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Not even Malcolm can help them now

Each and every week it seems, a minister in the Coalition government will shoot his/her mouth off, desperately trying to defend their ever more obvious incompetence.

It’s hard to believe but Christian Porter, our Minister for Social Services, thinks we don’t have a job shortage problem. Like most of his conservative colleagues, it seems he would rather take a cheap shot at the unemployed than face up to the reality of a failed approach to reducing unemployment.

Just for the record, the facts are that we have over 700,000 people looking for work but only 150,000 or so job vacancies at any given time. But let’s not allow a statistical fact to get in the way of a good slap-down.

Porter is concerned that too many people are refusing job opportunities, particularly our youth, citing as an example, vacancies in the care sector that cannot be filled. It’s a convenient truth.

Apparently our youth are failing to accept jobs available in the care, retail and tourism industries and Porter thinks their reasons for so doing, amount to them wanting something better.

He says people on unemployment benefits think that some jobs are better than others. “There is a sense in Australia that one job is superior to another job, or that one job is a better fit than another job,” he said during an address to ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Service).

Really? So is there no difference between Porter’s job and that of a taxi driver? They both get to serve the public. They both travel in tax deductible vehicles. They are both grossly overpaid and enjoy extraordinary benefits. Oops! No, that’s not right.

7529308-3x2-940x627 Porter’s job provides all the benefits, including being grossly overpaid, without producing anything. A taxi driver provides a vital service to the public, gets paid around $10 an hour when actually working, but receives no benefits, not even sick leave or holiday pay.

One would have to conclude that Porter’s job is a much better fit. So is it unreasonable for a University graduate to look for something better than being a carer?

The unemployed are well within their rights to think that some jobs are better than others. They have every right to look for work where they can contribute to something in their chosen field.

What has been Porter’s contribution to the ‘jobs and growth’ mantra beyond head-kicking the unemployed? Or does he feel that being Social Services Minister absolves him from helping find appropriate work for those on Newstart?

What is it about conservative politicians who would blame the victims of bad policy decisions rather than face up to the job of providing meaningful employment? If we take a hard look at factual outcomes we can see why politicians like Porter like creating distractions to hide their failures?

At the time of the 2013 election, 69.8% of all jobs were full-time. Last week’s job figures from the ABS showed the percentage was 68.1%, up very slightly from last month’s all-time low of 67.8%. There are now over 1.8 million Australians unemployed or underemployed.

The facts tell us that the Coalition has achieved nothing of value in the past three years. They are charlatans. They will search for and cling to the tiniest shred of positive news they can, ignoring the trend, ignoring the reality.

The economy today is in worse shape than any period under the previous Labor government. Yet they still intend to give big business a $50 billion tax cut pretending this will create jobs. In reality, it will do nothing for jobs or the economy, but it will put more money into the hands of the 1%.

safe-schools-620x400 The Coalition barely won the last election; it was only because Malcolm Turnbull was leading them. But not even Malcolm can help them now. He has shown us he is no more than a puppet leader, answerable to the hard right faction of his party.

Why do we think we elect people to govern for the good of the country when the truth is, they govern for their own good and the big money that put them there?

They are charlatans. They thoroughly deserve our scorn.


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  1. Carol Taylor

    John, just a question, but would you know how many “real jobs” are included in the tally and what proportion might be “expressions of interest”, non paid experience temps, the same job advertised by multiple agencies and registrations for jobs which may or may not exist in the future? I would suspect that if you deduct these then so-called vacancies are far worse than raw figures.

  2. God help us

    Not even Malcolm? Since when did Malcolm ever help the unemployed? This government sacked hundreds of thousands of workers, cut services and programs and then stood together, yes together, together with Malcolm too, and mocked and abused the unemployed. “Go and get a job yous whingers. Yous leaners.” Malcolm and his government have never created a job since they got into power. They have only ensured that every policy that could worsen the health and well-being of Australian citizens and decrease their capacity to look after themselves, or be cared for by someone else should the need arise, has been implemented. They are the Australian swamp.

    Carol Taylor: Very good point. The real figures are much, much worse than people know. Go outside the major cities where it’s difficult enough to find a job and impossible to live if you don’t have a job, into the country. THEN you see the true story. I don’t know a single person anymore who has got paid employment. There’s even a fight for volunteer positions to keep the vicious and nasty Commonwealth ’employment providers’ off our backs. We use to live in the lucky country, now we are living in Hell.

  3. Ella

    “they are charlatans. They thoroughly deserve our scorn”

    What makes my blood boil is that they get away with demonising sections of our community and then make scapegoats of them!!

