Treasurer Costello’s 2002-3 offering has been portrayed as a Khaki Budget. Because of his stated emphasis on increasing surveillance at home and killing abroad. A more realistic appreciation would lead to its portrayal as a tatty cacky attempt to cover-up the excrement into which Australia is sinking.
Certainly we are going to quadruple the expenditure on discouraging asylum seekers from entering our country. A lot of the increased cost is as a direct result of the Howard Government’s obsession with the Pacific solution and processing many of asylum seekers on Christmas Island. We will beef-up our capacity to sink refugee boats at sea. We will continue to tow unseaworthy boats to beyond our territorial limits. We will refuse to allow asylum seekers access to our courts by maintaining the fiction that Christmas Island is not part of ’Straya. It was costing us less than $100 million a year to process asylum seekers on shore. We could have reduced the cost to about $20 million by releasing asylum seekers into the community after initial security and health checks as is the practice in most of Europe. The $400 million we are wasting to pander to the Howard/Ruddock refugee obsession could have been used to maintain disability support pension eligibility conditions and reinstate the free dental program for the poorest Australians.
’Straya is going to buy some new war toys so it can join the push with “Pretzel” Bush to go all the way with the USA. Australian military officials claimed recently they killed 300 Taliban without losing a soldier. Sounds more like a massacre than a war. No wonder the Howard Government wont sign up to International War Crimes Court. We will continue to blockade Iraq even though it results in the deaths of 6,000 Iraqi children each month. We might even get a chance to shoot up some of their towns in the name of stamping out terrorism.
In the mean time we will have to satisfy ourselves with downward envy. We will need to ignore the $3 billion subsidy to rich people’s private health insurance, the subsidy to private doctors insurance costs, the subsidy to highly paid superannuates, the $17 billion subsidy to industry and such like. We will have to content ourselves kicking the wheelchairs out from under disability support pensioners and hiding jobs from the unemployed.
Copyright © 2021 John Tomlinson