Tag Archives: cuts to welfare

Morrison’s economic plans reflect his lack of life experience


While he plans to line the pockets of his mates and the wealthy with ridiculous tax-cuts, we have all read the reports that, with the cuts to Jobseeker and Jobkeeper, Morrison and his sorry acolyte Frydenburg, will be throwing millions of Australians into poverty, and even hunger.

Poverty seems more palatable, pardon the pun, but hunger? Are we really being led by people who think it is in any way acceptable to deny children, single mothers, the unemployed, (whether it is their own fault or not) the disabled, and even those who do not own a house to go hungry? Let us not forget homelessness, either. The pandemic economy will not be kind to the poor, deserving or not.

Scott Morrison lacks the intellect, the life experience and the character to lead this country, during a time when we need to rely on government.

It has already started to bite

I volunteer for a food-bank type operation in regional Victoria. During the short period when the Jobseeker payment was double its previous amount, the food-bank saw a drop in demand. It has now shot up again, because of the cuts; people have had to ask again for help, if they want their children, and themselves, to eat properly.

If we picture Morrison we see a man who has apparently never missed a meal in his life. We see a man so pleased with himself that the smirk may well be permanent. Criticise him for a lack of empathy, and he wants to know who will fund it. Ask how his supposedly Christian faith allows him to visit cruelty so casually on the weak, and he answers that the Bible is not a policy handbook.

Have you ever wondered if he ever had a real job, where he maybe made things that people wanted? Did he start at the bottom, or was it all handed to him? Did he develop a range of skills which would prepare him for running a country? Let us investigate.

All his jobs have been meaningless

Morrison seems to have been a manager all his life. He may have been born wearing a suit and tie. His list of jobs is interesting. He seems to have gone into every job at the top, or if not, just close enough to make the boss nervous. The jobs were not connected to making anything. He has not run a business, nor has he risked an investment in his own business. He is a classic member of the managerialist class.

So he has worked for the Property Council of Australia, a lobby group for property developers. He then moved into tourism, here and in New Zealand. When working in that sector, he left a string of disappointed colleagues behind him, amid stories of ruthless ambition and endless politicking. He has made something of a habit of causing trouble with the organisations which employ him, while relentlessly scheming to advance his career. He then departs, abruptly.

Next stop the Liberal Party, where he became the State Director. Such a meteoric rise, from leadership position to leadership position, without learning anything about co-operation, or collegiality, or even about that funny old thing, our society. When you run with wolves, there is little time for empathy.

Of course there were unsavoury tales surrounding his next step up the ladder. His pre-selection to Parliament was fraught. His opponent won the contest, outpolling Morrison by 80 votes to 8. The organisational wing of the Liberal Party disallowed the result, and a re-run was ordered. This had never happened before. They clearly recognised a managerialist of class, when they saw one.

How will this play out?

Back in some far off ‘golden old days’, the Liberal Party boasted members who had some form of decency, a social conscience even. The so-called Liberal ‘wets’ have been hunted out of the organisation, however, and it is now filled with neoliberal spivs. They cultivate a type of objective disdain for the less well-off, and dress it up as economic rationalism.

If you ever see the job title ‘policy director’ run away. Morrison was a policy director once, for a lobby group. Tim Wilson was a policy director for the IPA. So that is the sort of job many of the Liberal Party did before they got their big chance. And you can see how policy directors turn out!

Think tanks like the IPA don’t actually think. They import their silly ideas from the U.S. – all they have to do is unwrap them. Right wing think tanks provided Trump with his playbook. Pretty well all populist governments follow the same agenda. Increase inequality at the expense of the 99%.

Cut regulations, no matter whatever the cost. Cut welfare, except to corporations and the wealthy. Cut services, especially to indigenous communities and the aged care sector, privatise everything you can get your hands on. Ruin the environment, gut the public service while enriching multinational cartels, let the poor starve.

The worst part is that Morrison has amassed all this power at a point in history when Australia, and indeed most of the world, need real leaders. Not tin-pot dictators like Trump, Johnson and Morrison. Look at the way Morrison’s heroes have handled the pandemic. Scotty from Marketing has followed public opinion so far, but you can see him chafing at the bit to sacrifice ordinary people in the interests of business and commerce. We need to tell him that we won’t stand for being a smaller version of the failing American Empire.

As Oscar Wilde said, a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.