Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is widely known for his wealth, gained mostly through property investment. Having grown up in a relatively privileged environment, by no fault of his own, Turnbull managed to garner financial and academic success at an early age. With such vast wealth and security as his, can middle class, working class and disadvantaged Australians really trust that he understands their needs?
Malcolm Turnbull contributes to a dangerous ‘rich white man’ rhetoric, stating parents ought to ‘shell out’ for their kids to enter the property market
If you tuned in to his recent ABC radio interview with Jon Faine, you’d be forgiven for thinking that perhaps Turnbull doesn’t quite get it. Contributing to the misinformed and ever damaging ‘get a better job’ rhetoric, Turnbull’s solution to young Australians entering the job market was simply for parents to help pay their children’s way.
When broaching the subject, Faine spoke of the disdain many millennials are feeling towards the upper class, particularly baby boomers, when it comes to property. “They’re (millennials) saying, ‘for goodness sake, you baby boomers want everything and you’re locking us out.'” Turnbull proceeded to ask if Faine’s children had the same problem, to which Faine replied, yes. “then you should shell out for them!” Turnbull exclaimed.
Turnbull’s remarks only go to prove his disregard and general lack of knowledge of what it’s like to be a so called ‘normal’ Australian. It’ll come as no surprise to most that a large majority of parents aren’t in the best financial position to simply pay for their kids to enter the market, with many struggling themselves to maintain in such a tumultuous time for housing.
The conversation is uncannily reminiscent of ex-treasurer Joe Hockey’s previous claims along the same lines, stating that people should simply ‘get a better job’ in order to enter the market. And so continues the saga of misrepresentation in politics. Perhaps the wealthy, white and privileged simply aren’t suited to a role that involves representing a whole nation of people in differing socio-economic positions.
There’s no doubt Turnbull’s comments were out of touch and, frankly, fiercely problematic in their message however, is there any real alternative when the increasingly absurd game of politics is overrun by much of the same?