Wrap your head around this, gentle reader. Berroeta thinks that the Australian Government ban on Huawei equipment gives Telstra and Optus a competitive advantage – and so he wants money from the public purse to compensate his company for that.
Lest there be any doubt, he wants this money, your taxes and mine, to bolster the balance sheet of a publicly-listed company. A commercial firm. Not a charity. Not a non-profit. Let there be no mistake in what he asking for.
Berroeta reminds me of the heads of the three American automotive firms who flew to Washington DC soon after the global financial crisis struck — each on his own corporate jet, mind you — to ask Congress for bailout money.
And still they had no shame to come to Congress and beg for money.
This was the ultimate expression of chutzpah, and perhaps Berroeta still has some way to go before he can match that trio.
But he is still asking the public to pay for the company's decision to use Huawei equipment in its 4G LTE network.
Has Vodafone ever offered to pay the government extra taxes in years when it had good earnings? What has it done to even contemplate the idea that public money should be donated its way?
Did Vodafone take any poll among Australians before it made its technology choices? Are the masses to blame for corporate decisions?
Corporates are very good at taking public money under this guise or that. They talk themselves hoarse about the free market when they ruthlessly cut staff, but when it comes to situations like that which Vodafone finds itself in, they have no shame in begging for public aid.
If Berroeta cannot manage to run the company without public money, let it fold. Australia already has too many telcos for a small population. Nobody will weep if Vodafone leaves this land.
But we will be free of at least one captain of industry who is looking for some excuse to dip into the public purse.