Opinion

Want to whinge? Then let’s get the full facts

By Country News

Want to give a farmer a bad name?

Then put him on national TV — let's say give him a fair slice of 60 minutes worth of prime time — and let him bleat about how the world is treating him.

Fair dinkum, doesn't anyone get it?

The prevailing view is farmers are whingers — never enough rain or too much rain, never enough sun or too much sun, or never enough good prices or never enough good prices.

It's almost as though we live in Neverland.

But what you never see is a farmer in the paper or on TV screaming from the top of his, or her, lungs that they are happy with the weather, the prices or any other thing.

When did you last hear a farmer say, in fact when did you last say, this is as good as it gets?

Talking about the farm, that is.

So there we were at the weekend, another eight days (well there are eight in the Curmudgeon's week, dunno about yours) of hard yakka out of the way, flopped down in front of the TV and ready for a bit of a laugh or some light entertainment.

But no, there were a couple of whinging farmers once again flying the flag for the rest of us.

And as usual, it was flying at half-mast.

Here were these guys caught on the hop by that evil league of the Big Four Banks.

In this case it was ANZ to the fore, armed with mortgages, receivers, bailiffs and the boys and girls in blue.

Once again farmers were, it seemed, being thrown off their land.

Out came the usual run of broken bronzed Aussies, tears on cue for the interviewers, with a backdrop of rural settings, the house from which people have been harshly given the heave-ho and toys and memories scattered around the grounds.

So I watched this drivel for a while and kept waiting for the big question.

Such as: before the big nasty bank did this to you were you up to date with your mortgage?

The first mob didn't mention that small matter and the interviewer, looking for the maximum smack of schmaltz, never even hinted at it.

The second guy suggested if he was left with an interest-only loan, instead of P&I, things would have been ridgy-didge.

But once again the big question about where his mortgage stood was glossed over.

Now it may turn out both these families were so spot on with their payments they could be the pin-up stars for modern financial management.

However, that said, the old Curmudgeon has seen way too many of these stories where everyone seems to be at fault except the person causing all the trouble.

If some of the numbers being tossed around were anywhere near correct, whinger number one was so overcapitalised I reckon it would have taken two or three generations to turn a profit.

It was harder to tell with whinger number two.

Now it's always easy to blame the banks because they are, as we all know, a pack of money-grubbing people who couldn't give a tinker's for any of us.

But before I could get sufficiently involved to start shedding a few manly tears I wanted the whole story.

You know, I reckon the Curmudgeon would have been a dynamite investigative reporter.

Always asking the hard questions and never taking no for an answer.

However, when you are in the lounge room with the missus shouting at you to "turn the damn TV down" and you are too buggered to get off your backside, you are relying on the highly-paid reporters on these shows to get to the heart of the matter on your behalf.

Well as far as I am concerned, unless these whingers openly tell the whole story, paint the full financial picture, as it were, the old Kleenex box at chez Curmudgeon is going to last a little longer.