One thing you can depend on with our current government is that they’ll contradict themselves. And I’m not talking about going from a budget emergency to spending billions on a war in the Middle East, where Australia has resembled some loser wandering up and down the street outside a party, suggesting that their invitation must have been lost in the mail, but they’re here now, so why doesn’t someone just let them in. And I just loved the Defence Minister’s warning not to expect a quick end to our involvement. It may take months, he said.
Yeah, well, given enough time, everybody contradicts themselves, but these blokes do it within the course of a single interview.
(Is the term “blokes” sexist? If it is, I apologise to that sheila in Cabinet)
Take Eric Aid&abetts this morning. Yes, they were backing down from 40 applications a month, but it wasn’t a backdown, it was because a lot of time would be wasted with token applications. Not the applicant’s time, mind you, but the poor people forced to read them.
Applicants have plenty of time, so applying for one job in the morning and another in the afternoon shouldn’t be something to complain about. (After all, Amanda Vanstone and Sophie Mirabella managed to write their applications in less time than it takes to say, “Yeah, why not put my snout in the trough too!”) Because when someone is unemployed, looking for work should be “a full-time job”.
Get it. “A full-time job”!
That’s what the man said.
Ok, now the whole waiting six months for the dole thing is likely to be blocked in the Senate so the absurdity is never going to be fully demonstrated.
But let’s leave for a moment the obvious point that the Keystone Coalition weren’t going to be paying those under 30 for this “full-time job” in that first six months, and let’s move onto the work for the dole where these lucky bastards will be effictively paid below the minimum wage for 25 hours work. What he was actually suggesting that those under 30 – at least the ones who’d managed to survive for six months with no income – were expected to work 25 hours a week but still maintain their other “full time job” of looking for work.
Amazingly, he did say in the event of a person obtaining a job interview, they could be excused from their work for the dole to attend the interview. (I wonder if they have to make the time up later…)
Of course, Eric did go on to say that work for the dole was a wonderful thing because that way people would be doing something useful. (Had I been the interviewer I would have asked at this point whether this was hearsay or did he have personal knowledge of doing something useful at some point in his life.)
And there you have it. The Liberal philosophy in a nutshell: People are best able to manage their own lives without a lot of government interference because we don’t want a nanny state, but if you’re unemployed, you’re clearly incapable of finding a way of doing something useful without us managing you.
Contradiction? What contradiction?