Forced awkward hugs, aggressive invasion of personal space, and forcing a handshake on people in distress, are all warnings about Scott Morrison’s Emotional Intelligence and Inauthentic Leadership style.
We collectively cringed as Scott Morrison forced a hug on New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. We watched in awkward trepidation as Morrison took up more and more of Shorten’s personal space in the Leader’s Debate. Shorten aptly nicknamed him “The Space Invader.”
There are generations of mother’s out there collectively internally screaming, that they ‘just want to wipe that smirk off his face‘ every single time he displays this bizarre, inappropriate emotion.
Anger and disbelief summed up our response this week as Scott Morrison forced a handshake on a Fire Fighter who had just lost his home. We were further angered when he forced another handshake on a 20 year old pregnant mother, who had just lost her home. Gobsmacked, we watched, as she pleaded to him for help and he turned and walked away. Our arms extended, shaking and closed fisted, rose as the metaphorical pitchforks they rightly were.
Most importantly, the forced awkward hug on Jacinda Arden, the space invading of Shorten’s personal space and Morrison’s constant discordant smirking, alone, are warning signs.
The high focus on self, refusing to acknowledge fault, dismissing criticism, the inability to reflect on his own actions, the constant deflection to sports, refusing to acknowledge facts, a focus on him (or him and Jen) instead of ‘us’ (the people), refusal to acknowledge reality, blatant lies (even with video evidence!), a history of ruthless incivility, history of lack of empathy, his self-identity as a saviour, nicknaming himself and a lack of judgement are also warning signs.
Moreover, these are warning signs of a leader displaying low emotional intelligence and poor leadership skills. Clearly, Walkley award winning journalists should have examined this more closely; before the election.
What Political Historian Norman Abjorensen wrote about Morrison in The Canberra Times today, shows that Morrison is not struggling as a new Prime Minister. This is the latest excuse, inexperience and the challenge of a new Prime Minister; but clearly, this is who he has always been. The warning signs were all there from those who know him; but yet also voted for him as the Leader of the Liberal Party. (No wonder Julie Bishop quit!)
In a number of interviews with current and former colleagues, what emerged was a picture of a complex and secretive figure, both ambitious and ruthless, and with little capacity for empathy or care about anyone who stood in his way.Norman Abjoresen, The Canberra Times 04.01.2020
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is touted as more important than IQ for leadership. You can be great at transactional tasks; but unless you can drive emotions and bring people along and feel the appropriate feelings and display the appropriate emotions – genuinely; nothing will work as well as it should. For example, if a Prime Minister smirks when he should be displaying empathy; he is exposed as inauthentic and out of touch.
There are five dimensions to emotional intelligence. I will discuss four of these dimensions as they apply to Scott Morrison. These are: Self-Regulation, Self-Awareness, Empathy and Social Skills. I have omitted Motivation for brevity.
What Self-Regulation of emotions warns us about Scott Morrison; is he is more likely to push us into unsafe, and unfair environments. Leaders with High EQ keep us safe and environments fair.
Self-Regulation isn’t about with-holding emotion. Nor is it showing regular dramatic outbursts of anger and shouting (In fact, that is aligned with low EQ). It is about regulating emotion and applying the right emotion at the right time. This means a person must have the ability to understand the context and the situation at hand to respond. As a Prime Minister, Scott Morrison fails at doing this at a National level as well as when he communicates to each of us as individuals.
A leader high in emotional intelligence is able to reflect on a situation and be thoughtful about it.
Morrison’s holiday in Hawaii, his secrecy around his holiday, his incompetence of clear deputy leadership at that time, his downplay of the natural bushfire disaster unfolding, are all signs of low emotional intelligence and being unable to reflect and act in a time of crisis.
If Morrison had the level of high emotional intelligence required of a Leader of high office, he would be able to be accept uncertainty and change and lead us through change with integrity.
There is not a starker contrast, than the entire world – the actual entire world actively working on strategies to reduce carbon emissions and act on climate change and a Prime Minister who carries a lump of coal into Parliament like a Life Like Baby Doll, he must lovingly look after all day for motherhood class.
Leaders with Low EQ will be judged by other leaders, due to the disconnect of genuine feelings about an issue and the emotions displayed about an issue. Morrison’s feelings and displayed emotions about Climate Change, and his flippancy towards action, is out of kilter with the global leadership community. The way leaders act has a ripple effect. Due to this, Morrison is already ridiculed globally. He will become increasingly isolated and become a global pariah in the community of international leaders passionate about climate change. This in-turn, will affect Australia’s standing in the global community, which could cause us significant damage to our reputation and trade options.
As a Pentecostal who participates in prayer, Morrison gives off the persona of one who is very emotionally self-aware. Furthermore, his first major speech as Prime Minister directed people to look inside his heart. Self-Awareness is about being in touch with your own emotions and feelings. Morrison paints himself as a man who is comfortable with his emotions and be level-headed enough to not get swept away by them.
Daniel Goleman, the leading expert on Emotional Intelligence, defines Self-Awareness as the most important dimension of leadership. Regardless of how Morrison paints himself as self-aware, his behaviour demonstrates otherwise. To be succinct, Morrison’s self-awareness is on permanent holiday.
Leaders with high self-awareness constantly reflect and challenge their own feelings, beliefs and emotions. They have constant goals about how to respond and behave in all situations. They actively seek feedback to improve their responses. They question why they feel a certain way about issues and events.
Most importantly, leaders with high EQ are able to develop their emotional responses in line with societal feeling rules and emotional display rules. These are the feelings and emotions we display, acceptable within our society. In short, a leader high in self-awareness should be in tune with how we are feeling and express genuine emotion to reflect back at us.
Leaders with high self-awareness, do not just reflect the same emotion we feel back at us. Their level of awareness is such, that even if they are feeling upset and distressed, they identify that others are feeling the same. They have a deep understanding of why they are feeling this way. Therefore, they display the emotions needed for others to feel safe and secure. They provide leadership and strength in dark times. Morrison fails demonstrably in this area.
Scott Morrison is facing increasing criticism about his responses and behaviour. Even those on his own side of politics are speaking out. NSW Liberal MP, Andrew Constance also echoing public sentiment that Morrison got the welcome he deserved, when when asked about Morrison’s visit to his fire ravaged community.
Morrison’s response to anger towards him, is “He doesn’t take it personally and it’s not about him.” Just by looking at this one response, we can examine how Morrison has a low level of self-awareness. Notably, he is missing a key leadership trait.
Leaders with low self-awareness are incapable of examining their own emotional responses. In addition, they focus more on self, than others. They also project a sense of being a victim, where they can. They deflect and are uncomfortable talking about negative events. They also downplay situations.
When Morrison indicates, ‘he doesn’t let it (the anger) bother him’, he positions himself as a victim. A victim that is ‘strong’ and is not bothered by the anger of others towards him. In addition, he makes the event about himself and not about the fact that others are angry at his behaviours and actions. He deflects by saying, that it is not about him. When the anger is indeed about him.
There have been numerous other examples. The deflection of a poor choice of holiday time, to satisfying the wishes of his children. His beliefs about volunteer pay and his inability to reflect on these feelings dismissing them as heroes ‘wanting to be there.’ His “it can wait” attitude about emergency COAG, meetings with fire chiefs. His deep feeling of sporting camaraderie that we can take comfort in the hero worship of the cricket in times of a country on fire and so forth.
If Scott Morrison had a high level of Self-Awareness, he would be able to reflect and understand why he has the feelings he has about certain issues. He would be able to identify that these feelings are incongruent with the feelings of Australians. Feedback would be crucial to him, that his emotions are coming across as callous and dismissive. He would take heed of feedback that his words and actions are making people feel insecure, angry and frightened. He would challenge himself to find the right emotion and words to comfort us and to lead us through this dark time. He does not.
If there is an example of a leader with perfect high level empathy as a construct of Emotional Intelligence, it is Jacinda Ardern. The empathy Prime Minister Ardern displays is high level in all three categories of empathy, that make up the EQ Empathy dimension. These are: Cognitive Empathy, Emotional Empathy and Compassionate Empathy.
Leaders with high level empathy are able to know and understand how others are feeling (cognitive empathy). They feel the same feelings as them at a deep level (emotional empathy) and they act with delicate compassion, but with lightning speed to move to help, when needed (Compassionate Empathy). Morrison is a total abject failure at this level.
Similar to the failed response to Hurricane Katrina in USA, Morrison has displayed a puzzling lackadaisical response to emergency co-ordination and urgency. In discussions about Leaders’ response to Hurricane Katrina, Daniel Goleman (Leading EQ Expert) highlights the importance of the poor response. He notes that victims were further victimised due to the indifference that the leadership showed. The abundance of TV Screens reflecting this, changed nothing.
Similarly, we watched in distress, upset, anger, tears, so many emotions as we witnessed yesterday, victims of the monstrous bush-fire, being further victimised by the indifference of a Prime Minister. A Prime Minister whose only concern was to pose as someone who cared, by literally grabbing victims’ hands and forcing them to shake his. Satisfied that he had his screen grab moment, he walked off, as he was being asked to provide more assistance.
Morrison has taken us down the dark spiral and we have crossed into the Abyss. A place beyond the netherworld, more sinister than a Prime Minister eating raw onions, or nodding for three minutes without saying anything in an interview.
As a Prime Minister, it is crucial that Scott Morrison has a high level of empathy. Not only is he presiding over increasing poverty and joblessness, but now unprecedented catastrophic bush-fires that will go on for months. Bush-fires that have taken everything from people, including their lives and their loved ones.
A leader with high-level empathy, would act as Jacinda Ardern has acted in times of crisis in New Zealand. Sadly, the contrast could not be more stark. There are so many examples to give, but briefly, he would have shown cognitive empathy towards the concerns of fire chiefs, trying to meet with him for months. In addition, he would have had emotional empathy and displayed that he felt genuine emotion and empathy for fire victims and exhausted fire fighters and most importantly, he would have demonstrated compassionate empathy and acted with dedication and timely precision to do everything he could to prevent such a catastrophic event, but also respond to the needs of those affected, in abundance. He would have called urgent review and action of all climate action policies. He has failed on all levels.
However, it is not inarguable that Morrison and those around him are quite aware that he has poor empathy skills. We taxpayers just paid $190,000 for an empathy coach for him.
It is every parent’s nightmare to have another parent call and say Johnny can’t come to the party because he doesn’t play well with others. In a nutshell, this sums up the necessity for leaders to have high level social skills.
Successful Leaders need high level social skills. In basic terms within EQ this is about being friendly, but with purpose. It is not just friendly banter, or being the biggest skulling bonehead dolt at the footy. Nor is it asking the open ended question repeatedly, “How good is…” with no meaning. High level social skills inspire and influence people.
Social skills in EQ are high level interpersonal skills required to bring people together for a purpose, high level negotiation, effective communication skills and change management skills, to name a few. Leaders with high level social skills also take ownership of responsibility seriously. Once again, Morrison fails at this level with great magnitude.
Some may argue that Morrison was just elected as the Prime Minister of Australia and this means that he has great social skills. It is true that we see him at the footy and cricket with happy mobs. He delves into our blokey culture of beer drinking with more photo ops. Let’s not forget that awful attempt at Fatman Scoop’s Be faithful (Hands Up) song in Parliament! We see him in thumbs up photos with adoring fans. So how did the popular party animal end up with fleas?
Daniel Goleman explains that we often mistake leaders who display aggression (such as invading Shorten’s space in the leader’s debate), the blokey tough guy stance (footy, drinking, thumbs up), and archetypal leaders, ie. the mongrel leader archetype, (shouty and demeaning to opposition) or hero archetypes (everyone’s mate – Scomo) for great leaders. Goleman says that we often mistake these traits for brilliance in a leader.
However, the test is when they make it to the top. For Morrison, this is what is playing out now and he is not doing well at all. The answer of popularity is that perception of a leader’s ability in times of crisis is not judged in manufactured situations. It is judged when the leader has to apply his or her skills. In fact, it stands to reason that when a large majority of people put their faith in a leader and that leader fails them in a time of desperation and crisis, he will be sent to the dog house. And that is how he got fleas.
If Scott Morrison had high level social skills, he would be right now effectively managing the biggest change since the industrial revolution we have faced. In a country where mining is a key industry and the shift that is required to address climate change; he is failing every single worker and every single community that needs jobs investment right now. This is an urgent requirement, not only to act on climate change; but to ensure mining regions are not left behind in poverty and joblessness when the market makes up his mind for him.
In addition, he would have demonstrated the social skills required to negotiate, direct, lead and co-ordinate the necessary prevention of and response to the more destructive natural disaster in our history.
He would not have gone off to Hawaii, or played cricket at Kirribilli House, or watched the Fire Works from his comfortable surroundings as people were fleeing terrified for their lives. He would have made himself available and communicated effectively his heartfelt support. He would be providing constant updates around the clock. He would give strength to those who must keep going in their delegated tasks. Importantly, he would display genuine empathy in his interpersonal encounters with victims and emergency workers.
Scott Morrison has failed dismally at every level. No. he doesn’t play well with others. He shouldn’t be at the party, let alone lead it!
The current crisis has exposed Scott Morrison as a failed leader. Using the concept of Emotional Intelligence, we can examine more closely why he has failed.
The terrifying aspect of seeking to understand Morrison from this angle, is that leaders with low emotional intelligence fail not just themselves, but us.
Everything about emotional intelligence underpins how safe we feel, how fair and equitable we are, how our paths to our own individual success is paved, the skills to develop the nation’s industry to name a few. Crucially, how we survive a time of crisis. The question on everyone’s lips should be – this is a natural disaster – what happens if there is a war?
It is two and half years to the next election and there are no jokes anymore. We are in for dangerous times ahead. The only hope we have is if the Liberal Party tests their new rule and he has a two thirds majority of the party to over-throw him. Otherwise, the cross bench could join together as a show of no confidence and refuse to pass any legislation and bring down parliament to an election.
Sadly, I think the only thing we can do is hang on. It will be a very dangerous and unpleasant ride ahead. Let’s hope we survive it. More importantly, let’s hope we survive him!
I will leave you with a little food for thought. Goleman warns that there is a dark side to high cognitive empathy. In Narcissist, Sociopaths and Machiavellian Leaders, they are acutely aware of the pain and suffering caused; but have no sympathy for the victims to do anything about it.
I think the most fitting ending to a piece about a man who is all about himself, is to use a quote from the man’s Maiden Speech in Parliament. At the time, Morrison was talking about Africa, but it is remarkably fitting for Australia today: As Scott Morrison once warned back in 2008:
When the history books are written, our age will be remembered for … what we did—or did not do to put the fire out ..Scott Morrison, Maiden Speech, 2008
During and after every cyclone, flood and fire, the main push is to tell us that we are resilient. I’m sick and tired of being resilient when the Government, as perpetrators enable natural disasters and devastation to wreak havoc on us! I seek to introduce a new concept of climate bullying for discussion.
