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Turnbull’s Australia: Freedom, Liberty And Jet Skis For All!


“Why are the peasants revolting?”
“Madame, it is because they don’t have jet skis.”
“No jet skis? Why, let them eat cake…”

Ok, some of you have probably heard about Coalition MP, Andrew Laming, telling us that “Inequality is staring over the fence and noticing another guy has a jet ski and you don’t have one.”

Actually, I suspect that some people won’t be doing that because they don’t own a fence, but that’s probably because they have the same “nasty egalitarian” (to quote Dr Laming again) tendencies as Bill Shorten.

Of course, it’s all about the politics of envy. You know, those that don’t have nice cars, envy those who do. Those who don’t have jobs, envy those who do. Those who don’t have homes, envy those who do. Those who don’t have food, envy those who do. Those who don’t have sensitivity or empathy… are quite happy being in Malcolm Turnbull’s government.

Yes, I’m sure we’re going to hear that phrase and “class warfare” quite a few times before the next Federal election.

Mm, good old class warfare, eh?

Just in case you’re confused, class warfare is NOT arguing against increases in the minimum wage, cutting people off the disability pension, introducing internships at $4 an hour, or the attempts to reduce or abolish penalty rates. Neither is arguing that a cut to the top income earners or reducing company tax class warfare. Of course, increasing funds to private schools while cutting the government sector wasn’t class warfare either.

No, class warfare is when you threaten to tax family trusts more effectively. Class warfare is when you challenge the notion that people on extremely low incomes are benefitting from negative gearing by pointing out that the reason that their incomes are low is probably because they’re negative gearing fifteen properties as there’s no real way that someone on an actual wage of $27,000 could afford private school fees for three children and a jet ski. Or when you point out that the trickle-down economics doesn’t seem to have worked and maybe it’d be worth giving trickle-up economics a go. I know that some of the learned gentleman in the Coalition will try to tell me that things don’t trickle up, but I know that gravity – like climate change – is just a theory.

Anyway, because the Liberals seem to have a problem with addressing inequality… and not just because they don’t know its postcode… I thought it might be interesting to analyse one of their recent little offerings in terms of language. Seen this?

You may notice the use of the made-up word “jobactive”. It’s a much more impressive sounding word than “jobpassive” or “jobnonexistent”. It has all the suggestive action of an ad for bran. And for me it has much the same effect. However, one only has to take a step back to wonder about it for a second, and you realise that it’s to remind everyone that people with jobs are active while those lazy layabouts on the dole should be given a bath and a haircut and sent to fight in some war to teach them that life wasn’t meant to be easy.

The word “PaTH”, of course, suggests someone typing after a liquid lunch. However, it’s an acronym for “Prepare, Trial, Hire”. Unfortunately, there was nobody smart enough to think of a word starting with an “a”, so they’re writing it in small letters so that you don’t notice that it doesn’t belong. “PTH”, of course, sounds like term of derision, while “PaTH” makes it sound like you’re going somewhere, even though the initial trial of the PTH only led to a small percentage of the people getting to the “H” part. “PaT” just doesn’t sound as exciting, does it? We’ll prepare you, trial you and give you a pat on the head!

And then we have those three phrases: “Getting them ready, giving them a go, getting them a job.”

Notice the present tense. The government is doing this now. So don’t worry about the past and the fact that they haven’t brought down unemployment in spite of saying the magic words, “jobs and growth” ten times and spinning round in circles just like the magic formula told them to. As well as “getting them ready”, they’re “getting them a job”. This isn’t in the future, this is now. Of course, that does contradict the nature of a PaTH, but when have Malcolm’s boys ever been consistent.

Malcolm’s boys? I suppose that’s a bit sexist. After all, unlike Tony who only had one woman in Cabinet but assured us that many were knocking on the door, Malcolm now has as many women in cabinet as there are occupying senior positions in the Taliban.

I notice there are two “gettings” to one “giving”, so I guess we’re getting more than we give. Certainly, the businesses hiring people under the PaTH program are geting more than they give.

Ok, I know that it’s meant to teach the unemployed skills such as getting out of bed, turning up to work and learning to put up with sexual harassment. Yes, once employers realise that there are young people who’ve managed to develop these skills in just a few months, there’ll be jobs for all and the growth that the Liberals have been promising won’t be restricted to Peter Dutton’s portfolio.

