Friday, February 06, 2004

What does Kerrie-Lea Menzies do for a living?

KLM is the person who had her moment of fame on Wednesday, when the Mark Latham tour bus rolled into her home town, and she was caught on camera giving the Labor leader a hard time, for being - of all things - "a school teacher . . . from an upper middle-class situation".

From these words, and from the footage of KLM's drawn countenance, you would safely assume that she was (i) poorly educated and/or has a learning disability, and (ii) on welfare. The Age reported nothing that might contradict (or confirm) such assumptions, while the SMH was superbly neutral in calling her a "community activist"

On the other hand, the News Ltd papers had a field day when it came to KLM's credentials and/or occupation. She was called, variously, a "battler" (try to guess which paper before you click on this link!), a "human resources and recruitment manager"* (again, try to guess), and a "youth worker".

In today's Australian**, the truth behind these wildly divergent (or is it just me?) descriptions emerged. KLM is indeed currently unemployed and "a local firebrand" (I still prefer the SMH's original description, though). As to KLM's other, grander-sounding hats, it turns out that she was formerly a "case manager at a job centre".

Well, I'd be angry too, KLM, if I'd lost my sweet little middle-class job in the Welfare Coercion Industry. Or at least I think I would - surely the only reason you were remotely eligible to get such a cushy (if temporary) sinecure was that you are, at 44 y.o., a boomer.

* Christine Jackman "Kerrie-lea gives Latham faceful of roar democracy"
The Australian 5 February 2004 (no URL)

** Drew Warne-Smith "'Kick in the shins' by mother brings passion to backwater"
The Australian 6 February 2004 (no URL)

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