We often speak in terms of climate denial and climate activists, in doing so we merely point out a difference of opinion. Importantly, we fail to frame the problem in human terms, as one of perpetrators and victims. However, using concepts from Workplace Bullying literature, we can see there are antecedents and consequences of climate bullying.
Climate bullying similar to workplace bullying can be defined as:
Repeated and persistent negative acts towards communities and individuals, which involve a perceived power imbalance between Government and targets and create an environment conducive to natural disasters of which the negative consequences are felt by the target.Adapted from Salin, 2003 and Einarsen, Hoel and Cooper, 2000
For many years, research has shown us that climate change will have a significant impact on the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. For each community, disasters have devastating impacts of lost homes, lost infrastructure, isolated communities and economic and business losses.
For the victims of natural disasters, the personal impacts are mild to severe psychosomatic disorders. These include, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and suicide. In addition, economic loss, homelessness, poverty, hunger and death as a direct impact of natural disasters. In addition, direct health impacts that may result in severe discomfort, disease and death.
Climate Bullying is the act of intentionally enabling an environment that is conducive to natural disasters.
Deviant Behaviour is just one construct of workplace bullying. This is because deviant behaviour may also attack an organisation and not just a victim or target.
Similarly, the Government does not intentionally cause harm to the Government with this behaviour. They have a set of mechanisms and structural supports via the media to excuse such deviant behaviour.
However, Climate Bullying by the Government does share similar factors with Workplace Deviance:
It is voluntary behaviour
It violates the norms and beliefs of the country
Threatens the well-being of the country and its citizens
Climate Bullying as a form of deviant behaviour, also shares the same dimensions as workplace deviant behaviour (Sharma, 2019). These are:
Perpetrators of Workplace Deviance are both insider and outsider perpetrators. That is people who work for the organisation and those who are outside of the organisation.
Similarly, the deviant behaviour of Climate Bullying has inside perpetrators of Government. These are the leaders, speakers, policy developers. The outside perpetrators are other political parties, the media and those with vested interest in energy resources.
Intention may be to cause harm intentionally or unintentionally. An intentional motive is for any political party or independent to willingly reject legislation that will have a positive impact on reducing climate change. This is because they do not believe that climate change is real and there is no need to act on climate change.
An unintentional consequence of harm may be for any political party or Independent to willingly reject action on climate, for either a political motive to gain relevance or sustain power. This may be to insist on changes and demands that are perceived as stronger action, but are not practical, or will not be accepted by the public, because of the perceived hardship caused by the perceived stronger policy. It is an unintentional consequence of harm, if the political party who sustains power by popular vote, is the party who does not believe action is needed, because the public reject the hard-line demands of alternative parties.
Targets are both Organisational and Interpersonal in Workplace Deviance. In Climate Bullying, Targets are communities, political rivals, individual citizens, individual activists, the science community and anyone advocating climate action. The aim is twofold. To discredit the notion that climate change is real and requires action and secondly, to discredit those who seek action.
Action is the process of participation. Action may be active or passive. An example of Active Action is a rejection of climate action. Passive Action impacts on quality of life. An example is Liberals removing Labor’s qualifications for disaster recovery funding. Another is refusing to meet with the Fire Chiefs or call an emergency COAG meeting.
Action may be direct or indirect. Direct Action intends to cause harm to a target. This is normally interpersonal. An example is the campaign to discredit action on climate change by the Liberal Party and media trying to discredit the then Labor Government by creating a ‘Carbon Tax’ scare campaign, when it was not a tax at all. Another example is the attacks on youth climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Outside perpetrators also use direct action to create scare campaigns to discredit political opponents, with similar deceitful campaigns. Such as the Greens political party and media promoting Stop Adani and the Climate Convoy to regional Queensland. That is, despite the fact that such parties were knowledgeable that one mine is not the panacea to climate action, and that there are significant and complex challenges to ‘stopping Adani.’
Indirect Action has an unintended consequence on others. An example of indirect action is one region suffering the consequence of a natural disaster, due to climate inaction. This is although their geographic boundaries do not have necessarily high carbon emissions (i.e. a rural community).
An example of an external perpetrator indirect action is former Labor Leader Bill Shorten, unable to lead action on climate change by assuring blue-collar workers of security, among the fear of job losses, political opponents were inciting and the competing demands of city progressives; resulting in the election of a climate denialist Government.
Consequences can be both constructive and destructive. Constructive deviance may be a politician crossing the floor or a traditionally supportive cross bench rejecting support to the Government and breaking with norms and behaviours that exist. Another example is compliant media organisations that have traditionally provided free campaigning for climate denial parties, criticizing the Government’s inaction. This type of constructive deviance may push the Government into action.
Destructive Deviance is any actions that results in harm to the country and citizens, as a negative consequence of climate inaction.
The enabling factors of climate bullying are adapted from Salin’s (2003) Enabling Factors and Processes of Workplace Bullying. The enabling factors for climate bullying are motivating structures, precipitating processes and enabling structures and processes.
Enabling Factors of Climate Bullying, as you can see from the framework above, are complex. I will briefly outline each area. However, each individual factor requires much deeper discussion.
The motivating structures for enabling an environment of climate bullying essentially revolve around power. The desire for political power. The bowing to the powerful media moguls who deny climate change, that can make or break a Prime Minister. The power of the financial benefits of corporate donations.
The rewards and benefits of appeasing climate denialist media moguls and corporate donors is of course the ultimate power of Government.
With a supportive structure of a compliant media, a climate denialist Government can effectively campaign using propaganda about the negatives of climate change to using voter complexity as the basis to divide and rule. On the flipside, outside perpetrators can also use climate change to divide and rule, as we have seen at the last election with the noted regional / city divide between blue-collar workers and progressives. More on that later.
The decision to not act on climate change is underpinned by a number of events or existing structures. The existing structure of coal mining is one factor. Coal mining is heavily concentrated in multiple regions. Australia is the largest exporter of coal mining in the world. Local communities and entire regions are heavily impacted by the existence of mining. Coal communities are targeted to wear the entire burden of climate change. This then creates another event where competing political interests compete over the approach to change.
Due to a high concentration of mining jobs in multiple regions and the national and local economic impacts; moving away from coal, creates fears of joblessness and poverty and economic instability.
Politicians and compliant media enable a jobs versus climate action argument. This is where the argument for a complex scenario is reduced to black and white. The Liberal Government’s argument is that we must not act as it will kill jobs.
The climate activist side is that must kill existing jobs and destabilize communities and transition them to something else. The first idea is idiotic and dangerous, and the second idea is privileged. As Labor leader, Shorten tried to straddle both idiotic and privileged arguments. If we return to indirect action discussed earlier, this straddling just caused confusion by angering progressives and leaving blue-collar workers feeling insecure.
It appears that Labor now has taken the pathway that is aimed to unite the interests of both blue-collar workers and progressives. This proposal uses our strengths in regional communities and utilises our blue-collar workers to transform communities and tackle climate change domestically and also globally. How that is received is yet to be seen. As I have written about previously, it will be a hard sell to progressives.
Climate Bullying exists due to the perceived power imbalance between Government and people. The Government also supported by compliant, climate denialist media moguls creates a further power imbalance. Opposing opinion is barely given the light of day. In addition, the Government, media and other vested interests can use social media to further ingrain climate inaction. On the flip-side, external perpetrators of activist groups and supportive mainstream and social media, can inflame the need for radical action and workers are ‘just a consequence’ or climate denialists can inflame fears about joblessness.
The cost to a climate denialist Government, so far, has been a low cost. Through simple slogans and the support of the media, the Liberal Party has won office in 2013, 2016 and 2019. This has further legitimised for the Liberal Party, that they have a ‘mandate’ to not take any urgent action on climate change.
Dissatisfaction and frustration relate to the environment that victims of bullying exist in. In comparison to workplace bullying literature, this can be summed up as the competing interests between economic stability and climate action.
Climate action policy instability, unclear goals, and a complete lack of worker centric climate action debate, has fostered an anxious and aggressive environment within this policy area.
Mining regions rejected the Labor Government at the last election. This has now created an environment where some are now calling for the Labor party to abandon blue collar workers in regional communities. This will just reinforce both motivating and precipitating structures discussed above and further enable a culture of climate bullying.
With the greatest natural disaster in our history burning around us; it is of the very positive assumption that we must do all we can to prevent climate bullying. To do this, it is important to bear in mind the dimensions of deviant behaviour and also the factors and actors within these frameworks, that enable a culture of Climate Bullying to occur.
I have adapted Einarsen et. al.’s (2018) workplace bullying model of systems we can use to prevent Climate Bullying and enable Climate Action.
It is a reasonable argument that climate bullying is an unethical practice. Ethical infrastructure are systems and processes designed to stamp out unethical practices. Essentially, this framework details how we, as the people, can use resources and systems to destroy the culture that enables climate bullying and the perpetrators who inflict it upon us.
The resources available to us are a Government majority, Financial Resources (including in-kind) and the level of commitment we have. This includes a shared vision.
The systems we can use are:
Insist every single day for climate action legislation. Labor’s Anthony Albanese has delivered a policy direction speech that will act on climate and mitigate joblessness and poverty and create security for blue collar workers. This will unite blue-collar workers and city progressives.
Regardless of whether you have points of difference, it is essential to support Labor’s plan as the major party, so the left can unite, instead of fight on this issue.
The Greens Party must cease combating Labor as their major threat and seek unity in the way forward on legislation, well prior to an election. The fight can occur in Parliament once the Liberal Party are removed from power.
Climate action education must be ongoing. However, as I have tried to implore people for the last four years to do so; climate action education must be worker centric.
We can no longer to afford to allow ignorance of the impacts of the structural changes to coal regions to continue unopposed. Every single person must make a commitment to educate themselves on the impacts of structural change in regional communities.
We do not have the time to insist on perfectionist policies. We are too desperate for change to insist on our idea of perfect policy. We must look to the most likely Left party to form Government and absolutely insist that Labor policy is promoted and not rejected as imperfect.
We no longer have the luxury or privilege of denying regions targeted to carry the entire burden of change, agency as participants of change. We must actively listen to regional workers and work with them to find solutions.
Climate Action Education should be inclusive of regional, city and rural communities. It should unite farmer and worker, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, the wealthy and homeless. We can no longer tolerate the narrative of pitting worker against worker and community against community, as has been the narrative now from climate activists for so long.
Climate Action Education must also share the burden across the entire country, instead of just on regional Australia. Education about reducing impacts in cities and structural changes required in cities, is urgently required.
With the outcome of the last federal election where regional communities voted strongly against ‘the Left’ and re-elected a Morrison Government. It is essential for ALL Climate action communication to be unified with the worker central. If Party Leaders and Activists are unable to find a way to unify workers at risk of joblessness and action on climate change; they should hand the conch to someone else.
I cannot reiterate enough how imperative it is to heal the divide between regions and cities to stamp out climate bullying. Parties and Organisations must impose sanctions on any leader or speaker who is unable to unify blue-collar workers and the communities of coal regions and action on climate change. They must formalise a strict penalty and replace leaders who exacerbate and thrive on division.
Voters must impose sanctions on any political party who attacks Labor as the main opposition party, who is in the most likely position to implement climate action. We must speak out loudly and clearly against any party who focuses their activism and campaigns on the party who can replace the climate denialists, and who are not focusing every last bit of energy on the climate denialists in power. We must no longer tolerate division on the left of politics. We must recognise that it is Labor as the major Left party who will implement action on climate change; and the points of difference can be debated, once Labor is in Government.
There must be sanctions within the Media. High-profile journalists must unify and rebel against pressures to conform to promoting political parties not committed to climate action. They must call out amongst their own cohort any journalist who promotes inaction on climate change, or who makes apologies for ineffective leaders.
The ultimate sanction is against the Government. A commitment from voters to formalise the removal of the Liberal National Party Climate Denying Coalition, who perpetrate Climate Bullying.
A Government of climate denialists is the major barrier to overcome. We must commit today to elect a Government that has the power to implement climate action. We must aim to wipe out the Liberal Party, National Party, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, The Katter Party and any other minor or Independent supporting a climate denialist Government. This needs to be done at every level of Government.
We must continue to build financial resources. So, this means a commitment of personal donations to any party or Independent that supports action on climate change.
In-kind donations are also priceless. Make a commitment today to join a political party. My personal preference is the Australian Labor Party who can make a real difference as the major party. Issues based activism is fine; but it is Government that implement legislation, not activist groups. Volunteering in campaigns is crucial for success.
As we know, the election is two and a half years away. That means that there is plenty of time for the Government and the compliant media to implement scare campaigns on every other topic to divert our attention away from the disaster that is burning around us and taking precious lives.
The commitment must be made today, that you will never waver. That you will remain resilient to campaigns and propaganda from the right. That even if you are a generational voter of the Liberal or National Parties, that you will commit today to remove them.
To stamp out climate bullying that prevents action on climate change, which then results in the most devastating consequences, every single person in the country must make the commitment today that they will put the Liberal and National Parties LAST on their ballot.
Our future depends on it.
Einarsen, Kari et al., (2019). Antecedents of ethical infrastructures against workplace bullying: The role of organizational size, perceived financial resources and level of high-quality HRM practices. Personnel Review, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 672–690.
Salin, Denise. (2003). Ways of Explaining Workplace Bullying: A Review of Enabling, Motivating, and Precipitating Structures and Processes in the Work Environment. Human Relations, Vol. 56 No. 10, pp. 1213-1232.
Sharma, Naman. (2019). Analyzing Workplace Deviance in Modern Organizations. IGI-Global, Pennsylvania, USA.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has truly united the country. Every single person with a beating heart and a working brain in Australia is united in their absolute anger towards him. United. Undivided. Shoulder to Shoulder. In anger. Australians have felt Morrison’s true contempt for us and have returned it with unwavering precision.
Kindness. That is Morrison’s answer. His response to abandoning the country as Leader during one of the biggest crises we have ever faced is, that “It is time for the discussion about his holiday to be over and that we should be kinder to each other.”
Kinder!!!! He wants US to be KINDER?? The arrogance just falls right out of his mouth every single time he speaks.
Here are five groups of people who need Morrison to be kind to them, RIGHT NOW. Then we might be kinder to him. (I said Might! OK!)
Morrison needs to be kind to our children. Our kids are absolutely terrified. They are terrified of having no future. They discuss with seriousness about whether to have children or not when they grow up. They are terrified of having no clean drinking water and the planet existing in a constant cycle of death and destruction.
