Government exploits tragedy to deflect attention from budget

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop at the UN Security Council.

The minister of the death stare (and foreign affairs) Julie Bishop would like us to believe she cares about people and their suffering.

"Time and time again, I would say to those that we were negotiating with over the terms of the resolution that this is all about the human side of this. It was all about the victims."

No, Bishop was not talking about the victims of Israel's ongoing massacre in Gaza. The official UN observer's casualty list on that day, July 23, was 697 people killed, 518 of them civilian, 170 children. About 4000 more people had been wounded, 1000 of them children. All this just since July 8.

No, Bishop was not talking about the human suffering that will be imposed on some of the poorest sections of the Australian population if her government's cruel budget measures get through the Senate.

She was not talking about the people who will lose their jobs, die from lack of access to public healthcare or be saddled with more debt for their education. She was not talking about the women who will be trapped in abusive relationships and bashed or even killed.

No, Bishop was in full flight as leader of the Australian government's grand posturing and war mongering over the MH17 tragedy in war-ravaged eastern Ukraine. She was exploiting the pain and suffering of the family and friends of the passengers, for all she could get.

Will people buy this cynical performance? Will there be a turnaround in the polls, which have been collapsing for the Abbott government since it introduced its horrendous anti-people budget in May?

Just as the large corporations systematically exploit the fears and other emotions of the public to sell us all sorts of stuff we don't need and is bad for us individually, for society and the environment, the politicians who serve these big corporations systematically exploit our feelings to literally get away with murder.

Individually, we can say, “I don't buy it!” But it is all the more important for us to collectively make the arguments that demolish this systematic political manipulation. Green Left Weekly is one of the collective platforms to do just this and it deserves and needs your support for boldly calling “bullshit” on the propaganda of the politicians for the corporate rich.

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From GLW issue 1018