Episode 59

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 everyone, it’s Cory Bernardi here and welcome to another Weekly Dose of Common Sense podcast, great to have you tuning in. I’m on the road, just in case you’re wondering why the sound quality might be a little sub-optimal. I’m exploring the great state of South Australia. I’m on the Eyre Peninsula, I’ve been visiting a number of towns as part of a political campaign because we’re going to be voting to change the country – or the direction of the country, maybe. Whether you support the Blue Team or the Red Team, there’s still the Conservative Team to vote for in the Senate.

But among the many, many things that people are talking about, one that hasn’t been raised with me is the kafuffle over Israel Folau’s ‘sinful’ tweet. Now, this demonstrates to me that not only are the elites speaking about something that is really not that important to many people, but it highlights to me just the hypocrisy, the rampant hypocrisy and the anti-Christian bias of many self-appointed leaders in our community.

Now frankly, you might be tired of this but I think there’s an important principle: there is nothing wrong with Folau’s tweet; it is based on the teachings of Christianity. He listed a range of behaviours that have always been considered as requiring redemption within the Christian faith, if that person is wanting to enter Heaven. This is not some new-fangled concept. What’s new-fangled is the rainbow alliance that says you’re not allowed to talk about certain things anymore. Anyway, I reckon most people recognise it for exactly what it is: it’s a doctrinal statement by someone who has a very strong belief in their faith and I think a lot of people would agree with at least some of it. After all, don’t we teach out kids not to lie or steal? Don’t we hope that they don’t commit adultery and that they’re not philanderers or they’re not drunks or they don’t exhibit a range of other behaviours amongst our family and friends? It doesn’t mean we’re going be condemning of those who do go through those things but more often than not it’s not the sort of thing we want for those closest to us.

And I make the point that no one complained about the drunks and adulterers being mentioned in it - even though there are legions of them out there - but it was the reference to homosexuality that sparked an avalanche of outrage from the PC brigade lead by rainbow activist-in-chief, QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce. Now, Mr Joyce is not a bad guy but he uses his position as CEO of QANTAS as leverage to pursue a social agenda and it’s dressed up as any number of ways. This time, he threatened to pull the sponsorship from Rugby Union - or so the media reports suggests – it also suggests that Folau is going to get the sack as a result. Now, that’s the right of both QANTAS - through their CEO - and Rugby Union, to make decisions as they see fit, because it is entirely a contractual issue. I don’t know what Israel Folau’s contract says but, but, I want to make this point: the contracts of teachers at Christian schools also encourage a certain standard of behaviour and many of those who are most outraged about Israel Folau allegedly breeching his contract of behaviour with Rugby Australia are those that say, “A school has no right to insist upon that for their teachers,” or even their students. So the consistency gene is often lacking in these socially progressive – I should say regressive – activists. They choose again the tribe over the principle and that’s not what I think is good for our country.

So even though I think there will be many who agree with what Israel Folau wrote, there will be more – maybe the same number, maybe more – who will disagree, but he hasn’t sought to hurt anyone, nor has he advocated violence, so you wonder why is he being sanctioned. In fact, from his perspective – and many in the Christian community’s perspective – he would argue he’s trying to spread the word; he is actually trying to help people by reminding them that much of what is considered acceptable today is still considered sinful under Christian teachings. Now, tens of thousands of preachers and pastors and priests say the same thing to the congregations every single day to remind them how to be their better selves.

Now, I have no problem with that within the church. People often pick and choose which bits of the message they want to accept because they don’t want to be reminded of their faults and failings, but it is an important lesson: there is always room for improvement in ourselves as we go about our daily lives. That’s a message that I think is timeless and it’s profoundly demonstrated in this most Holy of times on the Christian calendar; and that is Easter.

The narrative of Easter is one of brutality, of betrayal, of sacrifice, of death and resurrection but mostly it is about love. And even when faced with certain death, Jesus refused to cede his beliefs to the populist whims of the crowd and for believers and non-believers alike, it is a reminder that at the very least we should strive to do the right thing every time, regardless of the personal consequences.

I’ll be spending some time with my family over the Easter break; enjoying some love and some celebration, some comradery and some fellowship, and I’ll also be recognising that the Christian ethos, the Christian spirit, is absolutely integral to what makes this country great and I’ll be giving thanks to that and I’ll be giving thanks to all of you who want to spread the Common Sense word. Have a great Easter. I’ll be back in a moment. 

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

ADVERTISEMENT:   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.