Dad’s don’t just promise holidays. They also promise to stand by their kids, protect them always and fight for their future.
Instead of being an actual Dad, Morrison doubled down on his absolute bone headed, mind numbing drivel that we cannot act on climate without harming jobs. Labor has a plan to act on climate change AND protect jobs. Morrison needs to listen to that plan. NOW.
To show kindness to our Children – Morrison MUST commit to serious action on Climate Change TODAY.
He could also be kinder by holding a fully televised Youth Summit with two representatives from every single Primary and High School in the country.
Every single person in the country is emotionally exhausted watching helplessly. We watch as firefighters die, are injured, don’t have proper breathing equipment. We feel helpless as they are pushed beyond all human limits, as they try to save us.
Meanwhile, Morrison was doing bloody tequila shots at a bar in Hawaii. His clown posse back home were literally telling us exploding horse shit is the reason the country is on fire. I know where the horseshit is exploding from and it’s certainly not from the horses!
These incredible, incredible emergency workers have worked tirelessly and some without any compensation whatsoever. Workers and volunteers work in extremely dangerous conditions. Instead of showing true humility, contrition and leadership; Morrison used his arrival as a series of poor taste photo ops. These photos featured his smug face, with hard working emergency responders as the insignificant background. Once again. The arrogance!
Morrison needs to be kinder to Emergency Response Workers and Volunteers. He needs to treat the impact the climate is having on our country, as serious as he treats security and defense. He needs to fund the absolute hell out of Emergency Planning and Prevention. Mother Nature is at WAR with us. He needs to compensate volunteers for time, expertise and lost wages.
The worst bush fires in our history have the country in mourning. People have died, homes have been lost, businesses destroyed. Children no longer have fathers, husbands and wives no longer have the love of their life and parents grieve the loss of their children.
Amongst all this, is the tight-fisted surplus chasing driven excuse the Government calls “Disaster Relief funding.”
The people do not need Morrison’s faux kindness; nor his thoughts and prayers. He can be much kinder by reinstating Labor’s criteria for disaster relief funding, not punishing communities who have not had the funding for mitigation; admit that the current take on mitigation will not stop events such as massive bushfires or other disasters; but a serious commitment and action on climate change will.
As the Government has been so unkind to ENABLE disasters to occur, he should make a commitment to be kind right now. Anyone who loses their life should have a Government funded funeral and massive compensation to families. We cannot get these people back. He should commit to this immediately.
The jobless and underemployed are living in POVERTY, in a first world country. The callousness and punitive set up of the social security system has and is driving people to suicide. People who are loved very much by their families are experiencing self loathing, hunger, homelessness, depression, anxiety, hopelessness and helplessness. This is NOT Kind.
The Morrison Government has shirked all responsibility for job creation. They use joblessness in regions as a sickening plaything to not act on Climate Change. They push back against climate activists who want to shut down jobs without thinking or blinking; by fueling that and insisting there is no other way. It’s Jobs or Climate Action.
Morrison, a known show pony and lazy thinker, finds it absolutely impossible to develop a solution to reinvent communities that are now reliant on coal jobs. He finds it an absurd notion, that as leader of the country he can create new industry and job competition in regions, so coal is not the major employer and stops affecting absolutely everything.
In addition, climate change affects the poorest communities unfairly. Policy direction from all parties is directed at more able and wealthier home owners able to reduce their energy costs, rather than a national plan for ALL homes. We have treated the roll-out of our internet connection with more dedication than reducing energy costs for the poor in this country.
Also, the communities impacted the most by fires, drought, floods and cyclones are the regional, rural and remote communities, that are already so often ignored across ALL policy areas, including climate change.
If Morrison wanted to be truly kind he would create a consortium immediately consisting of State Leaders, Regional Mayors, Unions and Industry affected by the necessary industrial change to forge ahead with climate action. This consortium should not be directed by the energy sector, but a genuine commitment, working with various experts to reinvent and invest in regional communities to truly diversify local economies and create true job competition in regions across energy and non-energy sectors.
Scott Morrison should be so kind as to tell Matt Canavan to stop sitting on NAIF funding and actually spend it.
It would be so unkind to leave these communities behind as global markets decline in demand for thermal coal. It would be so unkind as to agree to environmentalists demands to cease the coal industry NOW and just simply push everyone in to poverty with nothing in its place. It would be unkind to refuse to sit down with Anthony Albanese and not work with Labor on Labor’s plan of action.
Climate change is not just a human rights issue for all of us, but it is a significant human rights issue for Indigenous People. Not just in Australia, but all over the world.
Indigenous people have a deeply inherent and emotional connection to country. It is something, non-indigenous people will never feel. We must accept it is not a part of us and give full respect to those who have this wonderful gift to feel that connection.
Enabling destruction of their country through the politics of division, is arrogant and ignorant. Ignoring the expertise of Indigenous people to care for and respect the land and wildlife, is just plain stupid and endangers all of us.
In addition, climate change impacts on poorer communities which often have a high Indigenous Population. Climate Action policy also has an impact on Indigenous communities. We simply cannot just believe that solutions that do not include Indigenous input, regardless of how well intentioned, are the best solutions for all.
If Scott Morrison believes we need to be kinder to each other, he can also be much kinder and much more respectful to Indigenous Communities and place a specific focus on climate change and climate action policy and how this affects Indigenous Communities. But most of all, actually listen and implement solutions via their concerns and expertise.
So, Scott Morrison says that it is time for us to be kinder to one another. It is fairly obvious from the above, that there are huge cohorts of people that he does not bestow the same kindness upon. Yet he calls for us to be kind, when he is facing personal criticism for choosing to go on holiday in Hawaii and abandoning the country, in a time of serious crisis.
The main criticisms of Scott Morrison at this time of national crisis, is his lack of leadership. Scott Morrison wants US to be kind to one another. However, he has shown an absolute void of Authentic Leadership. Authentic Leadership requires self awareness, a genuine self, fairness and equality and significant to this time, a moral perspective.
If this challenge of being kind to just five groups of people is too hard for Scott Morrison, he needs to be kind enough to step down.
If he does not have the inherent qualities to be an Authentic Leader, he should be so kind to go directly to the Governor General. Morrison should advise the Governor General that the task of Prime Minister is too difficult for him, request that Parliament is dissolved and call another election, immediately.
Yes, we can be kinder to each other. Let’s start with the level of kindness we need from Scott Morrison, right now.
I had written him a letter which I had for want of better,
Knowledge sent to where I met him down at Maccas years ago.
He was knifing when I knew him,
So I sent a letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows,
“Scomo of the Hash #Smoko”
And an answer came directed,
In a writing unexpected
(and I think the same was written in potato wet with starch)
‘Twas his numbers man who wrote it
and verbatim I will quote it
“I still can’t count to forty, and we don’t know we’er he’s Marched
In my commitment to all God-Bros,
Visions came to me of Scomo,
Hopping off on a some big jet plane as the fires burned down below.
As the troops are fiercely sprayin’,
Scomo flies above ‘em Prayin’’
For a PM’s life has pleasures,
That the townsfolk never know.
And Trump has friends to meet him
And their kindly voices greet him,
In the murmur of the beaches and the luau under stars.
And he sees the vision splendid,
Of the Rapture now extended,
To Oz, the wondrous glory of great fires now seen from Mars.
I am sitting in my dingy – little office,
Where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly,
Down between the plumes so tall,
And the fetid air and gritty, of the fiery ravaged city,
Through the open windows floating,
Spreads the foulness over all
And in the place of lowing cattle,
I can hear the fiendish rattle,
Of the fire trucks and their hoses making hungry down the street,
And the language uninviting
Of the Twitter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and loudly through the thunderous click of Tweets.
And the screaming people daunt me
And their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in,
Saving koalas in their haste.
With their eager eyes now bleedin’,
And their stunted forms now heavin’
For townsfolk have no time to go,
Taking Shelter, no time to waste.
And I somehow rather do know,
That I’d like to change with Scomo,
Like to take a turn at hiding,
As the crises come and go,
While he avoids Questions eternal,
From the Walkleys and their Journals,
Cos he knows he don’t suit The Office,
Scomo of the Hash #Smoko.
An adaptation of Clancy of the Overflow by A.B. (Banjo) Paterson.
No religion, race, or gender incited terrorism on our cousins in New Zealand yesterday. Yesterday’s terrorism was fuelled by the insidious monster of indiscriminate freedom of speech. Racist politicians, laws allowing racist hate groups to gather together and the depraved voices in our media give racism legitimacy of thought and voice.
Friday, 15th March, 2019 was a day of heartbreak and mourning. The culmination of racist hatred, Islamophobia and bigotry festered and erupted in a terrorist attack upon Australia’s dearest neighbour, New Zealand. The terrorist, an Australian, has killed 49 people, so far and injured many more. This gunman took innocent lives and ripped other lives apart. The gunman did not discriminate. He exuded as much hatred for a four-year-old boy, as a he did for mothers, grandmothers, fathers, uncles and brothers, as he gunned them down as they participated in silent prayer.
An insidious monster motivated this terrorist. An aggressive, insidious monster valiantly protected by loud media voices and weak and divisive leadership. This monster is Indiscriminate Freedom of Speech.
Regardless of the harm indiscriminate freedom of speech may cause; advocates believe it has true value as individual freedom. Also, advocates of freedom of speech reject the reaction of disagreement or consequence. They see these reactions as a threat to their freedom. As a result, yesterday, we witnessed the horror that is the death of innocents. Indiscriminate freedom of speech gives licence to this hatred.
The only thing that can kill this monster is Repressive and Discriminate Tolerance.
Repressive tolerance argues freedom of speech as underpinned by the constructs of (small l) liberalism exists to share ideas and have those ideas respected unless those ideas cause harm. Above all, Herbert Marcuse believed that even in the 1960’s that the tolerance of ideas that were harmful to society encouraged a repressive society rather than enable a progressive one.
Marcuse does not argue for complete indiscriminate tolerance, but discriminate tolerance where we tolerate ideas unless they are harmful. We should frame and set aside harmful ideas. His argument is that unless this is done, we are tolerating for the sake of being tolerant and impeding progress of the Left.
Marcuse argues that indiscriminate tolerance is indeed beneficial in many forms of debate, however “But society cannot be indiscriminate where the pacification of existence, where freedom and happiness themselves are at stake: here, certain things cannot be said, certain ideas cannot be expressed, certain policies cannot be proposed, certain behavior cannot be permitted without making tolerance an instrument for the continuation of servitude.”
Atrocities such as the New Zealand Terror attack, rip the blind fold off the wilfully blind and not so wilfully blind. At these times racism is alive. It is bright and it is loud. We see it clearly. Even the people like me who feel we speak up enough. Who call racism out. Who condemn and shout at racists. We become hyper-aware. But….I’m not a target of racism and many reading this are not targets either. That is why at these times we are hyper-aware.
A sudden striking of hyper-awareness occurs because you do not experience racism.
We co-exist in an unequal framework. We must always bear that in mind. Particularly, as allies. Listening and reflecting upon what targets of racism say, is more important than anything we say; because people who do not experience racism; inherently reap the benefits of power within this unequal framework.
In a democratic society, democracy is not pure. Debate exists within an unequal framework. The institutions of Government and the media as two examples, have privilege and power to define what is ‘normal’ for the majority and what is not. These entities have the power to stigmatise groups of people and spoil normal identity (see Erving Goffman). They have the power to place minority groups in the place of ‘weird and unacceptable.’
Our media in Australia gives the platform of legitimacy to racist thought and voice. Australian media has predefined for a long time that racist thoughts and racist voices are an important contribution to the development of society. That we must listen to them and more importantly, debate them.
However, today, we sharply see they are wrong. Others who experience racism every day, live that the media are wrong every day with many, including “The Project’s” Waleed Aly, that they are not surprised.
The power of our media resonates here:
“Under the rule of monopolistic media–themselves the mere instruments of economic and political power–a mentality is created for which right and wrong, true and false are predefined wherever they affect the vital interests of the society.” (Marcuse)
Layers and layers of racist behaviours, actions and words are repeated every single day. In particular, racism is amplified by politicians and the media. In addition, our laws enable racism. The forceful arguments from the conservative, libertarian and nationalists platforms, that indiscriminate freedom of speech is vital for a just and fair society is now killing people. People are dying, literally, to satisfy the ego-driven desire for inane and depraved racists thoughts to be heard.
Indiscriminate Freedom of Speech, kills.
Weak political leadership trying to score political points dog whistling to racists for votes, kills people.
Politicians overtly inciting a negative stereotype and stigmatising an entire group of people, by wearing a burka, over-inflating statistics or suggesting eugenics through DNA testing, kills people.
Our laws that allow racists to congregate en masse targeting Muslims and our laws that allow hate groups to recruit and radicalise others to share their messages of hate and anger, kills people.
Our laws that keep Asylum Seekers imprisoned in indefinite detention; laws that enforce no investigation or redress or control measures when Asylum Seekers are murdered or suicide, kills people.
Our Media, who give paid breakfast airtime to racists; who invite them on dancing shows to build a profile for the purpose of assisting that racist individual to secure a political foothold, kills people.
Our Media, who adopt the stance of a stunned mullet, unable to muster up one difficult question to challenge extremist views, who welcome racists on their shows to amplify their platforms, who glorify and salivate and selfie-take with international “celebrity” racists, kills people.
Targets of racism always know this. Begging for it to stop fell on deaf ears because indiscriminate freedom of speech was more important.
Discriminate tolerance (Marcuse) is framing and setting aside the ideas that should not be tolerated in a debate towards progress. We already do this as a society. We do not have complete indiscriminate tolerance, as those ideas will harm society. Our national security legislation is one example. Another example is Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act which makes hate speech unlawful.
However, those who sit on the right wing and the extreme right, the Conservative-Liberals, Nationalists and the Libertarians argue for complete indiscriminate tolerance. They argue that unless they can be completely indiscriminate, this impedes their freedom of speech, even if that speech is harmful. They want the section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, destroyed.
However, at times like this, when blood is spilled in senseless, hate-filled murderous terror attack; we beg for discriminate freedom of speech. We are conveniently discriminate of free speech. A search of “Do Not Share” on Twitter returns hundreds of tweets of:
“Do Not Share the terrorists video or manifesto, because it contributes to terrorism”
The tweet below is a compelling argument for discriminate freedom of speech.
This must be a turning point.
First Nations people also experience this discrimination.