    Listening to Question time today I was sickened by the likes of the not so Hon. S Morrison and many others. They twist the truth to suit themselves, what makes it even worse is that they believe their own lies!!!

    I really would like to know and it should be made public what deals are being done with the cross bench senators that enable them to be so smug about getting their legislation through the senate.

    I think I have mentioned on this before;
    earn or learn…
    my daughter who had been out of the work force because of illness and child raring did learn, BUT could she get a job. NO! Why because she lacked experience and it was cheaper to employ a junior. At our Medical Centre there was a job going in the office ,50 people applied for the one job!!!!
    What hope is there?

    They know full well that the economy is going through a transition and jobs are not being created.

    About the $50 million dollars to big business ….I guess they have to look after the vested interests …or do they?

    If they seriously believe that a company that is established has spare capacity to employ…then they are dreaming. The savings will go to shareholders….not to employ people.

    Why are they so gutless? Why don’t they make the tax cuts conditional to employing apprentices .people in the 30-40 age groups who are forced to accept part time work (and consider themselves lucky to get work)?

    Look at 711 if the government was serious about the exploitation of migrant workers , they would have fixed it a long time ago. How long has the 711 saga been going on?

    It is profit over people , business as usual for the LNP.
    Shame on all of them..not a Statesman amongst them!!!!!

  4. Arthur Baker, Sydney

    So “There is a sense in Australia that one job is superior to another job, or that one job is a better fit than another job”.

    I wonder where that idea came from. Oh yes, perhaps it was Joe Hockey, who encouraged first home-buyers to “get a good job that pays good money”. Taxi-drivers need not apply for a mortgage, it seems.–get-a-good-job-that-pays-good-money-20150609-ghjqyw.html

    And the age of entitlement is over, as we can clearly see from Hockey’s current gig as ambassador to the United States while double-dipping into his parliamentary pension and super.

    Hypocrites all.

  5. John Kelly

    Carol, I don’t believe the 150,000 figure is accurate. As you say, it is collected from multiple sources, there is duplication, possibly fabrication. But it’s an official figure, so we work with it.

  6. Clean livin

    It is a well known fact that our “natural” unemployment rate is around 2%.

    Anything greater than that is due to the government of the day creating artificial unemployment, in order to minimise wage increases, making their right wing mates richer, at the expence of the workers.

    Morrison and co. can rave as much as he want about the unemployed, but it his deliberate (mis)management of the economy (thru the availability of money), that maintains an employment rate hovering around 5%.

    Until the government channels more money into the economy, via government spending, the unemployment rate will remain where these right wing pollies want it! At 5%!

  7. Kim Southwood

    Excellent question, Carol. Successive governments have become increasingly successful at fudging unemployment figures to make themselves look good. The flipside reality of this is an increasingly dysfunctional, dystopian, divided, demoralised and damnably confused society.

  8. Kim Southwood

    What??? I thought I was reasonably abreast of ‘well known facts’. But a ‘natural’ 2% unemployment rate is a real eye-opener!!! We can’t get those robots quickly enough.

  9. Klaus

    John Kelly, Bravo. Love your comparison to Christian Porter. Nothing to add!!

  10. helvityni

    Not even Malcolm can help them…

    He’s the last one to help anyone, he does not even know that some people might need help.
    It’s all about Mal having gotten his dream job and wanting to keep it.

    According to him Dutton is an excellent Minister for Immigration…yes, all that money he gave to Cambodia, really…how many were settled there…?

  11. flohri1754

    It does really make you think that none of the present serving government ministers have much more in mind than maintaining their own rather cushy situations going as long as possible. Such little vision. Such lack of empathy or concern for their fellow beings ……

  12. Ricardo29

    There will never be any honesty in the jobs debate until the politicians, and the MSM, start using the true level of unemployment as the basis for discussion. When one hour of work a week can make a person technically ’employed’ the official figures are nonsense. I understand that the use of such measures is (apparently) internationally agreed but that is just so neolib governments everywhere can continue their denialism and lies. Sadly Labor has been complicit.

  13. bobrafto

    They are charlatans. They thoroughly deserve our scorn.

    I would like to give their nuts a good sharp squeeze and when they’re on the ground writhing in pain, then I would heap on the scorn.

    If you’re going to do something it has to be heartfelt.

  14. Wayne Leviston

    Tax cuts for the rich and businessess… because the UK government and Donald Trump will do it. It is a race to the bottom to see which PRIVATE business can make the biggest profit. Meanwhile, services and infrastructure will fall into disrepair as the governments cry at not having sufficient funds. Truly, their ideology will only continue to cause grief.

