Some people

If there’s anything more astounding than a candidate for high office blandly declaring that “the poor will always be with us” as an excuse for government not bothering to try to reduce homelessness, it’s people trying to defend it:

But I ask this question – to what end are we building more public housing?

Close reading of the report shows that only 1 in 8 of those classified as “homeless” are sleeping rough in parks and under bridges – most are either living in hostels, or renting where they do not have security of tenure.

And

But is it true that some homeless people are homeless by choice? A little lazy googling shows that some may be.

Astonishingly, it’s a subject that is even discussed in homeless internet forums (astonishing, for the fact that homeless people with computers exist) – but then, here they are.

First, even if it was true that “some people” chose to be homeless, many don’t: there’s a shortage of all forms of housing – public housing waiting lists are years long, hostels don’t have enough beds, and emergency housing is stretched beyond its limit. And god help you if you’ve got particular issues – a substance abuse problem, mental health issues, a bad history with a particular facility. I know the conservative line is “well, it’s your fault you developed that substance abuse problem, so why should I care?” but the reality is that these are human beings, and by abandoning them, we are literally treating them worse than criminals. It should never be impossible to find someone shelter.

Second, how appalling is the “but some people choose it” line of argument? It’s presented as if those seeking to protect people in that class are somehow taking away their freedom to choose – when the truth is that the vast majority of those affected don’t really have a choice at all. It completely misses the point – you’ll have seen it used by anti-gay bigots who argue “hey, I know several gay people who don’t care about marriage”, as if that’s some reason to deny it to the gay people who DO. And it is dishonest, because the “some homeless people” with which these people attempt to undermine the suffering of the vast majority of homeless people are not a representative sample – it might make you feel better about ignoring the homeless person at the train station, to imagine that he’s there by “choice”, but odds are that he isn’t, and your determination to make yourself feel better at the expense of helping him, is, frankly, wrong.

We’ll see if these new public housing facilities go empty, as you’d expect if these homeless people are happy on park benches. I suspect they won’t, because they’re not.

ELSEWHERE: And as for benches deliberately designed to be uncomfortable for homeless people – well, if there is a hell, the people behind them will certainly be roasting in it.

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104 responses to “Some people

  1. Jeremy
    I think that ‘boy on a Bike” makes a quite reasonable argument when he talks about the way that say homeless drug addicts prioritize their lives is more significant in their being homeless than any lack of effort by anyone trying to “fix ” homelessness.
    The problem is not just about a lack of places to call home as much as it is about people who are too fucked up to make the right decisions about the way that they live their lives. I suspect that this is what Tony Abbott was trying to suggest when he talked about “the poor will always be with us”.
    I grew up in a working class home where getting your financial priorities right was constantly reinforced , as Boy on the bike suggests you have to pay rent, food, and utility bills first before you buy recreational drink or drugs. The people who manage to do this a very seldom rendered homeless even if they do struggle to make ends meet.

  2. “the way that say homeless drug addicts prioritize their lives is more significant in their being homeless than any lack of effort by anyone trying to “fix ” homelessness.”

    The lack of support services and facilities to help addicts kick their addiction is another problem we should be addressing.

    “The problem is not just about a lack of places to call home”

    No-one said that’s “just” the problem – but it’s a major problem, and it can’t be avoided.

    I agree we should address the other issues as well, of course.

    “The people who manage to do this a very seldom rendered homeless even if they do struggle to make ends meet.”

    We’re not talking about them.

  3. Pingback: Boy on a bike speaks sense about homelessness. « IAIN HALL

  4. thevoiceofreason

    Govenments are spending all our bailing out corporates so they can receive their political donations to give a shit about the homeless. The revolution against these criminal behaviours is getting closer, meanwhile millions of homeless people with real potential and alot to offer will die so a mismanaged bank can live and it exec’s not brought to book.

  5. Jeremy I think that point of BOAB’s piece was that it is imperative that you address the substance abuse and mental health issues FIRST. Doing so only as an “add on” to giving the homeless free lodgings is actually bound to fail.

  6. Seeing the BOAB and AnonLefty posts, it seems that treating whatever problems they have which may have caused their homlessness, and provide some basic (apartment,unit, etc.) shelter depending on their situation.

  7. It’s not an either-or, Iain. We should do both. But you and BOAB are choosing to attack the public housing rather than the inadequacy of the other services.

    BTW, those other services are futile if we can’t house the people trying to reform.

  8. People ‘choose’ to be homeless because of mental illness or domestic violence as well. In many ways these are the people who are the easiest to help: simply provide more and more adequate services to support them. Abbott’s comments are vile and anyone who defends them equally so.

  9. “Disciplinary Architecture”

    Thats just great.

  10. And god help you if you’ve got particular issues – a substance abuse problem, mental health issues, a bad history with a particular facility. I know the conservative line is “well, it’s your fault you developed that substance abuse problem, so why should I care?” but the reality is that these are human beings, and by abandoning them, we are literally treating them worse than criminals. It should never be impossible to find someone shelter.

    DING!

    the vast majority of those affected don’t really have a choice at all. It completely misses the point – you’ll have seen it used by anti-gay bigots who argue “hey, I know several gay people who don’t care about marriage”, as if that’s some reason to deny it to the gay people who DO.

    DING DING DING!

    He wasn’t saying it to get into a discussion of the varying levels of autonomy amongst different people who are homeless (a valid discussion, although I’d argue a damaging and disrailing one to bring up at that point even if it was your intention); he was saying it to keep out of a discussion of anything we should actually be doing, as part of the system, to HELP homeless people. ‘Cus, y’know, that’s hard.

    Sidenote: out of genuine curiosity, and with no accusation, does Gavin Atkin’s comment “astonishing, for the fact that homeless people with computers exist” astound anyone else? Is the experience of sitting next to a homeless person at a library terminal something others don’t experience? (And I’m only speaking of times I’ve been able to tell, at a glance, that that guy over there is homeless – scratching the surface I dare say.) Could you look into writing by homeless people without realising that many access that public service, and many others can own one expensive piece of technology without owning a house, holding a career or having quite the skills to navigate other systems?

  11. Confessions
    Many Junkies and the mentally ill are actually resistant to being effectively helped no matter how hard we try. Do you think that they should consequently locked up for their own good just to keep a roof over their heads?
    Jeremy
    I agree that it does not have to be an either or situation but you have to ask which is actually more important to address first?

  12. No, you don’t. Why can’t they be done at the same time?

  13. Do you think that they should consequently locked up for their own good just to keep a roof over their heads?

    Did I say that Iain?

    No?

    Try again.

  14. Many Junkies and the mentally ill are actually resistant to being effectively helped no matter how hard we try.

    That looks suspiciously like another of your ill-informed sweeping generalisations that isn’t supported by evidence.

    “Many” Iain?

    Try again.

  15. I didn’t want to comment here, but since one of my favorite ever (sometime) “homeless” people died today.

    Some people obviously have no clue.

    BOAB is a wanker, obviously, cos he thinks that being temporarily away from home is the same as not actually having one.

    He is right that substance abuse and mental illness need to be addressed (one good point in a page full of garbage). Of course dealing with a drug or mental problem is alot easier with a stable place to call home.