In Australia, there is an ingrained system of stigmatisation and discrimination that First Nations people experience. The countless stories told by Indigenous people of deaths in custody, wrongful incarceration, abhorrent treatment in incarceration, mortality rates, racially discriminatory ’employment’ programs, access to health and education, under-funding of Indigenous services, poverty and every day casual racial discrimination….the list goes on.
Let us never forget, the darling of the racist set, Pauline Hanson, (who also brought us the depraved, disgusting, gutter trash, hateful, racist mindset of Fraser Anning, now condemned internationally); started her tirade of racism against First Nations people and Asian people.
Last week Pauline Hanson and Mark Latham brought back attacks on Indigenous people with unashamed overt racism. They want people to vote next week in the NSW election for DNA testing of First Nations People.
If you have learned anything from the terrorist attack yesterday, you must use your voice to condemn this and put One Nation LAST.
Today we wake up to a new day. Yesterday we saw the growing outcry of no longer accepting hateful voices.
After the New Zealand Terrorist attack, it is evident that every single politician who does not show democratic leadership to unite us and instead plays to the politics of fear and division will soon learn the transactional cost at the ballot box in May. These politicians will no longer be tolerated.
Furthermore, many suggest that Bill Shorten will become our next Prime Minister. Bill Shorten stands out head and shoulders as a leader who does seek to unite us. The current Government has a sordid history of politics of fear and division, particularly the Prime Minister. It is clear that Bill Shorten will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.
Bill Shorten, you have a huge responsibility ahead of you. Huge. You need to lead the way and be the voice that will be the emotional contagion to drive the eradication of stigmatisation, discrimination and racist culture in this country.
Bill Shorten – All eyes are on you.
This article is a response to Noely Neate’s article in Independent Australia – Does the Labor Party Deserve our Vote? This article challenges statements made within Ms. Neate’s article, which I strongly argue misrepresents Labor’s position on various policy areas. In addition, I will add further discussion to the arguments surrounding the AA Bill. This article also discusses the political motivations of those who actively campaign against voting for the major parties.
Central to Ms. Neate’s article is how she is very unhappy with the Australian Labor Party. Listed are a range of policy areas that Ms. Neate either explicitly or implicitly states Labor either supports, or that Labor does not stand up against bad Liberal Policy and Bad Liberal Programs.
There have been a number of issues I have been seriously unhappy about when it comes to the ALP. I don’t like how they waffle about “doing a review of Centrelink” when they know damn well people are living in poverty.(Neate, 2018)
Here it is implied that Labor does not give a stuff about people on Centrelink and are using delaying tactics to not commit to a rise in Newstart.
The reason why Labor is able to commit to a review – is that they are not in Government. When pressed on the review system, Bill Shorten has stated that “You don’t review something to cut it.”
In his budget reply speech, Bill Shorten also said that “Jobseekers living in poverty is unacceptable.”
Labor is completing a full review, because the payment is not separate from the system. There will be a vote at Labor conference for a Newstart increase, but I expect that will still be linked somehow or need to be revisited with a review of the entire Jobsearch framework; which is currently a punitive, draconian mess under the Liberal party. A review of the Jobsearch Framework, current mutual obligation participation requirements and associated punitive measures is necessary, as the punitive compliance procedures all affect payments.
Contrary to the anger that is present in Ms. Neate’s article that a review is a bit of a a joke. It is a necessary requirement to get this policy area right.
In addition, connected with a review of the payments system, will be Labor’s commitments to training, TAFE, Higher Education, Apprenticeships, commitments to the awards system and a commitment to enforcing a liveable minimum wage. All which will have impacts on how the payment system is calculated.
News reports today in the Courier Mail and on Sunrise state that Newstart Recipients will receive a significant increase under Labor, in reference to the vote at conference. This is an important point to include, because (and I think I can speak for most Labor Twitter people I engage with) the frustration for “us Labor people” or “Diehard Labor Supporters” as we are referred to in the article, is the frustration that democratic processes that are vital to any progressive party, are ignored in commentary such as this. Instead, the purposeful absence of such is used to advance an argument. Which is a disingenuous argument.
The article then moves on from delaying tactics around Newstart to explicitly stating that ‘Labor is not standing up.” I will detail each of these issues separately. Including Work for the Dole and PATH. Ms. Neate implicitly states that Labor are supportive of these Liberal initiatives, and is so angry about that, she exclaims; “I won’t even start on Work for the Dole or the rorting PaTH program.”
Nor have they stood up for those being harmed by robo-debt, punished with the cashless welfare card, or given dodgy demerit points by private job providers earning a fortune at the expense of people, many of whom would rather be anywhere else than on social security.(Neate, 2018)
The system of debt matching was developed under a Labor Government. However, the implementation of this software under the Liberal Government is the key difference. The Liberals shifted the onus of proof from the Department to the recipient. In short, the recipient must prove that the Department’s claim is false. In this case, procedural fairness is non-existent.
With regards to Labor not standing up against Robo-Debt, the first inclusion to dismiss this claim, would be the actual evidence of the Labor Party members participation in the Senate Enquiry Committee. Labor party members on this Committee include Senators Bilyk, Brown, Dodson and Polley.
In another act of not standing up against Robo Debt, Labor members as part of the Committee tabled recommendations to the Government. These recommendations include, to put the system on hold until procedural fairness and other recommendations could be addressed.
Although Labor are always posed as the Bad Guys, the Liberal Party who is always let off Scot Free, rejected the recommendations and offered up their own dissenting report, based on the reason that the Committee report was biased and the Government rejects that the online system lacks procedural fairness.
Senator Murray Watt and Linda Burney, MP, also have not been standing up by being incredibly vocal on this issue. Again by not standing up, Labor also commissioned legal advice regarding the release of personal details of a recipient by the Government. Labor in not standing up against RoboDebt, then led a concentrated charge at the Government for the Minister to stand down, in light of this legal advice.
In 2014, the Indigenous Jobs and Training Review recommended a trial of the Cashless Welfare Card. Labor agreed to this trial period. Labor has stated they agreed with the trial period in two geographical areas, due to the support from these communities. This is contentious, as some community members have been quite vocal about their opposition and deny that there was ‘community support.’
During the trial period, Labor said that they would look at the evidence from a trial. This is another sticking point for the ‘Labor bashing crew’ who get quite angry at any type of evidence based policy. Well, they get angry at the bit where Labor needs to ‘collect the evidence.’ If a trial does not occur and evidence is not produced that the trial is ineffective; then the policy item would just keep being pushed as ‘needed’ and keep gaining public momentum. Without evidence to highlight ineffectiveness, such a policy could be rolled out nationally and forced upon people in the most arbitrary and draconian manner.
Those who advocate loudly to ‘not vote Labor’ risk reducing Labor’s numbers to fight propositions such as this.
The 2017-18 Trial Extension Initiative was offered up by the Government, in the form of Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017. In 2017, post a Committee Inquiry into the legislation, Labor produced a dissenting report. This means they were against the roll out of further trials.
The dissenting report covered issues such as, that there is no evidence to extend the trial areas (to areas such as Hinkler) and that the existing trial must have a guarantee of funding for social supports to be in place and limitations on the amount of participants in the trial.
Further evidence that Labor stood up for Cashless welfare, is evidenced by votes in the Senate. Labor voted against the Bill. However, the Bill was passed with the support of Hinch, Centre Alliance, Bernardi, PHON, Leyonhjelm and Gichuhi.
Votes were: 30 for 26 against for all readings, including the 3rd reading of the Bill. By telling people not to vote Labor, once again, it reduces Labor’s numbers further in the Senate so they are unable to block harmful legislation.
The ruse that is often used is that ‘if Labor votes with the Greens, they can block x, y, z. As you can see, this is simply not true.
I find this particular inclusion in Ms. Neate’s article, quite alarming. Labor has spoken up quite vehemently about various sections of this Bill, including demerit points and drug testing. Maybe it is just me, but I don’t know how anyone missed this one.
Labor does NOT support demerit points. Nor do they support Drug Testing.
The member for Bass spoke passionately about this, as has Senator’s Cameron, Singh and Polley.
As Senator Polley pointed out in her second reading speech, ‘The Liberals tried to ram this Bill through, but Labor referred it to a Senate Inquiry to ensure it was scrutinised.
Senator Doug Cameron spoke out very strongly against demerit points. He spoke to evidence from the UK which suggests that these punitive measures create more unemployment and have severe negative affect and severe physical health impacts.
Senator Cameron castigated Senator Scullion, when in light of evidence that this measure would cause further inequality and have harder impacts in Indigenous Communities, when Senator Scullion said, “It is important we stop characterising penalties as punishment.
Senator Cameron lividly described Senator Scullion’s comment as “An outrageous statement of paternalism to justify discrimination and damaging social policy”
Although Senator Cameron was not angry enough for Ms. Neate, I think most of us would agree that when Senator Cameron berates something or someone, he berates at epic level 100.
Significant amendments were made to this Bill by Labor. However, the Bill was passed 31 to 29 with the support from, Anning, Burston, Georgiou, Griff, Hanson, Hinch, Leyonhjelm and Patrick.
Possibly, these are all the ‘wonderful Independents’ that Ms Neate suggests people vote for instead of Labor. Ms. Neate claims that:
“Badgering people to vote against their own interests won’t result in them voting for your interests.”
Perhaps not, but I personally believe it is important to point out that the alternatives (non-majors), who are always presented as a neat little group as ‘much better to vote for than Labor’ are certainly not in the Nation’s interest.
Senator Storer voted against the Bill with Labor and the Greens.
Ed Husic, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation (literally one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, just in case you are the only person I haven’t told) has been standing up against Work for the Dole and campaigning with the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU) for the Government to release the report for Joshua Park-Fing. Mr. Park-Fing was a participant in the Work for the Dole program and tragically lost his life in an industrial incident, at his placement site for the Work for the Dole Program.
Ed Husic has expressed serious concerns about the Workplace Health and Safety aspects of the program and the ineffectiveness of the Work For the Dole outcomes.
Ms. Neate, does not need to start on Work for the Dole, because Labor has committed to cancelling the Work for the Dole Program because it is “punishing people for not being in work.” (Husic, 2018)
The PATH Program is the mutual obligation program, designed by the Liberals to supply free labour to employers. I have previously written about PATH here.
Ms.Neate does not need to worry about PATH either, as Labor has already committed to abolish the PATH program and to replace this program with a three part program – Working Futures Program. This new program will include:
A six-week work readiness course focusing on essential employment skills as well as personal presentation, interview techniques and job hunting.
A six-month work placement with an employer, paid at an award-equivalent training wage.
A fully-funded Certificate III in a subject of their choice
Ms. Neate’s article also speaks to the current passage of the AA Bill. The passage of the Bill was contentious with civil libertarians and the Tech Industry, against Labor’s participation in the passage of the Bill. My take is here.
I framed my article linked above, within the context of a Wicked Problem. There has been a lot of heated debate online regarding this Bill. The reason for this is, that with a Wicked Problem, there is no perfect solution. Every point of decision making Labor took with a poorly written Bill, that was written by the Government, with the additional complexity of National Security Agency requests and the constraints of time limits*, creates a set of additional problems. That is the nature of a Wicked Problem.
*No, Shorten could not just make Morrison keep the Lower House open Noely, because Bill Shorten is not the Prime Minister, nor is he in Government.
People who are not empathetic, or who do not try to understand both sides of the argument, will continue to pile on the hate online. This is because one of the factors to measure a wicked problem is divergence – the competing social beliefs or values connected to the problem.
Those who see the passage of this Bill, as a simple issue in Black and White terms, rejecting the context and the political game playing from the Liberal Government, are consistently arguing from the point of purist politics.
Arguments online (and in Ms. Neate’s article) are that Labor just rolled over. Which is not the case, as detailed in my linked article above. Through this article, I seek to rebut that accusation, through a discussion of purist politics vs democratic socialist politics and decision making theory and incrementalism.
If Labor rejected the National Security request, this also creates an alternative set of problems. That is, the alternative Prime Minister treating ASIO with contempt and ridicule and not taking their requests seriously. This would have serious domestic and international ramifications, simply due to the external observable nature of such behaviour. (In context, the Prime Minister, left the responsibility up to the opposition leader, by clocking off for drinks. This further highlights the incompetence of this accidental Prime Minister.)
Bill Shorten had the choice between ignoring the National Security Request for urgency; or if he chose to pass the Bill (which he did) the alternative set of problems he accepted, were that the Bill was flawed and was not complete with all amendments debated or passed. The IT industry and civil libertarians have serious concerns regarding the Bill. With this choice, Shorten risked getting many within the public offside. Which is also a dilemma close to an election.
For those saying Shorten had no choice and rolled over, are ignoring the complexity of the decision making process, within the context of the problem.
To add to the framework of a Wicked Problem from my previous article; the point of difference between the purists and the democratic socialists, can be discussed using Decision Making Theory and Incrementalism.
The Purists arguing that Shorten just rolled over, are approaching this issue, with the view that Shorten should have used rational decision making. They have identified the solution (do not pass the Bill) and he should have just acted on it.
However, the problem with this, is with Rational Decision Making Theory, the decider (or advocates for the decider) already believe they know the perfect outcome. This perfect outcome is confined within bounded rationality, where the above, are not cognisant (or maybe they are, but do not appreciate) the severity of the alternative problems, their ‘perfect outcome’ may cause. In short, their perfect outcome, is limited within their own scope of knowledge or bias and does not extend outside of that. In other words, this decision making model is flawed.
And no, this is not an ‘attack’ on anyone. This is a theoretical perspective and it applies to CEOs, Leaders, Policy Makers, Politicians, World Leaders, every single day. So no, I’m not having a go at anyone. Just getting in first, as his debate has been quite sensitive online.
Where Shorten really impressed me, under such pressure, due to the political games by the Liberals; was his adoption of incrementalism and the decision making model of choice under uncertainty.
Due to the nature of the problem, as described above, with either choice, resulting in an alternative problem, Shorten had to adopt the Choice under Uncertainty model of decision making. Although this model is prominent within Economics, no actor within this problem, can be certain of any outcome for this problem. A choice had to be made, weighing up various possibilities, problems extending from those possibilities and making a choice to maximise the most beneficial outcome. Shorten should be given credit for this, due to the time limit and the complexity of the problem. (I think this is more where my frustration lies – the difficulty I have with some people who disagree with my position, who cannot see the complexity and constraints Shorten was faced with, as we discuss this ongoing debate and who are piling on the disdain).
With this approach, his decision balanced the urgency to meet the National Security request and offered alternative progress to try to meet the needs of the IT Industry and civil libertarians. He did this by securing further discussion of amendments and a public review, in the formal motion to pass this Bill. This satisfies the objective of success for incrementalism. That is the expertise of all stakeholders are included.