“So what did you learn on your internship?”
“Well, on the first day, I learned to get out of bed. I wandered around the house for a while, and then I received a phone call where my boss offered to teach me how to turn up to work on the second. After that it was all plain sailing and I feel ready to run my own business and provide jobs for others. Hopefully on 457 visas because at $4 an hour, it’s too expensive to take on Aussies.”

Yep, it’s easy to see how well this class warfare thing is going to play out. I mean, I’ve just looked over the fence and realised that I live in a place where equality reigns because nobody seems to have a jet ski, so I guess the revolution won’t be starting in my suburb. But I fear that it’s only a matter of time before we have the Occupy protesters all marching on Parliament, chanting, “What do want? Jet skis! When do we want them? NOW!” Then, in the blink of an eye, Lake Burley Griffin will be awash with stolen jet skis being ridden by the remnants of the Tony’s Green army.

Ok, I know that some of you latte-swilling types probably think that inequality is about more than this. But clearly you’re wrong. Andrew Laming has spoken. And he’s a doctor.


17 comments

  1. Rhonda

    Superb Rossleigh. A real kicker

  2. diannaart

    PaTH… hmmm

    Prepare, Assist, Trial, Hire

    But the LNP don’t do assistance.

    I think they meant PITH.

    Prepare, Indoctrinate, Trial, Hire.

    A shame that PATHS weren’t considered:

    Prepare, Assist, Teach, Hire, Security

  3. helvityni

    “Actually, I suspect that some people won’t be doing that because they don’t own a fence, but that’s probably because they have the same “nasty egalitarian” (to quote Dr Laming again) tendencies as Bill Shorten.”

    That’s priceless: NO fence 🙂

    Dr Laming is right, it’s very un-Australian not have at least one fence, they come in handy keeping the riff-raff out, like the drunks and Cyclamen thieves..

    Brave hubby wrote an article for ABC about his dislike of high fences, especially those made of stuff called zinc-alum….He got a lot of hate mail and made life long enemies. He still did not want me have at least a temporary fence…that was a bit mean..

  4. John

    “Those who don’t have sensitivity or empathy” never seem to envy those who do.

  5. Keith

    Jets skis are an abomination; a bloody nuisance when fishing, sailing, or kayaking.
    So Lamming has it completely wrong about jet ski envy. When speaking with other boating people about jet skis (some owning very modest tinnies) the responses are unprintable. My sea going kayak is very modest in comparison to a jet ski.

    The PaTH program fits comfortably into the LNP psyche … young people can be used and then discarded by employers.
    As with programs created by neo con politicians in Education, Water Rights, and Employment Agencies there are no stringent Regulating Agencies to ensure that no scamming of programs can be done.

  6. Peter F

    As I drive in to my place and stare over the fence I see that my neighbour has five jet skis. I just wonder at the waste and the noise they create. Fortunately for (selfish) me, there is no water within hearing range. When this becomes a waterfront home, Brisbane will be 250metres under water. I trust that I will not be around.

  7. Michael Fairweather

    Well written, lot to learn from it.

  8. Jeanette

    PaTH spoken quickly sounds pethss off! Inequality? As an aged pensioner and worker of 50 yrs incl owning a small business, on retiring I believed that many financial adjustments would have to be made but now after almost 10 yrs into retirement understand that not only has my quality of life halved but the future looks really bleak. I have a small 2 bedroom non luxurious appartment and in just 20yrs have seen local government rates increase by about 250% or more, water rates the same, electricity, take a punt…..! And absolutely no improvements of infrastructure within the immediate area in that time. With the allowed increase in units, no resident parking, you know the story…..cars everywhere. Yes, after several phone calls re near misses of accidents council came out for a bit of sunshine to ‘ava chat, after 6 months the road surveyed with painted figures on the road, not holding my breath for any further outcome. As for being envious of others’ more fortunate gains this is something I have rarely experienced, however, after informing a distant cousin that I was discontinuing all greeting cards (postage costs, slow mail when will it get there and the card cost) I received a terse reply stating that she didn’t email and did not use any social media then our relationship would obviously come to an end, sad after 72 years. She then went on to describe her recent overseas holidays, of course one must have meals at Rick Steins in UK blah blah blah! And in all of that not once did she say “I hope you are well…and the normal pleasantries”. Envious, no, I have been a Flight Attendant (another lifetime ago)and travelled extensively to many countries off the normal tourist gig. MY POINT is that the cousin certainly is much better off then myself but rather than have empathy and make suggestions to make contact took the spoilt brat how dare you upset me. This is the attitude of the WELL OFF! cost cutting, budget trimming etc is not something they have to deal with, only inconvenience of sorts may have an impact. Not until Australians get really mad will there be change. Not until the LNP are out in the political wilderness for years with maybe a change of guard and not from dumb arse, failed in everything else, bought university degrees will there be change in this Party. The rich, do not and never will have any comprehension of those less fortunate or those just trying to make ends meet. The glaring example was the PM Mal handing $5 to a homeless person while holding a fist full of money. Anyone in a position able to make change would have made it their business to bring about change for that 1 person. This stunt was beyond disgraceful. Gee even I can give a Fiver.

