Tanks But No Tanks

In the right, Christine Holgate pulls the wrong rein

WERE the posh gifts for hugely well-paid Australia Post staff more trivial than Andrew Peacock’s Sheridan sheets or Mick Young’s Paddington Bear or Barry O’Farrell’s bottle of plonk? Bullied for being a woman, Ms Holgate? I think not. The nervous turmoil she experienced in the midst of the luxury watch debacle was no doubt genuine but it wasn’t born of Scott Morrison’s sudden-onset frugality or a rumour without foundation. Of the latter, there is no sparsity of vicious examples in Louise Milligan’s Australia. Holgate’s minor extravagance – for such is all it was – never darkened, as details emerged, to the blackness of venality or crime. It was merely dumb. Her gender-themed push-back, on the other hand, is smart – albeit demeaning.

Not even a quartz Cartier is less substantive than a superwoman in public life defaulting to harried damsel when it’s convenient. What started out as a classic Labor class-and-envy smear against the former Australia Post supremo – maybe you don’t remember Paul Keating’s disdain for French horology – has been magically transformed via the oestrogen hubris suffocating rationality in Canberra to yet another anti-Morrison moment.

“He got too hot under the collar, he took a swing, and he needs to apologise,” Sarah Hanson-Young said on Tuesday, likening the PM’s criticism of the $12,000 watch spree to a wrathful husband beating his wife. “I think it’s one of the worst acts of bullying I’ve ever witnessed,” Ms Holgate herself told 7.30. I guess she slept through the left’s treatment of Nicole Flint.

Ms Holgate and her attendants wore white at the sham Hanson-Young-chaired Senate committee, supposedly to identify themselves with the suffragists (none of whom earned $2.6 million a year). The real intention was to signal the Brittany Bombardiers in politics and the media that she sees herself as another victim of Liberal Party misogyny. Succour is available from the aforementioned avengers to any galled female who doesn’t drag the Labor Party into the mire.

That’s the sad thing about this affair: a strong woman legitimately hard done by would take on all who wronged her without preference or pro bono mudslinging from haters like Hanson-Young or Kristina Keneally. She wouldn’t allow herself to be owned like that. Holgate had a case – though whether it cancels out those watches is a subjective question. There were spineless Australia Post lounge lizards who didn’t come to her defence because they were taking advantage of her trouble; Anthony Albanese did want her scalp (the opportunity to park “Cartier” into Hansard and the news cycle at the height of coronavirus lay-offs was fruit so low-hanging he had to bend over to pick it); and yes, Scott Morrison – chuffed to be topping the polls as his government squandered billions – was played by the Opposition Leader. Lucio Di Bartolomeo and the Prime Minister say they won’t be apologising. Nor should they. They shouldn’t be proud of themselves either.

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30 Responses to Tanks But No Tanks

  1. Andre Lewis says:

    Well paid Holgate knew her executives are equally richly remunerated so a cash bonus would not easily fit into their bulging wallets. Hence give them all nice watches instead!

  2. Chris M says:

    This unstable lady has taken the service out of the postal service, instead of saving the business by trimming lavish executive wages and staff efficiency she introduced eco electric trikes to save the planet and cut deliveries to every few days to the point that all their customers now hate what is left of the business and are scratching for any alternatives they can find.

  3. Roger says:

    Ms Holgate and her attendants wore white at the sham Hanson-Young-chaired Senate committee, supposedly to identify themselves with the suffragists (none of whom earned $2.6 million a year).

    They do have misandry in common though.

  4. bespoke says:

    attendants wore white

    Copying the US Democrat’s.

  5. Mango Man says:

    Holgate was unpopular at AP because she had a penchant for self-indulgence. That’s why the watch gift was rolled out. But the chairman is the one who should have been punted. The rest of it is theatre, going nowhere.

  6. Snirtus says:

    The govt. wants to hive off the lucrative parcel business. Holgate put forward the case that it subsidised the mail part and kept the retail PO alive by giving them banking and retail (which started with Fahour).
    She encouraged the team to bring banking on board for which their effort was acknowledged with said watches.
    Her success pissed of the Govt. and board todies so they engineered her demise.

  7. Perfidious Albino says:

    To be fair, the larger trikes allow your traditional postie to deliver smaller parcels, keeping them usefully employed despite the volume of ‘letters’ falling off a cliff.

    Economically it is a millstone to maintain a statutory service obligation for a postie to trundle past everyone’s letterbox and service postboxes daily when hardly anyone sends letters anymore. There is a genuine case to be made for reviewing the statutory service obligations to realign with reality.

  8. Dr Faustus says:

    Holgate was brought down by the Postal Union, working in close formation with the parliamentary ALP and their media facilitators. The larger target at the time was the whole AP Board and the Shareholder Ministers.

    Passionfingers Morrison played directly into their game.

