Saturday, 14 June 2014

Miraculous Transformations

I've noticed something interesting about certain political conservatives. Now, please note, I'm not saying this is true of all Conservatives, or even most and, if you are a Conservative who is reading this because we are friends, this almost certainly doesn't apply to you. Having said that, I've spent more time than was probably healthy over the past week reading some of the right-wing groups on FaceBook and other parts of the internet, and, in many of the people posting there, I notice something.

This something refers to the Australian unemployed, the homeless, the disabled and those who might broadly be described as "the needy." In the minds of the people I'm describing, such people seem to possess miraculous powers of transformation. The transformation goes something like this: whenever the conversation is about welfare policy, the aforementioned people are all bludgers who could find decent jobs and homes if they really wanted to and it's a terrible injustice that the taxes of hard working Australians get wasted on subsidizing these people's laziness. If, however, the topic turns to foreign policy, and more specifically to foreign aid, those same people are magically discovered to be poor Aussie battlers who both need and deserve a hand up and, obviously, we cannot be sending money overseas while there are all these needy Australians upon whom the government should be spending more money.

It really is an amazing thing and, as a legally disabled person myself, I was startled to discover that I posses such powers of transformation.

As astounding as this is, it is by no means the first time that such miracles have been observed in Australian politics. I can remember when John Howard first became Prime Minister, in Nineteen Ninety-Six.  After his election win, the unemployed underwent a change of a similar kind. Prior to the election, they had all been innocent victims of Paul Keating; they really wanted jobs, but the incompetence and heartlessness of the ALP government had created conditions under which there just weren't jobs for them to find. Within months, however, they had all been transformed into bludging layabouts who could easily find jobs, they just didn't want them.

What amazing folks, we unemployed and disabled Australians are; I don't believe J.K. Rowling's characters have anything on us.

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