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11 March 2015

Lifestyle Choices

Because some choices are more difficult than "which tie will I wear today?"

It's becoming increasingly clear that the only way our Prime Minister Tony Abbott can avoid saying ridiculously ill-informed things is to shut his privileged gob altogether. The latest morsel of mindlessness he dumped on the Australian population he clearly loathes was this: 

"What we can't do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have."


What does he mean by "lifestyle choices"? He's not talking about overseas holidays, wearing cycling gear to the office or buying a European town car. He's talking about infrastructure, support and schooling in remote indigenous communities. 

Sure, they're just words. And yes, it costs money to provide basic infrastructure to remote communities. And ok, life would be simpler if everyone just moved to the city and got a job. Whether you happen to think funding aboriginal communities is a waste of money or not, basing your argument on the premise of choice seems idiotic, even for a Prime Minister who has turned Being An Idiot into a form of public art. 



If you choose to have your parents send you off to private school,
And you choose to be born rich and white and straight;
If you choose to manufacture copper wire or fossil fuel,
Then we’ll spend our money on you, ‘cause you’re great.

But

If you choose to live in shelters, outback towns or on Nauru,
Or you choose to come by boat or break a bone;
If you choose to lose your grant and join the unemployment queue,
Then you’re going to have to make it on your own.

Sure

You use vouchers for your groceries and your clothes are second-hand,
And your bruises speak much louder than your voice,
And your lack of reading makes the dole forms hard to understand,
But our hands are tied – you’ve clearly made your choice.