Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Friday, June 22, 2018

The new clarion call: Aspirational

The Australian conservative government has been banging on  about being "aspirational".  This is the sacred word.  One has to aspire to get ahead, to achieve greatness, to win a good salary, gain a good education that will foster greater career choices, etc... 

There is nothing inherently wrong with this at all.  In fact, most people aspire to a better life and are quite prepared to work for it. 

But, considering those who use this catch phrase to the point of nausea --  mostly conservative politicians -- telling the rest of us we should aspire to greater things, forget a few home truths, in their smug platitudes. 

So I've come up with some things a lot of Australians aspire to, but  are thwarted by this aspirational government. 

Mums aspire to get the best childcare for their kids because both they and their  husbands work to keep a roof over their heads and the family fed.  This is getting harder and harder in reverse proportion to the amount of income earned.  If you're poor or nearly poor, forget about  it. 

Lots of young people aspire mightily to get a well paying, permanent, full time job.  Some are successful, many are not.  But then, many too aspire to  actually getting a decent paycheque at the end of the week after the franchise or cafe they work in stiffs them.  Well done, junior capitalists. 

Children of ageing parents aspire to ensure that their mums and dads can get the best aged care possible.  With this aspirational government, they are finding it more difficult to find such care, or even a minimal bit of care at a price that's affordable.  On ya guys... 

Our  children are aspiring to have a world that's free of global warming, plastic pollution,  air pollution, growing violent storms and all the rest.  But our  aspirational government doesn't even mention climate change except to spruik another coal mine, 'cause "coal is our friend". 

Migrants to  Australia aspire to become good citizens and work, but our aspirational government keeps tripping them up with language  tests, longer waiting times, if they are fortunate enough to obtain a permanent residency.  Of  course if you are a rich migrant, well then, come right in! 

Pensioners and people of pensionable age asipre to be able to eat and maintain themselves.  If they really need this assistance, our aspirational government makes it harder and harder for them to even apply, and then, given the propensity for the department to stuff up  the process, force them to pay back what was an overpayment.  Well done indeed. 

Refugee  claimants aspire to be free of detention and out of remote locations..  However, our aspirational government has kept whole families in detention for over five years now, with a heinous track record refusing service to mentally ill, or physically ill detainees.  These are fellow  human beings who fled persecution and destruction to find a better life.  And our aspirational government has the temerity to call them "economic migrants." 

Well, I have aspirations too.  I will work hard to ensure that what I aspire to will come to pass.  And that is the elimination of this aspirational gang of smug, overpaid  right wing idologues, who will  lose  mightily in our  next election and will not be seen again for a long period of time.  It will take a relatively long time to undo  the damage this  bunch  has done to the country.

And don't even get me started on the USA.  Thanks Kathy Wilcox for this cartoon from the Sydney Morning Herald, 22 June 2018. 

Bye for now.