  9. Robert REYNOLDS

    The following two paragraphs come from The Sydney Morning Herald July 24th, 2017.

    “Coalition MP Andrew Laming criticized Mr Shorten’s “nasty egalitarianism” and said the government should be focused on alleviating poverty rather than inequality.

    “Inequality is staring over the fence and noticing another guy has a jet ski and you don’t have one,” Dr Laming said.” See:
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-rejects-labor-claims-of-worsening-inequality-as-bill-shorten-plans-tax-overhaul-20170724-gxhf7r.html

    Mr Laming is described as an ophthalmic surgeon at:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Laming

    I personally find the sentiments expressed by Mr Laming to be as contemptible as they are ignorant. I would expect much more from a medical professional. Yet his inane utterance is emblematic of Liberal Party thinking.

    The level of ignorance and arrogance displayed by Mr Laming strikes me as being rather reminiscent of the ignorance and arrogance that, for example, would have been displayed by French aristocrats leading up to 1789 and by the Russian Czar and his regime prior to 1917. As those two examples illustrate, that kind of approach can well end in tears.

    Can you imagine the French aristocracy or the Czar’s representatives shouting to the baying crowds, “Hey, it is all down to The Politics of Envy; and stop all this Class Warfare”. I am sure that those comments would have been enough to send the mobs home feeling quite guilty and remorseful. Evidently that is how it works according to the mindset of those in the Liberal Party.

    Finally, let me add that if I looked over my neighbor’s fence and noticed a jet ski, my response would be along the lines of:

    “What a wanker. Haven’t they got something better to spend their money on?”

    As far as I am concerned jet skis are toys for hoons on water. And please do not try to tempt me by using Rolls Royce’s or Mercedes Benz’s instead of jet skis, as they do not interest me either.

  10. diannaart

    Had an online argument with a man who had just bought a brand new Bentley and insisted I was just envious when I wrote that I would never want such a car.

    ‘Fessing up now, I used to own an MG and constantly worried about leaving it in car packs thieves, vandals, being seen (sports-cars harder to see than motor-bikes and I used to ride motorbikes too – OK I’m part bogan rev-head) but, these days, feel much more comfortable driving my reliable and very ordinary Hyundai… and even in my most petrol-induced days (used to drive a Mazda rotary) never, ever wanted something like a Bentley – all too “lookame, lookame”.

    OK I did used to hanker for a Beamer, but I was young then, still didn’t envy people for their posh cars.

    What I do envy are people in good health, with secure rewarding jobs, secure home and ability to go to the movies or a restaurant without worrying about money.

  11. Phil

    Nailed it Rossleigh – absolutely nailed it.

    Get ready for saturation terror threats and alerts all the way to the election – its all they have left and seems to work a treat.

  12. kerri

    Funny that those who don’t have brains don’t seem to envy those who do have brains.
    They just want to stomp on them.

  13. Kronomex

    On a side note –

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/resources-minister-matt-canavan-could-be-dualitalian-citizen-and-may-have-to-resign-20170725-gxijvq.html

    What’s the bet that they are scrambling to try and find some way to keep him from being kicked out? It will be interesting to see what line of bullshit that balding coconut Brandis will put out.

    Laming is a f**ckwit of the highest order!

    Path –

    Getting them ready…to fail.
    Giving them the dirty end of the shit stick.
    Giving them illusions and handing them nightmares.
    We prefer women to be seen and not heard and in the kitchen.

  14. Rossleigh

    Mm, we can’t have a Liberal kicked out of the Senate…
    That would be an assault on democracy… Or something…
    Whatever, we’ll have to have the rules changed!

  15. Kronomex

    “The attorney general, George Brandis, said preliminary legal advice to the commonwealth suggested there had been no breach of section 44 of the constitution in Canavan’s case.” (From The Guardian.)

    Well gosh, what a giant non-surprise from the balding coconut about a LNP mate. Mind you Canavan did resign and now we wait to see what happens next. Tennis anyone?

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