CORY BERNARDI:   Last week, I was in the great regional community of Kapunda in South Australia. We had a community forum there and I was so heartened by how many people actually turned up. We had over a hundred there to support the Australia Conservatives and our candidate Rikki Lambert here in South Australia, and there was a chap named Carl Teusner who was Number 2 on the Senate ticket. Carl Teusner mesmerised the crowd – I’ve got to say – with an amazing story about the dangers of government and how all their little titbits will actually enslave you. I can’t do it justice – even though I tried to on Sky – so I’ll let Carl tell you in his own words.

Carl, thanks for contributing to the Common Sense podcast.

CARL TEUSNER:   As a Conservative, my main concern is that people are becoming too reliant on the government to run their lives both financially and through policy. I think the story that best describes this point is the one about the duck dinner.

This is based around a farmer who had ducks migrate to his pond every Summer. Every morning, he’d go down and try catch a duck for his weekend duck dinner and try as he might, he could not catch one. So the next Summer, he decided he’d start feeding the ducks. Gradually over time, the ducks became more familiar with the farmer and so the ducks no longer flew away from the farmer when he came to feed them.

Eventually, the ducks became lazy. They no longer wanted to fly away and look for their food; they became more and more reliant on the farmer to feed them. Then eventually, Winter came and the pond froze over. So the ducks no longer flew, so the farmer built them a coup and then every night the ducks would go into the coup and they’d stay nice and warm. What happened was that since the ducks were now locked up in their coup, the farmer could now go into the coup whenever he wanted and pull out duck for his duck dinner on a Sunday evening.

This illustrates the point that I’m trying to get at: the more and more reliant we become on government, the more and more freedom we lose, the more liberty we give up. I think it’s very important that we can’t rely on government; we have to be self-sufficient in what we do. We have to be dependent on ourselves.

So Cory, all the best, mate. I appreciate your podcasts. I listen to them every week on the tractor when I’m bored by myself, up and down, up and down. All the best, mate. Good luck for the election.

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

CORY BERNARDI:   You’re tuning in to the WEEKLY DOSE OF COMMON SENSE and it’s time for Your Say. And thank you again for all the people who bother to get in touch: cory@corybernardi.com . We like to get through as many as we can, so let’s get into it.

Mark wants to know, “What’s [my] view on electric cars and is there any real plan for the national transition in this area by us Conservatives? Keep up the good work!” Well, Mark, I’ve got no problem with electric cars if that’s what people want to buy, I just don’t think the government should be forcing them on us. After all, they don’t have the range that we need right now for practical use. The electricity we put in them is expensive and quite unreliable at the moment but there will be a transition to electric cars as batteries get better, as recharging gets faster, as technology catches up. I have no doubt about it because they’re fantastic fun to drive – I’ve been in one of those Teslas and it has been amazing, amazing. You put it on ‘insane’ mode and literally it’s like a Formula 1 car – it feels like that, anyway. Never got over the speed limit, though, it just accelerates really quickly. So it’ll happen; just stay the heck out of it, government. That means you, Labor Party.

Michelle: “Please let me know how we can give you the best vote at the upcoming election.” Well Michelle, it’s pretty straight forward: vote for whomever you want in the Lower House but in the Upper House – for the Senate, just put a 1 in the Australian Conservatives box. Wherever you are in the country, put a 1 in the Australian Conservatives box; it will help to get Senators elected and restore some common sense to Canberra.

Scott has asked me about Israel Folau. Dealt with that in the start, Scott, but thanks for following up. You inspired me.

Diana says she’s a “... member of the Australian Conservatives. Enjoy[s] the podcast.” She wants to make it “... mandatory for all  Australian’s to listen.” Well, imagine that. If you were forced to listen to a half-an-hour of common sense every week – well, the world might be a better place. Anyway, Diana wants to know, “Can  you speak about the problem that rising wages creates in pushing up prices, negating the increase; whereas cutting taxes makes a real difference?” It’s a really good point and I’ll try and do this as succinctly as I can:

At the end of the day, people want more money in their pocket and at some levels they say, “Well, put my wages up; I’ll have more money in my pocket.” But of course someone has to pay those wages, so it’s a small business operator – or a large one, but let’s deal with a small business operator – suddenly has to find an extra two or three dollars an hour to pay their staff. Now, you think that doesn’t sound like much but if you’ve got 10 staff, that’s $30 an hour times by 10-hour day, it’s $300 a day, times by six days-a-week, it’s $1,800 or seven days-a-week-, it’s $2,100. That’s off their bottom line. The only way they can get that money back is either through efficiency or productivity increases or by putting prices up. And if you put the prices up of things, then the people who have got the wage rise have to pay more for the very same things that they were previously buying. So it becomes a catch-22 – a cycle. Wages go up so prices go up, which means people say, “I need my wages to go up again to be able to afford things.” It doesn’t work well unless there’s productivity gains, meaning there’s a gain for business. If business is making more money they will be able to pay people more money. But there’s an easier way, a better way, to leave workers with more money in their own pocket and to stimulate employment and that is to cut taxes.

