I’m a welfare recipient with an attitude problem. Not that I’m complaining cos we’re living in the best country money can buy and going fracking cheap too! And such great universities here, expanding our minds and improving public transport by banning welfare recipients from travelling at peak hour. Sydney uni deserves a Nobel prize for this one – what will they think of next? Maybe make us wear a black star or tattoo perhaps. Achtung, eine velfare recipient. Das ist Verboten! Like they say: “American Express – don’t leave home without it” But if you’re on welfare then just don’t leave home!
In fact there’s only one thing worse than being a welfare recipient and that’s being a disabled welfare recipient. But whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger like my job capacity assessment. Hey guys, don’t diss my disability. You know being on welfare makes us aspirational voters – we take an aspro, every time we get called in to Centrelink. Gees it must be at least 2 weeks since the last compulsory client review – must be time we checked up on them again. At this rate we’ll have one half of Australia being paid to watch the other half – ASIO eat your heart out. And trying to decide which major party to give our preferences to is a real pain. Do we vote for the one that’s anti-welfare or the one that’s uber anti-welfare? Next election I’m telling them: “not tonite dear I’ve got a headache”. And speaking of being screwed…
Have you ever noticed how business does things best? They’re so efficient. Take banks for example, ever since they were privatised and deregulated they make so much more profit. And all that waste they saved by sacking most of the staff. Now banks like Westpac make $5.9 billion profit a year and their CEO, Gail Kelly, gets $9.5 million a year. You’ve gotta admire the symmetry its almost like 69 no wonder they’re fucking us over!
But seriously you need real money to get the best qualified, experienced executives like Gail. She’s from Seth Efrika and with daddy’s “encouragement” lands a job in a bank. Of course the bank didn’t know what to do with a Latin teacher so they said: “Have a go and you might become supervisor”. I guess Australia thought economic apartheid was such a great idea we had to import it. Can’t call em names here cos that would be discrimination so how about westies, bogans, dole bludgers, job snobs, cruisers and losers. But what ever happened to good old fashioned Aussie battlers? Well they’re earning $150,000 a year according to the pollies. They’re the real deserving poor so dig deep Australia – its only politics of envy if ya don’t like subsidising people earning five times what you do so suck that. Besides, anyone on less than a hundred grand a year’s got character flaws cos Tony Abbott said so and politicians wouldn’t lie would they? Well Gail Kelly must be Mother Theresa or maybe Australia’s first saint – our lady of dollars, patron saint of crapitalism. Religion’s a bit like a shit sandwich – the more bread you got the less shit you eat. The Greens have got the right idea – just recycle everything. Ya recycle holy water by boiling the hell out of it and reuse toilet paper by beating the crap out of it so why not losers too.
Yeah fuck all those broke useless cripples and redundant workers. All they need is tough love to cure their character flaws. Then when they get depressed and suicidal and can’t afford to eat we’ll ask for more psychiatrists. So why not get welfare recipients to line up and jump off a big, tall tower or maybe a fast moving train? We’ll have the psychiatrists standing by telling them it’s all mind over matter – Australia doesn’t mind and you don’t matter. But that could be messy, maybe we need a ‘Pacific solution’ – it works so well for refugees why not the unemployed? So next time some retrenched worker turns up at Centrelink we’ll stick a sign on the door saying: “Piss off, we’re full” and send them to Christmas Island for processing. If they get shipwrecked and tossed into the sea, we’ll throw them a Hillsong Church sermon:“A hand up not a handout!”. Jesus loves a billionaire, greediness is next to godliness.
Guess I’m an expert now cos I received help from the government’s welfare-to-work reforms. I phoned their help line to tell them their ‘help’ wasn’t very helpful and a voice on the other end says: “ We’ll decide what’s good for you not you!”. After that kind of help I get a nervous breakdown and referred to the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service. They send me a glossy brochure with all these smiling faces saying how much they’re gonna ‘help’ me. So I turn up to this CRS panel with a dozen people sitting around a table the size of a football field.
“Look” I say “I’ve got depression, a dodgy back and wrist and I’m looking after a kid and a mother with dementia.” I ask for physiotherapy – but they’ve got no money for that.
“What about helping me contact employers and typing job applications?” Not bloody likely.
“So what can you do for me?”
“We will supervise your efforts to find employment.”
Well at least its keeping them off the streets – the CRS I mean, because I’d hate to meet them in a dark alley. They mugged me from behind an office desk – imagine what they could do in a balaclava!
Who needs the CRS anyway when we’ve got the Salvation Army’s Employment Pus. They breach jobseekers for just being five minutes late for a lousy seminar we’ve done already on how to write a letter to an employer. Never mind the futility of learning to beg for jobs that don’t exist. Your bus was running late? That’ll be 6 months of bread and water for you! Thank god for the Salvos? How about truth in advertising like:
“Help us to help Australia beat up the unemployed” or
“This winter, give generously to authority, make charity history.”
Street beggar signs should say: “Forget spare change, we need real change!” and
“Don’t dis my ability…to travel”
Better still, give everybody a decent job that needs one and there wouldn’t be any welfare or beggars but hell what would we do with the Salvos and job service leaches living off other people’s misery? Manus Island maybe?"
A definition of terms overseas viewers may not be familiar with:
BREACHING – disciplinary cutting of benefits for unemployed citizens on government assistance often for minor infractions of pernicious activity agreements administered by for-profit and church-based employment agencies such as the Salvation Army’s Employment Plus. These job agencies are rewarded with more government contracts if they can reduce the welfare budget through stealth by imposing widespread breaching penalties. More humane agencies such as Wesley Employment Services and others lost their government contract to manage the unemployed because they wouldn’t inflict enough breaching on disadvantaged Australians to satisfy the government.
CENTRELINK- Australian department that administers welfare funding and supervises the unemployed along with the privatised job service sector. Supervisory approaches applied to the unemployed are to be extended to people with disabilities via the Commonwealth Rehabillitation Service.
ASIO – Australia’s secret police
FRACKING – hydraulic fracturing of underground rock strata to obtain coal seam gas. This method has been proven environmentally unsafe in documentaries such as Gasland but is being allowed in urban areas of Australia’s east coast in spite of community protests.
Connie the disabled, unemployed welfare recipient come comic draws upon her experiences within the labyrinthine Australian social welfare system. Under sunny, blue skies and the all-controlling gaze of the state you soon learn that if you don’t laugh you’ll only cry…