A couple of weeks ago, I called on the highest density of ministers in the country to pull out their parliamentary privilege and raise the bar in Logan.

There’s only months before they look like being ditched into the shadows of a skinny man with a neck tie, and I concluded it was time they used their power to ensure their own electorates had enough money to carry them through to their next victory.

Jimmy the Charmer was a disappointment in the federal budget a couple of weeks ago.

This week, he tells us the budget was “built in Logan, for Logan”. Nice try, Jimmy. Surely your spin doctors can do better than that.

At the centre of all the wonderful things our home-made money pot could sweeten was a “learn to swim” program which has already been going for years.

Sure, you pitched in to help build some rail and road improvements, but we’re not falling over with excitement. I got more pleasure by releasing an in-grown toenail the other night.

Never mind, I should be fair. It wasn’t you I was asking big things from. 

It was your state colleagues I was asking to put pork in a barrel. Lots of it. Enough to keep smiles on our faces for 4-8 years.

Because they’re the ones on the ropes. And you know what? They might have been listening. Sort of.

We knew about the $1000 contribution to our electricity bill which put Jimmy’s $300 to shame.

Now they’re offering 50-cent public transport. And free breakfast for kids. And I quote: “A peak body to boost social connections for seniors.”

I necessitate the quote because I have no idea, even as a senior, what that means. But I’m sure it’ll be great.

Near-free travel is impressive, if only we had a public transport system that got us to and from points of choice.

Regardless, we’ll put it down as a win. In fact, it’s a stroke of genius. 

While in power, the red team makes public transport virtually free, only to find that in about six months they’ve sent the system broke.

Clever, because in six months, the blue team’s taken over the box seat in parliament house, and suddenly they’re the ones copping the heat.

In their attempt to reform the economic blunder, they reinstate regular public transport charges, which makes them the bad guys.

Then the red team announces a plan which will help small business flourish.

They’ll put so much training in place that business owners will no longer have time to run their ship. They’ll be flooded with incentives to employ staff. And there will be counselling to help those who’ve crumbled as a result.

Again, who’s in power when the rot really sets in. The blue team.

Utter genius.

I have no political allegiance, and while it might seem I’m kicking a government in times that call for desperate measures, it was never my intent to be nasty.

Rather, it’s to point out that my call to pork barrel has come in the form of plans, subsidies and promises that I can’t see myself benefiting from.

What I wanted was not rhetoric. No, what I wanted was stuff I could see and use every day. I wanted bridges and roads and more trains and buses. 

I wanted more teachers and police and hospital workers. People who could make a difference.

And I wanted them to be given powers that would help us beat the bad guys, to not only arrest the criminals, but to make them pay for their terrible ways.

I wanted a justice system that shut down crime, a teaching system that made children smart, and a hospital system that made people well.

I know that the bureaucrats will argue that this is the precise reason they create plans and promises. Because without plans, there will be no feedback. And without feedback, they can’t be sure that their promises will be vote-winners.

As someone at the club said over a beer, if you’re going to attempt to buy my vote with pork barreling, do it well. Give me stuff I can see. Tangible stuff with wet paint and that smell new stuff has.

And don’t hide behind some facade that tells me you wanted this to happen when you were 17.

Just be upfront. Tell me you’re buying my vote. And tell me how. You never know, I might just give it to you.

Hey Wanda, if I pay for dinner tonight, can I have your vote for that new chair I was lobbying for?

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