If you as an income earner suddenly are paying a $1,000-$2,000 less in taxes every single year, you’re going to have a certain amount of money – whether it be $20 or $30 or $40 or $50 – more in your pocket every, single week. So if you really want to help your bottom line, you want to help business, you’ll cut taxes in this country. But of course, that means you’ve got to disencumber government – stop the growth of government, stop the power and authority of government, and politicians are none-too-happy about doing that.

Maureen says, “Choice for Christian voters: At the recent state election, I was very disappointed I had to choose between your party and the Christian Democrats. Surely uniting with other conservative groups would strengthen your chance of winning.” Maureen, I’ve covered this a lot of times. There’s a lot of groups out there; some share our values, some don’t, some are good people, some are not-so-good people, but in the end you’ve got to reach agreement with all of these areas. My focus is on federal election - and I make no bones about that - and I really want to focus on Upper House votes. We just want to fly our flag and restore the Common Sense message. If people want to join with us, then I’m delighted to do that, really delighted to do it. I think a unified voice is much more important but it’s a 20-year burn; that’s really what it is. If we want to be a dominant political party in the Australian landscape and we want to win House of Representative seats and we want to win Senate seats and we want to win State Government seats, we just have to continue to grow, and build, and spread the message. It’s a huge challenge but we’re up for it. If the CDP want to come and join us in it, they’re welcome.

Laird – I like the name ‘Laird’, well done. Anyway, it’s Scottish I guess. It means ‘Lord’, I think. Laird says, “I’d like a little more information on how you feel about Australian manufacturing and supporting Australian jobs.” Well Laird, it’s critically important to the future of our country. If we outsource all our manufacturing we are going to be doing ourselves a disservice – a massive disservice - and future generations a disservice. Now, it doesn’t mean that we should pursue unproductive pursuits but what it means is that we’ve got to give ourselves every opportunity to do the best. That means making sure we’ve got the cheapest, most affordable and reliable electricity anywhere in the world because that it our singular, competitive advantage. It also means we’ve got to have a skilled, willing and able labour force, and there are too many people preferring to opt-out of the labour force. There is dignity in work; there is strength in it, it builds a stronger community and we should have zero tolerance of those who are able to work who are choosing not to do so. And I also believe we’ve got to start thinking about Australia first.

We’ve got to make decisions that are acting in our national interest rather than slavishly obeying the dictates of the UN or worried about offending one of our trading partners who never worry about offending us, strangely. It’s a pretty simple formula. Use some common sense in it; that’s what we should say about everything, actually.

Scott says, “I’m dead on with that immigration needs to be changed to sustainable numbers. I would like to hear your thoughts on if these numbers are reduced to the numbers that most Australians want.” We think immigration should be halved, straight-up, Scott, then we can take stock of where it is. We can be more diligent in who we allow into our country to make sure they’re acting in our interests rather than in their own interests. We can make sure that we have the pick of the crop of migrants coming here, and so our economic, our cultural and our social integrity is maintained.

Geoff says, “Saw Virginia Trioli – she’s the ABC lady – spruiking the ABC Vote Compass on News 24 this morning. Went online to complete. Wow, was this independent ABC tool designed by GetUp? It asked questions about all the lefty issues in-vogue buts fails to ask questions about the economy, cost of living or jobs.” Well Geoff, thanks for sharing that. Are you really surprised? The ABC caring about the economy? Even a coalition government doesn’t cut their budget. The cost of living? They’re all highly paid. And their jobs? Job security. Hard to get sacked but the ABC but if you are, you get a healthy pay-out. They’re living in ‘ABC Land’, as Kevin Rudd would point out.

Lorna says she “... just watched a TV message was prepared for the coming election; it says a lot and will resonate with people. May I suggest in others that you produce, you stress the importance of having the Conservatives’ vote in the Senate to be watchdogs over legislation which is non-beneficial to the Australian community; to enlighten voters that if the Greens have that power, they would undermine the solid foundation of our Constitution by whatever means they have and once our freedoms are lost, they are gone forever.” Lorna, you’re spot on. Excellent. Thank you. Good suggestion, we’ll do that.

