Forget The Australia Flag Pin, Waleed Aly Tells Politicians To Wear A Dollar Sign
Just a couple of hours out from the Sydney Opera House's highly contested light show, Waleed Aly has suggested some of our top politicians be a little more honest with their choice of accessories.
A petition to "defend our Opera House" ticked over to more than 291,000 signatures just after 6:30pm on Tuesday night.
People began to band together on Sunday when NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian gave the green light to promote next Saturday's Everest horse race on the sails of the one of the country's most iconic landmarks.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was surprised at the backlash.
"I just don't understand why we tie ourselves up in knots about these things," he said on 2GB radio on Monday.
Speaking on The Project, Aly said the situation has "pulled back the curtain" on just how out of touch Australian politicians may just be with the people they govern.
"If you didn't realise that co-opting our most famous national icon to promote a big-money horse race that didn't even exist two years ago was always going to piss off a lot of people, you'd have to be seriously out of touch," Aly said.
"And sadly, that seems to be exactly where our politicians are at."
Comparing the situation with the Victoria Labor Government's attempt to place an Apple store in Melbourne's Federation Square last year, Aly took aim at the conflicting commercial interests which seem to regularly make their way into politics, often through donations to parties.
"Our politicians see your public spaces as assets to be sold off, simply because some really powerful industry or some mega corporation would really like to buy it," he said.
"It's reported The Alliance for Gambling Reform has calculated that gambling interests donated $1.5 million to the major parties in 2016-17."
When Scott Morrison became Prime Minister, he asked his cabinet to wear Australian flag pins, which he said reminded him of what side he's on.
But following the government's decision to green light the Everest promotion, Aly took it upon himself to provide some of our politicians with another option.
"We need a different pin. So we found this one, which we think is far more honest," he said, while holding a small, silver dollar sign pin.
Aly said one had been sent to Scott Morrison, Gladys Berejiklian, Luke Foley and Anthony Albanese.
"We're asking them to wear them - not to remind them, but to remind us, when we see them, who they're really working for."
Thousands of protesters are set to shine lights onto the Opera House in an attempt to interrupt the Everest projection tonight.