This advances a complex problem through incrementalism, by enabling further steps to achieve a greater success. By Shorten adopting Incrementalism it is also an advantage. It will allow all politicians and the those with concerns to present their arguments at a public review. (For those who deny this is happening, Penny Wong’s newsletter today states that submissions will be called soon).
Alternatively, those who seek out purist political solutions adopting the rational decision making model, have difficulty tolerating any compromise towards progress, and compromise progress itself.
The purpose of this article was to respond to Noely Neate’s article in Independent Australia, where she posed the question, “Does the Labor Party Deserve Our Vote” and also discussed general upset at certain positions of the Labor party on various issues. I have responded in detail. Sorry for the long read, but much like in parliament, the ‘anti-majors’ can really say whatever they like, and Bloggers who write with a laborist slant, like me, (about Labor) have to produce evidence and argument. Its just the way it is, folks. I speak from experience!
No – Anti-Majorism is not a word – I just made it up.
Posing an argument for voters to question their voting intention about any party, should not be presented using misleading statements as facts. It’s duplicitous and regardless of whether a person is “party aligned” I would very strongly argue it is 100% political.
There are many (some with quite prominent followings) on social media and online blogs with the view that the majors are tainted and push this messaging. Who link Liberal and Labor together as one in the same and blame Labor for the Liberal’s Bills, practices, programs and behaviour. These people are minor party and IND supporters.
I don’t buy the position that “speaking up against the majors” is a pure non-political pursuit of social democracy, championed by people who are much better thinkers than the partisan aligned of the majors. I completely reject this idea and that is the theme of the arguments they often present on social media.
I would argue it is a deeply entrenched political campaign based on the belief that Individualism should take prominence over collective platforms the major parties have based on their central ideology.
I would also argue that it is based on Individualism through ego, as they believe the minor parties and Independents will represent their view (often falsely represented as speaking for my community, which is a technical impossibility. There is no community where everyone will agree) or speaking for “my issue”.
This is as opposed to the collective platform nature of the majors who need to speak for the national interest as a whole and implement that based on the practical methods as directed by their over-arching political ideologies. It is a me versus us argument.
It’s also based on the belief that no compromise, purist politics is extremely easy, and effective. Because that is the behaviour espoused by the politicians they admire. Purist politicians believe that everyone must compromise to meet their (superior) demands and get quite shouty when others simply do not agree that their way is best.
Therefore, Purists believe that the major’s (particularly Labor) are too evil, too stupid or too lazy to “do what’s right”.
It’s the rejection of or ignorance of, that compromise in a democratic society is not only the reality but often a necessity to make incremental progress towards securing outcomes for progressive issues. It should ‘just happen.’ They will often tout Labor’s incremental approach as “just a pathetic excuse.”
These purists believe that the two Majors never get it right because the minor parties (Greens PHON etc) or IND they look up to, have the luxury of saying and not doing (Governing).
If one fights the Liberals instead, there are a whole range of condemning facts to go wild with. But instead, the anti-major party advocates, always attack Labor, when they present this argument.
I have done my best above to present Labor in a factual light, in contrast to what I argue are misleading statements/innuendos, inherent assumptions, call them what you will, within Ms. Neate’s article; which reads as a bid to have voters question their voting intention for Labor. By clarifying some of the broad statements within the article on IA, I hope I have given the reader a very different view of Labor’s position on various policy areas.
Presenting Labor in a factual light, would also list literally hundreds of progressive reforms enabled in society because of the Labor Party. Which would not happened if the type of argument in Ms. Neate’s article, to keep Labor out of power, by voting for someone else, was successful. We have already lost years of progress because of the Liberals.
That’s the difference between the collective of Liberals, minor parties, Independents and Labor and why Labor will get my number 1 vote.
There has been a lot of vigorous debate on Twitter about the Encryption Bill and Labor’s role. Here is my take on how it all panned out and why. I think the WHY is important because no one seems to want to discuss that. The WHYs are just as important in politics as the Whats, Hows, and Whens. Please note, this is not a debate about encryption technology. It is my take on why Labor made certain decisions. Everyone can decide for themselves.
1) Labor does not support “The Encryption Bill” in the raw form as written by the Liberal National Government. This is a misrepresentation being touted on Twitter. It is important to note, that this is a Liberal National Party Government Bill, that Labor must respond to. Labor is not the author of this Bill and did not write the content of this Bill in its first form.
2) Labor members were part of the committee which made a lot of recommendations to change the Bill. The Bill was deemed urgent as ASIO had requested new powers over Xmas, due to new technologies they don’t have powers for now (encrypted messages).
3) If Labor opposed the Bill, Liberals had support from Katter & McGowan in Lower house with no changes and could pass it anyway. Therefore, Labor’s opposition adds nothing but protest in this instance, as no outcome could be achieved. People angry at Labor need to weigh up if this was a viable solution.
4) If Labor opposed in the upper house (Senate) without taking time to work with the Government, the Government then had days of horse trading with X-Bench like Hanson, instead of Labor (I certainly don’t want that!) to make amendments to the Encryption Bill. People angry at Labor need to decide if this was a viable alternative to Labor blindly opposing).
5) So to prevent Hanson and co horse trading with their racist minds on National Security, Labor worked with the Government and made over 100 amendments. Amendments are protections – like control measures in risk management.
6) Time pressure was a huge factor, because ASIO said they needed these powers over Xmas and parliament was shutting down until February.
7) On Thursday 6 December, 2018, the Prime Minister shut down the lower house to keep kids on Nauru (Because the Liberals are sick in the head like that). After a Bill is passed in the upper house, the lower house needs to be in operation to ratify the Bill. (So the amendment solution Labor worked on to add protections to the Bill was now squashed by a political game played by the Morrison Government).
8) The Liberals closing parliament at 5pm was a game changer. All the hard work to make amendments would not be ratified. To reiterate, this move was made by Liberals to keep sick kids in offshore detention. (People should be really, really mad at this).
9) Because Morrison clocked off early, this left Labor with the responsibility and decision to give ASIO power. This was in light of the advice that there is an increased terror threat over Christmas. (Which makes sense because there are lots of crowds, right?)
10) If even one amendment passed, the Bill would have had to go back to lower house, which was no longer an option. This would leave ASIO with no new powers as requested. That is, except if Labor decided (in the absence of the Government who shirked their responsibility as a Government) to pass the Bill without amendments.
11) Bear in mind the experts warned of increased threat. Terror experts know more than most of us. (They don’t tell us everything because you know, Terrorists read the news and watch TV as well).
12) Because the Govt shirked their responsibility by going home, Labor had to weigh up pros and cons of increased threat, whilst weighing up the pros and cons of passing a flawed bill that a lot – a real lot of people outright reject, based on civil rights, privacy and other IT related concerns.
13) Labor erred on the side of caution, because terrorism is pretty shit and kills many innocent people.
14) With this in mind Labor had no choice but to pass the Bill to assist ASIO, if they were to take this threat seriously. Let’s face it. We EXPECT a Government to take ASIO seriously when it happens. Labor must act as an alternative Government and not a protest party (that’s why Labor mostly, does not act like the Greens).
This decision I personally support regardless of Govt. (I have faith in ASIO, others don’t, as they expressed on Twitter yesterday, which terrifies me).
15) Labor had to pass the Bill in the raw form with no amendments, because even if one amendment was passed, it needs to go back to the lower house. This wasn’t an option if ASIO were to be assisted over Xmas, because The Prime Minister and Govt clocked off at 5pm so kids on Nauru couldn’t get medical treatment. (Plus they had a knees up at The Lodge)
15) (i) The Liberals and Bernadi filibustered in the Senate (delaying a Bill by speech making, sometimes about nothing) so the Bill for Nauru kids was not passed in the senate before the Prime Minister shut down the lower house.
15 (ii) This means this was a pre-organised obstruction to get kids off Nauru. Which is pitifully sickening. The fact that people are not more outraged about this, than Labor passing a National Security Bill, also sickens me.
16) So Labor made the decision to pass the Bill to assist ASIO. To reiterate, Labor had to consider the advice of an increased terror threat over the Christmas season.
17) Labor passed this on the proviso that the amendments, including input from the public and experts is held when Parliament returns in February.
17) (i) This Bill passed with Greens, CA and Storer opposed to the raw bill. This means the Government only needed one of these to pass the Bill without Labor, which is a real possibility based on track record and the incentive for them to make their own amendments, if Labor did not make amendments. It is impossible to judge if Centre Alliance and Storer would or would not have supported the Bill with amendments that were not their amendments either. Regardless, this is a huge risk to take and why Labor took the action to make amendments to the Bill, rather than blindly protesting with no input. For example, It appears that Senator Patrick’s main issue was with the urgency of the Bill. He appeared to agree in his speech that that ASIO needed additional powers. This would not take much convincing from a Government to win him over, in my opinion.
Therefore there was a real danger the Bill could have been negotiated with input from two major Senators well known for racism, Hanson and Anning, plus the rest of the right wing cross bench. (Except Storer – I cant work out what he stands for yet.)
17 (ii) This is the lie the Greens peddle all the time, to try to get people to vote Green instead of Labor. That is, Labor has the numbers to oppose the Liberals if Labor sides with the Greens. It’s absolutely not true and the Greens must have that many pimples on their tongues, I’m amazed they can talk!) Yes, I know, I know, I can’t stand the Greens, but this is just mathematics. It’s a valid point, because on Twitter especially, this lie gains traction.
18) A side note, but an important point, is about a week ago, Howard (former Liberal PM) advised that Morrison could win the election on National Security. So if you have noticed, there has been lots of talk about Security, boats, and even kids getting medical treatment “opening the borders.” In politics, this is called fear based campaigning, but my term for it is “sick in the head, baseless gobshite”
19) But let’s face facts. The Liberals do have a track record of creating real terror for people with regards to Terrorism. It has worked in the past.
20) If Labor didn’t pass the Bill, and a real or “foiled” terror attack occurred then Labor would have been to blame.
21) If this did occur and Labor ignored ASIOs advice, we all know, the media largely enables this fear based environment with Murdoch Press, Shock Jocks and Sunrise doing live Crosses to Hanson, on a horse in country QLD, wearing a vegemite TShirt and an Aussie flag scarf, for “regular updates.” To add to that, no doubt Prime Minister Morrison would hold a 50 flag press conference in his Trump hat, screaming about “Fair Dinkum Terror.”
22) People may argue this was the main factor. It may be a factor considered, but so is the responsibility of alternative Govt and being left with the responsibility to give ASIO Powers over Xmas, in light of a terror attack. My personal opinion is decisions were based on increased risk of Terror and advice from ASIO, but also with an awareness of a fear campaign, which Labor would have already thought about, Bill or no Bill.
23) Morrison played this game on Thursday, because he would have in no way expected Shorten to pass the Bill with no amendments. Morrison would have had a campaign tactic ready, based on “keeping us safe” which he no longer can use. For those who purely enjoy the analysis of political strategy, I personally think Shorten outdid Morrison, If this point is simply isolated, without the difficulty of the content of the Bill in Question which has serious flaws, as noted already by Labor, and needs more work.
24) Sadly, Morrison May have achieved his aim regardless. The anger towards Labor on Twitter yesterday, was to the height of epic proportions. Voters taking the view that Labor could have stopped the Bill without any negative consequences, who now exclaim they won’t be voting Labor, in my view risk another term of the Morrison Government.
25) There is no magical realm where Liberal or Labor won’t Govern. Liberal, LNP, National, Shooters and Fishers, Independents and One Nation voters won’t be punishing the Liberals. But Morrison has achieved his aim to “split the left.” Which is good for no one else but him, now he is a Prime Minister who can’t be toppled.
26) For those who are angry at Labor, this is their own action with a negative consequence for them to consider. Every single vote counts.
In Operations Management we refer to this entire scenario above as a Wicked Problem. This is where every solution results in an alternative set of problems.
Regardless of the decision that is made; there is no decision where a solution will result all positive consequences. Every decision has negative consequences. Importantly, no decision will make everyone happy.
Decisions when dealing with Wicked Problems are therefore based on reducing the most harm.
In this instance, and in my opinion, Labor decided the most harm would occur if a terror attack occurred over Christmas if ASIO was ignored.
Therefore, in my opinion, Bill Shorten and Labor put the safety of people before politics, contrary to the view of some very vocal people, including media personalities, on Twitter.
What would you do? Which negative consequences do you choose, based on your decisions for this scenario?
I have written this because I am fielding a lot of questions on Twitter because I agree with the Labor Party’s decisions on this matter. Debates are quite heated and plenty are attacking Labor – without the discussion of these points – the WHYs.
As I said in my intro, the WHYs are as important as the Whats, Whens and hows, in politics.
The absence of the WHYs I believe, is a blight on our political debate. When the Why’s or any context is ignored, I strongly feel that this makes people much more insular and they will rapidly form groups. Context is so very important.
One person commented to me on Twitter that simply because “I was outnumbered” and although I presented a good argument, I had to basically relent and join the popular voice against Labor.
That comment REALLY made me think about the power of Twitter. How it separates us into groups. I do get into quite lengthy debates on Twitter, however, I will never, ever change my position because it is not popular. I will never sit on the fence, so people may “follow me.” Although sad, I will accept, people will mute and block me, because I won’t agree with ‘their view.” and that’s life. We can’t do that in real life, we simply avoid uncomfortable topics around certain people, we don’t agree on, and remain civil, but it is the life on social media.
People will say I am fairly partisan with Labor; which I most certainly am. However, if anyone does engage with me on Twitter, I always aim to come from the point of the view of the “Why or How” about a view of Labor that is not popular.
This is quite prevalent, simply due to the tactic that the Greens run about Labor. The Greens (and some Independents now) always focus on the “WHAT” and do not tell anyone about the “WHY or HOW.” For example, Labor may reject a Bill, because the Greens have put it in the wrong format, or attempted to change the wrong Bill, or followed the wrong Process – all reasonable reasons why it must be rejected, because it will fail anyway. However, the Greens then make a meme that LABOR VOTED WITH THE LIBERALS TO X, Y, Z SOMETHING REALLY HORRIBLE!!
Its a duplicitous tactic the Greens play all the time and it is dishonest. In a climate where people are sick and tired of dishonesty in politics, I think the finger really should be pointed strongly at the Greens for a change. Throughout this entire debate over the last few days, the Greens applied this tactic time and time again, to pose themselves as saints, when they were purposely fuelling anger. This should also remind people that minor parties do not wear halos and they are indeed politicians. They are not voices who wear halos.
The absence of the WHY, may not clear up the bad taste in some people’s mouths, over Labor, if they read the points above; but at least I have tried to give a different perspective, than “Doesn’t Excuse them being Shit” (as said by Greg Jericho of the Guardian on Twitter.)