  15. Wayne Turner

    They deserved to be booted out and should of been at this years election.And certainly must be booted at the next.

    “Jobs And Growth” – The emptly slogan that was never going to work from this mob.So they have resorted to victim blaming and distracting ie: How Dutton’s carrying on.

  16. helvityni

    I’m with Keating when he says that Mal lacks judgement, and sadly Mal’s proven that Keating (and I 🙂 ) were right….

  17. Carol Taylor

    John, perhaps a lesson from the Trump election, where Trump accused the Washington elites of lying about unemployment, adding that the real people in the real world knew better. A pity that the Left of politics can’t start calling out the figures as rubbish, leaving it instead to the Hansonites to fill the void.

  18. Carol Taylor

    Kim, hence the reason for the rise and rise of racism – simple for the elites to caste blame on eg those of Lebanese descent or asylum seekers “taking jobs” when if people would turn around the real cause of society’s ever growing inequality lies with the very people doing the finger pointing.

  19. Graeme Henchel

    Who can give a smile while he’s telling you a lie
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza
    Who can Latin quote as he treats you like a dope
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza

    The Fizza has sold his soul for the prize
    The Fizza now deals in slogans and lies
    The Fizza has shown that he’s got no balls
    The Fizza cares ’bout the Fizza that’s all

    Who gets on the train just to make himself look plain
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza
    Who shakes fists a lot as he talks a load of rot
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza

    Who’s swung to the right cos they have his balls so tight
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza
    Who will make the claim that it’s labor thats to blame
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza

    Who was a banker and is always a wanker
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza
    Who is going down, just like the last lying clown
    It’s the Fizza, it’s the Fizza

  20. Kaye Lee

    Job vacancies tend to be filled by people who are already employed changing jobs. And when someone leaves, they are not always replaced nowadays, or what was a full-time job becomes a part-time or contract job.

    I remember them talking about the number of young people on Newstart with medical certificates – implying they were all bludgers. My son was in that category at the time, He could not find a job close to home after completing a diploma so took a government contract job that required over 4 hours travelling a day. He neglected a medical condition (no sick pay) which landed him in hospital for three months followed by an extensive convalescence at home. He could not work, he could not go on disability because the condition must be “stabilised and likely to continue for the next two years”, they kept sending him interview appointments even while in hospital (not for jobs, just with the so-called job provider) which he obviously could not attend.

    Of course there will be a lot of people on medical certificates – they can’t get a job because they are sick. And my son got sick because he took a job that was so far away and had no leave entitlements so he neglected his health.

    Christian Porter doesn’t have a clue. He paid a fortune for an actuarial study. He has a lot of numbers to throw around, but no compassion or understanding of causes or solutions. Just blame.

  21. stephentardrew

    So manufacturing and the vehicle industry collapses yet it is the workers fault for not finding a job. These cowards will never take responsible for one of the the worst economies in our history. It is always someone else never the government that is governing. Am I missing something or are they just lying immoral hypocrites?

  22. Kim Southwood

    Graeme – Put some funky music to this and you’ll soon be a serious contender for an Aria award!!

  23. Greg

    well over 700,000 Ozzies out of work but there are currently 1.3 million visa workers in Australia , no kidding … there is more than the 457 visa available to foreign workers and every week we find fresh jobs advertised in other countries for workers to come here . Time and time again we ask the politicians why are they allowing it .. never get an answer back .. funny about that , one job site alone here in Australia (based in Sydney ) had 5000 jobs advertised for foreign workers only promising 30 days to get their work visa . So it seems there are no people in this country that can fill these jobs …$2 to $5 an hour for some foreigners is a hell of good deal . So why are we all complaining left right an center about the number of unemployed when no one will confront the department of immigration and Peter Dutton about the companies bringing in cheap labor , if your not willing to actively act and lobby your government then stop bitching please ,

  24. lawrencewinder

    Not a government but a incompetent ruling rabble being led to oblivion by our very own Tea-Party, the Coots-With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe, the IP bloody A.

  25. MichaelW

    How many people like me are counted as employed because we do 15 hours per week volunteer work? Around 200 volunteers in the small charity I work for. There are a lot larger charities in my area all run with volunteers, people unable to find work because they are to old (50-65 years of age) or unskilled.
    I suppose we could all go to TAFE to learn new skills, oops silly me they’ve all closed. OK we could pay one of these new job providers $18,000-$22,000 to learn a new skill… And still be unemployed and out of pocket.

