Thursday, October 01, 2009

Gittins' slur on age pensioners in public housing

[DH posted the following foaming diatribe to the SMH in response to a remarkably badly pitched and divisive article by Ross Gittins, Jobless fall by the wayside in crusade to harness grey power. Gittins intention was admirable enough. He wanted to lambast Federal Labor for its crocodile tears at the $7.50 rent hike imposed by NSW Labor on the $30 aged pension increase. He was quite right to denounce Jenny Macklin's arrant populism and hypocrisy, when Federal Labor has thrown unemployed people to the wolves. But was it really necessary to paint aged pensioners, especially those silvertail pensioners who live in public housing (!) as greedy and powerful, and add more fuel to populist flames?]

DH wrote (and has now polished):

Normally I'm an admirer of yours, Ross, but how on earth did you become a mouthpiece for the "divide and rule" game, especially when you're not even a member of the ruling class? Why are you sooling the lowest classes, read, the welfare class, to fight amongst themselves like so many desperate gladiators, while the truly wealthy get off scot free?

It's not the greed of pensioners that keeps Newstart at its outrageously low level. $30 is still a pittance. If you must point the finger at the parasites that are fleecing this country, couldn't you start with a plumper, more juicy bunch of bandidos, like bankers or real estate agents or land speculators or something?

You've got a point about Federal Labor though. I'm not an aged pensioner, by the way, but stuck on a barely subsistence level of Newstart, despite being highly qualified and applying for hundreds of jobs, and absolutely outraged at being abandoned by the likes of my local member, Tanya Plibersek, who I used to think so highly of, and whose election I worked towards. Now call this a cliche, but still I'd like to see my former heroine try to live off $130 a week. Not that I don't like Tanya personally, but the class struggle is the class struggle, and we're no longer on the same side.

Going after politicians is fair game, but you won't hear me begrudging pensioners their lousy $30 a week, or pitting those "silvertails" who you reckon live in public housing against the poor beggars living in private rental. It's not housos who caused their plight but greedy speculators and gutless governments who didn't and won't legislate to protect Australian citizen's right to decent, secure and affordable rental housing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Run against Tanya as an independent. Tanya is actually one of the good ones.