Protecting poor people from autonomy

I rattled the bars on my prison cage.
I’ve the wisdom of hindsight and old age.
I’ve learnt that poor people are
better money managers than poverty experts.
They spend their money more wisely
than government ministers.
Just look at the Defence Department
if you don’t believe me.
I know that government paternalism
stigmatises recipients.
It belittles and incapacitates.
I know that the Intervention in the NT
was a gross error of judgement,
a mean-minded racist act.
Yes, I am smarter than Jenny Macklin,
it isn’t hard – most people are.

Written in 2012 when Jenny Macklin was the Minister imposing the NT Intervention.
Not published