It’s a week to the elections and politicians on both sides are talking about potential and waste, blaming each other for every bad thing in society while casting themselves as the only rational side. This has the added benefit of absolving them from responding to any given problem with more than waffle and wishes.
Saturday was pre-polling, and the Town Hall station of Sydney was lined on both sides with sandwich boards and campaign volunteers handing out how-to-vote cards to largely indifferent voters. Sunday we saw statements from both parties on the momentous decision of the UK to exit the European Union that boiled down to: we’re the only ones that have a clue what’s going on, the other guys are either lying or idiots or both.
There’s nothing like a future in that. Both Labor and Liberals will get the budget back in the same year, and in the meantime there’s a joke amongst a certain class of woman about the Newstart Diet, which is where your child turns eight and suddenly the state decides they must be less expensive and so they cut benefits.
Malcolm Turnbull says that political parties aren’t necessarily going to do what they say they will, and gets laughed at during speeches where he manages, with a straight face, to say that there is no factionalism in the Liberal Party, which additionally is not controlled by business interests.
In the shadows of early dawn where the business interests assemble, thousands of people who have no homes clear themselves and their scant possessions out of the way before the men in suits and the women in sensible heels start to arrive for their morning lattes.
The poor you will always have with you, they say, and perhaps it’s true, but poor doesn’t have to mean silent. Poor only means that you have no money; it says nothing about your ability to see the world and participate in discussion about it.
It’s why we’re asking questions. And why we’re inviting everyone to join us.