    Addiction is an illness, so of course the best option is to criminalise people then further punitively deny them access to what we consider basic human rights. Its always easier to treat people when you don’t know where to find them.

    As for poverty, people obviously deserve everything they get. If you are poor its your own fault. There are rich people around, why aren’t you one?

    Thats all there is to it.

    Right Iain?

    (And writing posts that are against helping the homeless… thats basically using your blog to troll isn’t it. I mean really. No one is actually that much of a scumbag are they? Really?

    I don’t believe it. It must be trolling.)

  16. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    The lack of support services and facilities to help addicts kick their addiction is another problem we should be addressing.

    What on earth do you mean by this? Have you ever had any contact with the world of drug addiction?

    The other great boost to the size of the homeless population was de-institutionalisation of the mentally ill.

  17. Skepticus Autartikus

    Annie

    Whenever I sit next to a homeless person ANYWHERE, I very quickly move, coz they stink to high heaven.

  18. “What on earth do you mean by this? Have you ever had any contact with the world of drug addiction?”

    Yes.

    “The other great boost to the size of the homeless population was de-institutionalisation of the mentally ill.”

    Yes.

  19. Skepticus Autartikus

    Well then what do you mean by what I quoted?

  20. I mean there are not enough such services, obviously.

  21. Skepticus Autartikus

    What services?

  22. Jules: I’m sorry your friend died that’s so sad.

    I wasn’t going to engage Iain about this issue either, for the reasons you state but then he went and misrepresented my comment. And what kind of a creep defends Abbott’s heartless remarks FFS?!

    And in fact I won’t engage with ian further: piss off Iain and misrepresent someone else.

  23. “What services?”

    “support services and facilities to help addicts kick their addiction”

    Can’t you read?

  24. Skepticus Autartikus

    Yes I can read Jeremy, and as I presume you can also, I’ll ask again what “support services and facilities?”

  25. SA: support services and facilities varies depending on what particular determinant you want to address. Why don’t you pick one and we can discuss that?

  26. Skepticus Autartikus

    Happy to. All I am doing is asking Jeremy to get the ball rolling about what he meant in the first place.

  27. So which determinant of homelessness do you pick?

  28. Confessions – they weren’t someone I knew well, but I knew them on and off for years and they were really … the world’s a better place cos of some people I spose.

    Often those people need support our society doesn’t provide. They get labelled as various sorts of mad and medicated into numbness or left to fend for themselves.

    Sometimes they are suffering from PTSD, war vets, or victims of child abuse. Often war vets are trained in violence, and thats how they express themselves, so they do cause some havoc, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are suffering from something that changes their behaviour.)

    Of course there are people with some serious mental conditions too, not just PTSD, but when I read crap like:

    “Many Junkies and the mentally ill are actually resistant to being effectively helped no matter how hard we try.”

    I just want to spew.

    As jeremy points out, there is nothing like an appropriate response to these problems being implemented now, so hearing people trying to justify the reduction of other forms of support by using the failure of society to deal with the problem as a reason to do nothing about it…

    Idiot.

    Going on about “priority choices”.

    I know I can score some smack and stop this pounding in my head, or sit down and budget so I can fit a ski trip and an extension in next year.

    I wonder how I should order my priorities?

    Iain???

    These things don’t exist in isolation. They all are all part of feedback loops and the reduction of support to addicts (of any kind whose addiction makes it impossible for them to function in society,) or mad people exacerbates homelessness, and domestic violence (which is the biggest cause of homelessness in Australia.)

    Sure people are sposed to be responsible for their choices, but sometimes, for reasons beyond their control, people are “victims” of chains of bad choices that run back before they reached puberty, sometimes from just after they learned to talk.

    Where are they sposed to have learned all the skills you or I might have to deal with issues and make sensible choices? Especially if they struggle to be rational at the best of times (due to illness of some kind.)

    It obviously suits some people to have an underclass to whip and this motivates them to kick people lower down the social scale. I’m gonna develop some guidelines, call it a syndrome and get it in the next DSM.

    Emphobiapathy might be a good name.

    (It means you are scared of empathy or don’t give a fuck about people.)

  29. Skepticus Autartikus

    The one Jeremy raised; drug addiction.

  30. jules: I get the concept of a weaving in and out of your life friend – I have one.

    DV is *so* linked to homelessness, especially for people in rural and remote areas where there are no services, or what services do exist are known in the community and so the victim doesn’t feel safe. We have exactly that problem in the town where I live. A group of us are trying to get the useless state goverment to give us a ‘shelter’ about 50kms away so that women who need somewhere to go don’t have to go the city – hundreds of kms away and where they might be isolated from extended family or need someone else to take them there.

    The Iains and BOABs of this world with their ignorant rantings are just tools. Don;’t take their stupidity on board cause you know you have greater insight and empathy than they do. And I hope your friend who weaved in and out of your life is in peace, wherever s/he may be now.

  31. The one Jeremy raised; drug addiction.

    Oh goody I was hoping you’d choose that one!

    People with substance addiction need early and intensive intervention. This can take the form of GP brief intervention (google that if you don’t know what it means), through to more intensive psychological and therapeutical interventions, and even encompass hospitalisation for hard core alcohol addiction where detoxing requires medical supervision.

    Sadly these services are becoming less and less available to the mainstream, due to a reduction in the number of GPs who bulk bill, the waiting lists to access primary health care, the sheer inadequecy of such services in rural/remote areas, the stress on ED and the lack of continuity of care for people presenting at ED with substance addiction, and inappropriateness and ineffectiveness of mainstream services to cultural and ethnic minorities. Add to that the stigma that some people feel when utilising addiction counselling services, esp men btw.

    Sometimes for people so affected the easiest thing to do is simply ‘disappear your life’. I knew a man (an alcoholic and senior executive) who did just that. He left his partner, his job, his life and went to live on the streets because of the shame of accessing appropriate alcohol addiction programs, and because the only real program that he felt he could access in the first place was AA – completely unresourced to tackle the problems this man had.

    The integrated care model that is being introduced into PHC facilities at the moment is great, but they are under-resourced, they can barely cope with the patient load they have now, and those people are your standard patients who present at GP clinics.: colds and flu and immunisations. A question was asked of the PM at the community cabinet in ballarat today on this very issue of GP ‘super clinics’.

    We also need to reorient the intervention programs we deliver to ‘at risk’ people. If the man i knew had had a home based intervention, he might of stayed with his family and not gone to the streets. We’ll never know. There’s heaps else I can write about this, but the comment box on this blog is not conducive to long posts so will leave it there.

  32. I have a quite a few of those friends confessions. I don’t do social networking and they are scattered around the country and the world. But you catch up and its like no time has passed.

    Tho the longer you live the less you have.

    Scraping the methadone program, legalising heroin and making it available on medicare would probably go some way toward mitigating the effect of drug addiction on homelessness.

  33. “Emphobiapathy might be a good name.”

    Good idea Jules, but you’re too late. This disorder already has a name…

    Libertarianism.

    “A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.

    Libertarianism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/libertarianism_defined.php

  34. In newspeak, the victims we will have with us always. This is of course wonderful news for the victim pimps who have built their lives and careers on victim advocacy.