  26. Doug

    I was in Melbourne on the weekend. Astonished to see so many people sleeping rough. Not many years since my last visit and so different. Has Malcolm noticed when using his regular public transport?

  27. MichaelW

    To add to my previous comment. How about the government release the true unemployment figures? It’s quite simple, tell us how many people receive the full centrelink benefits. I’m sure the unemployment figures would rise dramatically instead of the doctored figures we are fed.

  28. Lynette Henderson

    John you spoke about the government wanting people wanting people wanting work to take jobs in the care area. It takes people who really have a desire to take care of others to give quality care ,for example aged care. My mum was one of those before she passed. I spent a lot of time there while she was with us. I got to see the difference between those who want to e there and the o es who don’t . When I hear the government speak wanting to have the unemployed filling these jobs I shudder at thought of our eldy been in the care of those who don’t want to be there.

  29. John Batherman

    Greg: You don’t actually think lobbying the government makes a difference do you? They don’t even bother acknowledging citizens any more. Remember Abbott? “What protests?”

    I can see you enjoy being nasty to the unemployed. Are you an LNP supporter?

  30. John Kelly

    Lynette, I could have made an issue about the need for qualified and dedicated people to take on caring for the elderly and the insensitivity of Porter implying that anyone can do it. But I decided not to, because I suspect, there will arise another opportunity when next he shoots his arrogant mouth off.

  31. ace Jones

    Indeed JK a sharp & accurate analysis . We the minority who take the time to peel the layers of deception back find, charlatans pulling wool over eyes, rabbits out of hats and many other parlour tricks, a hundred years ago these politicians would have been on back of a buckboard selling snake oil.
    We need report cards on all politicians highlighting their contributions over previous 4 years period in office. published prior to each election. as it is the applicants to run our country need zero qualifications for the job, instead hiring scores of ‘advisers’ to make decisions affecting millions, who also need no qualifications!
    We as a people must have gone to sleep somewhere back in the last few decades. only now to wake up and find the monkeys had taken over the Zoo, and now make all the rules .. a law unto themselves if you like. As a result it is now so very, very difficult to get them to honestly serve us.

  32. helvityni

    Graeme Henchel, brilliant 🙂 🙂 🙂

  33. Kyran

    “Each and every week it seems, a minister in the Coalition government will shoot his/her mouth off, desperately trying to defend their ever more obvious incompetence.”
    That seems a tad generous, IMO. Each and every day, if not more frequently, there are instances of blatant deceit and idiocy, justified only by unquestioned ideology.

    The most recent ambassadorial appointment is Richard Court as Ambassador to Japan.
    “Foreign Minister and fellow WA Liberal Julie Bishop made the announcement on Tuesday.
    Mr Court was WA premier from 1993 to 2001 and has worked in oil and gas since leaving politics.”

    The government’s assault on the superannuation industry continues unabated and largely ignored. Notwithstanding the industry is worth over $2 trillion, it’s such a boring subject. The Miniature for Revenue & Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, has championed amendments to the ‘default superannuation funds’ criteria to enable ‘private funds’ the same entitlements as the ‘industry funds’, regardless of the returns to the funds! She addressed a Superannuation Conference’ on Tuesday.
    “Are you serious?” one audience member said. “She’s got to be joking,” said another.
    Collins told Guardian Australia her comments were laughable.”
    For the record, ‘Collins’ is;
    “Peter Collins, the chairman of ISA and a former leader of the NSW Liberal party, said he and his colleagues had tried numerous times to set up a meeting between O’Dwyer and Fraser so she could see the review, but O’Dwyer was not interested. It was therefore disingenuous to claim the report had disappeared into a black hole.
    He also ridiculed O’Dwyer’s claim that superannuation funds were not governed at the same standard as major banks and life insurance companies, which drew laughter from the audience.”

    That bloke dutton, mentioned that, as Lebanese Muslims constituted 2/3rds of those charged with ‘terrorism’ offences, it was proof positive that decisions made decades ago have a direct impact on today. Genius! He failed to mention how many charges were proceeded with (from memory, not many), or the size of the Lebanese community in Australia (about 200,000), or that the ‘religious’ component comprises Maronite Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Shia and Sunni Muslims. Got that? 22 out of 200,000.

