PHOTO: Jennifer Westacott says the Business Council felt it had "no choice" but to get more involved in political campaigning. (ABC News)It would be difficult to think of a more difficult environment than that in Australia today for an employer group like the Business Council of Australia to be mounting a bid to persuade people to vote for the federal Coalition government. The banks and other financial institutions are giving the free enterprise system a bad name. Labor has successfully been plugging the idea that tax cuts for "the big end of town" will come at the expense of services for the rank-and-file. The collection of advisers recruited by the BCA to run its campaign would be wise to be getting their fees upfront rather than relying on success fees.There was one aspect of Laura Tingle's debut performance as a 7.30 pundit that particularly amused me. The BCA's chief executive, Jennifer Westacott was reported saying that its television advertising campaign which it says will "focus on two basic truths — business provides and generates jobs; and big and small businesses rely on each other to be successful" would involve paying Sky News $1 million for showing a series of panel discussions. And then:
Ms Westacott would not comment on how much money was involved but said the two organisations had a commercial arrangement in support of jointly held views [emphasis added] about the need to promote policy discussions.
That's something for the Murdoch conspiracy theorists to get their minds around!