Saturday, 17 May 2014



I reckon when you become a septuagenarian you’re entitled to have an opinion. It’s interesting that the older I get, the more forthright I’ve become in expressing my viewpoints. And it’s true, my opinions are generally regurgitated in a grumpy way.

   No doubt the producers of those ‘Grumpy Old People’ TV programs twigged to the fact they could tap into endless monologues from senior citizens banging on about the ills of the world, compared to ‘the good old days’ – then serve it up to an audience comprising mainly mouldy-oldies, who can relate to the complaints aired – and to a lesser number of younger viewers who receive confirmation that all old fogies are crackers.

   Be that as it may, here is my latest beef. Once again, it centres on our illustrious political leaders and specifically on the latest Federal Budget that was delivered last week.

   First of all, it must not be lost sight of that politicians on all sides of the political fence here in Australia must think that voters are idiots with short-term memory deficiencies.

   In the greatest beat-up of all time leading up to the Budget, the government (Liberal/National coalition) declared that the previous Labor government had virtually bankrupted the economy. And that irresponsible Labor government had dug a fiscal hole so deep that all Australians now had to tighten their belts and share ‘the heavy lifting’ required to get things back on an even keel. The Prime Minister and Treasurer have been vociferously promoting this idea since they took over the reins of government late last year.

   As my dear-departed father-in-law would say – “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”. Most economists and other eminent experts didn’t agree with the beat-up fiscal crisis picture the government was painting. Nor did the IMF. But that wasn’t going to deter the Libs from pressing on. After all, most of the government had already demonstrated their ability to disregard the overwhelming evidence presented by scientists regarding global warming and climate change.

   So out comes the Budget. It soon became apparent that the ‘heavy lifting’ was mainly aimed at the young, the poor, the disadvantaged, the sick, the indigenous people, the unemployed and the elderly. Umpteen thousands of public servants will lose their jobs as ‘unnecessary’ services are either eliminated or drastically reduced.

   The most embarrassing aspect of these imposts on the most vulnerable was that Tony Abbott, our PM, categorically promised before the election that this wasn’t going to happen once his party was elected.

   Surprise, surprise – porkie pies!   

   Also I should mention the starving; the survivors of wars, conflicts and disasters; the refugees etc. around the world will have to help Australia get through our fiscal crisis, as our foreign aid budget has been severely slashed as well. But don’t worry you overseas starving and displaced folks, your contribution to our welfare is much appreciated.

     Thank goodness the Libs don’t have a majority in the Senate Upper House. So, there is a good chance that the especially nasty bits of the Budget won’t get passed.

   Also, I’m happy to report, there has been a huge reaction of criticism from the general public and from the media – including the Murdoch press! – so it seems that our PM will have to mend lots of bridges between now and the next election in two years time.

   Australia was once referred to as the ‘Lucky Country’ primarily because of our resources – mainly stuff we dig out of the ground, like coal, iron ore, bauxite, uranium, precious metals, oil and gas and so on. Maybe that title should be changed to the ‘Lousy Country’, given our track-record with refugees (especially boat people); climate change denial; overseas aid; and our treatment of the disadvantaged and vulnerable here in Australia courtesy of last week’s Budget.

Okay, enough on that subject – I’m feeling much better now. Stay tuned for the next instalment of my grumpy opinion and don’t forget, because I’m a septuagenarian this is my entitlement!

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