. But what we do know is, it's pretty straight forward. On the Senate - that's the white ballot paper - you just put a 1 in the Australian Conservatives' box and then you number another five boxes in the order of your preference. It's pretty straight forward. You know what? I share your frustration; there are many people, many people who have been voting for decades that still don't know how to vote and need to be instructed. It's really frustrating for our democratic ideals to be honest, but it's part of the reason we're not running in the lower house. We wanted people just to think about the simple decision of voting for the Australian Conservatives in the Senate because we will then make whomever they choose to form government, a better government.

Anthony says, "I'd like to point out that banks and others are killing off small business. They're removing ATM cash points. Each institution states customers can use the Big Four bank machines for free. Each bank is removing the ATMs. Small businesses rely on cash and cannot afford the cost of EFTPOS or the transaction fees." Well, Anthony. You know, it's increasing number of people are putting forward digital transactions, I think the bulk of transactions in the country are now digital in nature: tap and go, swipes and so on. The cost of EFTPOS is not particularly great. For example, I can take EFTPOS for my political party, the Australian Conservatives, because we use PayPal and there's a little machine that does that and it just simply charges a transaction fee. So there's no subscriptions or anything else like that. If you want to take cash in your business of course you can, but a growing number are going actually 'cashless'. So what are we doing about small business, you conclude by asking? Well, the simple fact is, we're encouraging government to get out of the way so that people can make decisions for themselves and that includes deciding whether they want to take cash or not. I use cash a lot. Well, I don't have that much to spend but I use it because I'm worried about the government tracking everything that we spend, which the banks actually do. So if you use Uber a lot or you dine out a lot for breakfast it'll come back to haunt you when you go for your credit score or apply for a loan. That's why I use cash. No, not really - but I just like it.

Retirement Funds: Ron says, "My wife and I would appreciate it if you could tell us what steps you're taking to stop the Morrison Government from lying to us and then stealing money from our superannuation retirement funds like they did on 1 July." Well, Ron. I know you sent a lot of emails to the Prime Minister. Well, we've got a pretty straight forward thing: we think that messing around with superannuation is wrong and we can only reflect on that when we can vote against it. Successive governments think other people's superannuation is their political play thing and it's not; what they've done is undermined the confidence in it and Labor want to do the same with franking credits. They want to take you out of your self-managed super fund or one of the industry funds set up for retirees and they want you to go to a union-dominated industry super fund which is just the dumbest piece of policy. Whether you agree with franking credit refunds or not, it's a dumb piece of policy to have taxes applied according to where you hold your superannuation. I think that's outrageous. And with Australians Conservatives in the Senate we can stop it from happening. That's what we're doing, Ron: we vote against dumb policies.

Bill says he's "... a self-funded retiree just manage to keep our heads above water. My wife and I will place your candidate Lyle Shelton at the top of our ballot paper." Hey, that's fantastic. This is in Queensland, clearly. Lyle Shelton is our Number 1 Candidate in Queensland. "I do believe," Bill goes on, "... that we should all be eligible for a pension at retirement age." He says that he has, "... paid a fair bit of tax,” and wants us to be a bit like “... the Kiwis, the Brits, the French and even Russia. The Russian pension amount is dependent on what one did for a living. So for example, my wife is an engineer; we would get a larger pension than a labourer. Think what it would do to the dole queue if you introduced in Australia." Well, you know, Bill? In a way we have this: it's called 'superannuation'. I guess what you're suggesting is that there should be a defined benefit scheme run by the government which is what they used to do in the public service. Meaning, you'd make a contribution to it and after serving amount of time you would then be eligible for a pension, partly funded by the government, partly funded by yourself.

