If you believe the media, Scott Morrison is popular with the electorate because he is “genuine”. Apparently, he is a man of conviction, a man who’s deeply held beliefs guide his actions, a man who sticks to his word.
Or should that be slogan?
Scott’s past was as an advertising man and one could be forgiven for thinking that’s all he’s got.
The whole Newstart debate has degenerated into a sloganfest.
“The best welfare is a job”.
“Labor’s unfunded empathy”.
When Scott resists advice from everyone that the low level of Newstart is an impediment to getting a job, and when he resurrects random drug-testing for young unemployed people, and when he supports extending the cashless welfare card, and when he stubbornly sticks with the Robodebt debacle – he isn’t putting his surplus before the well-being of the people and the economy, he isn’t throwing red meat to the baying hounds of Sky After Dark, he isn’t stigmatising those who cannot find work no matter how hard they try – he is being kind.
In the ultimate display of self-interest and paternalistic hubris, the Messiah explains that his government’s priority was “not to overburden the welfare system”.
“I’m helping a lot of people if I’m careful about it, and if it’s well targeted, and I invest in getting a better understanding of what the needs are and what people have to overcome, in order to become more self-reliant.”
I am not sure that trying to make Scott understand is a worthwhile investment.
But back to the ad man’s slogans.
Defending his cruelty, Morrison tells us that he wants welfare to be “a trampoline, not a snare”.
Great line. So great he’s been repeating it for years.
In his address to the IPA in July 2015 titled Positive welfare and compassionate conservatism, Scott called it “The Trampoline Effect”.
“An effective and reliable safety net that catches and supports the most vulnerable is absolutely necessary. But we need a safety net that acts like a trampoline, not a snare.”
When the Messiah rose from the ashes of the Turnbull knifing to reluctantly take the mantle thrust on him by a grateful party, he travelled to Albury in September last year to deliver a sermon rekindling the Menzies adoration and calling on us all to love each other.
Morrison said anyone worried about what he would do to Medicare or Centrelink should know he is committed to looking after people.
“Remember, my value is: we look after our mates,” he said. “That’s why we have a safety net in this country, to protect people. But it works as a trampoline, not as a snare.”
As Morrison and co try to portray the unemployed as indolent, hedonistic addicts rorting the system, the fact is that the majority of Newstart recipients are aged over 50.
With the pension age rising to 67, and renewed calls to increase it further to 70, combined with the skills required in this new age of digital disruption, that number will only rise.
“If you have a go, you’ll get a go” doesn’t seem quite fair to say to a retrenched 65-year-old.
Just like he stuck with “Where the bloody hell are ya?” despite its obvious failure, this ad man will stick with the plagiarised slogans he has been using for years.
Genuine? You gotta be shitting me.
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