Federal finance minister Mathias Cormann has made his thoughts on people attending Black Lives Matter protests abundantly clear, suggesting that booting protesters off JobSeeker entitlements is a conversation that would be “worth having.”
The Culture Wars-style attacks on the thousands of people who attended the Black Lives Matter protests across the country last weekend have been in full force all virtually since they occurred. However with the week now drawing to a close, attention is finally turning to the tried-and-true “dole bludger” line of conversation. Mostly because people who attended a political rally on a Saturday surely cannot also have a job, according to that traditional conservative line of thinking.
Appearing on Sky News Australia earlier this morning, Cormann waded his way through an interview that largely served as an exercise in Peter Stefanovic putting words in his mouth, which Cormann happily went along with.
At one point in the interview, Stefanovic outright asked Cormann “what if it’s found that some of these protesters, Minister, are on JobSeeker? Should they lose that entitlement?” to which Cormann at first offered a rather diplomatic response.
“Look, the rules should be applied equally to everyone. My message to people that are considering attending these mass protests: Don’t do it. Reflect on your responsibilities to your fellow Australians. You choosing to go to mass protests puts the lives and the jobs of your fellow Australians at risk. It puts the lives and livelihoods of your fellow Australians at risk,” Cormann said.
Not content to end things there, Stefanovic pressed Cormann on the issue again, asking “but what if it’s found that some of these protesters who are ignoring these rules are on JobSeeker, should they lose that entitlement?”
“Well look, that is a conversation that would be worthwhile having,” Cormann blurted out in response.
It’s worth noting that fellow Coalition MP Andrew Laming is also of the mindset that protesters should be kicked off JobSeeker benefits for mass gathering in outdoor spaces; a mindset that absolutely does not apply to the veritable hoards of people that have been routinely descending on shopping centres ever since movement restrictions began their gradual repeal.
With more protests planned across Australia this weekend, the Federal Government is very much on the front foot in demonising the group to the quote-unquote “average” Australian. Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison went so far as to outright assert people attending protests should be arrested and charged.
It’s a hell of a time to be alive, I tell you what.