    Now that no child has lived in poverty since 1990, it is time for another Prime Minister to make another rash unachievable promise for political gain. Rudd has at least hedged a little more and made sure the deadline is a distant time at which he will be unaccountable, having left office by then. Good on Abbott for not playing this sick delusional game.

    Rudd’s stated goal is emblematic of his style – the worthless promise of an empty suit.

    The intractable problem of dealing with the intellectually impaired and the drug-fucked at the margins of society is not helped by Rudd’s cheap promises and callous gamesmanship.

    The issue has served only as a signal to every spigot of slander sleaze and solipsism to soak us with the salty spray of their self-righteous self-love.

  35. At least Hawke dared to use the word “poverty”.

    At least Rudd dares to use the word “homelessness”. Much in the same way he dared to use the word “sorry” AND ACTUALLY MEAN IT. Notwithstanding the perceived lack of action since that word was spoken.

    And for that matter, SB, the Hawke Government did in fact implement a raft of measures to try to achieve the aim he proposed (and in fact his comment was wrongly worded – the original wording was “No child SHOULD be living in poverty by 1990”. For some reason he cocked up the speech)

  36. Duncan, I was thinking that, but I actually know (via teh internet) quite a few left leaning libertarians in the US.

    Not like Ron Paul at all.

    Lets look at the actual statement tho:

    “The poor you will always have will you.”

    It is one of those things that probably stands up to a rigourous mathematical examination.

    If you look at the distributions of wealth, (you know the one – 1 % of the population own 400% of the wealth or whatever it is…)

    It seems to follow a power law distribution.

    There seems to be a natural tendency in unregulated systems for such distributions to occur, so it makes sense that there’s one that maps the way wealth/”access to resources” is distributed.

    It implies that inequality is a scientific or a mathematical law in unregulated systems, probably in regulated ones too. But perhaps regulated systems can change the gradient of the distribution. preferably to lower it.

    Of course the right prefers its social hierarchy so they love this fact.

    They use it as an excuse to do nothing, perhaps realising that the higher up the pile you are the more you have of what would be “other people’s share” if things were distributed evenly.

    So ultimately how you react to the original statement about always having the poor with you pretty much says what sort of person you are.

    Abbot reacted to with indifference and some of the earlier commentators with worse.

    Funny that given how religious they are sposed to be too, the right always completely miss the point of the story too.

  37. hey i know what would really truly really help the poor…………tax cuts …..and reduce welfare………..how is that going too help…ahem…u know ….those that will always be there

  38. The left had their shot with communism – more people killed than ever before in history. At least the smart ones have given that nightmare away!

    Now they merely try to to subvert the system by degrees. They have billions of ideas about spending money, but absolutely no idea about generating the wealth they would distribute. Insatiable whiners one and all.

  39. “The left had their shot with communism – more people killed than ever before in history.”

    Fine – the right had their shot with fascism. Millions upon millions killed.

    POLITICS SOLVED.

  40. Skepticus Autartikus

    Oh come on Jeremy, ‘fascism’ only evolved as a national defence against Communist incursion and imperialism. It was confined to a handful of countries, and lasted little more than a decade. To even attempt to compare the evil of Communism and its ghoulish toll on the 20th century is obscene and offensive in the extreme.

  41. Um, what? You’re standing up for the evils of fascism?

  42. Skepticus Autartikus

    WOW! What university taught you that style of logic? You know, the one that presumes no comprehension ability.

  43. You’re the one who objected to comparing Hitler with Stalin.

    Of course, the truth is that both were evil – they were totalitarian dictators. That was their real ideology. No-one here, on either side, shares their contempt for human life and their love of tyranny and violence.

    Thus it is offensive in the extreme to smear lefties as somehow having something in common with the monsters who claimed they were “communist”, as SB did above. It’s as stupid as claiming that right-wingers are like Hitler – hence my point.

    It strikes me as weird that anyone would object to comparing the two – that anyone would seek to minimise the evil of either of them.

  44. When I asked SA to pick a determinant of homelessness to discuss, I thought SA was only pressing the matter to try and get one up on Jeremy, but game him/her the benefit of the doubt.

    Now it seems my original suspicion was right, because instead of responding to informed and intelligent comments from myself and jules, suddenly SA is no longer interested in the debate about homelessness, but has found yet another way to try to get one up on Jeremy: an irrelevent and useless debate about communism vs fascism. I guess the truth about Abbott’s appalling comments is too difficult for some to face.

  45. Good point – I shouldn’t have bitten.

    Everyone back on topic – homelessness.

  46. no such thing as homeless….
    its all about voluntarily sleeping under the stars for all……

    disgusting righties…..you have no ideas……..all you can offer is discredited trickle down humbug

  47. should have added….seriously are some here suggesting being poor is voluntary….therefore NOTHING should be done…or have they something more than…. government is the problem …..and reducing welfare….and give tax cuts to taxpayers is the answer…..ummmm most poor would consider it a bonza to be able to pay tax……… doesn’t matter it will boil down to the poor WANT TO BE POOR…SO ITS ALL THEIR FAULT……thats how some sleep at night……the eternal F U JACK….
    come on do better than that ……..tax cuts and reduce welfare…..yep thats what will solve all our problems……….huge success over last 30 to 40 years thats been…crumbling infrastructure and services to citizens while the top 5% have done?..

  48. Funny that given how religious they are sposed to be too, the right always completely miss the point of the story too.

    jules: there’s a certain authoritarianism to Abbott which explains his ‘let them eat cake’ remark about homeless people. It kind of reminds me of monarchists and the argument that from strong social heirarchies comes social order so long as everyone is kept in their place.

    It’s highly offensive firstly because it seeks to deny people the opportunity to improve their lives, and secondly is defeatist if not classist. It’s very authoritarian. And while you wonder about a religious man being uncharitable, how does a pro-lifer have such callous disregard for his fellow human beings?

  49. Pro life, just not for actual human beings.

  50. bottom line show me where trickle down humbug and tax cuts have worked in real life not some accounting bizzaro world theory written by the Vienna school students

  51. Tax cuts for the wealthy benefit nobody but the wealthy.

  52. bingo …..and no surprises who FINANCES….Those so called ummmmmm “cough” institutes with phony prestigious names….who would have you believe tax cuts are for the the common good……..( holds up inverted two fingers) cough….

  53. before some jump in….must i point out the words……COMMON GOOD…… or do them words not exist in their vocabulary ……
    not me me me or the individual knows best

  54. final point snake oil salesman of the right is simply………are you saying the children of the poor deserve to sleep out looking at the stars(lucky them hey)….or they should be taken away and given to the NANNY STATE

  55. Common good sounds to much like communism for my liking….

  56. Please hold your fire!!

    I’m not defending Abbott, but I’m really uncomfortable with the way that these comments have been reported.

    I’m especially uncomfortable with the way Michael Perusco has taken this one statement out of context and used it to promote his own agenda in The Age.

    CathNews published a piece which reproduces more of the speech from which the quote was pulled.
    The broader context offered reveals that Abbott’s bible reference was not the ‘let them eat cake’ quip that the broader media was reporting.

