It almost feels like there is a deliberate strategy to firmly let the hoi polloi know that the privileged run to a different set of rules.
Our advertiser in chief has dismissed calls for an increase in Newstart as “unfunded empathy”. This is wrong on so many levels.
We seem able to fund our empathy for wealthy retirees to the tune of $6 billion a year (and growing) through excess franking credit refunds.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
Can ProMo ever really understand what it feels like to be unable to feed your child?
When he fiercely protects property tax concessions, can he understand what it feels like to be unable to afford rent let alone enjoy the benefits of a property portfolio?
Sure, getting someone a job would be preferable, but how do people even look for work when they don’t have a home?
Increasing Newstart isn’t some sort of “feel sorry for you” gift. It is an investment in assisting people to be able to look for work. It is an investment in the children. It would provide a stimulus as every cent that is invested will be spent back into the economy which might actually go some way towards creating new jobs.
Welfare recipients are painted as liars and cheats with the Robodebt debacle. Your hard-earned money is funding their indolent lifestyle, says HaveaGoMo. They are wasting it all on booze and drugs so we will quarantine their income on cashless welfare cards and do random drug tests which, if they fail, will see them lose their benefits.
Unlike politicians for whom we must have great empathy when they suffer addiction issues or have a battle with the bottle due to family breakdowns caused by their own rooting around. Who can forget the pictures of Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce pissed as farts whilst voting on how to run the nation.
Not only is drinking endemic amongst our parliamentarians, we pay for them to quaff the finest wines, not only at their endless lavish dinners but whilst they are actually at work. And we provide drivers for them because, as Barnaby pointed out in defence of Bronwyn Bishop’s use of limousines to attend the theatre and opera, they are often “obliged” to drink and we surely don’t want them going DUI.
When politicians rort expenses, we are told it’s all within entitlements. When they gift jobs to their mates, it’s all ok because Labor does it too.
In response to allegations that Angus Taylor has tried to use his position to influence decisions from which he would personally benefit, and that he failed to disclose his financial interest, he argues that any attempt to force the disclosure of “minority, non-controlling interests held at three levels down in a family company structure” would be a major change to the current practice which he insists he has diligently adhered to.
It’s the Stuart Robert defence. Make your elderly parents (or your brother) the directors of your company and continue to receive government contracts and grants.
Continually, we see different rules applied for individuals.
Union fraudsters Michael Williamson and Kathy Jackson are allowed to transfer their assets to their partners and then declare themselves bankrupt to avoid repaying the money they stole.
Williamson divorced his wife so the assets she received in the settlement were quarantined. After his release from jail in March, he is back living with his ex-wife in a waterfront house bought and renovated using stolen union funds.
Kathy Jackson has avoided her court case by arguing that she should be given legal aid and her partner’s assets, which now include Kathy’s house, should not be considered. He, of course, is far too broke to help pay for her defence, having only been paid an annual salary of $435,000 including whilst he was on extended sick leave to help Kathy with her case – help he can apparently no longer offer now that he is unemployed.
Yet John Setka has been portrayed as the worst example of a union thug and mercilessly pursued. Whilst he has made mistakes, they have not been for personal gain. He has fought to protect the safety and rights of construction workers.
When we come to corporate malfeasance, such as that from Clive Palmer and George Calombaris or 7/11 and Woolworths, promises to repay the stolen money are accepted. It was a mistake. Or it’s not my responsibility. A few bank executives resign. No problemo. Pay a little fine and promise not to do it again.
Crown casinos can fast-track special visas for rich people to come and gamble (or launder their ill-gotten gains). Refugees fleeing war and persecution, don’t even try it.
And all the while, we hoi polloi look on at a world that we will never be part of – a world where deals are done and circumventing the rules is considered smart rather than an offence, a world where the accumulation and protection of personal wealth is the most important thing – the world of I’m alright Jack and bugger the rest of you.
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