As Idiot/Savant puts it, and a loss to the entire fucking country, too. You’re going to be really sorely missed, Sue B.
Sue’s maiden speech from way back in the days of 1999 is here.
I am here on a mission. Unemployed people and beneficiaries have had enough of being treated like dirt, taking the blame for every problem in society. Previous Governments have institutionalised another form of apartheid in Departments like WINZ, where a culture of contempt underlines dealings with socalled customers as well as with hard pressed frontline staff.
I am here to do everything I can to turn this around. We need immediate relief of poverty in this country, including a radical overhaul of WINZ and the whole benefit system, and a commitment to progressive increases in the minimum wage. The compulsory work for dole scheme known as ‘Community Wage Community Work’ can and should end tomorrow. We should look at restoring the universal family benefit, acknowledging the needs and rights of those who have the courage to bring children into the world in an overwhelmingly child-hating society.
We should also start seriously researching the implications and possibilities of some form of Universal Basic Income which has the potential to replace the whole shattered and inadequate apparatus of the old welfare state.
It’s time that we put the blame for overdependency on the State directly where it lies – on those who use unemployment and inadequate income support systems as tools of deliberate economic strategies. And we should also examine why dependency is OK for some, and not for others.
In honour of this kickass woman,* get your posts in for the next Down Under Feminists’ Carnival!
Next time on Ideologically Impure: how angry will QoT get over attempts to drag her country kicking and screaming back into the Dark Ages an FPP electoral system? How many times will QoT headdesk over That Nice Mr Key being on Letterman? Will QoT explode with joy when Dexter season 3 finally premieres 4 October? Will any of these questions actually get answered? Tune in, same feminist time, same cussword-filled channel!