Now, the big problem with that is historically, is governments go broke doing it. You're seeing that in America where a lot of the pension payments - these are the mandated, prescribed benefit schemes for public servants including police officers and nurses and firefighters and so forth - are dependent on a particular rate of return and they're not getting that rate of return and so they're quickly going broke. The other aspect to it - and this is a personal anecdote, it comes from my father, who said one of his friends in Italy joined the post office when he was 18, he did 18 years of service and at 36 he was eligible to then retire with a pension of his own for the rest of his life; he's still yet to get another job. That's how Italy's slowly gone broke, Greece has been the same, in fact, Spain, a range of others. So I agree with you that self-funding pensions is a good thing and you know what? You get a 9% superannuation contribution and so the higher your rate of earnings, the more you can contribute to it and when you get to the other end, theoretically, you should be able to put that into a pension yourself and pay yourself a certain amount of money. Should that be mandated by the government? No. I don't think so, but maybe it should be? Let me know what you think, Bill? Anyone else who thinks that your superannuation should be mandated as a pension rather than a lump sum beneficiary? Let me know what you think.

Justin says, "I see that you're into renewable energy and that's awesome." That's optimistic, Justin. "It's at prices that are accessible by all and when installed are excellent at saving money." Ah, no. I'm into the 'economics' of it; that if it saves money and gives a decent rate of return on my investment then it's common sense and I'll get into it.

Anyway, Justin says his issue is, "... those stuck on single phase. The government only allows 5kw of solar. Very strange how we're encouraged to get solar to help the environment and our bills but we're restricted on the solar we can have. Wouldn't the government be encouraging us to spend big on solar and become less reliant on electricity?" Well, Justin, the problem is: the grid can't handle it. The solar rollout is disrupting the grid, it's causing unbelievable problems actually, and it's quite counterproductive. So it's not about 'the government', so to speak - although they're subsidising everything as well, it's about the inability of the grid to cope with all these home solar installations. That's why they have to keep a cap on the size of them.

Debbie says, "I'd like to know more about the law Scott Morrison thinks he has regarding censorship, particularly Facebook." Well, I'm not sure what Scott Morrison says regarding censorship; it should be probably addressed to Scott Morrison. But I can tell you now, Facebook are out of control. Not only are they invading your privacy at every turn they'll censor whatever it is they don't like and it doesn't 'go along with their algorithm’. But of course, they only censor the conservative message. Rarely, rarely do they sensor the lefty message or the regressive message, and they often say, "It's because we get lots of complaints about the conservative message." That's because there are these two-bit, political activists who haven't got jobs, they just spend their time complaining and of course, Facebook buy into it.

Bruce says, "I refer in part to your commentary in your Weekly Dose of Common Sense, that if Bill Shorten or Scott Morrison win The Lodge via the Green ballot paper, the Senate is where we will bring back common sense. If you are able to achieve this it would be wonderful. You obviously see things that ordinary voters are unaware of. Hope to bring about the required change. Are you able to bring back intelligent debate, as it's rather uncommon? My question is: will you introduce intelligent debate and discussions on Islam or has Islam become the West's 'sacred cow'? Well, Bruce, I've tried. I've spent 10 years talking about the danger of Islamic thought, doctrine, law and culture for western civilisations. The belief system is not compatible with our treatment of each other; the ethic of reciprocity, it's not compatible with our democratic ideals and values and I've spoken about that ad nauseum. But yes, it is the West's 'sacred cow', and I'll tell you why:

Those in the West who hate the West - meaning the Greens and the lefties, they will befriend anyone that wants to erode the pillars that have made the west so good: erode Judeo-Christian ethics and thought and history; the rule of law; the pillars that hold us up; our Constitution; the churches; the sense of community; the family responsibilities; they want to tear them all down and replace them with goodness knows what. But they'll team up with anyone, anyone who wants to do it. It's this sort of weirdo-Communist agenda - which is embraced by the Greens, but they'll join up with anyone thinking, "It'll be okay. We'll be able to rewrite the world in our own vision," and of course, they'll become victims of it, too. But it'll be too late, just as Europe is slowly learning.

Judy says she's a, "... single, aged pensioner, sick to death of the general run around afforded to older people." She goes on to talk about a, "... dodgy, real estate agent. The Real Estate Institute will do nothing to make sure that these so-called 'professional renovators' declare that they've done a house over." This is one of these things, Judy, I'll paraphrase this for people:

One of the things is, it's easy to patch up a house and cover up the serious problems until someone else has bought it and that's why building inspections are absolutely critical if you're purchasing a house: to find out exactly what's been going on and then the building inspector is responsible if they haven't identified the issues but more often than not, they do find the issues. I found that with my own house. I got a building inspector in and he pointed out some things were 'not up to code' and so they had to be fixed. So I'm sorry I can't help you with anything there but you raise a really good point for a lot of people. There are plenty of 'suspicious operators', if I can put it like that.

