POLLIE TICKLED: No job? We can fix that
Two events have just combined to boost prospects for those most in need of being re-employed. They also improve survival prospects for those we want off welfare because they cost too much.
No, I'm not talking about foreign companies that use our infrastructure to make money here then export the profits tax-free to the Bahamas.
Or those who spend more each year on avoiding tax than you or I earn in a lifetime.
Or those who live in government housing estates and collect Newstart or Parenting Payments.
I'm talking about the laziest bunch in Australia.
Those who won't focus on one thing and get it done. Then focus on the next and get that done. And so on.
But first, the events that led to this.
The first was the chance discovery that one of our native grasses produces a salt and vinegar exudate that might be suitable for feeding the poor without having to pay them welfare.
Why give out food stamps or their digital equivalent when you can serve them a delicious plate of spinifex grass?
The other development is for those who can't get a job or who can't keep one.
Surprise! The government has a program. It's part of a crackdown on "lazy learners" and people "unable to find work".
It follows a blitz on professional students who made a career of floating around colleges doing useless courses then going on the dole.
The $1.8 million Rewire the Brain initiative is "based on the relatively new understanding that like a muscle, the brain can be trained and improved".
If it works as planned on the 226 people who pioneer it, it will be expanded.
They will have face-to-face and computerised training to improve cognitive functioning and emotional and social skills.
It will boost the processing speed of their brains, improve memory and build resilience and their social interactions - qualities employers seek.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter was announcing the policy when the Prime Minister dropped in by helicopter and upstaged him.
And changed the focus. Instead of trialling it on a group of TAFE students as Porter had just said, Turnbull had other plans.
First he announced there would be a lull in the Lower House this coming week and that would give MPs a break from their usual hard slog of doing all they possibly can to stymie each other.
"But, fear not, these unemployables will spend the week getting job-ready using the new program. With the citizenship kerfuffle, many will need new jobs," our hero said.
He aimed his strongest barbs for the right wing of his party and suggested they would undergo a reorientation not seen since the days of Stalin.
With various backbenchers threatening to cross the floor for an inquiry into the banks and with two MPs out of the House to fight by-elections, he figured dropping a sitting week should leave only enough time to deal with citizenship issues and marriage equality before the end of the parliamentary year.
So, to avoid too much backbench rumbling, the course will go ahead this week and any who fail the reorientation will be retrained for other work.
Turnbull made it clear where he thought Abbott and Co could be most useful when he explained that the first part of that retraining is learning to recite: "Would you like salt and vinegar spinifex with that?"
Pollie Tickled is a satirical column.