    From where I’m sitting, Mr. Perusco’s cherry picking of one line from a more nuanced speech is reminiscent of the ‘journalistic’ style of Piers Akerman or Andrew Bolt.
    And aren’t we supposed to despise that kind of thing?

    There are plenty of things for which we can attack Abbott… but this isn’t really one of them.

    In a week when we progressives were smug enough to admonish people who didn’t check original sources, it’s a bit dissappointing to see the same thing happening here.

    Let’s not waste more time with bagatelles and confected scandals.

    Cheers.

  57. Marek Bage: If that is the whole statement then in many ways it’s even worse than a casual throw-away line!

    The Prime Minister has asked for bipartisan support to halve homelessness in 10 years – not an unrealistic achievement IMO. Abbott has refused to give it on the basis that “we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice, or if their situation is such that it is just impossible to look after them under certain circumstances”. If the PM was seeking to eliminate homelessness altogether then Abbott’s comment would make sense, but all he wants is support to halve the number.

    Abbott then uses the opportunity to take a swipe at Rudd’s ego. I’m sorry but I’m sticking with the callous disregard for fellow human beings call I made from the start.

  58. From Marek’s CathNews link:

    “Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has dismayed welfare services by declining to match the Rudd government’s goal to halve homelessness by 2020, saying governments cannot stop people from being homeless “if that’s their choice”. ‘

    IT isn’t. That’s a misleading and lame response to the issue, which is making sure that homeless people aren’t homeless because there are no options available to them.

    “”There’s got to be emergency accommodation for people or systems to provide emergency accommodation for people who’ve got big problems and … we can do all of those things and we must do them better as time goes by,” Mr Abbott was reported as saying.”

    Obviously, which is what the government is talking about.

    “”But we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice, or if their situation is such that it is just impossible to look after them under certain circumstances so I would rephrase a commitment like that. “

    What percentage of homeless people does Tony imagine are homeless “by choice”? And what are these “certain circumstances” in which it’s “impossible to look after them” and government should just give up?

    No, this wasn’t innocent. He was making excuses for inaction on homelessness – the first line of attack being the suggestion that we don’t need to worry about it because a significant number are homeless by “choice”.

  59. And his remarks reek of authoritainism. He’s so much worse than Howard.

  60. thevoiceofreason

    “callous disregard for fellow human beings”

    This is the rights shame. The wealth and income devide they hope to future widen makes no economic sense. As the body count rises they buy bigger and bigger boats they never use, signed for in blood. Callous murders.

  61. I agree Confessions and Jeremy.

    At least now we’re critiquing Abbott for the whole substance of what he said in that speech and not a cherry-picked line.

    BTW, here’s that selectively quoted line within it’s proper context;

    “You know politicians love to make big heroes of themselves by making these sweeping statements and yet I, who was it who said ‘the poor you have with you always?’ … you know everyone in the Catholic tradition is trying to build a better world.

    “But we know this one is never going to be perfect and that doesn’t stop us, doesn’t excuse us from trying to do better, but it should caution us against thinking that we are going to achieve heaven on earth. It just can’t be done.”

    How is that a ‘let them eat cake’ statement?
    How does this show a ‘callous disregard for fellow human beings’?

    The above quote shows a defeatist attitude, uses a serious issue as a political football and uses the bible as cover for political temerity.
    However, it does not make Abbott into an authoritarian monster.

    There are plenty of other quotes that do that!

    Cheers.

  62. Marek Bage: because he is talking about a disenfranchised, disadvantaged group of people. Play politics with the economy, invoke the bible to make a point about debt, and attack the PM’s ego in respect to the republic debate, but don’t try to score political points with those who aren’t in a position to fight back. The Libs always do this, whether it’s aboriginals, asylum seekers or gay people. It’s hardwired into their brains as far as I’m concerned. Callous, just fucking callous.

  63. I don’t think the quote was “cherry-picked”. I think it summed up the point he was making very well – it’s just that the point in question is monstrous.

  64. I’ve just read this article by Peter Hartcher in which he describes the Liberals strategy under Abbott as being very similar to the Repubs in the US: oppose, oppose, oppose in the hope of de-legitimising the PM in order to crash his popularity. Hartcher mentions the opposition to a bipartisan support for addressing homelessness.

    So it would seem Abbott’s strategy was to simply oppose the offer for the sake of opposing, and he’s had to cobble together some half arsed excuse for doing so, which would suggest his words are deliberate. Sorry Marek, but the more I delve into this teh worse it gets for Abbott.

  65. I know more than a few people who voted for the Libs under Howard, and even they think Abbott is an arsehole.

    I reckon Abbott is well on the way to alienating the more moderate or” swinging” Liberal voters, all the while pandering to the hard right, who would have voted for him anyway.

    The man is an imbecile, and the Libs are going to get utterly demolished at the next election.

  66. Abbott tries dog whistling on the death penalty. Can someone please explain how a pro-lifer can support the death penalty in any circumstance?

  67. troll calling himself confessions whose IP Jeremy just banned

    Abbott no doubt has got a big cock.

    Have you seen him in his speedo’s?

  68. Pity its on his shoulders fake confessions.

  69. troll calling himself confessions whose next IP Jeremy just banned

    Thank you Jeremy.

  70. LOL I’ve got a constant groupie fan base who just wanna be me – 6pm and 10:05pm. Lucky me.

    The other thing that struck me with Tone’s stems from the response he gave the other week to the Closing the Gap annual report to parliament. Abbott for some reason seemed to invoke a stolen generations rebuttal where he praised the work of the missionaries and those from a forgotten era for the work they’d done.

    But his acceptance that there will always be Teh Poor seems a bit of a slap in the face to those Catholic agencies who have been busily working away to help the poor since before Borat was born. What a creep!

  71. “LOL I’ve got a constant groupie fan base who just wanna be me – 6pm and 10:05pm. Lucky me.”

    I don’t get the point. Why you? Why me? Why waste so much time on easily-fixed trolling? What does he or she hope to achieve?

  72. What i find a rel hoot among the faux indignation about Tony Abbott’s comments is that you all seem to be ignoring this part of what he actually said:

    “There’s got to be emergency accommodation for people or systems to provide emergency accommodation for people who’ve got big problems and … we can do all of those things and we must do them better as time goes by,” Mr Abbott was reported as saying.
    Cathnews

    Anyone would think that what Rudd is saying is that “no person will be without a home by,,,,” or some other platitude the reality is that the best that we can hope to do with this problem is to provide emergency accommodation for those that need it . We are simply incapable of actually ending the problem, no amount of public spending will create a saftey net that catches every, junkie , social misfit or mentally ill person. This is why I am personally a great fan of the “street swag” way of helping those who are otherwise resistant to help. Even those who work to help the homeless realize that just providing more housing is not going to solve the problem. As BOAB correctly points out the primary problem for most peopel sleeping rough is their “issues” (like substance abuse) will always undermine any efforts to re house them.
    What Tony abbot is doing is not showing contempt for the homeless, he is recognizing that accommodation issue is really not the central problem for these broken peopel and that no matter what efforts we actually make to address their plight that there will always be many who can not ever be truly “saved” by the intervention of charity.

