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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

tabloid politics « Previous | |Next »
August 1, 2014

The Abbott Government's tabloid politics is very explicit with respect to the unemployed. That policy is demands, on threat of sanction, that the unemployed apply for 40 jobs per month, do 25 hours of community service a week, and wait six months before getting their first cheque.

The economic reality is that there are 750, 000 unemployed and approximately 140,000 jobs work for the dole is the answer because the dole bludgers are refusing jobs and staying on the dole because the work they are offered doesn’t suit their lifestyle. They are job snobs.

RoweDDole.jpg David Rowe

So the welfare recipients need to be punished and disciplined. No concession is to be made that there are less jobs now for young people than before the 2007 global financial crisis, or that only 36 per cent of job seekers finishing work for the dole obtained employment or education and training – compared with 61 per cent who had been placed in training. Work for the dole is unlikely to help people find jobs.

It is tabloid politics because the unspoken assumption is that recipients of government assistance are somehow conniving to receive something to which they are not entitled. The scapegoat terminology---a lazy piece of scum malingering on the public purse---is designed to malign all welfare recipients. It has nothing to do with what works to promote jobs or that the economy is not growing fast enough to create enough jobs to cover the new entrants into the labour force.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:44 PM | | Comments (16)


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.

The above comment is a good example of tabloid politics given that many of the unemployed---approx 200,000 -- are over 50 years of age, have been made redundant, and are unable to find an employer who will give them a shot at a second career.

There are some employment barriers that older workers are facing which is why they are not being able to re-engage with employment.

For the first time in more than a decade Australia’s unemployment rate was at 6%. What is worrying is that not enough jobs have been created to cover the new entrants into the labour force. So the current unemployed over the past few years have been finding themselves unemployed for longer periods.

Sharon Beder describes the origins and cultural consequences of this hard-line policy in her book Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit To Corporate PR..

Her other books are also quite relevant, particularly Free Market Missionaries, and Suiting Themselves.

So Geoff the solution would be to import more unemployed from other countries?

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.

Most people (70 per cent) cycle off unemployment benefits within 12 months, and use Newstart for short-term transitional income assistance. There is little reason to assume the bulk of this group is dysfunctional, particularly those who have worked and contributed for years.

som politicians say they can create economic opportunities in areas where there are few viable businesses. It's spin and lies.

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.

The Coalition's message is that welfare recipients have had it too easy for too long, and they’re about to get some stick to whip them into shape.


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 for violence. Why do people engage in this behavior? Is it because they are ignorant, stupid, or are there other more malign reasons?

Attacking the unemployed is nothing new in Australian politics. The attack is usually one of blaming the unemployed for their jobless status has become standard fare in Australian political life.

The tabloid politics ignores that Government members have become willing to anonymously rag on their colleagues, as the Abbott government increasingly faces an unwieldy, dissenting Senate.

Tabloid politics is politics as slogans, like debt, boats and bludgers.

The Abbott Government is cracking-down on people on welfare because he reckons they are "job snobs" “rorting the system”. The ministers have no interest equipping the unemployed 45 year olds, recently retrenched after 20 years in the car industry, with the skills they need to make it easier to obtain real work.

Les says above:

"So Geoff the solution would be to import more unemployed from other countries?"

Nay. The solution to there being not enough jobs created to cover the new entrants into the labour force is economic growth. You are way off beam.

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 unhuman and inhumane sometimes. Lol