Carlo's Corner: They just really, truly hate our guts
After the brutal budget comes the ceaseless round of insulting lies and justifications from the government.
Coalition minister Barnaby Joyce actually described the savage cuts that kick the poorest while giving even more to the rich as “the honourable thing to do”, suggesting you'd not want to be stranded on a desert island with the guy as he'd be cooking you for a stew long before the baked beans ran out, while lecturing you on the moral imperative of “shared sacrifice”.
With every statement comes lies. In one breath, they insist they haven't broken election promises to not cut spending on health, education and other public services; in the next breath, the cuts are needed to fix the “budget emergency”.
It is tempting to assume they think we're stupid, but the truth is harsher: they just truly fucking hate our guts.
If you think they are doing this because they have no choice rather than they really want to grab their chance to implement their ideologically driven class war, then you've not seen the pics of Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott and others partying after the budget was finished.
Take another look at the photo of Hockey smoking that cigar — that is one supremely satisfied prick.
And so we can perhaps, at least, take a small amount of pleasure from watching members of this government forced to deal with the public.
They live in a different world filled with gold-plated pensions, $50,000 taxpayer-funded dinners and free “scholarships” and jobs for all the family. Their preferred company is Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch.
Yet they are forced to swallow their disgust when they have to face us, like Hockey struggling to look happy to front a crowd from Penrith on Q&A and be grilled on exactly why he wants to bleed them dry.
So it is no surprise that, sometimes, the bastards just cannot hide their hatred — like when the Liberal National Party member for the Queensland seat of Dawson, George Christensen, tweeted: “Aussies should do a tour of Asia & live like locals to put these 1st world complaints re budget in perspective.”
In response to criticism, he responded that Australians needed to understand how “miniscule” their complaints actually were. Coming from a member of Abbott's government, that actually sounds like a threat.
It is certainly tasteless to tell poorer people taking a hit to stop whining while, as an MP, you enjoy a base salary of almost $200,000 a year, plus tens of thousands in taxpayer-funded entitlements and a guaranteed income until the day you die.
Then there was our prime minister, who — thinking there was no camera on him and he was free from pretending to look like he gives a flying fuck about the concerns of the poor — winked sleazily when a pensioner told him on radio about struggling to get by on just $400 a fortnight and being forced to resort to phone sex work.
Even the media treated it like a circus — seeing how many headlines they can stick “sex line gran” into, in a tawdry bid for hits while downplaying the actual tale of real pain the woman was trying to impart in what, she later admitted, was a largely futile enterprise.
For the record, here is what she said: “What do you suggest I cut out Mr Abbott — food, electricity, firewood, Christmas/birthday presents to my grandchildren or should we all just die and get out of your way?”
The best Abbott could offer in response was a wink, a grin and more empty platitudes.
Two facts reveal the truth. First, the ABC said on May 22: “Low-income couples with children and single parents will bear the brunt of the Abbott Government's first budget, losing up to 15 percent of their disposable income when the measures hit in full.”
Second, the Guardian said on February 17: “Rupert Murdoch’s media group received a $882m tax rebate from Australia last year … it was one of the biggest single factors in the multi-billion dollar federal budget blowout announced by Australian treasurer Joe Hockey in December.”
Having bled taxpayers dry, the Murdoch media's response is a May 23 Daily Telegraph front page comparing “slackers” to “slough hats” — because the number of disability pension recipients in New South Wales is larger than the total number of Australian soldiers wounded in wars.
The exact connection between these two statistics is not really clear, but this is fundamentally a moral question about what sort of society we truly want.
I mean, do we really want to live in some sort of nightmarish hell in which the weakest members of society are looked after? Or a decent, civilised society where thousands of young men are sent halfway around the world to be butchered in a horrific war like World War I that sacrificed an entire generation in the struggle between the powerful over resources and markets?
I'm surprised the Tele didn't hire a medium to get a quote from a dead Gallipoli veteran, who insisted: “People today just don't know how good they have it! In my day if we only lost two limbs by lunchtime in a futile bloody conflict destroying millions of people's lives so war profiteers could get richer, we considered ourselves lucky!
“To think we went through all that and now people unable to work receive a payment to ensure they can survive, well it makes me sick!”
How does a media company bleeding taxpayers dry deal with those who stand up against the cuts that pay for its handouts? Well, the day after tens of thousands of people marched around the country against the cuts, the May 19 Tele front page screamed: “The ferals are revolting!”
The Herald Sun went one better on May 22, its front cover featuring a high school student being carried away by police — for protesting the government's attacks on education that may well make it impossible for her to attend university — above the headline: “HEY MUM LOOK AT ME”.
Well, fair enough, I guess “Hey mum look at me doing something socially useful by standing up against these useless pricks destroying our society on behalf of the rich, and LOOK they set the goddamn cops on me for doing it, what absolute dogs they truly are”, was just too many words to fit on the cover.
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As we career headlong towards the goal of recreating ourselves in the glorious image of the United States — a wonderful model of civilised capitalism where a mere four out of five US adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least part of their lives, an Associated Press survey found last year — it is worth noting a fresh story about the wonder that is the Greatest Democracy on Earth (TM).
In The Land of the Free (TM), an Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan was sentenced to 90 days in jail on May 19, after being found guilty of “assaulting” a police officer who grabbed her breast during a crackdown on an Occupy protest in 2012.
Now, if you do the sums and add up all the relevant figures, you'll discover that is precisely 90 more days in jail for protesting how the rich destroyed the economy than served by any one of the rich bastards who actually destroyed the economy.