Saturday, October 09, 2010

Mark Arbib: Senator for Bread and Circuses.. (and Fergedabout-da-Homeless?)

Winners are grinners while homeless
queues grow.  Pic lifted from
The ABC's Q&A which,  in this infotainment age, appears to be our most prominent arbiter of what's important to the nation, features this Monday, Senator Mark Arbib, denoted simply as the "Minister for Sport". 

Oy!?!! What about his other portfolios: housing, homelessness, aboriginal employment and community development?  Don't these rate anymore?

But why worry? The stimulus package fixed all that, didn't it?  Didn't you listen to Labor's subliminal election slogan "IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON"?   As long as there's flour, sugar, tea and sports spectaculars, who cares? After all, most people can still afford bread, or at least get a serve at a soup kitchen. And the middle classes, or what's left of them,  couldn't give a damn, so well are they pandered to by Q&A which bowdlerises public discourse and turns politicians into lovable buffoons, 

What does it mean that the Ministry of Housing under the Left's Tanya Plibersek has been subsumed back into Jenny Macklin's FAHCSIA, while the Right's Mark Arbib takes up the rump: social housing? Should we start worrying? Having proved successful in chopping off the fingers of any asylum seekers still clinging to lifeboats, is the current management of Fortress Australia  now turning its attention to casting adrift its own underclass?

Lizards, they say, cast off their own tails to save their skins when pursued by predators. Is Australia, pursued by the predatory practices of globalisation throwing off its own underclasses? Has trying to house the masses proved to be too difficult?

DH has not been able to unearth a single pronouncement yet by Mark Arbib about the direction of Social Housing. 

Tanya Plibersek meanwhile has given birth to baby Louis, and will be out of action for 3 weeks before resuming her roles as Minister for Human Services (eg Centrelink) and Social Inclusion. Can hardly wait to ask Tanya how people paid just $235 a week unemployment benefits are going to be "included" in anything when they can't even get out of the house. Tanya, people on unemployment benefits are effectively under financial house arrest, which is what happens when you spend everything on rent, flour, sugar, tea and utilities in the first week and run out of money for a bus fare (which NSW doesn't even subsidise for unemployed people).

Question for QandA      
DH has submitted the following to Q&A:                                                                                                

Senator Arbib, has Federal Labor downgraded social housing and Aboriginal employment by putting them below sport in your list of portfolios? Can we relax and assume the housing crisis is over, and should the homeless be content with bread and circuses?


Andrew Elder said...

Once again, Tanya Plibersek's advertising for an electorate officer (p18 Satursday's SMH Employment). You're qualified, you're passionate, just hope you're not too busy.

DH said...

Yes, just spotted it myself. Am applying. And putting on hold the promised memoir on my years in the Dibley Branch of the NSW ALP, which wd you believe I was just abt to post! There's the rub. It's one of my best pieces ever, which I might have to sacrifice...