    As a result we will likely be paying several million of our dollars to St Christine in Misogyny Money.

  9. Patrick Kelly says:

    Robert Gottliebsen’s analysis (The Australian) of this imbroglio should be compulsory reading for anyone wishing to comment on this affair. As an ex-Post employee, I can say that I find his take on the matter very credible and consistent with the organisation’s culture and with obviously conflicting agendae of Corporate Management and owners (Government and bureaucracy).

  10. Xword says:

    “Superwoman in public life defaulting to a harried maiden when convenient”.
    Classic CL

  11. caveman says:

    Sounds like she may well be the anti Christ. Half the population hadn’t even heard of her , i got no problem with her, my parcels were delivered on time.
    The Cartiers weren’t a favourite of mine , i would have preferred cash, that’s what I prefer for my birthday.
    Keep fighting the machine Ms Holgate

  12. jupes says:

    The govt. wants to hive off the lucrative parcel business. Holgate put forward the case that it subsidised the mail part and kept the retail PO alive by giving them banking and retail (which started with Fahour).
    She encouraged the team to bring banking on board for which their effort was acknowledged with said watches.
    Her success pissed of the Govt. and board todies so they engineered her demise.

    Yep.

    Passionfingers Morrison played directly into their game.

    Yep again. Just how stupid is this man?

  13. Cynic of A says:

    Went into our Post Office the other day, which is not an LPO.
    Shelves of books, knick knacks, “mothery” things, and lo! Cookers! Lots and lots of cookers. Hot air cookers. Cold air cookers. Whatever.
    According to Credlin, the PO is doing just fine with the parcel business. I had a look at the 2019 Financial Report. Pages and pages of smiling people in photos, attempting to ensure everyone how wonderful they were. Pages and pages of renumeration with heaps of reasons why everyone was well worth it. Lotsa bonuses!
    To be honest, I couldn’t work out quickly if they made a quid or not.
    Anyway, my point is – if anyone has got this far – is why do they have to compete with the local electrical outlet, and bookstore people? (Among others.)
    Those stores can’t compete against the PO with mail or parcel deliveries.
    I am of mixed feeling as per the idea of privatising the PO.
    On one hand, I have an old fashioned idea that it’s run by, and staffed by, Public Servants, with the goal of serving the public. (Yeah, I said it was an old fashioned idea.)
    I also had the old fashioned idea that, “Through hail, snow, sleet, pestilence, pregnancy and fire, the mail will be delivered.” There were laws that said so.
    Of course, the Public Servant mindset is still there. Perhaps not as blatant as it was fifty years ago, when the feller behind the cage looked at you as if you were some vermin off the street, because you had the temerity to ask for a Two Pound – Five Shilling Money Order, or Postal Note. (Forget what the limits of a Postal Note were.) It was rumored that he had a pistola behind the counter too, but I was never inclined to test the rumor for accuracy. Dunno if anyone ever did!
    However, if it was privatised, it would then be shackle free of the Government of the Day’s idea of decorum.
    Would it immediately go “woke”? (Where the hell does the question mark go. Within of after the inverted commas? Asking for a friend.)
    Under Madam Holgate, I suspect that would happen in, oh, about thirty seconds. Her white outfit tends to convey the impression that she’s all for appearances, rather than fact, and quite up there with the “feelz.”.
    I realise it could go “woke” even under the present circumstances. (Exhibit the U.S. Military!) But there is some pressure not to.
    I am inclined to prefer the Devil we know, rather than some new Devil, guaranteed to be not much better than the old one.
    Still, I’d also prefer they try to sell more Posty Officy stuff, than try to steal sales from the locals. A warranty claim would be a hoot!

  14. Megan says:

    Just how stupid is this man?

    Very. And I have no doubt there are still Mariana Trench depths of stupid not yet reached.

  15. Dr Faustus says:

    Mariana Trench is reportedly “gutted and suicidal” at being compared to Morrison’s stupidity.
    #unmarkedbillswillbeok

  16. Buccaneer says:

    SLO mos decision making may be poor in many instances, but I for one was relieved that he finally stood up for tax payers and called out the excess in the ps. I wish he would do more of it. Couldn’t care less if he’s fallen for a labour trap, they pull these stunts all the time. I’m glad he hasn’t backed down. I will be very disappointed if he does. Pandering to this rubbish or ignoring it only encourages more.

  17. Albatross says:

    Lucio Di Bartolomeo and the Prime Minister say they won’t be apologising. Nor should they. They shouldn’t be proud of themselves either.

    This is the definitive word on this matter.