  73. “you all seem to be ignoring this part of what he actually said”

    No, we’re not – it was an insincere sop considering the rest of what he said, which was undermining efforts to improve facilities to help the homeless, including by making the vacuous and misleading suggestion that they’re homeless “by choice”.

    “the reality is that the best that we can hope to do with this problem is to provide emergency accommodation for those that need it”

    No, it isn’t.

    “We are simply incapable of actually ending the problem, no amount of public spending will create a saftey net that catches every, junkie , social misfit or mentally ill person.”

    Why? Why are we not capable of creating a safety net that means that any junkie, social misfit or mentally-ill person has an option of a roof over their head on any given night?

    “Even those who work to help the homeless realize that just providing more housing is not going to solve the problem. “

    You keep saying that as if we reckon we should stop at providing housing. We’ve regularly pointed out that governments need to provide better assistance for substance-affected or mentally-ill people.

    “he is recognizing that accommodation issue is really not the central problem for these broken peopel”

    That’s fatuous – the point is that we do not have enough emergency housing to meet demand.

    “there will always be many who can not ever be truly “saved” by the intervention of charity.”

    Even if that were true – what’s your point? That government shouldn’t bother? That it shouldn’t be a priority? That we shouldn’t care?

    Because that’s what we’re talking about. Government taking some steps to redress the problem. Abbott is opposing those steps. His opposition, which he seeks to justify with bullshit suggestions like it’s their choice or it’s impossible to save them all anyway, is indeed showing contempt for the homeless.

  74. every, junkie , social misfit or mentally ill person.

    This is really the description Tone Borat wanted to express of the homeless, but of course doesn’t have the ability to speak as freely as Abbottophile Iain. This is exactly the reaction to the disadvantaged I’d expect from the caring, sharing Right.

    I don’t get the point. Why you? Why me? Why waste so much time on easily-fixed trolling? What does he or she hope to achieve?

    Just another loser trying to play in the big people’s tent.

  75. No, we’re not – it was an insincere sop considering the rest of what he said, which was undermining efforts to improve facilities to help the homeless, including by making the vacuous and misleading suggestion that they’re homeless “by choice”.

    I think that the problem here that you are having is all about that rather misleading term “homelessness” As The BOAB pointed out in his piece that term can be taken to mean all sorts of people who have a rather insecure and transient accommodation paradigm thus people living in boarding houses or hostels are under the broadest definition “homeless” But that is a rather misleading definition which does to sit well with the public who consider that “the homeless” actually refers to those who sleep on the streets or the parks. And it looks to me that it is that definition that is in play with Tony Abbott’s comments. If what you are arguing refers to the broadest definition of homelessness and what you are really saying is that you want to see that everyone in insecure accommodation have more security of tenure I will concede that there is merit in that argument. But if you are arguing that all of the “rough sleepers” the junkies , the mentally ill, and the just plain irrevocably broken people can be saved then you are deluded, It is this latter group of homeless people who I am talking about when I say this:

    “the reality is that the best that we can hope to do with this problem is to provide emergency accommodation for those that need it”

    and it is why I think the problem is actually resistant to being “cured” as Rudd is trying to suggests that it can be.

    “We are simply incapable of actually ending the problem, no amount of public spending will create a saftey net that catches every, junkie , social misfit or mentally ill person.”

    Why? Why are we not capable of creating a safety net that means that any junkie, social misfit or mentally-ill person has an option of a roof over their head on any given night?

    We are incapable of doing it quite simply because of the nature of the problem, Junkies mentally ill people or drunks who end up living on the streets do so because something in their personalities. It is not just about “giving them the option” many of them end up where they are because when given the option they fail to pay rent or do the right thing in the options that they have been given in the past. I personally know one young chap who has spent a great deal of time in his life spinning the “poor pitiful me ” line to a whole string of different family members and professional do-gooders and they move heaven and earth to get him accommodation to provide for his needs and to give him the validation as a victim that he craves yet time after time he turns around and does not live up to the expectations that he should pay his bills or not to trash all that they have arranged for him.

    “Even those who work to help the homeless realize that just providing more housing is not going to solve the problem. “

    You keep saying that as if we reckon we should stop at providing housing. We’ve regularly pointed out that governments need to provide better assistance for substance-affected or mentally-ill people.

    I have never said that we should “stop providing housing” I am in fact a great supporter of the notion of affordable public housing (having lived in it during my childhood) But during my time I have seen some public housing horribly abused by tenants who won’t keep it clean or who won’t pay their rent on a regular basis or even just be good neighbours. Just what do we do with people who turn their accommodations into health hazards, are horrible to live near, or who won’t pay their rent in public housing?

    “he is recognizing that accommodation issue is really not the central problem for these broken people”

    That’s fatuous – the point is that we do not have enough emergency housing to meet demand.

    No Jeremy it is not fatuous at all, Homelessness is a symptom of their problems and not the sum total of their problem As BOAB pointed out you can take that Meth addict and set them up in a quite respectable flat and before long that flat will be uninhabitable either through neglect or drug fueled destruction. What you think will solve teh problem is really little more than putting a bread poultice on a syphilitic canker, it may cover the sore but it won’t treat the infection. But if you treat the infection the poultice will be unnecessary.

    “there will always be many who can not ever be truly “saved” by the intervention of charity.”

    Even if that were true – what’s your point? That government shouldn’t bother? That it shouldn’t be a priority? That we shouldn’t care?

    Of course we as a society should care and it is reasonable to expect that our government should help to solve the problem I have the utmost respect for those who spend their time helping the needy but given how broken many of these people actually are I think that you have a most unrealistic expectation that the majority of them can be reintegrated into the social mainstream. The thing is you have to consider just what is it that those who sleep rough really need and at its most basic it is protection from the rain and the cold. This can be achieved by giving them suitable sleeping gear (the street swags I have previously mentioned) and perhaps a place to keep their possessions during the day

    Because that’s what we’re talking about. Government taking some steps to redress the problem. Abbott is opposing those steps. His opposition, which he seeks to justify with bullshit suggestions like it’s their choice or it’s impossible to save them all anyway, is indeed showing contempt for the homeless.

    We all make choices in our lives that have consequences that we did not imagine when we make those decision. The unforeseen consequences do not magically have some other cause if they are unpleasant. The street sleepers almost certainly have not consciously chosen to sleep rough but they have almost without exception made a whole lot other choices that have led them to their current circumstances. As a lefty you might not like it but the truth is that most people have agency over what they do with their lives and often they do things that are profoundly against their own best interests.

    Finally what the opposition is opposing is the way that the government is proposing to approach this problem and Tony Abbott is clearly presenting a far better understanding of the problem that either Kevin Rudd or you are.

  76. What’s the point? He just doesn’t get it.

    Iain, the Opposition isn’t proposing any of the things you think are necessary, either – they’re just opposing making public housing a priority.

    Housing is not the whole solution, but it’s definitely part of it.

    Your bullshit efforts in your second last paragraph to blame the homeless are nothing more than an excuse for you to justify to yourself not pushing for any change.

  77. Jeez Iain that was terrible.

    “But if you are arguing that all of the “rough sleepers” the junkies , the mentally ill, and the just plain irrevocably broken people can be saved then you are deluded,”

    No he wasn’t but thats no reason to stop the programs they can use to save themselves. perhaps its only 5% that can’t be “saved”.