Ron says our ad is, “... slick and well-made, but it leaves a question: what will bringing your small amount of common sense to the crowd in Canberra do? After all, you’ve already been there for some time. The turkeys in the main parties are not listening nor, it seems, are the average Australians.” You know Ron, you’ve got a very reasonable point there, but here it is:

The turkeys in Canberra aren’t listening because we can’t force them to listen. You can talk to them about common sense all you like but unless you’re in a position to squeeze the numbers they don’t listen, so you need to squeeze the numbers which means we need more Conservative Senators in Canberra. I continue to do my bit - and occasionally I get to leverage that - but more often than not I just get to remind them how to be their better selves and sometimes they accept it and sometimes they don’t. And “... the average Australian doesn’t seem to be listening, either”? Ron, I regret – I think you’re right there, too. Most Australians seem to have given up on politics; they think it’s another class altogether. The don’t pay any attention to it and the frustration is palpable for people like me, who continue to go out there and push the Common Sense message and people sort of – they agree when the hear it, but they don’t want to hear it I the meantime. Very hard, but we’re going to keep going. You can’t give up in this business. We have to keep going because it’s too important, too important.

John, he’s chided me here. He says, “One thing: you had a gentleman who made a comment to you about donations and he was a pensioner. These are people you don’t seem to understand. He had a point about donations, and if you believe conservatism is so great, how is it you need donations from those who have little but you’re only targeting those with higher wages?” Well John ... John, John, John. We’re a grassroots political party. People don’t have to give. We don’t force anyone to do anything. If people receive this weekly podcast or my weekly email, there’s no payment, but if people are happy to give – whether it be $2 or $3 or $30 or $300 – we need it. How do we get the message out? How do I run a political party - try and get candidates in every state – if people won’t support them? Why is it that it’s okay for people to complain about this podcast – which is free – it’s okay for people to ask for advice or suggestions or answers through it, but it’s wrong for me to say, “Hey. If you’re in a position to be able to help us, it’d be great”? It costs millions of dollars to run a political party. John, people say to me all the time, “Won’t don’t you put ads on TV like Clive Palmer?” Well, because I don’t have $50m dollars to spend; but by your reckoning I should, without asking people for it. Maybe I can ask the Chinese like Clive Palmer. Anyway John, we’re not going to agree. You don’t have to chip in but if you’d like to it would be most welcome.

Karen says, “Any chance you could ad your podcast to Spotify? Keep up the good work.” Thanks, Karen. I don’t know how to do that but we’ll see if we can. Spotify tried to ban us, of course - the Australian Conservatives – because we put together a playlist called ‘The AC 100 for Australia Day’ and all the little prima donnas in the music industry wanted to boycott it and brought down because they didn’t agree with my political views. Amazing, one of them was even a plagiarist who got sued for stealing his music from someone else and writing it off as his own. Yes, he complained, too. Plus the precious petals from Savage Garden or something, anyway. Yes, so Spotify. We’ll see how we go with that Karen, but I’ll do my best.

Barry – and I’m going to finish on this. Barry says, “It is time that someone does something about this climate change heresy. It is costing too much. We need a brave man who will stand up and point out the obviously fallacies of the religion.” And because we’re in the religious season: it’s true. The most anti-Christian people are the people who worship at the altar of the climate change debate or witchcraft or whatever it is ... ‘theology’. You’re quite right, but Barry, I’ve been talking about it. Go back to 2009. Google: ‘cool heads needed on global warming’, it’ll be there in all its glory, when I started firing up about this. It’s been a decade. We’ve won some battles and then we just take giant steps backward. Very, very frustrating, but eventually common sense will prevail but we might go broke in the meantime. Don’t let them do it to us. Stand up for Australia, stand up for our industry, stand up for your V8 motor vehicle – if that’s what you want - and stand for common sense. I’ll be back. 

VOICE OVER:   Like what you hear? Support the conservative party at conservatives.org.au .

CORY BERNARDI:   Well, that’s it for an abbreviated version of the Weekly Dose of Common Sense podcast. The reason it’s so short this week – and that will please some of you – is because I’m sitting in a car with a towel over my head to keep the sound right to bring this Common Sense podcast to you. It’s amazing – technology, but it’s rather unedifying to be sitting in a public carpark no matter how picturesque the scenery our here in South Australia, anyway.

Thanks for tuning in. It’s wonderful to have you as part of the Common Sense community. I hope you have a blessed and safe Easter. Enjoy some time with family and friends. Remember what’s really important, and that is: the people around us and the love they give us and the love we give to them.

And if you’re religiously inclined, remember: Jesus is the reason for the season.

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

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