A Mockery of Joe Hockey

By Mike Welsh

I can’t decide if Treasurer Joe Hockey is a knob, a clown or a buffoon.

I’ve been searching for months now for an accurate and just label for the Federal Treasurer.

Smokin’ Joe, Jovial Joe, Sloppy Joe: all pithy, predictable and popular tags, but they have no value for me.

Some commentators refer to our chubby Treasurer as Good Old Joe: “Looks like Good Old Joe’s been at it again,” etc.

I don’t dislike Joe Hockey. I don’t think too many people, apart from a few of his more sober and nasty LNP contemporaries could believably condemn “Jovial” Joe. I like the way Joe fronts up, smiles and engages all comers, including those relentless terriers of the Canberra Press Gallery. Still, Joe Hockey is often a buffoon and occasionally he could be called a knob, but upon reflection those tags could be a tad mean…and I don’t want to be mean.

Not to Good Old Joe.

“Clown” lacks the slap required here. So it’s out.

So I’ve settled on Good Old Joe the Buffoon. “Good” and  “Old” together eliminate any spite or slur from a soft insult. Akin to how Holden Caulfield (Catcher In The Rye) referred his younger sister Phoebe as “old” Phoebe.  An affectionate and frivolous term with only a small sting in its tail.

Lately, whenever Hockey speaks “off the cuff”, which is how his advisors laugh off his thoughtless statements, he almost always puts his fat foot in his mouth.

On top of failing to balance the budget, suggesting poor people don’t drive cars and people living to be 150, (Smokin’) Joe bravely marches on…proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that he’s an out of touch, “old” buffoon. Last week, when he should have been counting beans, he was patronising old punters instead.

At the launch of the Age Discrimination report, (Sloppy) Joe stupidly stated that being old was “an attitudinal thing” and that people “never really grow old in their heads.” Getting all folksy, Joe told of an encounter between his children and their 84-year-old school crossing attendant, Merv.

“Every Easter Merv puts on the bunny ears, every Christmas he wears a Santa hat. The kids love him, he loves them and he loves his job,”

“The wisdom he imparts in that brief discussion with parents and children is a reminder we never grow old.”

Then Good Old Joe dug deep into the cliché tin and grabbed the equally empty “You are only as old as you feel.”

Thanks Joe.

The Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan, who is well qualified for a lollipop lady gig at 72, basically said that if you are over 50 and unemployed, your chances of ever even getting another job interview are super slim.

Slimmer than Good Old Joe’s chances of ever being taken seriously.

Joe Hockey clearly comprehends the gravity of Ms Ryan’s report, suggesting age discrimination was “…as reprehensible as racial discrimination, and as reprehensible as religious discrimination.”

Reprehensible, so what to do about it?

Nothing, it’s way too difficult.

Much easier for Good Old Joe the buffoon to swiftly revert to hollow rhetoric with inspirational tales of an 84 year old lollipop man called Merv who wears bunny ears at Easter.

Can’t help wonder how Good Old Joe will be traveling next Easter when he chops $1.90 out of Merv’s pension cheque.

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Open Letter To Julie Bishop MP. They Smell The Urine

Dear Minister

As one of the most gifted and brighter lights in an otherwise beige Coalition sadly your thoughtless “sixty is the new forty” comment has rocketed you into early favouritism for the 2015 Joe Hockey “MOOT” award (Most Out Of Touch) politician. The crude mathematics of sixty not easily going into forty and the inevitable and embarrassing reality of relevant body parts no longer as moist or firm as they once were aside, suggest you may have totally lost touch with reality. jb #2If you were truly in touch you’d know that this country is devoutly AGEIST. You’d be aware of how grossly insensitive and hurtful your comments are. Please take some time to listen to the large and burgeoning batch of baby boomers presently looking down the barrel of oblivion triggered an by AGEIST Australia. Yes Minister an AGEIST Australia. There is an angry mob of Australians out there most of whom have worked extremely hard for the past 35-40 years and  have suddenly discovered they are too old to be employed. No longer useful. TOO OLD!!. AT 50??. It’s a brick wall they never saw. How could they foresee such a depressing outcome with the empty headed reassurances of  “sixty is the new forty” swirling around them?  And you, Minister, chose to flippantly attempt to buoy us with the dexterity and conviction of a vacuous blonde perched on the couch of a commercial  TV breakfast show. Or, if we swallow your “sixty is the new forty” formula, are you and the permanently pensioned political parasites of your ilk priming us for the harsher reality of “eighty being the new sixty”  therefore eliminating the need to pay a pension to those who reach the grand old age of 60 which in reality, according to your moronic mathematics, would be 80. May I humbly advise to you Minister  when you reach the “ripe old age” of 59, hang onto it for dear life. Because in the real world ,at 59 you are already way beyond the age at which you are considered anywhere near JB #3employable in this ageist society. We’ve been told by various members of recent governments that our “valuable” and “unique” skills were desperately needed.  To add injury to insult one intellectual midget (may have been one of your handsomely “pensioned for life” former colleagues)  suggested we postpone our retirement in order to make our “special and unique kills” available to our country a little longer. In the real world, Minister, as a 30 year media veteran with vast life experience and bucket loads of common sense I would have vigorously advised you against uttering such a stupid, airheaded and meaningless platitude. But in the real world this wouldn’t happen. Someone like me wouldn’t be employed by someone like you.  The clever country has somehow permitted a batch of HR professionals, all 28 years of age and still living at home with their parents, dumb as dog droppings but with a more degrees than a rectal thermometer and whose only gift is the rare ability to smell the fear, desperation and most relevantly the urine. You see minister you can “piss in the pockets” of 50 plus Australians as often as you want but when it comes to the reality of getting a job, a real hurdle exists. The above mentioned homogenous HR honkies who are charged with  “achieving positive outcomes” and “facilitating optimum employment pathways” smell the urine first. It saves the awkwardness of a face to face job interview during which the elephant in the room is a 50 year old applicant who is perfect for the job, but “you’re over fifty” Minister, you of all people know politics is a numbers game. Please take another look at the numbers of real Australians struggling to get a gig after 50. Minister, as your new besties in  the states say Aussies have “done the maths” on your “sixty is the new forty” and It just doesn’t add up.