    “We are incapable of doing it quite simply because of the nature of the problem, Junkies mentally ill people or drunks who end up living on the streets do so because something in their personalities.”

    Well D’ah.

    You are right tho. Fuck ’em.

    “I personally know one young chap …”

    And thats the basis of this litany of social Darwinism you’ve just come out with…

    “As BOAB pointed out you can take that Meth addict and set them up in a quite respectable flat and before long that flat will be uninhabitable either through neglect or drug fueled destruction.”

    What Meth addict?

    Some hypothetical non existent example you and BOAB have just made up to justify your bigotry.

    “I imagine all speed freaks behave a certain way, so I’m gonna use that to justify why I don’t have to care about ‘teh homelesses’.”

    (Have you ever been in a speed freaks flat after they have just had some?

    Notice what they do for the next 4 hours? Clean the place up. Non stop. They’ll mop the kitchen floor for the third time that night cos its better than sitting still for 5 minutes while they wait for a Taxi.)

  78. all sorts of people who have a rather insecure and transient accommodation paradigm

    Is this anything like having an ungrammatical and bigoted blog;ing ‘paradigm’?

  79. “The street sleepers almost certainly have not consciously chosen to sleep rough but they have almost without exception made a whole lot other choices that have led them to their current circumstances. As a lefty you might not like it but the truth is that most people have agency over what they do with their lives and often they do things that are profoundly against their own best interests.”

    So is that what you mean by “choosing” homelessness?

  80. What’s the point? He just doesn’t get it.

    No, he doesn’t and I’m surprised you are continuing. Iain is on the wrong side of public opinion on so many issues: climate change, same sex marriage, and for all I know the death penalty (haven’t seen recent polling on that so can’t say for sure). No doubt there are some Australians who would take Iain’s views on homelessness, but I bet they aren’t in the majority.

  81. I don’t know – there’s a strong selfish streak among many economically conservative Australians, and it would suit them to convince themselves that it’s all homeless people’s fault so we don’t need to do anything about it – least of all spending TAXPAYERS’ MONEY on HOUSING for DRUG ADDICTS AND LOSERS.

    That’s how those people think. They have a bit of a conscience – shouldn’t I be worried about the downtrodden at all? – which is why they’re so keen to believe that it’s their own CHOICE, their own FAULT.

    As if that relieves us from the responsibility of caring for them.

  82. I think your being a bit harsh on people. When Rudd government first came in and announced they would tackle homelessness he got a pretty good response from the public. It was only Bolt and his sheep who were derisive, presumably preferring the do-nothing approach.

    My view is if you put the question to the public about trying to halve homelessness, or doing nothing because there will always be homeless, people would prefer to at least have a go.

  83. At least I would hope they would!

  84. “…there’s a strong selfish streak among many economically conservative Australians…” – Jeremy

    Its not just Australian conservatives, or Australians for that matter.

    But there is an element of conservative politics that appeals to that selfish mentality. Tax cuts for the wealthy anyone? (Tax cuts for the wealthy isn’t just about selfishness either, but it is something that resonates with the selfish memes inhabiting our neurology.)

    “That’s how those people think. They have a bit of a conscience – shouldn’t I be worried about the downtrodden at all? – which is why they’re so keen to believe that it’s their own CHOICE, their own FAULT.”

    I don’t think thats too harsh at all.

    Its not like not every “conservative” ends up ignoring their conscience either. Regardless of what Iain does or thinks in his real life, his online personality is all about conservative dogma, or the conservative belief system.

    We all do the same thing to some extent (whether we are leftist or rightist rootards, anarchists or librarians or whatever), but especially when the discussion gets polarised around the left and right.

    The map isn’t the territory.

    Having said that:

    The worst side of the political right thrives on divisions between people. Thats why these ideas are constantly surfacing in their discourse. I doubt most people who identify with the conservative side of politics would actually think that way when confronted with the situation in front of them. With real people and their suffering.

    And I doubt Iain turned his back on his young drug pig acquaintance at the first opportunity either.

    But its the idea thats appalling – the idea that you can judge and write off someone without ever having known them. Someone who, for whatever reason, is struggling in our society.

    That bell doesn’t just toll for them.

  85. Jules: Iain is no conservative which is why I highlighted his divorce from the mainstream thinking on many issues. Iain is a radical who *thinks* he’s a conservative.

  86. Confessions I did write this:

    “Regardless of what Iain does or thinks in his real life, his online personality is all about conservative dogma, or the conservative belief system.”

    I dunno him, never met him, he may not exist., but the posts that are attributed to Iain Hall, on his blog and the many he comments on have given me the impression that he is a “conservative”.

    That wasn’t my point tho.

    We are all people, and thats something that impossible to define on its own. So when we want to identify ourselves or others we pick these categories to describe what we think we are, or what we think what we are trying to describe is. Thats a part of human nature I think.

    Iain and BoaB are parroting ‘conservative’ talking points. Some I happen to agree with.

    For example “personal responsibility”.

    I also used to be a “meth addict”. Every day i’d inject amphetamine, usually methamphetamine if it was available, sometimes (often) for over a week, non stop. Try not sleeping for a week and see what happens… thats a whole other drug in itself.

    I honestly didn’t think I’d live this long in the early 90s. Didn’t think I’d make it out of the last century, and didn’t really care. Tho I certainly didn’t have to deal with some of the issues my fellow drug pigs did. It wasn’t a “poor me” thing, just inchoate rage and the buzz of being on the edge

    It was my choice to do all that, and my choice to get my shit together. I wouldn’t change any of it. Even the worst times of me at my worst – cos thats what made me who I am now, and I got here on my own, with no support beyond my friends and family. But I was never on the streets. No fixed abode sure. But I always had a home and a family if I needed it.

    I have a few dead friends from that time. Probably more now, it was a long time ago, and not everyone got out.

    So you know, I’m a living example of what they are talking about, and they don’t have a clue. Over the last 15 years I made my community a better place. There are things that probably wouldn’t have happened without me, that my community still benefits from.

    I’m not trying to brag. My friends who got their lives together have followed similar paths, and I’ll bet there are countless people I have never met, and will never know about that have done the same, and probably left the world a far better place than I ever will.

    Thats why those particular talking points – “Responsibility and choice” shit me to tears.

    Not to mention the pathetic invocation of some mythological “meth head”. The drug fucked people who are on the streets and hopeless, really are. They are damaged people and you obviously have no idea how damaged if you think they can just opt to walk away. The vast majority are not like that at all.

    Their life is hell, and more often than not they are incapable of actually conceiving that they have a choice, that it doesn’t have to be that way.

    They often feel they deserve all the shit they get too, on a meta level, that deep down they are worthless. Human scum. But they also know they aren’t and the cognitive dissonance this causes results in pain and further contributes to the problem.

    No self worth is one of the biggest barriers for people to actually get their shit together and live meaningful lives that benefit the world.

    And when people go on about the undeserving poor deserving everything they get it just reinforces that lack of self worth. You may as well “We don’t give a fuck about you, you don’t belong in our society and the world would be better off (and so would we) if you curled up and died now.”

