Choppergate is Tony Abbott’s perfect storm

In the greater scheme of things, Tony Abbott has no one to blame over Choppergate except himself and Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce and George Brandis and Philip Ruddock and Teresa Gambaro, all of whom have been involved in claiming, and then paying back, travel expenses to which they were not entitled.

Some of the  attendees at Sophie Mirabella's wedding paid their own expenses. But some didn't.
Some of the attendees at Sophie Mirabella’s wedding paid their own expenses. But some didn’t.

Abbott was caught out claiming over $1000 to attend a wedding (as were a number of his colleagues). He was also in the habit of claiming taxpayer funded expenses to compete in ironman events and for other events including attending the Melbourne Cup, the Boxing Day Ashes test, the AFL Dreamtime game, the Birdsville races , the AFL grand final, the Bathurst 1000 V8 super cars, the men’s final of the Australian Tennis Open and the Tamworth Country Music festival.

There is a list of the expenses he has claimed. It makes really interesting reading

 Tony Abbott completes in a ( taxpayer-funded) triathalon
Tony Abbott completes in a ( taxpayer-funded) triathalon

Abbott argued the case for claiming the expenses for the Ironman by saying that  people in remote centres don’t often get the chance to see a politician, it was a community event and besides, it was hard work. None of which really make it official business.

So the groundswell of public anger at the kind of behaviour that Bronwyn Bishop is being pilloried for, began building sometime ago.

And Bishop remains defiant and unrepentant in the face of mounting public anger.

Don’t go Bronwyn. Your presence and your outrageous behaviour as Speaker of the House will only serve to underline the entitlement culture and arrogance of this government. But when the analysis of the defeat of the Abbot government is done, Choppergate will be seen as a major contributing factor.

That should cement your place in Liberal party history.

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