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Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.

Gary at Public Opinion posted on “tabloid politics” and the unemployed. The facts of the situation seems to be there is a mismatch between the available advertised positions and the applicants.

Les has an attitude toward the people who apply for unemployment benefit so he commented:

Get down out of your ivory tower and get some crappy clothes from life-line. Go and sit in centre-link in a shitty area for a couple of days and look and listen. Then come back and tell us all about it. You will see all the scammers, lazy bastards and dirty scum that are a waste of space and have no intention of working.

I am not sure whether Les had actually done the research, or on what basis he was making his assertions, so I played along:

Hi Les,

Was that you we saw – the well dressed bloke surveying all he saw with a cold and distance eye? Don’t think we do not notice that sneering look.

So you think we have low IQ’s too, right? But, somehow we are “scammers”, and it is real smart to have nothing in our pockets, not much food, and nothing in our future. “Scrum”, right? we are not even human beings like your good self.

Me mates and me are good blokes you know. We don’t buy into your assumptions about what is good for us.

We were talking just the other day with a bloke called Socrates, who said we should serve the polis. Nah, we said, that would make us the exceptions – so it is not going to work.

Then we looked across and saw the well dressed bloke watching. Was that you? So we thought about it, and decided, “maybe”. Now we have got to get the polis to recognize what we can do well, express ourselves and flourish, not as “scum” but as human beings.

I am not sure how this off-the-wall go through. Gary probably was busy. Not to be deterred Les responsed:

Howdy wmmbb,
You and ya mate sackrates get off ya arses and put catalogues in letter boxes so me and my rich friends know where all the specials are.

At this point irrelevancy has taken over. I reacted:


Are rich people really concerned with specials?

What is the reason for gap between “rhetoric” and reality. It would not have anything to do with scapegoating? Once any group of people are dehumanized they are set [up] for violence. Why do people engage in this behavior? Is it because they are ignorant, stupid, or are there other more malign reasons?

I think the answer is that it is a political calculation, which is that people who vote for the Coalition are not directly troubled by unemployment. Tabloid politics is about creating emotional polarities, which become more important that evidence. Hence the success of slogans. For example, as we witness, the cruelty of the “Stop the Boats’ slogan has consequences for people and the for country. It is political pragmatism bereft of morality.

Les had the last word at Public Opinion. He has a wry detachment on the passing parade:

I am not really concerned about what concerns rich folk or the poo’r. I am only concerned at amusing myself with the twaddle of the twaddling masses as they waddle through life.
Human nature is un[non]human and inhumane sometimes. Lol

I believe he is saying that is possible to be cruel to others. Is cruelty an intrinsic part of the human nature? We humans can exercise choice. Les’ comment raises a question: Is the Government’s attitude to the unemployed, albeit “tabloid politics” and political calculation, a form of personal perversion on the part of the policy makers?

What if Les is right? That would present a new perspective on the Australian Government. I am not convinced, as some are, that neoliberalism will provide the economic solution and provide greater economic equality. If the evidence is overwhelming, as I suggest, what is the purpose of introducing such policies?

They seemed to have failed  everywhere in terms of producing the common good, but that does not stop the Australian Government or give them pause :

Apologies to Les and Public Opinion for lifting your opinions. Comments are closed there. They are, subject to reasonableness and civility, they are open here.



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