Chris. He's upset with a donation request. Well, this will be pretty big: "I recently joined your supporter page and considering whether or not to continue to become a member. You left the Liberal Party because you recognised that most Aussies are tired of the BS, same old, day in, blah blah blah. Found the Australian Conservatives page, right away the donation area is highly visible. A few days later I get a request to become a member." Here comes the advice part: "I want your party to be self-sufficient. Australia needs to be run like a business to generate profit and for that profit to benefit all Australians. How can I trust someone like you to lead Australia out of deficit if you can't finance your own campaign?"

Wow, Chris. Mate, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I've asked you and invited you to become a member of my party and that you don't get it for free. I'm sorry about that. I'm sorry that you think we have to be able to generate a profit. So how would a political party generate a profit without having money to start with? It's a small detail. If you've got an answer to that I will welcome it. But you know, we are a grassroots political party. We depend on tens of thousands of Australians chipping in what they can. Some are members, some chip in $2, some chip in much more than that. But we're drawn by people who are motivated by the right thing. You don't have to become a member, mate. No one is forcing you to. No one is forcing you to make a donation or a contribution but it does seem a bit odd that you're complaining about us asking for people to become members.

Anyway, this is the beauty of capitalism. You can opt in to what you want to. And to those who do contribute to our campaign, to those who fund our political party the Australian Conservatives: I want to say, "Thank you". Because what you do for us, what you enable us to do for this country is extraordinary. We don't have, quite simply, the $10m a month that Clive Palmer's got and the headlines screaming that others seems to command. We don't get the massive amounts of public funding that the Greens and Labor and Liberal parties do. We're a bootstrap organisation. We're funded by people like you. We're funded by people who believe our message is important, that are in it for the long term and understand that there has to be a better way otherwise this country will go to rack and ruin. So thank you for those who chip in $2, $5, $10, $25, $40 to become a member or even more. We appreciate it.

Ken, he's in the same vain. "Let me get this straight: You want me as an aged pensioner on a fixed income to donate to you? We've worked hard all our lives, paid our taxes and now as pensioners, trying very hard to make ends meet. We do not have the luxury of superannuation paid by our employers," he's a self-employed bricklayer, so on and so on and so on. "Why should I pay for you to have a life where you have an opportunity to claim for and receive entitlements for each and everything you consume?" Dear me, the politics of envy. You know what? We ask for donations for the political party; it doesn't fund my lifestyle. I'm out there doing my bit like any other political person. You put your hand up, you run for office and then you do your very best. No one is forcing you to blind to the vision, no one's forcing you to give money, but if you don't ask you don't get. It seems as if I ask, I get complaints. Anyway, everyone's entitled to do that and Ken, you're now on the Common Sense podcast.

That's it for this week of Your Say. Send me your feedback, it's really important because next week we'll be able to revisit some of this stuff and find out exactly what you think I've got right and what you've think I got wrong. We might even have another conversation about the election.

VOICE OVER:   If you were here for your Weekly Dose of Common Sense, you've come to the right place. This is the home of the Conservative Revolution.

CORY BERNARDI:   Well, friends, that's all we've got time for on this week's edition of the Weekly Dose of Common Sense podcast. Thank you for making it such a success. Our listenership goes up every single week and that means the Common Sense community is growing and the Common Sense message is getting out there. Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming: cory@corybernardi.com . You know, we don't have to agree on everything but we can agree that common sense is in short supply. So let's bring back common sense both in terms of the general community, but let's bring back some common sense to Canberra. We'll get our change in the next election coming up in the next few weeks. Until then, stay tuned because you'll get more common sense in about 30 minutes here than you will in a whole year of Their ABC. Chat next week.

VOICE OVER:   If you've enjoyed your Weekly Dose of Common Sense, chip in at conservatives.org.au .

[0:42:16.8] END OF RECORDING