  18. Fair Shake says:

    Hey lay-off the LPOs. Where else is Alibaba going to distribute their CCP approved plastic fish tank complete with plastic fish, cotton bud cleaner wipes for cleaning unsightly cotton buds, battery operated plastic door stop (batteries not included), water bottle with refreshing fan on top for those global warming hot days, nylon ear muffs for those global warming cooler days with in built car alarm, mobile phone warmer, mobile phone cooler, plastic gravel for the garden, a fun stake and tether game for the next door neighbours cat or possums in general…

  19. Rob says:

    This is definitive – highly remunerated “executives” should not get benefits, bonuses, or Cartier watches, for doing the work they were employed to do.
    We don’t reward our paramedics for saving lives, our firefighters for risking their lives, or our defence force personnel for fighting our wars.
    Pampered “executives” should be embarrassed when given benefits for simply doing their job.

  20. Paul says:

    So it’s verboten to criticise women who made a poor business decision.
    Just as it’s necessary to promote women no matter how good or bad they are for the job.
    But those who shouldn’t be there cannot be removed because they are women?
    Make no mistake there are very capable women

  21. bespoke says:

    Cynic of A

    👍😁

  22. Suburban Boy says:

    Well said, C.L.

  23. Chris M says:

    Where else is Alibaba going to distribute their CCP approved plastic fish tank… cotton bud cleaner etc etc

    Aldi.

  24. Perfidious Albino says:

    Gottliebsen has been a constant proponent for Christine Holgate throughout, but a lot of what he writes about AP and Holgate with purported ‘inside’ knowledge is absolute tosh. He has clearly been getting spoon fed pro-Christine narrative from her crony-corporate network from the get go.

    This is a shame, as generally speaking, Robert G provides some compelling business insights.

  25. Ian Mason says:

    The PO is a self-funded government business enterprise is owned by all Australians but receives $0 tax funding. In the past decade over $1.5 billion in dividends have been paid to the Government. Therefore a few grand (NOT of taxpayers’ money) to acknowledge the achievement of a team in getting the Australian banks to pay the PO for providing banking services seems ok to me, and as the PO board preapproved the gift of watches, they must have thought so too. Without the income squeezed out of the banks (eg. In 2018 the CBA agreed $22 million pa. for 5 years), rural area post offices were doing the banks’ job for well below cost. The new revenue stream from the banks has helped save many rural PO’s this in turn has helped small, isolated communities remain viable. Of course, the banks closed many rural branches because, well, it’s all about profits. Ms Holgate had a target on her back from then on.

  26. Ian M says:

    If you’d like to hear some truths about the ongoing saga of ‘Watchgate’ and a glimpse of the political machinations that afflict our nation, watch (no pun intended)…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PVbgMLjAc4

  27. Tim Neilson says:

    Of course, the banks closed many rural branches because, well, it’s all about profits.

    Yes, it is. The more that people transact online the less business that is done in branches. There’s no reason why people in rural areas shouldn’t transact online but why should they expect the bank’s shareholders to pay for a branch to remain open for the one occasion a year when they want to do a transaction in person? If governments see rural branches as a societal good the government should pay for them if the free market doesn’t reveal them to be viable.

  28. Ian M says:

    Yes Tim, I totally agree that banks should be expected to make a profit, and maintaining a wide network of branches is probably no longer viable, but the point I was trying to make is that under Ms Holgate Australia Post negotiated a mutually acceptable fee for providing a service that the banks were no longer prepared to give their rural customers. No need for the government to get involved. Under a good, market oriented CEO Australia Post got paid their due for leveraging their network to provide value to both the banks and their customers. Ms Holgate was just doing her job, and more effectively than her predecessors. ‘Scotty from Marketing’, for whatever reason, acted poorly – he should man-up, apologise and get her reinstated – for the good of Australia Post and it’s owners, ie. us.

  29. Bad Samaritan says:

    Ian M says:
    April 16, 2021 at 7:32 pm
    “If you’d like to hear some truths about the ongoing saga of ‘Watchgate’ and a glimpse of the political machinations that afflict our nation, watch (no pun intended)…”

    Yeah, I started watching, but so soon as these two “govt ownership is the bestest” loons got going, my eyes glazed over., especially “the govt does not own Oz Post, the citizenry does” line they were running.

    FFS. Christine was being paid 6-7 times what she was worth (US Postal Service boss gets about $A400.000) and was still scamming the credit card “belonging to the Oz citizen” so’s her mates could prance about in ugly watches.

    Then, a little girl dressed as a fairy princess in vestal-virgin white appears to tell us that when the going got tough she was close to killing herself. A f’wit being defended by other f’wits.

    BTW: Scomo is a dimwit as well. He shoulda let the board put the knife in whilst keeping a safe distance.

  30. The BigBlueCat says:

    Far out – at a $2.6m pa salary, I’d expect the CEO to be tough – to dish out as well as they get without feeling suicidal about it. Holgate wasn’t emotionally up to the job. I couldn’t care less about Cartier watches etc, but I do care that those in charge of our public service and publically-owned commercial entities are overpaid and over-emotional no-one’s who wouldn’t survive in a real commercial entity.

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