I would like to state very, very clearly, in case Senator CFW “you are a Labor bot” woman is watching me. Although, I’m a card carrying member of the Labor party, this blog is always and always will be completely my own thoughts. I have had no discussion, or instruction or by anyone else within the Labor party.
As this article is based on my own thoughts, anyone with anything to add to the PROCESS described above, which is factual, that I may have missed, or I may simply have wrong, is also welcome.
I won’t welcome anything that is a tech rant, because that is refuted as far as I am concerned until the Bill is in its final form, after public consultation and with all recommendations and amendments included. (Sure, comment, but it’s not the discussion I’m looking for).
I won’t welcome baseless untruths promulgated through Tweets, newsletters, memes, Instagram or Facebook by the Greens. These are already refuted based on the basic mathematics of addition, where numbers for and against a Bill are added for all scenarios detailed above.
I hope at least I’ve added something else to think about, that outright protesting that the Greens insist Labor should do, does not always result in a positive outcome, based on the numbers in the current set of both houses.
Also, that an alternative Government (opposition) and Government, must sometimes make really shitty decisions, that people are not going to be happy with, knowing there will be huge popularity slumps for them to deal with as well. What party wants that?
The parties that can Govern – that is, Labor and Liberal/National coalition – simply do not have this luxury of doing and saying whatever they please, without judgement.
I also want to shout out to the self identified “far more intelligent non-partisan” people on Twitter that I wrote this all by myself because Partisan people can also think for themselves. This is contrary to the belief us partisans are brainwashed for knowing where we sit on the ideology spectrum. Also that we can’t have any thoughts of our own because we don’t sit on the fence, or try to appeal to everyone, so they like us. (Sorry, in context – too many pathetic insults about this towards “us Labor People” on Twitter yesterday).
Frankly, I’d prefer an argument with a conservative with conviction, rather than someone with no heartfelt ideology. At least I’d understand their position.
I am also very sad, that there was more outrage over this, than there was with the Social Security Amendment Act and the ABCC – which causes actual death. Have we lost our way? Why is this?
This last point, is the point that probably brings the most fear to me and my motivation for writing this piece. If the argument is true, that Morrison played this game, because he thought he had an advantage politically to gain ground in the polls; then from the reaction yesterday, this does very much concern me.
Its not that I am very dedicated to the Labor cause; but because in reality any other alternative than a Shorten Labor Government, means a Morrison Government for three more years.
If this tactic does work and enough people are angry at Labor, then the result will be the return of the Morrison Government. Voting Green or Independent does not guarantee a Shorten Government, regardless of how people try to spin preferential voting. Splitting the left is the Liberal Party’s major dream. Remember the utmost AIM of the Liberal’s entire existence is to break the working class. You do not get solidarity for the working class by dividing us into smaller groups so we turn against each other during an election.
Morrison thinks he is Trump and his tactic here is to make sure the electorate punishes Shorten, so he is Australia’s Trump after the electorate punished Hilary. Punishing the alternative Government, when you don’t want the current Government, gives you back the current Government you do not want. It is no more clear than that.
The type of angry mob dialogue works and it is EXACTLY Morrison’s aim. He will be absolutely beaming with glee at the moment. I ask people to think about their political priorities, such as work rights, joblessness, stigma and punitive social security, the destruction of TAFE, cuts to Higher Education, Education and Health and cuts to Medicare, such as people over 50 no longer able to access MRI scans for knees etc., Only a Shorten Labor Government can achieve progress on any of these issues and give workers and the jobless back some goddamn dignity and rights.
Please seriously think about what it would take for any other party besides Labor to Govern, to knock off the Liberals. Risking anything but Labor, is unrealistic, it has no precedent in modern political history, and it is not a practical option. If you are passionate about issues and still don’t like Labor, please still vote for Labor, at least just for this election and for issues you are passionate about, use third party advocacy that is not about Governance of the nation. Join your Union.
The alternative of a Morrison Government for three more years, with a ‘mandate of the people’ is an unbearable, terrifying thought.
Cheers for reading. Feel free to place a comment below.
Who is responsible for jobs? Should we punish the jobless? Is welfare a right or a privilege? These are the questions the Government is too gutless to ask. By accepting the Government’s answers to these issues without question, we may be shaping a future we haven’t asked for. The Jobless didn’t ask for this!
The term “welfare” is often touted as synonymous with the word “problem”. The question we are not asked is, “Is welfare a problem?”
The Government is asking us to argue vehemently over answers to a question they are too gutless to ask. We should ask the Government questions.
Welfare Reform is a complex issue. However, the wider narrative has a huge impact on how we address reform in this space.
The Welfare Reform Bill currently before the house, is focused on using punishment as a blunt force to solve the ‘welfare problem.’ The Government is quite brazen in no longer hiding punishment as a measure.
One system of punishment is a demerit point system. Another is drug testing. Therefore, the Government has predetermined, that the jobless ‘do the wrong thing’.
The Liberal National Coalition have successfully chipped away at society, along with the opposition in some respects. That is, to create a sub-human welfare class who society appears comfortable to punish.
Punishment sits well with a large section of society. This is due to continuous stigma aimed at the jobless. In the words of Erving Goffman, we have actively inflicted upon the jobless a ‘spoiled identity.’
The Labor opposition opposes these measures. However, since the late 1980’s the Labor party has joined with the Liberals with the same mantra.. That is, the onus is on the jobless to find a job, rather than the responsibility of Government to sustain an economy offering jobs for all.
In short, the narrative over the last 30 years is that jobseekers need a paternalistic guiding hand to motivate them. Therefore, the Government shuns the notion of the jobseeker’s own intrinsic motivation.
The answer given to us over the last 30 years is that the jobless are a problem. The Government(s) place the burden on the jobseeker to find jobs, although these jobs may not exist. Where jobs do not exist, the Turnbull Government believes the jobless should create their own job. For ideological reasons, the Government shuns Government intervention and job creation.
The Government(s) have given us answers without asking any questions. They assume that we, in society, simply agree that the jobless are a problem. The Government assumes that we agree that the Government is blameless. They assume we are completely happy with the amount and types of jobs available.
“Is the Government doing enough to ensure there are enough jobs for the people?”
“Is the Government skilled enough to implement the right solutions to increase available jobs?”
“If the Government does not believe it is their role to create jobs, is self-determination to create our own job by starting our own business, a practical solution for all?”
“Do we aim for a society where large pockets of ghost towns exist, along with a number of over-populated vibrant cities for workers to transition to, or do we aim for a society where the Government places the same commitment to develop all regions equally?”
The answer given to us over the last 30 years is the we should punish the jobless. The punitive approach intensified during the Howard era, particularly financial penalties. The level of punishment today is very paternalistic and draconian.
The problem posed is that the jobless lack motivation. The assumption is that inaction by the Government is acceptable. However, the Government does not ask us if we agree.
Over the Abbott-Turnbull period, the level of punishment aimed at the jobless is unacceptable. From the jobless starve for six months policy, to the demerit system, to restrictions on volunteer work for over 55’s, cashless welfare and drug testing are aimed to develop a society, I do not recognise as an Australian society. This causes me a deep level of concern.
“Is it fair to punish the jobless, if the Government fails to provide enough jobs?”
“Should the Government punish the jobless, if they do not have the skills or capital to start their own business, if they cannot find a job?”
“Is it fair to punish the jobless if the Government has not provided an adequate jobsearch system to support the jobless to match them to available jobs?”
“Although studies show that extrinsic motivation factors such as punishment, affect psychological well-being, hinder job search and not assist it, is it acceptable to punish the jobless?
The punitive approach of successive Governments aim to reduce spending in the welfare space. It is evident that the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s aim is to reclassify those on welfare into a sliding scale. This scale appears to bracket those on welfare from ‘acceptable citizens’ to ‘bludgers’ to ‘drug addled sub-humans.’
The Government had one other criteria “genuine jobseekers”, prior to this bill. However, all jobseekers now fall into the realm of bludgers. Every measure in the current bill, is underpinned by a suspicion the jobless individual may be prone to deviant behaviour.
The punitive measures in the current reforms are very much focused on financial penalty. They seek to exclude or restrict access to unemployment benefits. This is done by classifying welfare recipients into normal behaviour (reward) and deviant behaviour (exclusion).
In short, to save money on the welfare bill (which we all pay for, including the jobless), the Government has provided us with the answer of normals and deviants.
They haven’t asked us the question. However, it is clear their answer is ‘normals and deviants’.
The Government knows that Australians will always apply the ‘fair-go’ to normals, but not deviants. In short, it is a simple equation.
Jobless+30 years of stigma = Deviants
Normals-Deviants = Less welfare spending
This question I have left until last because it is crucial to how we see our future as a society. Most importantly, I ask readers to please ponder upon this question. This is because the Government tells us everyday who we are. We need to stand up and tell them who we want to be.Therefore, it is crucial to argue if welfare is a right or a privilege. This is intrinsic to who we are as a society.
As you can see from the excerpt above, unemployment and sickness benefits were introduced in Australia as a right, not a privilege. Three generations later, the Abbott-Turnbull Government speaks of welfare as a privilege and not a right. They have changed the definition whilst we were not looking. Additionally, they again, provided us with an answer without asking us a very important question.
“Should Welfare continue to be available as a right to all people in society, from the recently redundant to the most disenfranchised in society, or do we aim for a society, where the poorest class are further divided by the Government into entitled humans and excluded sub-humans?”
Real welfare reform will begin with asking confronting questions and shifting away from arguing over the answers the Government provides without them posing an actual question.
If the Government took on the burden instead of the jobless, our conversations around the dinner table, would be very different. Importantly, these tiny conversations are powerful enough to shape public policy.
It is evident from some of the emotive speakers within the Labor opposition and crossbenchers, speaking to this bill, that the punishment regime has gone way too far. However, after 30 years of placing the burden on the jobless and praising punishment as a motivator, why is anyone speaking to this welfare bill, angry or shocked?
Real Welfare Reform can only happen when a leader dares to stand apart from the pack. This leader will remove the burden from the jobless. They will lead us by being brave enough to take ownership and responsibility for job creation. Most importantly they will not stand idly by and allow the jobless in our society to suffer from stigma in silence. They will unite us and not divide us.
They will look back over the last 30 years, look back to us and with true emotion say “Under a Government I lead, the jobless will never be punished again.”
I don’t know about you, but I have not felt like this in a long time! Sally McManus is a real life hero. Sally is a bringer of hope.
Equality and fairness cut very deep for me. I was one of six children and my father was on the disability pension. I was raised in housing commission in a regional town, in Queensland. One thing my Father used to say to me is, “On the pension, you can’t improve. This is it. There is no more money than what they give you.’ I understood life was different for us.
From the moment I could read, I took a keen interest in politics. I would sit at the table and trawl through the Australian and Courier Mail, turning the pages (which were almost as big as the table). Amongst the political stories, I searched for hope.
I would stare intently at photos of Malcolm Fraser and Joh Bjelke Petersen. Through the eyes of a child, they did not even have kind faces. They looked important but uncaring.
Day after day, there were never any stories about hope for kids like me, or for mums and dads like mine. Did they not see us? Did they not know we were here?
One day, I was sitting cross legged in the middle of the lounge room floor (like you do as an eleven-year-old). A man appeared on the television and he was talking about fairness.
The feeling I had inside was overwhelming. I felt very, very emotional. Finally, in the world of huge newspapers and two television channels, here was one of those important men on the television, but I liked him. He was so much different.
I do not remember his exact words, (I am sure there will be a speech somewhere), but this man said that he would fight to make sure everyone was equal. He would make things fair.
I knew he understood us, without even knowing us. He saw us.
I turned around to Dad and said, “Who is that man?”
“That man is Bob Hawke. He was head of the ACTU. He’s a very smart man and by God Ish, he knows what he is doing. Bob Hawke is going to be our Prime Minister one day.”
In the world of six o’clock news and huge newspapers, I finally existed.
I drew his words in.
Finally, I had hope.
I felt hope.
As I have travelled through life since Bob Hawke, I have not felt that same moment of overwhelming hope. Of being seen.
My first real understanding of the opposite of Bob Hawke was John Howard and Work Choices. My first real protest was fighting against Individual Contracts imposed on University workers.
The Howard Era for me was an era of oppression. Of really pushing the working class to the floor. Of making sure if something went wrong, it was too bad. Suck it up losers! A world thrust upon us where we could not speak up and find justice if wronged. We just had to ‘cop whatever employers decided to give us.’ Even the sack.
It didn’t matter if you were loyal, or really good at your job and worked hard, the threat of the sack loomed dark over everyone’s heads and you could tell others felt it every day too. They were dark times.
I will never ever forget Work Choices. Ever.
The night Kevin Rudd won office, I was deliriously happy. To cut a long story short, I was still sitting on the footpath at six in the morning.
Although Rudd knocked down the bad guy. I never had that same feeling of hope. No emotions stirred within me. I was not looking up to a man fighting for fairness. The same with Gillard.
Tony Abbott destroyed my soul. Enough said. I don’t need to explain.
Malcolm Turnbull has the personality and empathy of a cardboard box. One thing you pick up on when you grow up poor is fake people. His fakeness – his insincerity demoralises me on a daily basis, because every single day, I think of today’s kids that are kids like I was. He never will understand the world these kids live in.
I was starved of hope again. The desire to feel hope again was strong.
Fast forward to 2017. The biggest news was Sally McManus was the first female secretary of the ACTU. I had waited all day for her interview on ABC 7.30 Report.
Leigh Sales, a journalist known for interrupting Labor politicians was the interviewer. I felt trepidation. What games would be played? Was the aim to tear down another woman? Did Sales have trick questions up her sleeve? Would Sales cut Sally off to leave misinterpretations hanging in the air?
I watched intently as Sally answered the questions. A calm, clear, steely resolve. An explicit air of knowing her stuff. Of intelligence, higher thought and compassion. A voice of fairness.
Traits I search for in women to admire were before me in abundance. I was stoked!
The emotions that welled inside me, took me back to my childhood sitting on the floor. Here I was sitting, in the lounge room again, watching ABC again and hearing words about the ACTU and fairness again. But this time, it was a woman. How good is this, Right?
Then the words boomed out of the screen….
“It is okay for workers to break unjust laws.”
I drew her words in.
Finally, I had hope.
I felt hope.
Ever since this day, I have watched intently and Sally McManus is everywhere. Fighting the good fight. Travelling all over Australia. Standing with workers. Speaking words of hope. Fighting for workers. Standing in Solidarity with the unemployed. Fighting for all of us. Knocking down walls. Smashing the insidious thought that has permeated our culture since Howard, that “Workers will get what they are given.”
