There are lots of beggars in Barcelona…
When I say «lots of beggars», I simply mean that I’m noticing them. In my home town of Melbourne, I tend not to notice them because they’re part of the normal street scape and one can’t respond to all of them. Of course, when I say that, it’s a simple way of ignoring their plight and not responding to any of them.
Walking down the streets of Barcelona, I particularly liked the one who had several cups in front of himself, each with a different sign. The signs read, “Food, Beer, Lambo, Weed, Disneyland”. While I still don’t know what “Lambo” is, I had to admire both his marketing strategy and his aspiration. After all, who hasn’t thought I won’t respond to this beggar because he’ll probably just waste the money on drugs. With the signs, it’s almost like you’re telling him, “Here, spend this wisely!” in fact, by putting money in the food container, it’s almost like you’re actively discouraging his drug use. And the “Disneyland” cup made me inclined to throw coins in his cup.
Unfortunately there’s an appeal on for Notre Dame and one has to get one’s priorities straight… (Ok, the real reason that I didn’t contribute to his Disneyland fund was that I’d just arrived and the smallest note I had was a twenty Euro note. However, I promise that if I see him again, I will lighten my pockets of all the silly coins I’ve acquired because of my inability to work out what they are when I’m trying to buy something.)
That’s the interesting thing, isn’t it? It’s easy to raise a billion quickly for the repair of the Cathedral, but philanthropy for those less fortunate is another matter entirely. I mean, I do understand the post on social media where the guy was lamenting that it was so hard to create beautiful things because as soon as you do, there’s somebody saying that the money is needed somewhere else. Of course, the reason that Notre Dame was pledged so much so quickly is very similar to reasons that I notice beggars in this city when I’m so impervious to them in my own. We’re all a bit blind to the normal state of affairs, but something out of the ordinary shocks us into doing something. It’s why we can let people die of cold in the streets but, should a building collapse and the same person is trapped alive, we’ll spend large sums of money trying to rescue them. It’s why we can ignore the plight of some countries on an every day basis, but open our wallets when we see some unexpected disaster on TV. Mind you, there are lots of disasters that we never hear about…
This is why Michelle Landry’s concern for those poor Indian women was so refreshing. She told ABC radio that the coal from Adani would be “going to hundreds of millions of Indians who do not have electricity … this is about women and families that are cooking over open fires in huts. They are burning cow dung. There is little ventilation in those huts.”
What a generous gesture! I mean, they must be having a go, so we need to give them a fair go, don’t we? Doesn’t it make you feel that all those hipster city folk, with their so-called love of the planet and their so-called climate change are just a little bit selfish? Denying these poor women access to the same electricity that makes their lattes? The selfish bastards! I’ll bet they’d deny these same women access to plutonium so that instead of burning cow dung, they could all set up their own nuclear reactors.
Yes, it sounds good to suggest that the Adani coal is going to poor Indians who use open fires, but it completely ignores the reality of why this is happening. It’s not because of a lack of coal in India. It’s because they aren’t connected to the electrify grid. And, even if it were nearby, the people Landry is referring to would have even more trouble paying their electrify bill than those retirees we’re meant to be so worried about. ‘
You know, the retirees who won’t be able to afford to pay their electricity bill because they’ll lose $50,000 in franking credits and who’ll have to pay an extra $5000 when they buy their new car which will have to be a Tesla so they won’t be able to pull their caravans, because electric cars have no “grunt” and the weekend is lost for these “hardworking retirees”…
Before I go on, does “hardworking retirees” sound like a bigger oxymoron than “right wing think tank”?
Let’s completely ignore that the franking credits are, at most, 30% of their income from dividends. And income from super isn’t counted until it reaches a substantial amount. Let’s completely ignore the fact that those on even a part pension are exempt from the franking credits changes. Let’s also ignore the idea that Labor isn’t introducing a “new car tax”, but simply insisting on similar emission standards to overseas countries. Apparently in spite of Barnaby Joyce, the Coalition seem to think that emissions are no problem. Let’s even forget the whole idea that somehow the “weekend” will be lost unless your car can make the sort of noises that make one glad to be a One Nation supporter.
No, none of these things are important, because Michelle Landry’s reasoning for allowing Adani wins her the: “I’m not sure if this politician is really this stupid or whether they really think we’re that gullible” prize for the election so far.
Still, it’s a strong field and I wouldn’t declare her over the line yet.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!