Bill Shorten wants to go to war with people like me, who just want to get ahead by getting everyone else to subsidise our investment properties.

In an open letter, true blue Aussie Tony Lewis appeals to the Fake Tradie to be a champion of the great Australian fair go and stop hogging his mates' share of the cake. 

Dear Fake Tradie,

Much has been made in the media of your appearance in a Liberal Party campaign advertisement, and about whether or not you are “genuine”. I write you this open letter not knowing whether or not you are genuine, but it actually doesn’t matter.

Irrespective of your reality status, the ideas you express are ideas that some people in Australia hold. So this letter is really, through you, a letter to anyone who holds these ideas.

Let me begin by asking you a question. How do you feel about queue jumpers? Am I right in thinking that you don’t have much time for them? Is it fair to assume that you are critical of people who take advantage of particular circumstances to further their own interests at the expense of other people? It’s un-Australian, isn’t it?

It’s especially annoying when the queue jumpers come here in boats instead of going through the proper channels, isn’t it? As a Liberal Party supporter it’s probably reasonable to expect that you believe the government’s often repeated line about “illegal arrivals”, even though it is perfectly legal, by Australian law and international law, for people to arrive at our shores without documentation and ask for asylum.

Do you find it interesting how our perception of whether or not something is “legal” is influenced by emotive circumstances, regardless of the actual letter of the law? I find that fascinating.

But I digress.

Let me focus for a moment on something you have said in your Liberal Party video.

You said that you just want to “get ahead through an investment property.” Do you understand, Fake Tradie, that you “getting ahead” through an investment property does not actually create wealth? It puts more money in your own pocket, yes, but it doesn’t actually generate any productivity. It does not make something new.

The wealth that ends up in your pocket comes from somebody else. If our collective wealth were a cake, then you’d be ending up with an extra slice of that cake, but the fact is you have not made any more cake, you have just taken a slice from someone else’s plate.

Isn’t that a bit like queue jumping? Isn’t that feathering your own nest at other people’s expense? Isn’t it just a little bit un-Australian?

Do you understand that the Australian tax payer – that includes my over qualified and underemployed self – subsidises your “getting ahead” by allowing you to negatively gear your investment property, and giving you discounts on Capital Gains Tax?

To put this another way, Fake Tradie, as politely as possible, you’re taking a slice of cake from my plate, and I’d really like it back. If that’s not too much to ask. It would be the Australian thing to do. And then nobody would be able to call you a queue jumper or an investment property bludger and we’d all live happily ever after.

Thank you. I know that as a champion of the great Australian fair go, you will do the right thing, stop taking cakes from other people’s plates, and wait patiently in the queue with the rest of us. Then you and I can call each other “mate” once again.

Tony Lewis is a member of the Australian Greens.

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