Out of touch with reality?? !! This is putting it mildly.
I almost fell off my seat when I saw online a report of Rupert Murdoch’s first Boyer lectures, in which he portrayed Australia as a backward nation plagued by welfare bludgers. He reprimanded the Australian public for relying too much on our government, rather than on the free market, for resolving our economic and social problems. He described our public education system as antiquated and was adamant that we are ill-prepared to take advantage of a global economy. Mr Murdoch, are you suffering from Alzheimer’s disease? Or are you simply out of touch with reality? Your Australia seems to be a different world to the one that I am living in right now. Somewhere along the line, you got stuck in 1985, the year when you decided you had enough of Australia and took up US citizenship instead.
On the issue of welfare bludgers, bravidvalour wrote:
Murdoch wants a witch hunt of penniless idlers so that it’s ‘plunder as usual’ for the media moguls. Take people’s minds off the real thieves like himself is what his media empire is all about. His newspapers are nothing more than prejudice pushing, insecurity peddling, and general UNFORMATION for unthinking.
The only idlers are the media moguls and other corporate ‘cor-pirates’ who make hundreds of millions manipulating the economy and people’s opinions for their own ends. It is time not for a witch hunt of indigent “idlers”. It is time to bring cor-pirates to justice, with windfall profits tax, and unlimited liability for execs.
The people relying on government subsidies are sick and disabled, they are not institutionalised idlers, they are managing huge daily living skills challenges and difficulties. The so called idlers have been dragged and unceremoniously removed from the system with harsh penalties and very strict surveillance and enforcement.
Either Mr Murdoch was uninformed or he was deliberately trying to mislead his audience when he painted a picture of a sharp increase in social welfare recipients in Australia, from 15% to 20% of the working aged population in less than two decades. He failed to mention the fact that (1) the Howard government’s “work for the dole” scheme has made it almost impossible for a normal working aged person to stay on the dole for any extended period; and (2) increasing middle class welfare is one of the Howard government’s initiatives. In other words, many of these so-called “welfare beneficiaries” that Mr Murdoch quoted are not “idlers”; they are just recipients of baby bonus, first home buyers’ subsidies and private health insurance rebates; they are tax-payers like you and me. So am I too harsh on Mr Murdoch when I say: “he is out of touch with reality”?
Even our most out-spoken critic gives credit to the positive transformation of Australia. Lee Kwan Yew, who once warned Australians that we were at risk of becoming “white trash” in Asia, openly admits in his recent visit that we have changed and we are changing for the better.
Come to think about it, this commenter Charles was not too far off when he made this remark about Rupert Murdoch’s speech:
He lives as a wealthy person in a country that has completely screwed up its social structure and he comes over here and suggests we should do the same. I just wish there was a smiley with two fingers in the air because that is how I would like to end this post.