Ignore us at your own peril
By Jane Ryan
“You’ll get what you’re given!” my dad used to say to me. I never knew how right he was until our nation’s leaders started pulling the same line on me.
SYN is young people broadcasting for young people. This is great, and we all love getting on the blower, chasing a story and looking for sources.
The problem is – politicians don’t want to talk to SYN.
What I can’t, for the life of me, figure out, is WHY NOT?
I have a lovely phone manner and excellent personal hygiene. I don’t bite, and the questions I ask are not to bump-my by-line-up-the-ladder type questions – I ask them because SYN listeners have a right to be addressed directly by those who seek to (and sometimes sort of do) govern, on issues that affect them in their every day life (like budget spending).
“Why does mental health funding account for only six per cent of the health budget this year, SIR?”
“Why does tertiary education account for less than two percent of the federal budget, SIR?:
“Why do people on Youth Allowance receive only half of the old aged pension and live below the OECD poverty line, SIR?”
Nient! Nein! Nil! Nothing.
Even a major outlet like Crikey have a hard time getting a nibble on these issues sometimes.
Here’s my theory: forgive me for coming on strong here, but put simply – Australian statesmen and women don’t give a flying junk about issues that solely affect young people.
“Damn little blighters!” (I can hear them right now). “Why won’t they just vote for us and bugger off?”
Well lad, 70 per cent of us did last time around, but frankly, Lindsay Tanner’s fortunes aren’t looking great, and I think it’s because people are starting to twig.
The two major parties have had the run of this joint for just about long enough, and when you’ve got Krudd (phonetically strange choice for a Twitter name, n’est-ce pas?) doing calisthenics on major election promises, and Abbot acknowledging that he sometimes lies in public sort of, and NO ONE from ANY youth media outlet can get a word out of them or their cronies AT ALL, it seems highly unlikely that the young voters will have kind things in store for them on polling day.
Ignore us your own peril, you lot on the hill. Sooner or later those chickens will come home to roost.
Below the Line