Sunday, May 18, 2014

Joe Hockey's New Age.

Or That's Your Heavy Lifting.


The sculpture below represents the majority of the world's population, carrying a privileged minority. Most Aussies (but not all) were among the latter. Perhaps because of that, we didn't do much about it. We were looking somewhere else.

Survival of the Fattest, by Jens Galschi√łt and Lars Calmar. [A]
Now it's our turn.

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Politicians, particularly those of a "conservative, right-of-centre, libertarian" persuasion (but not only them) believe in tough love. The Abbott government, for instance, claims to be "tough with a purpose".

These people see their role as disciplining the rest of us, just like, once upon a time, stern parents would cane and belt their kids. For their own good, obviously.

However, the line between "tough love" and "sadism" is getting painfully tenuous:
"Facebook pages lit up with despairing and disturbing messages.
" 'So with this budget, I'm screwed!' said a post on one forum.
" 'I've considered taking my life over everyday struggles now, let alone when these changes happen.
" 'Anyway my point is, do I try and save for a big all weather tent NOW!! Or give up and take my kids with me!!' " (link)
Or ask Melbourne mother of three Kaye Stirland.

To add insult to injury, the supposedly independent commentariat echoes that: the government is "being cruel to be kind". "We had to have this budget". Bottom line: shut the fuck up and don't fucking whinge.

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Kindness has nothing to do with these people's cruelty. For one, there was no need for the cruelty. We didn't have to have this budget. The fictitious budget crisis was engineered to justify the measures they wanted to take: it's an excuse, nothing more.

Take the state premiers' phoney outrage at their own party's federal leader, PM Abbott ("conservative, right-of-centre, libertarian") budget cuts:
"NSW Premier Mike Baird has lashed out at the Abbott government, saying the federal budget is a 'kick in the guts' for people in his state"
Twenty four hours later:
"NSW Premier Mike Baird has softened his rhetorical assault on Tony Abbott's budget cuts, vouching his 'absolute support' to the government's budget repair objective".
And then, out of the blue, WA premier Colin Barnett comes with the idea of raising the GST to solve the conflict. It's just coincidence that now PM Abbott has an excuse to do what he promised not to do: "I'll have to raise the GST, because the devil [sorry, the premiers] is making me do it."

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Meanwhile, as the talk of the day is about the budget, the (ironically) named Fair Work Commission, out of kindness and very quietly, cut casual weekend loading by a third to casual hospitality workers. If in the process their employers have lower costs and higher profits, then it's a win win situation. After all, "what the Eye sees not, the Heart rues not. Men may have Losses, but if they be unknown to them they give them no Trouble".

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Treasurer Joe Hockey decreed the end of the "age of entitlement", no? But his "heavy lifting" was designed so that you carry the weight, while his voters remain unburdened (which would explain why the commentariat has been so lenient with the budget).

Truth is, these people hate and despise you. Now, you see why the picture above makes sense, don't you?

Image Credits:
[A] "Survival of the Fattest", licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. My usage of the file does not suggest its author endorses me or my work. Source: Wikipedia.

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