Following their invasion of aboriginal communities the very caring Howard Government has announced plans to change welfare laws so that a proportion of the money can only be spent on food and housing. This came as a surprise to pensioners and the unemployed, who already live week to week and also many with jobs who are still unable to make ends meet. Broke householders going hungry.
Lest cynics among us think that this is simply pre-election noise made by a Government with a notorious lack of concern for any child who doesn’t happen to have a father who writes large cheques for the Liberal Party, voters have been stunned by new moves in other key areas:
To put their money where their mouth is, the Government is increasing rent assistance and spending billions on an overhaul of the public housing system. A ministerial spokesman said “Because no pensioner or low-income earner can get ahead while the money that should be putting a roof over their head is being spent on luxury plane refurbishments.”
Similar plans have been unveiled for public health. A departmental representitive from the Health Minister’s office told us, “Because no child in a low-income family can get ahead while the money that should be providing health care, education and community services is being consumed by a Government spending billions of dollars on advertising to blow their own trumpet.”
Many in the private sector praised the new agenda and announced their own plans to begin contributing to Australia’s future. Multinationals and key chain retailers are putting a boycott on takeovers and market maneuvering that puts Australian owned small business out of work and limits minimum wages and other employee benefits. In addition, 1% of every transaction normally hidden in inter-departmental or overseas tansfer “clever accounting” will now be set aside to pay taxes and support infrastructure in the communities these large companies use as markets. “Because no Australian can get ahead in life while utilities are being run for profit and unfair business dealings rob communities of funds to support basic human necessities or put greater tax burdens on individuals.”
Politicians and citizens groups alike recieved the welcome news with much celebration. After more than a decade of using people who are down on their luck as scapegoats and turning them into veritable punching bags for the politics of resentment, those who have benefitted most from business and politics in Australia are beginning to five something back. Voters everywhere are more than happy to hear that as a nation we are no longer treading on the poor and the mentally ill. A spokesman for the Department of Finance said, “It is about time that all people in Australia were treated like human beings, regardless of their socio-economic status. We recognise that we need to govern not only for the economy, but for the community, for the people of Australia.”
Aboriginal communities are likewise very happy at the announcement that instead of invasion by Army and Federal Police, they will now be given the funding and assistance for development programs, housing, education and health care that have been denied for more than a decade.
The Howard Liberal Government seems at last to have learnt a lesson from history, perhaps from Bastille day. Having confessed to years of misrepresentation, lies, greed and exploitation of the Australian people many politicians have begun to make restitution for their misdeeds and to repair some of the damage that’s been done to our society. Apart from various statements of new plans and a new politics of fairness and honesty in our nation, the Government are being appropriately humble.
Just kidding. They’re full of shit. But it was nice to dream for a moment.