Sunday, March 1, 2009

Janet Albrechtsen, Compassionate Conservatism Part II, the Irresponsible and Heartfelt Charity

A few days after Janet Albrechtsen wrote about compassionate conservatism, and the way tough love can be a hard sell, she goes into print on the subject of recent bushfire victims with the line Stop bailing out the irresponsible.

It is tempting to dole out taxpayer dollars payouts to those hit by brutal fires. Images of people who have lost their homes are powerful. Yet, it makes no sense to encourage people to look to government for help when things go wrong rather than take responsibility by insuring their homes.

That's right. Look to the compassionate insurance companies. Maybe Albrechtsen's never got into a full on fight with an insurance company about a claim, and experienced their full blown compassion?

And I guess insurance premiums are easy peasy for one of Rupert's lackeys?

As usual, it's the private sector, darwinian survival rant from Albrechtsen:

Whan (NSW Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan) is wrong to mistake heartfelt charity for ill-conceived government policy. It is only right that people have donated in droves. Bu it is wrong for government policy to encourage people to take the path of irresponsibility knowing that that others will bail them out. That is not heartless. That is common sense, a commodity often in scarce supply when you entrust governments to spend your money wisely and fairly.

Whan had the temerity to suggest that people donated generously to the bushfire victims without thinking about whether recipients might be insured.

Thank the good lord Janet's compassionate conservatism has put me right. For a moment there I was thinking blindly about the joy of christian giving. Now I've decided to demand a statutory declaration from any likely recipient (the assignor of the first part to the assignee of the second part) that they have in fact taken out insurance, and will in fact be able to refund my cash flowed contribution, with a market rate of interest I've decided to generously discount by a half a point against prime.

This is sensible, rational charity - there's a real point to the giving (since it will boomerang to me) and what's more recipients will appreciate the value of the money on loan to them. I've decided Shylock in The Merchant of Venice is the best guide - he clearly has the best legal argument, and he's much more to the point than that dopey Portia (even her name sounds like a soapy character).

You might think it heartless, but I tend to think of it as prudent common sense. In the old days, it would have been called screw you, just in case you might screw me.

I've decided to extend this principle to people without jobs (since being unemployed is both careless and irresponsible), to anyone dependent on religious charities (since believing in the power of a mythical redeemer is both irresponsible and stupid), anyone in a car crash (since they are likely to have been driving badly in the manner of a Blair or a Duffy by speeding) and anyone who crosses the street and looks at me in a funny way (since they are likely to be both careless and deserving of a good punch in the mush).

Indeedy, it occurs to me that heartfelt charity of any kind is for the birds, since any bugger in need of it has clearly been either careless or irresponsible. Now I'm all the way with the common sense compassionate conservatives. Run the buggers over!

"Hey buddy can you spare a dime?" Fuck you, you careless, irresponsible dumb fuck. Go live in a tent. Or learn to take out insurance.

As for you, you useless street drunks, go drink your grog, go die in a rubbish dump somewhere and see if I care ...

Yeay, compassionate conservatism is fun. Hey Janet, spend a dime on The Australian? No way, go get yourself a corkscrew and shove it wherever you think it might be most useful ... 

I mean that in the most careful, responsible, concerned, and considerate way imaginable of course. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely coherently cogently compassionate. It's just that tough love is - amazingly, disturbingly - sometimes a really hard sell ...

I rushed off to the New Testament to check and sure enough:

When you give in charity, never blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets in order that their praises may be sung by men. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But when you are giving in charity, let not your left hand perceive what your right hand is doing that your charities may be in secret; and then your Father - He who sees in secret - will recompense you.

And when you are giving in charity, make sure the left hand confirms that those due to receive have exercised due diligence and taken proper insurance, and you will be rewarded by your Father who is in Heaven, because no recompense or charity is required, for those who have been careful and righteous are totally all right jack, while those who reach out with the grasping right hand, who have not been diligent or prayerful, are not in any case deserving of any charity at all. Not a penny, a cent or a brass nickel.

Funny, there it is, right before the Lord's Prayer in Matthew. And I'd forgotten it! Janet was right! What an inspiration she is!

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