The Budget: All cruelty springs from weakness

19 May

Cruelty springs from weaknessIt can’t be denied any longer, conservatives really do believe they have no responsibility to the vulnerable, and it is perfectly acceptable to the Abbott government that those who can least afford it endure the most harsh of financial limitations.

This piece in the Sydney Morning Herald reveals that while high income couples stand to lose scarcely at all, families on benefits may lose up to 10% of their income. Known as “Detailed family outcomes,” this information was withheld from the budget, contrary to custom, by Joe Hockey, obviously because it reveals the Abbott government lie that everyone will be doing their fair share of the heavy lifting allegedly required to get the budget back on track.

Abbott also stated in an interview with Alison Carabine on Radio National Breakfast this morning that the highly paid, such as politicians, judges and senior public servants, will suffer a pay freeze for twelve months, costing Abbott something like a $6000 addition to his $500,000 plus benefits salary package. Not even the most witless among us could possibly believe this can be in any way comparable to the situation of a young person without resources denied Newstart benefits, and low-income families and pensioners having to choose between a middy, a treat for the kids, the doctor’s bill, and medicine, for which they will also have to pay more.

Pensioners also stand to lose extras such as free car registration, and reductions in rates, water and electricity. These concessions were made available to the people in the community who were recognised as vulnerable and needing assistance by governments unlike this one, governments who were capable of making such acknowledgements.

The question I am waiting for a journalist to ask the Prime Minister and the Treasurer is, why are they placing an intolerable burden on the most vulnerable while the wealthy are called upon to do comparatively very little?

What is it in the conservative psychology that makes such unfairness acceptable to them?

No country can afford to be governed by people who hate and fear vulnerability, as do these Australian conservatives. Far from being adult such people are dangerously immature, incapable of understanding any life experience other than their own. Convinced of its superiority, this government asks little or nothing of those best placed to contribute to the country’s needs, while demanding that those least able, relinquish what little they already have. In other words, the Abbott government is determined to punish the vulnerable for their vulnerability.

All cruelty springs from weakness, declared the philosopher Seneca. Wealth and power do not guarantee strength of character, and it’s hard to detect that quality in Abbott and Hockey. Strength of character requires the ability to identify vulnerability and refrain from taking advantage of it. Hockey and Abbott have indeed identified the vulnerable, and have proceeded to take the most appalling advantage, of the kind they would never dream of imposing on the wealthy and comfortable.

Conservatives are, in general, weak and cruel. Our government is weak and cruel. We are in dangerous times, with this weak and cruel government. As we have seen with the treatment of asylum seekers in this country, (and this has been demonstrated by both major parties) once the bar has been lowered for the treatment of a particular group of human beings, it is very easy to escalate ill-treatment.

This budget is devastating for the vulnerable, and pays no mind to their survival. This budget will lower the bar on the treatment of vulnerable people in our society. It will become easier to treat them even more harshly, to consider them even less worthy, to demonise them as threats and parasites, just as has been done to asylum seekers in the last fourteen years. And in the way of things, as history has demonstrated over and over again, ill-treatment becomes normalised, and scapegoats become the bitter focus of a community’s fears and discontents.

Beware of cruel governments. They will only become more cruel. Because they are, at their heart, cowardly and weak, and when the cowardly and weak attain power, the vulnerable will be the first they destroy.

9 Responses to “The Budget: All cruelty springs from weakness”

  1. Marilyn May 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    It’s pretty close to Darwinism, only the richest will survive.


    • paul walter May 20, 2014 at 12:01 am #

      Wealth can’t buy happiness or power guarantee security and eliminate risk.
      As Jennifer pointed out quoting Seneca, character doesn’t come out of a Corn Flakes packet. People like Marilyn and Jennifer who have also endured hard times,understand value meaning and proportion, something the born to rule can never conjure with, for lack of wit gained through actual life experience.


  2. paul walter May 19, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    That is a magic post.. Charlotte Bronte would be proud of you.


    • Jennifer Wilson May 20, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      She would? I hadn’t thought of that!


      • paul walter May 24, 2014 at 5:04 am #

        Hope folk read the ripper Julia Baird article “Students are right to raise hell”, for an objective take that chimes in well with Jennifer’s concerns over the last few posts.

        Other columnists have mentioned the fracturing politics of the last four years, but its getting dafter and dafter.
        Baird’s column struck me for how closely her sense of rationality is disturbed by events lately, perhaps in the way mine are, or Jennifer Wilsons and many others who visit here.


  3. doug quixote May 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    Thank you Jennifer. I will post a link to this on Bob’s blog.

    I don’t know about Charlotte Bronte, but I am proud of you. 🙂


  4. Gruffbutt May 21, 2014 at 12:17 am #

    I read the first article you linked, then I noticed a new one about Hockey suing Fairfax for rightly claiming that he’s a ‘Treasurer for Sale’. As if it’s not enough to get a free ride in the majority of the press, these arseholes (sue me) want to tie up our courts and waste the time and money of any lesser resourced news outlets who dare stray from the script. Here’s another two words for you, Joe: corporate fascists.

    I for one intend to join the March for Medicare rally in Melbourne on Friday, and suspect it won’t be my last. Hit the streets, people! Double dissolution now! Harass your (non-LNP) senators. Another two years of this mob will be too late.

    Maintain the rage, Jennifer.


    • paul walter May 24, 2014 at 5:08 am #

      Gruffbutt, the op polls back you up. Huge parts of country are having a “WTF!! moment at this time.



  1. The Budget: All cruelty springs from weakness « The Australian Independent Media Network - May 20, 2014

    […] article was first posted on Jennifer’s blog “No Place For Sheep” and reproduced with […]


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