Lobbyists or Looters?

Politics is a strange business.

Many who strive to walk the corridors of power do so to atone for some unhappy memories which clearly haunt their self-esteem.

It’s as if they want to prove to those that excluded or bullied them earlier in life that they are worthy of respect.

I’ve seen these characters up close many times. Invariably, they were pathological liars and leakers replete with narcissism that knew no bounds.

Most often, their decisions are made for themselves with the first question always being how will this help my career?

To my mind, that is entirely the wrong motivation for a person elected to be doing something for the country.

Unfortunately, that political virus is unlikely to change any time soon.

Political life is becoming too removed from the real world, it’s too gruelling and time-consuming for normal people to want to enter it.

Superficially there is an attraction to being a public representative. You’re paid well, get to travel, doors open, and you have ‘respect’.

In truth, the position has the respect and you are simply the person filling the spot for a time.

Few of those who enter go on to pursue something entirely unrelated to the public purse when they are defeated or drop out.

Many seem unable to adjust to regular life. They have become used to directing others rather than doing. It’s why so many seek roles on well-paid government boards and committees, or cling onto political office for dear life.

For many, there isn’t much on the other side of politics. The phone calls stop coming and your previous trusted contacts often stop answering. With no pension system, the pay is hard to replicate and adjustment can be difficult.

That explains why those who cannot let it go become ‘lobbyists’. In essence, they get paid by corporates to help navigate the Canberra corridors to gain favour with government.

Often those lobbyists also have influence in the political parties too. They shepherd their favourite candidates through pre-selections and fund their campaigns so they can have influence when they get elected.

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It’s a cosy little club and very, very lucrative.

A less generous assessment would suggest it borders on the corrupt.

However, that is the system as it currently stands. Access, decision-making, and the funnelling of public money are all heavily influenced by these heavyweights for hire.

It’s been the modus operandi in the United States for decades, and the professional parasites of politics have infiltrated our system here too.

That’s why you see some credible voices frozen out of the policy debate or good ideas never getting off the ground. They don’t have the money or the influence to get in front of the minister who can actually make the decision.

That ground is owned by the lobbyists rather than the traditional custodians of our democratic land, the regular citizen.

Have a great weekend.


Cory Bernardi,

For The Rum Rebellion

PS: To sign up to Cory’s free weekly email, Cory Bernardi Confidential, click here.

As a member of the Liberal Party of Australia for over 30 years, Cory fought to support Sir Robert Menzies’ vision of stronger families, fostering free enterprise, limited government and supporting civil society for the ‘forgotten people’.

He is currently Chairman of the Bernardi Family Investment Office and provides regular current affairs commentary on Sky News Australia and other media outlets.

The Rum Rebellion