    As with anything to do with the 45th parliament, nothing withstands any scrutiny. Thankfully, we have the likes of One Notion, imploding as we type, to provide comic relief. Senator Culleton has a website on which he has posted his submission to the High Court.
    “A correction to the system is coming and if the Senate want to question my eligibility, I will use the opportunity of appearing in the High Court to in turn put forward questions regarding the validity of the Parliament and High Court,” he said.
    “The judiciary expects everyday people to follow the laws but they must first set an example and do the right thing when they are in positions of leadership.”
    If you are in need of reliving the halcyon days of Darryl Kerrigan, read the submission. The vibe of it is, at best, troubling.
    “They are charlatans. They thoroughly deserve our scorn.”
    That seems a tad generous, IMO. Whilst they may deserve our scorn, they warrant nothing other than our derision and contempt.
    Thank you, Mr Kelly. Take care
    (PS; You’re spot on the money (ironically) Mr Henchel.)

  34. Greg

    John Batherman I am defiantly NOT a LNP supporter and have nothing but respect for those trying their best to get work , almost ever second person I know is in that position , one of my sons have 3 part time jobs in the country just to keep a roof over his head , my post was about the blatantly open disdain more and more employers have for this country and it’s people along with a government that refuses to acknowledge that there is real relation between the high unemployment and the number of visa holders

  35. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thank you John Kelly, for this article.

  36. win jeavons

    My son has been ‘invited’ to apply for jobs that could never exist; like in Myers in a small country town which will never have even a Coles.

  37. Andreas Bimba

    The mining boom went boom when the construction phase was completed and many commodity prices collapsed, about 50,000 well paid jobs are no more. At the same time the huge raft of free trade agreements with almost every highly competitive nation on earth have been completed so manufacturing is on the fast track to extinction and don’t forget the potential job losses of 200,000 from the forced exit of the car manufacturing industry. Clean energy funding and the CSIRO have been cut as have nearly all government services. Young people can no longer access any apprenticeships and education is expensive. What do you study? Where are the jobs? Temporary visa workers are brought in in large numbers so employers can cut their costs. Anyone trying to sell into Asia even with the FTA’s faces major hurdles designed to protect local businesses or to ensure a local can later take over the investment. Working conditions at the bottom of the food chain haven’t been so bad since probably the Great Depression. All the talk of new innovative businesses is just talk about something that was happening anyway or is just hot air. Defence spending is now all the rage but most of the hardware is imported or the tendering process for local manufacturing is so inept or corrupt that ridiculous sums are paid for very little. I cannot understand how 12 submarines can cost $50 billion? Hundreds of billions have been invested in LNG liquefaction plants with expected operating lives of 40 years when the world’s carbon budget cannot possibly allow such time frames. Coal mining is still being expanded when most current mines will need to be closed probably within 10 years. The super fund managers and the major banks gouge nearly $100 billion per year for doing very little. Tax evasion is endemic and many of the richest pay no tax. Corporations do as they please and in fact run the government as well. Wealth disparity has never been higher. The super contributions, negative gearing and CGT discount concessions that overwhelmingly benefit the most wealthy cost the budget more than the aged pension and drive the share market and real estate speculative bubbles that will at some point burst. Those now on debt servitude with huge mortgages will be financially destroyed. The miners pay almost no tax or royalties while receiving billions in subsidies for the privilege of exploiting the nation’s natural resources – they do better here than in any banana republic. Australia is the world’s highest per capita greenhouse gas emitter and the government does its best to act on behalf of the coal lobby and frustrate all meaningful efforts to transition to clean energy and sustainability. The substantial job opportunities are of no apparent concern.

    Yes blame the unemployed, the asylum seekers, the Muslims, the Greenies or the unions, they must be responsible?

    Our governments have never been so incompetent and things have never been so dire since the second world war. As the banks and the miners effectively run our country both economically and politically then it is clear they are not very good managers. How many even realise our democracy has been stolen when the duopoly does their bidding?

    The mining industry, the finance sector, the property speculation sector and a few other vested interests along with their propaganda arm – the mass media keeps the electorate passive and ignorant and apparently content to throw a dart at either neoliberal team A or team B every election time.

    Yes not even Malcolm can save the Coalition now, but guess what? Pauline Hanson can as the working class that has been the biggest victim of neoliberalism over the last 30 years is wising up to Labor’s duplicity in this scam of the century and is turning to the right.

    A rubbish choice that can only end in tears but unless Labor abandons the neoliberal path we could have Liberal, National and One Nation Coalition governments for a very long time.

  38. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Spot on, Andreas.

  39. Taariq Hassan

    The Lib Labs could not run a bath!. Now we have a C.O.L.O.N ( Coalition of Libs/One Nation) debacle with men in pointy white hats and sheets not far away.

  40. Pingback: Not even Malcolm can help them now | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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