Telling us to stand together to not back down. A consistent strong unwavering message of hope and fairness, every, single day. Every, single day.
My desire to feel hope is finally fed.
An iteration of Howard and Work Choices will never ever rise again under Sally’s watch.
And that makes me feel bloody good. For me and for kids today who were like kids like me. I feel good for the workers. For the jobless. For everyone doing it tough.
I no longer search for hope. No longer do I desire to be fed. I wake up every day and eat hope for breakfast.
Sally sees us. We exist. She is present.
Sally McManus IS a real life hero.
I echo my Father telling me about Bob Hawke, the man from the ACTU, but now about Sally McManus, the woman from the ACTU:
“Sally McManus will be our Prime Minister one day.”
I just want a Sally McManus T-Shirt!
The world outside mainstream media is a wonderful place. Every week, I will take you with me as I look back over my last week in my world outside the MSM. All articles, tweets and blogs are embedded, so click and share the love for independent news and people power!
My favourite independent news article this week is by Krish Na. Absolutely top marks for investigative journalism. Krish Na reports that One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts may not only be still a citizen of India but possibly a British citizen as well.
Malcolm Roberts, in spite of his express denials, very likely continues to be a citizen of India, thanks partly to India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Krish Na reports. AFTER GREENS Senator Larissa Waters’ resignation, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts issued a statement saying that he asked for clarification from ‘Indian authorities’ on his citizenship in 2014 and said they confirmed that he is not an Indian citizen.
Fave video is a tie this week! Joel Fitzgibbon has been trying to expose the deal Malcolm Turnbull has done with the Nationals to become Prime Minister. Now Malcolm Turnbull is asking tax payers to pay to take Joel to court. David and Goliath stuff!
A very relaxed and Funny Bill Shorten on Nova Breakfast. Fashion advice, A suspect night out and practising the Donald Trump handshake.
My favourite blog post this week is written by Victoria Rollison. Victoria points out the inability of the media to understand (and report) Shorten’s message. “I am both unsurprised and disappointed that the mainstream political media have not only completely missed the significance of Shorten’s agenda but have also missed the key point.”
Shorten used a speech on Friday to set Labor’s economic agenda for the next Labor government. This agenda states clearly that inequality is hurting the economy, and that anything you do to reduce inequality is good for the economy. This is not just an economic announcement. It is a social one too.
The Rules Are Broken
What’s not to like?
Clinton’s first time in the Snow
John Setka demonstrates the insanity of the ABCC.
A curse on all those who voted for it!
Dutton Emojis for all occasions. I wonder how many stories Julie Bishop can write using these?
Isn’t this is the best mash-up of Abbott-Turnbull ever?
A song about Turnbull’s first year in Office. Going by the most recent Newspoll, it appears that the punters still agree. Well done Stu!
Courtesy of Mace Hope – Ministry of Satire Facebook.
My Favourite for the Week is one of my regular faves. Noely (@YathinkN) and Caitlin (@LacyMartini) give us the pleasure of their weekly PodCasts on Politiscope #Auspollive. Always a really, truly enjoyable listen. Politiscope is brought to us by the lovely @deniseshrivell #Auspollive has regular and guest (and some very special guest) podcasters.
Every Monday Noely and Caitlin have a chat about the happenings in #Auspol
Thanks to everyone who has shared my posts this week. In case you missed them – My blog posts this week were:
The Anti-Adani protest has generated divisive anti-worker rhetoric. Preventative unemployment should be a key focus towards a post-coal world. This article discusses the importance of themes in the narrative towards a post-coal world and explores the approach to preventative unemployment policy
The rise of Ministerial Advisers is examined by Dr Yee-Fui Ng. Peta Credlin, Kevin Rudd and Children Overboard are interesting inclusions. This week I also introduce a new element in House Music – Senate Occasional Lectures. Senate Occasional Lectures are part of the Seminars and Lectures Series in Parliament House.
House Music is a weekly blog where I discuss various Bills, Committees, Petitions and try to raise awareness of the valuable resources on the APH website.
Well, that was my world outside the MSM over the last week. How did your’s go?
The rise of Ministerial Advisers is examined by Dr Yee-Fui Ng. Peta Credlin, Kevin Rudd and Children Overboard are interesting inclusions. This week I also introduce a new element in House Music – Senate Occasional Lectures. Senate Occasional Lectures are part of the Seminars and Lectures Series in Parliament House.
Dr Ng is a lecturer at RMIT. Her research interests are in the areas of political integrity and law. She has worked as a Policy Adviser to Prime Minister and Cabinet and as a Senior Legal Adviser in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Dr Ng is the author of Ministerial Advisers in Australia – The Modern Legal Context. For this book, Dr Ng interviews 22 former and current Ministers and Members of Parliament, including four former Premiers, two former Treasurers, five former Senior Ministers, one leader of the Greens and two former speakers. Dr Ng uses theming to explain the findings in this lecture. I have paraphrased Dr Ng’s lecture below. The video link is provided.
House Music is a weekly blog where I discuss various Bills, Committees, Petitions and try to raise awareness of the valuable resources on the APH website.
The 1970s saw the development of the modern Senate committee system. Therefore, this also saw the introduction of Senate Standing Committees and Estimate Committees. Importantly, the significance of this change is Senate Committees could hold the Government to account. This era marked the shift from Ministers relying solely on Departments for advice to the introduction of a new political class – the Ministerial Adviser. This new political class stands between the Minister and the Public Service.
“It’s very hard to feel sorry for politicians” (Dr Ng)
In this opening statement, Dr Ng explains the complexity of a Minister’s role. Modern day politicians have many different responsibilities including, policy, the media and political issues. Advisers meet with stakeholders and interest groups as well as constituents. In addition, they must work with their Prime Minister, Members of Parliament and their political party.
Furthermore, new Ministers face a complex system of bureaucracy inherited from the previous Government. Although the public service is impartial; Ministers may not trust a public service which has just served the outgoing Government. As a result, Ministers may seek partisan support from advisers who they can trust. This has led to the rise of the Ministerial Adviser. The Minister directly appoints their Ministerial Advisers.
The beginnings of Ministerial Advisers were in the form of the Kitchen Cabinet in the 1970s. A group of the Minister’s trusted colleagues ‘sat around the kitchen table’ and passed on advice to the Minister as well as developed political strategy. This has since formalised into the role of the Ministerial Adviser.
This was a distinct shift from the Minister seeking advice from the impartial public service to a partisan adviser.
Ministerial Staff have increased by 173 percent over the last 40 years. in 1972 there were 155 Ministerial Staff. In 2015 there were 423 Ministerial Staff.
Ministerial Advisers are influential and powerful and work across a range of functions. Some Ministerial Advisers such as Chief of staff to the Prime Minister and very Senior Ministers were more powerful than many ministers and members of parliament.
Often the Ministerial Advisers you find in the Prime Minister’s and Premier’s offices are more powerful than some Ministers. The Head of the Media Unit the Chief of Staff and maybe one or two advisers in Prime Ministers and Premier’s office, are more powerful, have more influence on the decision makers in most cases, than certainly Junior Ministers and more than most Ministers. (John Thwaite – Former Deputy Premier)
In addition, Intimacy develops between the Minister and their Ministerial Advisers. This is due to long working hours and high political pressures.
There is an intimacy in the Ministerial office. People work ridiculous hours, you are living in each other’s other’s pockets, it is a relatively small area. You are under intense pressure. (Lindsay Tanner, Former Minister)
Dr Ng says that this environment is conducive to this type of intimacy. This intimacy gives more access, trust and bond than someone who is coming in to see you every two days.
Minister’s may see their Advisers more than they see their partner. (Steve Bracks former Premier)
Dr Ng describes this as a relationship forged in fire.
To demonstrate the power of Ministerial Advisers, Dr Ng offers Peta Credlin as a key example.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff Peta Credlin is a well-known example of a formidable former ministerial adviser. Credlin was once rated as Australia’s most powerful woman. There were frequent media reports about Credlin giving directions to and berating Ministers and Members of Parliament. Credlin also sat in on cabinet meetings and vetted Ministerial staff selection and media appearances.
She’s tough. She is the player, she makes demands, she gives directions, she balls people out. (Liberal Insider)
Credlin undoubtedly had more power and influence than most Ministers. Dr Ng concludes that “The Star of Ministerial Advisers has well and truly risen.”
Dr Ng explains the important inclusion of Ministerial Advisers is the link to the reduction in influence by public servants.
For example, Kevin Rudd would ignore his department for months at a time. Ministerial advisers were Rudd’s primary source of advice.
Dr Ng also demonstrates an observable shift. A Departmental Secretary physically moved to give the front row seat at an important function to the (Premier’s) Chief of Staff.
A key point of difference is that Public Servants operate under a strict administrative and compliance structure for accountability. Ministerial Advisers operate in a largely unregulated framework.
The public service reforms of 1980s were intended to bolster the position of ministers compared to public servants, as well as to increase the responsiveness of the public service. (Former Prime Minister – Paul Keating.)
Intent of the Ministerial staff system was to counter the impact of the imperial public service that was not elected and an excessive influence of Government and was not under the control of the elected Government. (Former Minister Dr David Kemp)
The implementation of the Ministerial staff system was to reduce the influence of the public sector. Dr Ng explained increased efficiency was another reason.
However, Dr Ng argues that the rise of Ministerial Advisers is the triumph of efficiency over accountability. The appearance of Ministerial Advisers before Parliamentary Committees is used to demonstrate this.
In some instances, Ministerial Advisers have been banned from appearing before Parliamentary committees. This happened in the Children Overboard Incident.
In 2001, Prime Minister John Howard claimed that asylum seeker passengers threw their own children overboard.
Within several days the public servants found out the children overboard story was false. They advised the Ministerial Advisor to the Defence Minister this story was false. However, Ministers continued to keep making statements that Asylum Seekers threw their own children overboard, as part of an election strategy. The press secretary for the Defence Minister asked the public servant to email photos to him. The photos were from Navy Sailors who had rescued terrified asylum seekers and their children when their boat sank.
The public servants made it clear that these photos were not of the Children Overboard incident but as part of a rescue operation. The Minister released photographs of “children thrown overboard”. Although, the Ministerial Adviser was notified this was not the case.
(Photos of the Children Overboard incident were used in the 2001 election campaign.)
A Senate Committee enquiry was formed to investigate the Children Overboard incident. The Government refused to allow Ministerial Advisers to appear before the Committee. The Senate Committee was highly critical of this and argued this move shunned accountability.
This means they do not need to provide an explanation for accountability. Ministers can effectively escape scrutiny for their actions and deny responsibility.
Dr Ng explains that this creates an accountability gap and Government seeking to ensure executive accountability is undermined. Dr Ng argues this is a failure at a systemic level and Ministers can avoid their own responsibility to Parliament.
Dr Ng explains the complex nature of constitutional conventions and the different powers between Standing and Select Senate Committees. She explains that the belief system of politicians plays into whether Ministerial Advisers should appear before committees. Dr Ng points to a conjuncture between law and politics.
Within the interviews, former Ministers Kim Carr and Peter Costello objected to Ministerial Advisers appearing before Parliamentary Committees on the basis it allows Ministers to evade their own responsibilities to Parliament.
It would look very weak if you sent your Ministerial Advisers in for you (Peter Costello – Former Minister).
Anna Burke, the former Speaker of the House, argued that Ministerial Advisers should appear before parliamentary committees for a variety of reasons. Burke argued that Ministerial Advisers should have appeared in the Children Overboard inquiry.
Dr Ng explains the disparity of belief about conventions and the decision in the Children Overboard inquiry about Ministerial Advisers not appearing before Senate Committee.
For example, a former Liberal Senior Minister said that conventions are only practised until they are broken.
Conventions can be in the eye of the beholder and do not survive a brutal assault driven by political reasons. On an issue of this kind, people tend to do whatever suits their short term political interests. (Former Liberal Senior Minister)
Dr Ng argues that various parties will adopt contradictory positions with regard to conventions.
Either the Minister needs to accept responsibility for what their staff do. You cannot say they are responsible to me, but I don’t care what they do. I am not going to tell you what they do because it is nobody’s business. (Dr Ng)
Dr Ng argues there is no legitimate reason to exclude Ministerial Advisers from appearing before Parliamentary Committees.
Ministerial Advisers are an important part of the system and in that sense, I think that they are accountable the same way as Ministers are accountable to the public interest. The public interest is protected by Parliament and when Parliament enquire into something, they should get all the evidence that they need. It has never been an issue in Western Australia. (Geoff Gallop – Former Western Australian Premier)
Dr Ng explains that it is only the Commonwealth and the State of Victoria that makes the case that Ministerial Advisers are prevented from appearing before parliamentary Committees, through a constitutional convention.
Dr Ng concludes:
There are failings at an institutional level in the Australian system of public administration. This has been exacerbated by the rise of Ministerial Advisers in the Australian system of Government, the manipulated behaviour of politicians and the unreflective adoption of the public management efficiency approach.
We are caught between law and convention, continuity and change. (Dr Ng)
Dr Ng’s full lecture can be viewed here:
The Anti-Adani protest has generated divisive anti-worker rhetoric. Preventative unemployment should be a key focus towards a post-coal world. This article discusses the importance of themes in the narrative towards a post-coal world and explores the approach to preventative unemployment policy.
The anti-Adani movement is growing. It has progressed from a place of prominence on social media to a place of prominence in main stream media.
I have spent countless hours trying to engage with the Anti-Adani movement. I have persisted for a long period to bring the topic of jobs to the centre of the discussion. Placing the worker at the centre of the framework is crucial, as we move towards a post-coal world.
This is crucial because the Anti-Adani movement’s aim to shut down the Adani mine is just the beginning. It is not the end. A move towards alternative energy and away from coal is evident. Protests against existing mines are just a matter of time. The industrial landscape will change forever.
However, any discussion regarding jobs is dismissed and not taken seriously.
Every Adani protester is protesting to shut down jobs and is part of a wider movement which will build and push to shut down even more heavy industry.
The wider narrative in the Anti-Adani movement, when the point of jobs is raised, makes this issue much bigger than Adani by default.
I have engaged almost every day in the Adani debate online, across various platforms for at least a year. In my experience, the rebuttals towards any argument put forward regarding jobs fall into a number of themes. The post-coal world is the framework for these themes, not just Adani per se.
This rebuttal insists that only Great Barrier Reef workers hold any importance and these workers are more important than Coal Workers.