    Anyway thats a little to much information’ I’m sure.

    Especially as I’ve abandoned the pretense of internet anonymity. You can go directly from this comment to my name if you want, and my name is actually pretty damn rare.

    But its worth outing myself as a former injecting drug addict to make the point that abandoning people in the position I was in years ago is retarded and damages society. Well a worse position. It demeans all of us and goes against everything I thought living in my society, community, country or whatever was all about.

    Not to mention the fucking slander about trashing flats.

  87. Jeremy # 3:00 pm

    Your bullshit efforts in your second last paragraph to blame the homeless are nothing more than an excuse for you to justify to yourself not pushing for any change.

    I am all for change but what I am advocating is being realistic about what will actually work rather than just advocating throwing more money at the problem. Choosing what to spend that money on is just as important as how much money you spend. You seem to think that if we provide a room for every Junkie that the problem would be fixed if that was the case why don’t you advocate putting them up in one of the fine hotels in the city at taxpayers expense?

    jules // # 3:54 pm

    No he wasn’t but thats no reason to stop the programs they can use to save themselves. perhaps its only 5% that can’t be “saved”.

    Who said anything about stopping any program? Not I and not Tony Abbott thats for sure

    We are incapable of doing it quite simply because of the nature of the problem, Junkies mentally ill people or drunks who end up living on the streets do so because something in their personalities.”

    Well D’ah.

    You are right tho. Fuck ‘em.

    Thanks fro acknowledging that my stsement is obviously true , but you are mistaken to think that what I am saying is “fuck ’em”

    “I personally know one young chap …”

    And thats the basis of this litany of social Darwinism you’ve just come out with…

    jules# 6:31 pm

    So is that what you mean by “choosing” homelessness?

    Certainly that is what I mean. !s that not a reasonable way of looking at the situation?
    #

    confessions # 7:15 pm

    No, he doesn’t and I’m surprised you are continuing. Iain is on the wrong side of public opinion on so many issues: climate change, same sex marriage, and for all I know the death penalty (haven’t seen recent polling on that so can’t say for sure). No doubt there are some Australians who would take Iain’s views on homelessness, but I bet they aren’t in the majority.

    So on planet Confessions a position on any issue is validated by its popularity? Sorry but that is a ludicrous argument to make
    😆

    Jeremy# 8:51 pm

    I don’t know – there’s a strong selfish streak among many economically conservative Australians, and it would suit them to convince themselves that it’s all homeless people’s fault so we don’t need to do anything about it – least of all spending TAXPAYERS’ MONEY on HOUSING for DRUG ADDICTS AND LOSERS.

    No Jeremy my position is that we should not have unrealistic expectations and our Spinmiester PM thinks that he can cure this problem with empty aspirational statements.

    That’s how those people think. They have a bit of a conscience – shouldn’t I be worried about the downtrodden at all? – which is why they’re so keen to believe that it’s their own CHOICE, their own FAULT.

    As if that relieves us from the responsibility of caring for them.

    Its all well and good to care about people but why are you so bigoted in your belief that conservatives don’t care about people who are down and out? It simply is not true for me and nor is it true for any of the conservatives that I know.

    Jules

    Its not like not every “conservative” ends up ignoring their conscience either. Regardless of what Iain does or thinks in his real life, his online personality is all about conservative dogma, or the conservative belief system.

    Hmm I may be a conservative but that does not mean that I either lack compassion or that I welded onto any “conservative stereotype”

    The map isn’t the territory.

    Like that aphorism it is a good way to point out that we should all look beyond the labels

    The worst side of the political right thrives on divisions between people. Thats why these ideas are constantly surfacing in their discourse. I doubt most people who identify with the conservative side of politics would actually think that way when confronted with the situation in front of them. With real people and their suffering.

    In my experience the left is just as prone to try to ferment division as the you think the right are, both sides are often harder in the rhetoric than they actually are when it comes to helping those in need.

    And I doubt Iain turned his back on his young drug pig acquaintance at the first opportunity either.

    The young chap in my example was not actually a Junkie , just one of those people who has a line in wearing out the good will of those who would try to help him. I have still not actually “turned my back on him ” but I think that until he really wants to get his shit together no amount of help is going to give him a prospect of making something of his life.

    But its the idea thats appalling – the idea that you can judge and write off someone without ever having known them. Someone who, for whatever reason, is struggling in our society.

    I sort of think that you can often only really help some people when they are ready to be helped. and i sort of think that your personal experience that you talk about supports that. Clearly for some people their love affair with their drug of choice comes to a natural sort of “its time” point and they can make and keep to a decision to move on. For some that love affair has a more tragic end. Your experience shows that It can be done and I dips me lld to yer for getting yer shit together. good luck at Uni I hope that you do well.

    confessions # 11:23 pm

    Jules: Iain is no conservative which is why I highlighted his divorce from the mainstream thinking on many issues. Iain is a radical who *thinks* he’s a conservative.

    You are such a Hoot !!!!

  88. “You seem to think that if we provide a room for every Junkie that the problem would be fixed”

    Only if you don’t read anything I’ve said.

  89. So on planet Confessions a position on any issue is validated by its popularity?

    Are you denying your view on these issues is in minority territory according to polling? LOL, such a denialist Iain!

  90. No confessions
    My point is that you are mistakenly claiming that if an opinion is popularly held then it must be valid.
    This is very funny in the light of your implicit suggestion that in the popular opinion of capital punishment is wrong. Just about every Poll that is ever done on the topic suggests that the majority of the public believe that in some circumstances that executing some criminals is entirely justified by the gravity of their evil.
    So by your logic That makes my position on the rope entirely validated.
    Like wise when it comes to AGW the tide is turning and now more than ever there are more people on the planets who do not accept the claims that humanity is the cause of “Global warming” which makes your own position one in “minority territory ” and not valid.
    Gee you are not doing so well according to your own validation process now are you?
    Shall we Go onto Gay marriage?
    Whenever the question is put to a plebiscite is is defeated just as it was in California (propsition 8) and on a global level only a very small minority of countries allow any form of Gay marriage, thus according to your validation process support for Gay marriage is very much in “minority territory ” and therefore Not Valid.

    Gee It looks like my support for capital punishment, a sceptical position on AGW , and that a marriage is only between a man and a woman is actually entirely valid according to your own logic .
    How good is that?
    (Steps back and waits for a metaphorical stamping of feet and the escape of steam from the ears of “confessions”)

  91. And I bet if Iain was around when the majority of the population supported segregation laws in the US he would have supported that too.

    Progress comes through the determined efforts of a minority Iain.
    Through overcoming Jim Crow laws, ending the Vietnam war, granting voting rights to blacks and women – all whilst bigots like you stomped your feet at the prospect of equality and the silent majority looked on.
    Same Sex marriage rights is no different. In the future when this right is won and people reflect on the history of it, people will look back on wankers like you in the same way as they look at segregation proponents Iain.

  92. iain: there is no logical argument against same sex marriage. There is no logical argument in favour of the death penalty. There is no logical argument against the greenhouse effect. And yet on each one of these issues not only are you in the minority on public opinion, but you continue to try to make illogical arguments to justify your position.

