Amazingly, there are still people who believe the traditional red of the ALP is that of their hearts bleeding for people experiencing hardship and disadvantage. And whilst some of these people are talkback radio hosts egging their audience on to a fury of be-spittled rage, some are actually Labor supporters who believe their party is on the side of the right and good.
Meanwhile, Labor politicians continue to yell the quiet part for everyone to hear. NSW Premier Chris Minns - who looks like the guy who reads the weekend news on summer TV whilst the regular hosts are on holidays - is determined that NSW will not be the loser in a fight with the Federal government over NDIS funding. In particular, NDIS minister Bill Shorten wants the states to take over more supports for children with early developmental disorders and mild autism. The state premiers are angry. Not about whether children will receive the best possible supports, but about money. Here's Chris Minns:
“If Bill Shorten wants to remove people from the NDIS, he can do it and we’re not going to stand in his way. What he can’t say is the states will take up the services because we handed over our public servants and our money to the Commonwealth a decade ago for them to run it. ”
Let me run that by you again. The Premier of NSW said, “If Bill Shorten wants to remove people from the NDIS, he can do it and we’re not going to stand in his way."
Yep, the man of the party of fairness and justice couldn't care two tiny mouse droppings about whether people with disability get the supports they need or not, as long as it doesn't affect the state budget. I'm not surprised he thinks that way. What does surprise me is that he actually said it, and has received little pushback.
Disability is an easy football for governments to kick around. We constantly hear about NDIS cost blow outs, which are always blamed on people with disability themselves, and not on the massively bloated system of private agencies and providers which have inevitably arisen to make money from the privatised system. (It's very similar to the system of for-profit employment service providers more focused on penalties and administration than helping people find work, but it's the unemployed who get the blame for the cost of the thing and their own struggles when their subsistence level payments are arbitrarily cut off).
Labor just lends a different colour to the toxic strains of neoliberalism, privatisation and demonisation of disadvantaged people which have marked our society for the past 40 plus years. And Chris Minns sounds frankly like a heartless bastard who has no idea of the difficulties people who need support face in applying for and using the NDIS.