The Andrews announcement

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Bob Ellis reflects on Kevin Andrews’ announcement today that public support for underprivileged and disadvantaged Australians must be slashed.

I WAS MOCKED when I wrote in December that the Abbottites would ‘redefine disability’.

But today, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews announced he was doing it, thereby terrifying two million Australians who thought their disabled children ‒ or their disabled nephews and nieces ‒ would be looked after well after they were gone.

Plus half a million physically challenged people, of course.

Two and a half million votes are a lot to lose, but the Abbottites are not very good at figures, so there you go.

They sense that something is wrong, though. One by one their ministers are being airbrushed from visibility.

Will Christopher Pyne be ever again on ABC Q&A? I doubt it. Will Julie Bishop shake hands with Bambang Yudhoyono ever again? Will Scott Morrison front up to 7.30 ever again? Of course not. We are getting, quicker than we thought, a police-state-on-training-wheels more daft than our most hyperbolic fears.

Was this what we voted for? No, it wasn’t. Abbott was on a ‘unity ticket’ with Labor on NDIS and Gonski. He shared the ‘broad aims’ of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years, of a kinder, fairer, cooler Australia. And here we are. And there you go.

Has there been a more mendacious government ever elected here?

Robin Askin’s came close. They wished only to make millions out of illegal gambling and claimed there wasn’t any. But this lot wants to make more miserable, cowed and fearful twenty million Australians, and three million more smug and secure. On the way to this, they don’t mind how many refugees they heckle and how many cripples they kick in the crotch.

Loud, cruel schoolyard bullying is what they’re best at, they learned it in the dormitories and cold showers of their private schools. It’s what they like to do. If ever there were gremlins in mogwais’ clothing, it is this lot.

I ask the Senate to force an election — soon.

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