Friday, January 19, 2007

Aux armes, housoiens! Ditch the Labor Party?

[Reproducing in full a comment from "Raseac" on "Renthoppers" as it raises an important issue in impassioned language, (followed by DH's pitiful apologetics).
From Raseac:
I don't understand I'm afraid. Why would the Rent-Hoppers settle on the Howard govt? Are they profoundly stupid know, STUPID much as Labor-obsessed public housing tenants are stupid because they do it tough due to the uninspired management of Labor state governments EVERYWHERE, yet still call the Coalition out to pay the price? You know, that stubbornly, ideologically and politically blind kinda STUPID, that sees them habitually letting Labor govts off the hook just because of some ancient rumour suggesting that Labor is "for the people". It's a very special, all-pervading, all consuming blind kinda STUPID that results in Hoppers slapping year in year out into the same metaphysical windshields their forefathers slammed into.
Come on, folks! The Howard Govt says housing is the States' responsibility. The States say it's the Howard govt's responsibility. There's the difference? At least the Howard govt doesn't pretend to care. I say that makes it more honourable than Labor, which claims to care, yet sits idly by doing sweet FA.....unless it's Bulldozer related. It's not the Howard govt with its keys in the ignition of Policy D9. It's not the Howard govt that has lied to tenant in Minto and Bonnyrigg and, given time, St Mary's too no doubt. It's not the Howard govt that makes cynical promises to the Labor party faithful, knowing full well that in 10 years, when redevelopment is complete, few are likely to remember the promises of their god-almighty Labor party saviours. It's not the Howard govt that pulls down 4 bedroom homes and replaces them with two-bedroom stock, which will ultimately be placed under the management of some multinational for the next 30 years. I'm caused to remember the words of T.E Lawrence (yes, of Arabia) who said, "for so long as the Arab people fight among themselves, they will be a little people....a silly people!" I say, for as long as tenants nip at the heels of the Howard govt because that's what their Labor roots have conditioned them to do, tenants will be a little people...a silly people....ultimately, a homeless people! And Labor will be glad of the indemnity their silliness has afforded it!!"
From DH:
DH takes Raseac's eloquent point and has amended the offending blog entry with big red letters. She wasn't really thinking of public housing in this context, but about the plight of private renters. In 2004-5 the federal govt spent $2.1 billion on Rent Assistance, compared to $1.3 for the provision of public housing. In the 10 years since the Federal Govt took office, their subsidies to public housing have declined by just over 1/2. And all this transfer of taxpayers' wealth to private landlords has failed to achieve affordability.
Disclosure: DH is a member of the ALP. She joined a couple of years ago, not because she is a true believer, but because she was shocked to discover that what is after all our nation's major political party has virtually no members, and seems ripe for being white-anted by white-shoe brigadeers.  Coming from a leftist background in her youth, she has gone over, like about a zillion times, all the arguments about working from inside the system vs outside the system, about being co-opted versus having influence. As far as she is concerned her membership is experimental. She wants to see what can be achieved inside the system. For the moment, she is sitting tight, and supporting her local candidate who is from the left of the party, despite the excruciating embarassment of first Joe Tripodi's very existence in the party, and now Cherie Burton's high-handed dealings DH believes all housos should join a party and begin to educate themselves and their chosen party about their issues. Shelter is of course the key human need after food and water, and governments need to be reminded that this is their key responsibility

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