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Fair go! I'll give you class warfare

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"Hard work and aspiration" (Image via YouTube screenshot)

While the mainstream media tries to stir up socio-economic rivalry, Noely Neate wonders why we can't all just get along.

FIRST IT WAS “aspiration”, now it is “class warfare”. Surely an election can’t be too far away when all the ballyhoo* about the so-called “class warfare” against “aspirationals” hits the papers?

Words are funny. They don’t often mean what you think they mean, or sometimes a term is used to define something that bears little resemblance to the meaning of that word. A bit like how Liberals, are not, well, “liberal”.

Before we get into my rant, do me a favour, Google “class warfare”, then click on the “news” button.

You will all get different results, coz Google is, umm, “helpful” like that (rant for another day), but you will most likely see a heap of news articles of which the majority will be conservative newspapers/journalists and our current government of course – some days it is hard to tell the difference between those two entities – bemoaning the ALP/Greens wanting to steal from “hard-working, aspirational Australian families” and businesses.

If you tend to look at more worldly news, you will get the bonus of “Republicans” in the United States pretty much having the same squeal.

Let’s look at what class warfare really is.

I like to use the Urban Dictionary, as, let’s face it, so many words we used to look up in the old Oxford don’t really have the same connotation anymore in modern day use:

‘A political and military conflict between economic classes. The idea is typically identified with Marx, who characterised revolutions as conflicts between economic classes, when a new, growing class comes into conflict with an established upper class.’

Australia is supposed to be an “egalitarian” country, where we believe everyone is equal, which is probably where our notion of fairness and a “fair go” come from. Pretty much ask anyone in the street to define what it means to be Australian and nine times out ten the words “fair go” will get a run in the answers.

The cognitive dissonance between what the Government is screeching about “class warfare” and our so-called egalitarian Australian trait of fairness, the “fair go” is really astonishing. That so many in media are active in prosecuting this “class warfare” rubbish on behalf of the Government is even worse.

Fun fact: “Class warfare” (or the various iterations of that term) is a Government call-to-arms. Using it as a statement, not preceded by “the Government says” is furthering propaganda, not reporting.

The real “class warfare” at the moment is against the vulnerable in this nation.

Yes, I know, caring about our fellow human beings is “Marxist”, “Socialist”, “Communist”, hell, whatever rubbish label of theory those who don’t want to share in the riches of this country want to throw at me. As a side note, ever noticed that half the people who toss out those labels really have no idea what they actually mean anyhow, just use them as a perjorative?

Anyhoo, I prefer to call this way of “thinking" being a decent human being.

If we really care about a fair go in this nation, then that thinking should apply to all Australians. This Government seems to think that only those who are paying tax are worthy of their attention. Those who pay – or should be paying if they didn’t have so many tax rorts their spiv accountant accessed on their behalf – more tax get even more attention from the Government.

The people and services we need to really achieve a fair go for all “working Australians”, not so much.

In fact, Prime Minister Turnbull and his Treasurer Scott Morrison have gone so far to con Australians into believing that those who are wealthier “work harder”, therefore deserve more of the tax pie?

Yeah, nah.

A white collar finance dude is not working any harder than a child-carer, yet earns a shitload more. In fact, if you have ever rocked past a childcare facility when it is play time, well, you will see exactly how hard and stressful that job is. But for some reason, looking after that valuable possession of someone’s money is rewarded in the job marketplace more than looking after that valuable possession of someone’s child. Go figure!

So, that whole premise in the Liberals advertising above is utter rubbish. Yet, sadly, the aspirational bogans buy it.

I know this has been going on since the Howard years, the whole concept that you pay taxes, therefore you deserve a cut of them, but, it is just wrong. Taxes are supposed to be for services we need to survive, pensions for later in life, basic healthcare and education, and, most importantly, they are to be a safety net for those in need.

Currently, Australia has billions racked up on the credit card and we are always being told to “live within our means”, but it is the regrettable excuse used as to why more funding can’t be given to those under the poverty line on Newstart, or why pensions can’t be raised. Yet, disagreeing with the Government that wealthier people and businesses in our society don’t need a big tax cut is “class warfare”?

“Class warfare”, in my opinion, is those of the comfortable class thinking upgrading their car to a newer model is more important than actually giving someone a roof over their head and demanding that as their right, coz they pay tax.

A fair go should be not leaving people behind. The real “class warfare” in Australia is that waged by our Government and some segments of media against the most vulnerable in our society and I urge everyone to call it out.

If the Government thinks the nation's credit card can afford $144 billion in personal income tax cuts and $65 billion in business tax cuts, why can’t it afford to:

  • raise Newstart and unemployment benefits;
  • raise old age pension and aged care services;
  • properly fund Disability and Carer pension and services;
  • increase Public Housing;
  • fund more homeless shelters and homeless services;
  • give tertiary students a break on HECS;
  • make TAFE free;
  • fund more domestic violence shelters and family violence services;
  • fund more public education;
  • fund more public health, particularly in areas of need;
  • fund proper Veterans' services (not just memorials for pollies to prance around on ANZAC day);
  • fund more public transport; and
  • the list goes on, feel free to add yours in the comments below.

I say, if we truly do believe in a fair go in this country and our Government wants to screech “class warfare”, well, you don’t need to be ALP or Green, just a decent human being to say:

BRING IT ON!

Call out government policy and spending that prioritises the wealthy over the vulnerable, or the multinational over the small business. They can yell “hard working aspirational Australians” as much as they like, but as the saying goes, “there but for the grace of God go I”. Any one of us could be become one of those vulnerable in need.

All decent human beings in this nation should be calling for a fair go for taxpayer funds to be spent on services that will assist all Australians, particularly those who need it.

Cheers,

Noely

Read more from Noely Neate on her blog YaThink?, or follow her on Twitter @YaThinkN.

*Sorry, Dave, had to do it

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