Manic Studios – The Mandate

Australian Workers Film Guide


From the Fair Go For Billionaires campaign, in this satirical commercial, fictional mining magnate Alan Billson sits at his desk and speaks to camera about Prime Minister Gillard wanting more money for “your hospitals, schools and bloody superannuation with money from the mining boom, apparently just because the minerals belong to everybody you should benefit too. Well that’s rubbish. Us billionaires have needs too.”  With accompanying vision of Billson enjoying luxuries seen in other Fair Go For Billionaires commercials, he reels off his list of needs – “Mansions, yachts, cars, butlers, caviar, wives, girlfriends”.  Opposition Leader Tony Abbott appears as a female servant feeding him grapes. Holding Abbott’s autobiography, he tells the audience to vote for Tony Abbott and give him a mandate “to take billions of dollars from you to give to us.” We see Billson stealing a bag from a nurse in a laneway. “Abbot understands you’re idiots. You are idiots aren’t ya?” It concludes with the text ‘ABBOTT UNDERSTANDS’, indicating Abbott’s support for billionaire mining magnates.

Fair Go For Billionaires was a CFMEU – Mining & Energy Division campaign opposing Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s promise to repeal the new Resources Tax, thereby diverting tax dollars intended for public purposes back to rich and powerful mining companies.

Special Notes/Achievements

Manic Studios was established for the trade union movement with the goal of producing satirical films and videos for union campaigns. Charles Firth, an Australian comedian and member of the famed The Chaser satirical comedy show, was the company’s creative director.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 30 secs

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Film Producer: Piers Grove, Xanon Murphy,

Film Writer: Charles Firth, Paddy Gorman,

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