When I listen to conservative politicians talking about the unemployed, I am reminded of how little they care about the disadvantaged, despite rhetoric to the contrary.
Reform means punishing the disadvantaged
I am as offended as anyone by bludgers who take the dole without actively looking for work. I find them not only offensive, but immoral, as I guess many people do. That is why, i guess, the majority of the country applauds governments that claim to be reducing dole bludging.
The problem is, most of the strategies inplemented, while afffecting some bludgers, impact far more severely on a greater number of legitimate dole recipients. There is, invariably, substantial collatoral damage. It reminds me a bit of the behaviour of the Philipines President, killing all the drug peddlers and describing the deaths of innocent people as collatoral damage.
For conservative politicians, the collatoral damage - harming legitimate dole recipients - is acceptable in order to stop a few bludgers. I would argue that helping the majority is so important that a few bludgers are an acceptable cost. Oh, and I am not a recipient of the dole.
Has Provokative Political made a fair call, or is he off the mark? on the government's welfare cuts now.
Conservative governments in the 2000s talk a lot about cutting costs and the things we cannot afford. They are quick to attack the disadvantaged to help solve this problem, because that is so much easier and less politically damaging than making sure that big business and, in particular, international business, pay tax at the legislated rate. They could also try cutting back middle-class welfare, which got out of control while Costello was treasurer.
Whenever you hear conservative politicians talk about 'breaking the cycle of long-term dependency', 'getting people back to work', or 'being lifters instead of leaners', you know it is all code for 'lets save a few bucks by attacking a group that lacks the political power to defend itself".
The same goes for the pension, which i am not on and hope to never be on. No one can live well in Australia on the pension. But conservative governments still want to cut it back to save money, rather than address negative gearing or superannuation perks for the rich with any sincerity.
When conservatives talk reform, it is inevitably at the expense of the disadvantaged. Thank God I am not one of them.
And of course this week, we saw the Minister for Social Services at it again, at the National Press Club.
Am I missing something?