Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Art of Spin

No, not DJ'ing, politics. Which, for the record, I disucss/rant about only when something has gotten me good and mad. That is happening a bit lately (you may have noticed) because I am finding, as I creep back into the light, that things out here haven't changed for the better in the last 5 years. Not in any real way.

So - the art of spin. Now, I appreciate that being a good spin doctor would take a lot of hard work, I do. I think what they do must be damn stressful, and rather scary. But, I don't like the end result.

Take last night as a f'rinstance. Watching the news (a rare occurance) and the Federal Government was telling us (in light of the RBA not raising home loan interest rates - no news on what the Big 4 will do as yet) how well off we are - we have an Unemployment Rate of ONLY 10%. Which means, out of every 10 people, ONLY one is unemployed. We are indeed the Lucky Country. Our economy is booming, unemployment is low, and we have the biggest houses in the world. Mind you, we also have soaring homelessness, drugs and alcohol are decimating our youth, racism runs rampant, and the Big 4 raising interest rates whenever and however they want.

Are you mad yet? No? Well that's ok, I am mad enough for everyone. Oh, I am so mad.

You see, the numbers are telling a big fat lie. No matter which party is in power, the Unemployment Figures lie. Because they are meant to.

The figures the talking heads sprout are the Official Rate - those listed as being on Newstart Allowance. Not anyone on either form of Youth Allowance (studying or looking for work, or, Heaven forbid, both). Not stay at home parents being forced out into the workforce by rising mortgages/living costs. Not those same parents being forced out into an (unwelcoming) workplace with no jobs to be had because their child has turned 7, and it's time they were being productive.

And certainly not those who have, for whatever reason, given up. There are a lot of people out there, and the number is growing every day, who simply turn their back on modern society, and enter the shadows. And then they become invisible to everyone - from you and me, to the country's leaders. Especially the leaders. Must be nice to live and work in an Ivory Tower.

And that makes me angry. Our politicos sprout on about the value of human life when refugees are seeking asylum, and need to be integrated into Australian society (oh, and they don't count in the UR either), but when it comes to looking after the people who aren't worth any points politically, not a peep.

And yes, I am one of the non-statistics. We lost our home 9 years ago, because we had been financially crippled by previous rate rises. I am on a Carer Pension, The Mister is on Disability. We cannot live even remotely comfortably on the payments the Government gives us, so I have to work. On Government money, we would survive. Just.

So, to the Spin Doctors I say "Come on down here, with the not even .01%ers. See how it is to live when you don't even rate a brain fart in a politicians mind. When you have to worry about whether or not the money you have scraped together will be enough to feed your family until the next time you recieve your pittance."

But do not tell me that I am lucky, that my country is doing well. I have been walking through a dark wilderness for 5 years, and what I see as I look around me now, is actually scarier than the deepest depths of the dark.


  1. Unemployment is less than's about 6% I Think?? and most Big 4's rates will stay unchanged :)

  2. Maybe there IS hope then.....