Pointing out how ageist Australia is and how insensitive Julie Bishop has been, Mike Welsh pens an open letter to Foreign Affairs Minister over her “sixty is the new forty comment”.
Dear “Minister who cannot add up”
As one of the most gifted and brightest lights in an otherwise beige Coalition, sadly your thoughtless “sixty is the new forty” comment has rocketed you into early favouritisim for the 2015 Joe Hockey “MOOT” award for “Most Out Of Touch” politician.
The crude mathematics of sixty not going into forty, and the inevitable and embarrassing reality of relevant body parts no longer as firm as they once were, aside, I suggest you may have totally lost touch with reality.
If 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 were. Please take some time to listen to the large and burgeoning batch of baby boomers presently looking down the barrel of oblivion triggered 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 who 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 coming. 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 (the common term is pissing in our pockets) 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, is 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 employable 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 (who 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 skills” 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.
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 more degrees than a rectal thermometer, 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 homogeneous 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. 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.