In a speech last night, Joe Hockey said unpopular Budget is fair and that everyone who opposes it is engaging in class war. Bob Ellis comments.
IMAGINE, IF YOU WILL, a 27-year-old woman in a country town who loses
her job as a waitress on a Friday and finds she is pregnant the
Under Joe Hockey’s new rules, she will get no money for six months,
and must fend for herself until the baby is born and, after it is born,
will get no Paid Parental Leave either, because she has no job.
What is happening to her is "fair" Joe Hockey says and complaining about her is
"... the class war rhetoric of the 1970s."
Some of us would think it was unfair — and if there’s a class war on, he’s declared it.
Joe would argue that the woman can, in her ninth month, move to
another town and work for the dole, away from her family and their
support system, and give birth in the workplace, but some of us would
find this unfair also.
Joe would argue this is an ‘isolated case’, probably no more than
twenty women will be in this position in the next two years — but the
trouble is, 10 million women will have heard of it and will vote his
Government out because of it.
This inability to join the dots characterises Joe.
He may be the most incompetent politician in our history. He is certainly the most incompetent Treasurer.
He imagines $7 is no great sacrifice
to an old woman in a nursing home with a chronically treatable
condition who must go to the doctor twice a week, spending $20 on two
visits and four bus fares. He imagines she too is an isolated case and
10 million women will not hear of her.
But of course they will. And they will not find her treatment by him "fair".
The Budget is now a quicksand sucking to their doom every rural MP in
the nation. Manufacturing jobs are vanishing apace and Joe won’t
subsidise them and the women fired from them won’t get PPL — not a cent
Joe is proud of this.
Women once ‘entitled’ to have a subsidised baby won’t, if they lose
their job, and are not yet 30, get any pregnancy money at all. And if
their husband has lost his job too, at the Holden factory Joe invited to
go away, for instance, or the fruit-canning factory that last year
moved offshore, well, they now have the ‘age of opportunity’ to look
forward to, and a mortgage to pay with relatives’ money till they have
to sell up and start to sleep in a car outside a gambling casino, hoping
to beg enough to bet inside on their ‘age of opportunity’, roulette.
Joe thinks his Budget has not been sold well. He’s right about that.
No-one in the nation cares about the surplus anymore – apart from
maybe thirty economists – and everyone is scared shitless of losing
their job and not getting another, ever, because the oldies are now
working until they’re seventy. And those that have a job are worried
about those that haven’t. Everyone has an unemployed relative, or a disabled one. And Joe didn’t realise they would care.
It is hard not to think him actually crazy. He’s certainly fanatical.
Is there some lesson from his Maronite upbringing
that emphasised self-help and God not answering the prayers of the
lazy? Does he imagine the millions his wife brings home can remain a
secret? Has he joined the dots? I don’t think he has.
It’s unlikely Palmer will even talk to them unless Joe is removed.
It’s unlikely, after what they’d said about him, they’ll get anything
through except the ending of the carbon tax, which worsens the bottom line.
It’s probable Joe has done for them. And he still thinks he can turn opinion round. Win back the 1.5 million votes they’ve lost in eight months.
He’s actually as crazy as that.
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