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Has Getup! lost all Credibility ? That is the $1,000,000 question.

November 13, 2010

Has Getup! lost all Credibility ? That is the $1,000,000 question.

It seems that when it comes to practicing what you preach the activist organization known as “Getup!” is without conscience.


Getup!, for want of a better description, is a socially left leaning activist website and lobby group formed when John Howard was in government. Much of its publicity came from opposing the Iraq war and condemning elements of the “War on Terror”. Yet since the demise of Howard and the “War on Terror” Getup! has tried to maintain their popularity by initiating a number of campaigns that are indicative of extreme partisan opinion. A quick perusal of their website shows the typical opinions that you would find in a university student newspaper. All bluster on the emotional issues but very little on the realities of living.

What we can determine from their we website at Getup!.org is that they do not like John Howard; they really hate Tony Abbot; they love abortionists to death; capitalism is a problem; Gunns are evil; mandatory detention bad… You don’t have to be very observant to realize that there is a slant to their politics.

Getup! have the right to believe and advocate whatever they want (no matter how crazy the idea) as long as there is no deception on their part. We also have the right to reject most of their crazy campaigns as little more than fringe concerns and undergraduate rants.

They do differ from other activist websites when they launch legal cases and engage in television advertising to sell their message. As such Getup! relies upon its base of supports who donate money for its operations. Their website boasts that “There are currently 403395 members.” However it appears that the only requirement for joining Getup! is subscribe to their email distribution list. The 400,000+ membership may be misleading. A true measure would be to count only the active members or more accurately only the financial members. I suspect that this figure would be a fraction of what they claim. Getup! would not be the only organization who engages in this kind of membership exaggeration, but that does not make this practice any more ethical.

Their Campaign

Where Getup! has been consistent is in their condemnation of political donations. They are current in the midst of campaign to, “Tell the government to get corporate and third-party influence out of politics and end all large scale political donations.” They also claim that, “46,566 have joined this campaign – help us get to 50,000.”

Under the heading of What we’re calling for” Getup! write:

We think it’s time to get the undue influence of big donors out of our democracy. Four principles underlie this campaign:

  • Only individuals should be allowed to donate to political parties.
  • Immediate public listing of donations
  • Cap individual donations at a reasonable limit. (Capped at $1,000 a year)
  • Increase public funding of political parties.

Here is where the problem occurs

It has been revealed that Getup! received a $1,000,000 donation from a trade union to run a campaign to oppose the leader of the opposition Tony Abbott. The television ad that was run during the last election campaign was called “Tony Abbotts’s archaic views” and featured a number of people selectively quoting his statements over the years. In politics this is called a negative smear campaign.

The fact is this campaign was paid for by the CFMEU who has close affiliations with the Australian Labor Party. Dave Noonan of the CFMEU said the donation to Getup! was largely funded by his division. The ad went to air with no reference to the money that the CFMEU had given as support.

The type of secretive financial donation makes a complete mockery of Getup!’s call to limit political donations. $1,000,000 well are truly exceeds their demand for limits of $1,000. Nor have they kept to their demand that only donations from individuals should be accepted. Most blatant is ignoring their demand for immediate public listing of donations.

With three out of four demands broken Getup!’s campaign has lost all its credibility. More to the point Getup! have shown that they are not a newer, more ethical force in politics, but rather just another hypocritical bunch of political activists. Now they are demanding that other must keep a set of standards that they obviously cannot.

And in response to what their website says:

We have achieved 93.13% of our goal. Let’s keep going!”

I don’t think so.


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