    So spare me the faux indignation about polling on those issues being invalid. Jeez, what a moron you are!

  93. Confessions
    It is you that was suggesting that popular opinion is what makes an argument right , not I .
    Now then I am more than happy to argue about all of the examples that you have brought up but you have to realise that you are effectively flip-floping to an entirely different position on all of them by now trying to claim that a valid position requires a logical argument rather than a populist one.
    BTW my last comment has absolutely NO indignation , faux or otherwise, only an air of amusement that you should try to argue your case in such a shallow manner.

  94. Iain: the majority accept AGW because it is happening. The majority want marriage equality because it is just. The majority do not want the death penalty reintroduced because it is barbaric. It just so happens that public opinion aligns with good public policy on these issues, but it isn’t always the case.

    You on the other hand are a bigot, a denialist and a barbarian because you prefer policy that discriminates, prefer fantasy over fact, and prefer that the State kills its own citizens. There is no logical argument to support your views even though you continue to try to make them. As EvShow says, you are a wanker.

  95. Confessions
    where do you get this stuff?

    the majority accept AGW because it is happening.

    The majority of what? just your locality. your city? our country? or the world population? You are presenting a silly argument here.

    The majority want marriage equality because it is just.

    When it comes to Gay marriage there is certainly no majority support for it at a global level. or even within just this country so how can you claim that there is? As I said before when it has been tested in a plebiscite as it was in California and several other states in the USA your side lost. Now argue that calling Gay relationships a marriage is right because you think that it is a just argument as Jeremy so often does but don’t pretend that this is a majority opinion because the facts clearly contradict you .

    The majority do not want the death penalty reintroduced because it is barbaric. It just so happens that public opinion aligns with good public policy on these issues, but it isn’t always the case.

    Once again lets look at what you are claiming a a majority of here, because the wider that you cast your net the less true your claim becomes. But in the many times that I have argued about the use of a capital sanction the most vehement argument concerns not the barbaric nature of the punishment but the possibility that an innocent man may be executed. That is a much stronger argument than the barbarity of the method s that can be used. Even so I argue that this can be addressed by requiring an even higher standard of proof than “beyond reasonable doubt” for any capital cases.

    You on the other hand are a bigot, a denialist and a barbarian because you prefer policy that discriminates, prefer fantasy over fact, and prefer that the State kills its own citizens. There is no logical argument to support your views even though you continue to try to make them. As EvShow says, you are a wanker.

    I get that you don’t like me which is why you go for the personal attack rather than addressing the issues but I see your comments all around the traps so perhaps you need to lift your game a bit rather than complaining when I point out that you have kicked a few “Own goals” in the way that you make your argument.

    Cheers

    🙂

  96. “When it comes to Gay marriage there is certainly no majority support for it at a global level. or even within just this country so how can you claim that there is?”

    You’re wrong, Iain – not that it would matter if you weren’t. Marriage equality is about ending unjust discrimination – it wouldn’t matter if the majority supported the present situation, it’d still be wrong.

    It’s just even more damning for your side that not only are you in the wrong, but the majority doesn’t even agree with you.

  97. One poll of what sort of sample size Jeremy? 1000 people is the usual.

    As I said to confessions it all depends on where you claim your majority to be doesn’t it?

    You are surely not going to support her argument that the popularity of a position validates it?

  98. Some of us don’t want the death penalty reinstated because we don’t want anyone having the authority to kill someone else in our name.

  99. Seriously, Iain, can’t you read? I already said popularity doesn’t matter when you’re talking about a minority being discriminated against.

    Sometimes people try to argue that if the majority wants to oppress a minority, then that’s their democratic right – I strongly disagree, but even if I didn’t, in this case it doesn’t help you because on the best information available, the majority DOESN’T support oppressing the minority.

    And 1,000 people in a sample is better than all you’ve offered in return – your own opinion. What poll of Australians do you have that contradicts the poll I offered?

    PS “argue that calling Gay relationships a marriage is right”

    No-one is saying gay relationships are marriages. They’re saying gay marriages are marriages.

  100. The majority of what?

    The majority of Australians Iain. Are you really this illiterate and/or stupid, or are you deliberately trying to misunderstand because you are bored? I don’t throw around accusations of being a moron and a wanker lightly Iain, those are descriptors you’ve earnt all on your own.

    It is you that was suggesting that popular opinion is what makes an argument right

    Was I? Where?

  101. but I see your comments all around the traps

    If you are then it isn’t me who’s making those comments Iain. I restrict my commenting to 3 blogs for the very reason that there is some strange person obsessed enough with me to try to pretend to be me. Ask Jeremy how many comments he’s had to delete from here that were made with my screen name but weren’t me.

  102. Confessions do you remember writing this comment?

    confessions // 21 February, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    What’s the point? He just doesn’t get it.

    No, he doesn’t and I’m surprised you are continuing. Iain is on the wrong side of public opinion on so many issues: climate change, same sex marriage, and for all I know the death penalty (haven’t seen recent polling on that so can’t say for sure). No doubt there are some Australians who would take Iain’s views on homelessness, but I bet they aren’t in the majority.

    My Bold BTW
    Are you now saying that popularity of an opinion does not validate it as you are clearly saying here?

    Jeremy 1:56 pm

    Seriously, Iain, can’t you read? I already said popularity doesn’t matter when you’re talking about a minority being discriminated against.

    I know that is your position Jeremy and I am not suggesting that You have been arguing other wise BUt I am suggesting that Confessions HAS been arguing that opinions are validated by their popularity.

    And 1,000 people in a sample is better than all you’ve offered in return – your own opinion. What poll of Australians do you have that contradicts the poll I offered?

    No Jeremy I offered the example of the plebiscites in The United States all lost by the Pro Gay marriage side

    confessions 2:30 pm

    The majority of what?

    The majority of Australians Iain. Are you really this illiterate and/or stupid, or are you deliberately trying to misunderstand because you are bored?

    Well if you make a general statement don’t expect anyone to distill a specific answer from it. If you intend a specific thing this then say so.

    I don’t throw around accusations of being a moron and a wanker lightly Iain, those are descriptors you’ve earnt all on your own.


    Right back at you.

    Was I? Where?

    In the comment that I quote again at the top of this posting.

    confessions 2:57 pm

    If you are then it isn’t me who’s making those comments Iain. I restrict my commenting to 3 blogs for the very reason that there is some strange person obsessed enough with me to try to pretend to be me. Ask Jeremy how many comments he’s had to delete from here that were made with my screen name but weren’t me.

    I’ll take your word for that

    So apart from here and P P which is the other blog you hang out on?

  103. Are you now saying that popularity of an opinion does not validate it as you are clearly saying here?

    No. In what universe is pinning you being on the wrong side of public opinion the same as using public opinion to demonstrate the soundness of public policy? Honestly Iain, you can’t help but continue to misrepresent what people say.

  104. So apart from here and P P which is the other blog you hang out on?

    I am an occasional commenter at other Crikey blogs, all of which require registration so I know I’m the only ‘confessions’ who can comment there. This blog is the only free comment blog I post at which is why I know that if you’ve seen ‘me’ commenting around the traps at non-Crikey sites then it isn’t me.

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