Monday, 24 November 2014

Five Things The Government Could Cut Instead Of The ABC

Five Things The Government Could Cut Instead Of The ABC


Five Things The Government Could Cut Instead Of The ABC

This morning, Mark Scott made his much anticipated announcement to staff, detailing exactly how the ABC would make the $254 million worth of cuts
called for by the Abbott Government. Somewhat bizarrely, it wasn’t a
case of everyone collectively being $254 million more efficient: a
Malcolm Turnbull wet dream where ABC staff don’t take lunch breaks but
are instead fed liquified interns intravenously while suspended in a
fluid-filled pod that keeps them awake 24 hours a day.

Instead, 400 will lose their jobs, Stateline will be axed, and Lateline will
reformatted and shifted to ABC News 24. Radio suffered casualties as
well, with a number of stations being scaled back, while Radio
National’s Bush Telegraph will be axed completely.

The whole thing seems rather ludicrous: Mark Scott might as well have
been standing in front of a herd of obese cattle being forced to trim
the fat off a vole skeleton. Rather than firing nearly 10% of its
workforce, there must be some other governmental fat that can be cut
first, right?

For instance:

#1. Fighter Jets!

Remember those 58 fighter jets we bought for $12 billion? The ones that need a further $12 billion to keep them operational until 2024?

“Sorry, how much is that, Mr. Plane Salesman?”

“Half a deficit please.”

“Cool. Will you accept five ABC regional centres as payment?”

As fantastic as spending money on 58 identical ways for pilots to die might sound for a government claiming a desperate budget deficit, would Australia be any less macho-missile-Top-Gun awesome if it were, say, fifty-seven fighter jets?

That way we still get to bomb some exotic geography in the least successful flight sim ever, but we also get to have a network on TV that has the audacity to publish un-Australian facts.

#2. The News Corp Tax Rebate!

Ok, so you really love fighter jets. No problem, you can keep them.
Instead, why not plug the new hole in the ABC’s funding with a fraction
of News Corp’s tax rebate?

A sweet near-$900 million went back to News Corp this
year, meaning you could make up the ABC’s budget cuts TWICE over and
still leave Rupert Murdoch $400 million to bathe in — or whatever it is
he does with all that money (hire a flat-earther to colonically irrigate
his fusty innards with crude oil? Probably).

#3. Direct Action!

Fine fine: you love seeing $12 billion fly around in the sky for a bit before it crashes in a storm it can’t cope with;
you adore watching a wrinkled Palpatine stunt-double husk kicking your
money around like a kid in dry autumn leaves. But surely you wouldn’t
mind if we got rid of Direct Action, the policy fart in the elevator of
environmental politics?

Direct Action literally amounts to your money rewarding huge companies
that have figured out how to shit on the earth a fraction less than
they used to. “Who’s a good, absolutely massive corporation? That’s
right, you, you little shnooky wookums. Have tonnes of our cash for
doing what you should have been doing in the first fucking place.”

Why not give money to every world leader that didn’t commit a war crime yesterday as well?

#4. School Chaplaincy Program!

Right right. Broken planes, megalomaniacal walking scrotum with eyes, desolate earth. You love all of them. Got it.

But how about school chaplains? In Joe Hockey’s budget, school
chaplains were allocated $243 million — almost exactly as much as the
ABC’s cuts — yet they remain less appealing than being locked in the back of a meat truck with anyone from the Gamergate hashtag.

Seriously, take the Government’s school chaplaincy program out of
context, put it anywhere else, and ask if you’d still like to splash out
$243 million. What about a University Warlocks Program? Postgraduate
Palm-Readers, anyone?

#5: Offshore Processing!

No? Okay. That’s fine. Winged suicide caskets. Withered,
just-drank-the-wrong-grail media ballsack. Global burning. Stoneage
belief counsellors. Your money is very well spent on all of those above
things, and you still demand the ABC be cut. I understand.

How about asylum seekers, then? As much fun as it sounds to spend more than a billion dollars
imprisoning 2,200 asylum seekers in offshore nightmare facilities in
Papua New Guinea and Nauru — facilities that, in humanitarian terms, lie somewhere between Shutter Island and the Bates Motel — we could save a hefty chunk of that money
even if we went completely crazy and had all “boat people” on
Centrelink benefits for the entire time it took to decide their refugee
status–a move that would only cost $500 million, which would go directly
back into local economies.

You want to keep that as well? Really?

Well then, the next time you publicly tweet your
outrage that your money is going to the ABC, perhaps you should change
your profile picture to the new Coalition logo: a taxpayer-funded
homeopath flying a knackered stealth fighter into a solar panel held up
by a refugee.


Jazz is a stand-up comedian who has written for A Rational Fear (Radio National), The Roast (ABC2), and The Guardian Australia. Find him on Twitter at @jazztwemlow

Feature image via GetUp

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