Anyone else intrigued by PM Scott Morrison’s self-described “compassionate conservative” welfare agenda?
According to Wikipedia, compassionate conservatism is an American political philosophy that seeks policies designed to help the disadvantaged and alleviate poverty through the free market, envisaging a triangular relationship between government, charities and faith-based organisations.
Former US President George W Bush commonly used the term to describe his personal views. The term has also been used by former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and by former NZ Prime Minister John Key. End of Wikipedia lesson.
We should have known nothing new comes out of Morrison’s simplistic, one-tracked mind but doesn’t “compassionate conservative” sum him up beautifully?
If he looks after his rich mates in the private sector by farming out as much government work to them as possible regardless of the cost and at the expense of those dreadful unionised public servants, he’s being a compassionate conservative.
If he pursues an almost single-minded obsession to force trade unions to their knees so they can’t effectively work to protect workers’ wages and conditions, he’s being a compassionate conservative.
Having successfully dampened workers’ wages, if he then makes it even easier for business to make and keep a bob by lowering company taxes and getting rid of silly red tape, etc, then he’s being a compassionate conservative.
If he cuts income taxes in a way that clearly favours the rich, he’s being a compassionate conservative.
If he believes that charity begins at home and those criminal and illegal refugees should therefore be sent there if they don’t die here first, then he’s being a compassionate conservative.
Yet this amazing political philosophy, based largely on the miracle of trickle-down economics to narrow the gap between the haves and the have-nots, requires another feature our PM has in spades.
It needs faith-based organisations and personally I think this is the cornerstone of compassionate conservatism. Anyone who believes in trickle-down economics has to believe in miracles and their own magic sky daddy that they behove before all others.
And our PM as a Pentecostal Christian has that base well and truly covered. He knows deep down in his heart that nothing beats an hour and a half of hymn singing, happy clapping, the talking in tongues and filling up the ushers’ buckets with cash, jewellery and property title deeds on a Sunday to bring about a more just and fairer society.
His only weakness might be in the area of charity, for as a devotee of his own church’s prosperity doctrine, those who don’t succeed have clearly been punished from above for some evil thought or deed – or simply for not having a go because if they had had a go, they would have gotten ahead, like him.
That charity sticking point aside, let’s us all embrace this concept of compassionate conservatism and reap its benefits by backing the PM’s admirable philosophy to the hilt by putting our faith in the good Lord above by joining our local Hillsong Church.
Our eyes closed and the palms of our hands extended skywards, we should all intone next weekend: “Hallelujah, sweet Jesus Christ, take us into your bold embrace!
“Trickle down on us, dear Jesus, and cleanse us of our worldly sins. We understand it might only be a slight sprinkling on us, the great unwashed, to start with but we know your great flood will come.
“We acknowledge that we as a nation have drifted off the path of righteousness – our oldies are blowing their pensions on the pokies; the jobless their Centrelink payments on booze and bad drugs – yet we know that with Your loving and guiding hand, we can change the way we do things. We need to have a really good go at making these sinful acts … err, aah … go.
“And we know the best form of welfare is to honour you by getting filthy rich, whatever it takes, no matter whom we have to personally vilify and the endless lies we have to utter, all with a relentless, bloody-minded determination. Besides, you sometimes have to move in mysterious ways when you’re doing God’s good work.
“And most of all, we accept that your day of reckoning – the Rapture – is near and those who have failed to see the light will end up eternally damned in a roiling, sulphurous lake of fire and brimstone. Ouch!
“And we, your loving and loyal servants, know it’s going to take more than just a trickle from above to put that painful sucker out.”