This rebuttal dehumanises coal workers as a lower status of human. Job creation for this group is not considered. There is the assumption that these workers work in a dead industry and it is up to them to get out. Some insist it is up to the current coal mine owners to transition employees out now. Protestors see coal as an ugly and dirty industry. Therefore, stigmatisation of coal workers occurs.
This rebuttal is related to the above and shifts the blame of climate change to the actual worker. ie Coal workers are ruining the planet.
Coal workers will all automatically transition to a renewables job and this is the best fit for ex-coal workers is the assumption.
The assumption is that renewable energy companies will hire the ex-coal workforce. The other assumption is the same location will house the new industry. See above.
This rebuttal rejects that coal mining has any significant contribution to the Australian economy and renewables will generate much more revenue and jobs than coal. Also, local economies will remain unchanged. This rebuttal also assumes that small business or the allocation of public services funding and infrastructure funding will not change.
This rebuttal insists that we must sacrifice all coal jobs for the greater good; because if we don’t then there will be no world and no jobs.
When I raised jobs as an issue, the following themes occurred.
Personal investment – The major theme is ‘pro-coal‘. It is my observation that participants in this movement are unable to differentiate between pro-jobs and pro-coal.
Another theme is “Queensland Bias” as it is my home state.
Guilt – The other major theme is guilt. This is usually a counter-argument after jobs are raised. For example, accusations relating to; not caring about the Great Barrier Reef, GBR workers, First Nations people and land rights and not caring about Farmers.
From my perspective, it is important to include the personally directed themes, as these themes are quite prevalent. In addition, I would argue that these types of retaliations are an active part of a phenomenon which dismisses the worker by delegitimising the concern of the pro-jobs advocate.
This poses problems for any politician who tries argue the point for jobs. Not just at this moment regarding Adani, but as this movement progresses towards the insistence of more closures of heavy industry. On Qanda, the panel and audience ultimately dismissed Senator Canavan when he raised the issue of high unemployment for local areas near the mine.
The theme around this post coal transition within politics is largely devoid of any conversation around the transition of jobs and skills. The political themes are:
Climate Change Targets – This theme is central to reducing carbon emissions.
Alternative Energy – This theme is central to exploring the use of alternative energy, rather than the importance of transition of jobs within this shift.
Renewables the Best Fit – Renewables as the best fit for coal workers is assumed. Attracting other industry is not discussed. The redistribution of the public sector is also not discussed.
I have highlighted these themes, as I see them, as I believe they play a central part ensuring the recognition of the worker occurs.
Through the attempt to understand the current phenomenon using theming, we can then identify the actors within the phenomenon and what impact the phenomenon has as it develops. We can use this insight to shape society.
The worker will remain in the background unless we reflect upon these themes. Therefore, the worker will be an accidental casualty of the movement towards a post coal world.
In addition, these themes contribute to the way we insist that political parties approach a transition. For example, the emphasis placed on skills transition and profession transition.
Most importantly, whether political parties implement curative or preventative unemployment strategies to address unemployment.
Policy development towards unemployment takes two forms, preventative and curative. Essentially, preventative policy enables measures to prevent unemployment. Curative policy development is reactionary and punitive and seeks to address the consequences of unemployment.
It is essential that political parties develop a solid transition plan based on skills and jobs. However, there is not enough detail in the current Labor and Greens transition plans. A focus on energy rather than jobs is evident. I have been unable to source a transition plan by the Liberal National Coalition Government.
The Greens’ transition plan discusses the rehabilitation of mines as the main alternative job for ex-coal workers.
Labor’s transition plan takes a more holistic approach. However, I would argue that some points such as redeployment and relocation do not focus on community.
A detailed transition plan consisting of where the new industry will be developed, a jobs and skills forecast, including projected employment types, such as ongoing and casual should be developed. In addition, an examination of the reconfiguration of new industry and public services should occur.
The road to where we are heading, how we will get there and what happens when we get there is now urgent.
The Shorten Labor Opposition does discuss preventative unemployment strategies as part of their transition plan. However, this is more implicit, rather than explicit. We urgently need a strong voice pushing a detailed jobs narrative.
As the transition away from coal jobs occurs, an increase in the demand for labour is essential. A forecast of job losses in coal areas should enable political parties to develop a blue print for planning.
Business incentives to encourage businesses to relocate and set up in local areas could be advantageous. In addition, job creation through Government intervention would be beneficial.
Often skills development is discussed from a curative point of view of ‘getting the unemployed skilled for work’. However, within a preventative strategy, the addition of career development is an essential addition. The development of new skills to supply labour is essential as the transition away from coal assumes an increase in unemployment. This shift is structural and understood. Therefore, the worker can complete career development programs during their employment with a coal based employer.
A focus on preventative unemployment would see a national strategy employed where employers are subsidised to release existing labour for new skills development training.
Funding of Universities to develop appropriate courses and recruit staff ahead of time is also vital.
A micro approach to local economies should examine the requirements to reconfigure the labour market within Australia. Within a preventative strategy as alternatives or additions to renewable jobs and how this should be configured should be examined. For example, in conjunction with renewable jobs, local government areas may be identified as specific hubs. Such as telecommunications hubs, community sector hubs, aged care hubs.
A reconfiguration, redistribution and a reassessment of public sector need and staffing establishments required to adequately service the population should also be considered. Regional unemployment figures, rather than national unemployment figures, should be a measure of success.
The changes required towards a post coal world, including an increase in labour demand, a change of career and wages for many workers and a loss of increment/experience level is perceived.
The suppression of voice of the supply side of labour is a dangerous pressure from Liberal National Governments. They may argue that secure employment and strong labour regulations may reduce the desire for employers to employ more entrants into the new industry. They may argue that new industry in a new market is volatile and wages should be kept as low as possible and work as flexible as possible to enable growth.
However, a preventative framework should be a pluralistic framework. Therefore, the Government, employers and unions should work together to set the standards and improve worker security in new industries and in transitioning local economies.
Punitive measures underpin curative unemployment strategies. These have become increasingly harsh and prevalent since the 1990’s. Curative policies focus on the unemployed rather than the labour market. Therefore the motivations of the unemployed are questioned (and punished) rather than a recognition that there is not enough demand for labour in the market.
This transitional shift to a post coal world could also transition the job search framework. In a preventative system creating labour demand to match the under-utilised supply would be the focus. A preventative unemployment strategy would see a Government motivated to intervene to create jobs, invest in skills and career development.
In a curative system, the underlying assumption is punitive. The jobless are blamed for their own unemployment. This is usually a lack of motivation and intrinsic propensity to learn or work. ‘Curing’ the causes of lack of motivation or desire to work are the strategies employed. Currently, these are financial penalties and working as free labour for welfare benefits.
In a preventative system creating labour demand to match the under-utilised supply would be the focus. A preventative unemployment strategy would see a Government motivated to intervene to create jobs. Also, invest in skills and career development of new and transitioning workers and incentivize business.
A consideration of the themes identified in the narrative in the shift towards a post coal society is critical to transition towards a narrative which places the worker front and centre in the climate change framework.
We need a detailed transition plan urgently. The implementation of preventative unemployment strategies will ensure a smooth transition to a post-coal world.
The world outside mainstream media is a wonderful place. Every week, I will take you with me as I look back over my last week in my world outside the MSM. All articles, tweets and blogs are embedded, so click and share the love for independent news and people power!
My favourite independent news article this week is by Julian Burnside. The increasing interest in Australian citizens should be a serious concern for us all.
Human rights advocate and barrister Julian Burnside AO discusses Border Force’s increased interest in Australian citizens, as PM Malcolm Turnbull announces greater powers for the Australian Defence Force. The lesson is: when governments misbehave, it’s just a matter of time before they will come for you.
This video is of workers in Sale, Victoria. These workers are facing massive pay cuts and casualisation. This is the workers’ stories and they are organising and speaking up.
My favourite blog post this week is from a new site I follow: Pearls and Irritations. In this article, Professor John Quiggin discusses a possible turning away from privatisation. I was fortunate enough to hear Professor Quiggin speak at a Not For Sale information night in Rockhampton in 2014. The Newman Government were trying to sell Ergon Energy. The LNP Government under Nicholls will also try to sell Ergon Energy. Never. Ever. Forget. Our Assets Are Not For Sale. Not Now. Not Ever!
JOHN QUIGGIN. Governments are buying up where the market has failed. Is this the end of privatisation?
Australian governments are back in business. Every couple of months, it seems, we hear of a new venture into public ownership of business enterprises, or an expansion of existing enterprises. Most recently, Victoria’s Labor government has announced the purchase of a sawmill in Gippsland to stave off the threat of closure.
I wrote a blog last week to raise awareness for Waltja’s campaign for blankets for Central Australians. They sent me this in appreciation. Please donate if you can.
Winning Back Workers Rights
Gladys was very sad after this photo 🙂 Go Queensland!!!!
Video posted by Sally McManus – What have Unions ever done for us?
How to talk to a Liberal
I got stuck watching Shaun Micallef videos for three hours. I mean who doesn’t? I came across this. Obviously not Micallef and not from this week, but I had to share.
Thanks to everyone who has shared my posts this week. In case you missed them – My blog posts this week were:
The Prime Minister has made another attempt to divide Australians and pit state against state. Frustratingly, he has turned his back on Queensland by refusing to assist with Disaster Funding. Explicitly, the Prime Minister does not see disaster mitigation as a national issue. In other words, Turnbull believes that if bushfires rage through NSW, that is a problem for NSW. Similarly, if floods and cyclones hit Queensland, therefore, it is a problem for Queensland. Turnbull has to go!
This week, in “House Music” I discuss Income Management and the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs. I will also discuss the FRC in Cape York. The FRC is the Families Responsibilities Commission. This commission has input into income management restrictions in their community.
House Music is a weekly blog where I discuss various Bills, Committees, Petitions and try to raise awareness of the valuable resources on the APH website.
Vulnerable Jobseekers need strong leadership. A shift away from a budget-savings model to a compassionate, supportive jobseeker-focused model is needed. The diverse needs of jobseekers, particularly vulnerable jobseekers, are ignored within the jobsearch framework and welfare reforms. Vulnerable Jobseekers are becoming increasingly invisible.
The neo-liberal/conservative successors of Menzies are the insidious pathogen that flows through the Liberal party’s veins to sustain its current mutant form. Menzies views on social security and Turnbull’s stigmatising and punitive approach are poles apart.
Well, that was my world outside the MSM over the last week. How did your’s go?
A natural disaster has hit Rockhampton every two years since 2008. When a Prime Minister thinks natural disasters are not a national issue, he needs to go.
The Prime Minister has made another attempt to divide Australians and pit state against state. Frustratingly, he has turned his back on Queensland by refusing to assist with Disaster Funding. Explicitly, the Prime Minister does not see disaster mitigation as a national issue. In other words, Turnbull believes that if bushfires rage through NSW, that is a problem for NSW. Similarly, if floods and cyclones hit Queensland, therefore, it is a problem for Queensland.
Clearly, Turnbull’s leadership on this issue is pathetic. The People’s Prime Minister he is not!
Fires, Cyclones and Floods happen in Rockhampton, Central QLD. They aren’t just words on a screen. In essence, they are terrifying and destructive natural disasters that can leave families stranded, with no shelter, food, power and water. The frail and elderly in dire need of help. For some, it is complete devastation as they lose everything. Also, businesses close or are on the brink of closure.
I think everyone agrees that preventing death, destruction and massive blows to the local economy are all in the national interest.
Turnbull seems to believe that the free market will just always sort things out. However, Turnbull’s free market doesn’t help in in a disaster. Turnbull’s free market’s role is for you, the pensioner, the unemployed, the worker, the small business owner to dig deep into your own pocket and donate after every disaster.
In short, Turnbull doesn’t want to do a thing to prevent natural disasters.
Do we want a Prime Minister who will step up and help prevent the death of innocent people, the frail and elderly stranded in their homes without power, businesses copping massive losses as they shut their doors in times of disaster or one who does nothing and then cries into the camera in the face of the aftermath and then tells you to pull out your wallet?
Regional Towns in Central Queensland need urgent assistance to mitigate the impact of future natural disasters. Rockhampton has faced fires, cyclones and floods, every two years for the last ten years. It feels as if we just get over one disaster and another is knocking on our door.
Mitigation saves lives. Queensland needs this funding now.
The Palaszczuk Government submitted an application for joint funding with the Commonwealth to fund infrastructure and mitigation projects in regional Queensland.
The Palaszczuk proposed the package of $220 million. With the Federal Government proposed to meet half the funding of $110 million. On the 14th July, the Turnbull Government announced it will only fund $29 million.
That is a shortfall of $81 million dollars. I propose the Prime Minister stops dissing mathematics because that is a very large shortfall.
Turnbull, backed by Capricornia LNP MP Michelle Landry has refused to assist the QLD Government with category D funding, post cyclone Debbie.
Controversial LNP MP George Christensen, who recently crossed the party room floor on penalty rates, has voiced his disappointment with Turnbull’s decision and will fly his regional Mayors to Canberra to insist on more funding.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen, whose own government signed off on the funding, was also “gutted” at the size of the kitty.
Michelle Landry, MP, has turned her back on her community. Landry, who holds her seat by 1,111 votes appears more concerned with gauging what locals think of the flood levee. The community has had a divided opinion regarding the flood levee for a variety of reasons.
Landry has bled every last political drop in every natural disaster since she was a candidate in the 2013 election. This includes blaming councils for fraudulent disaster funding claims and constantly blaming the State Labor Government.
Landry’s argument is that Category D Funding is not for new infrastructure. Landry’s rationale is that if Rockhampton already had a flood levee, then money could be used to fix it. However, Landry is opposed to money building a new levee to prevent the extensive damage flooding causes in the first place.
“The State Government know very well that under Category D that there’s no new infrastructure built. If we had an existing levee and it was damaged, the money would fix it up. (Michelle Landry Daily Mercury 13/05/17)
Landry might want to ask George Christensen where she can find some leadership and insist on this funding to keep people safe and businesses open. The temporary flood levee in Rockhampton recently saved many homes, which would have previously been inundated.
In 2015, Tony Abbott provided a meagre amount of funding under category D post cyclone Marcia. The basic idea which underpins category D for funding such as the QLD Betterment fund is:
The intent of betterment is to increase the resilience of Australian communities to natural disasters, while at the same time reducing future expenditure on asset restoration, reducing incidents, injuries and fatalities during and after natural disasters, and improving asset utility during and after natural disasters.
To insist that councils can only use this funding to rebuild an asset that has been destroyed and not build modern infrastructure to prevent further assets being destroyed by the next disaster; is most certainly a hair’s breadth away from reaching the level of peak stupidity.
Barnaby Joyce backed the Rockhampton flood levee. However, Turnbull said No! Clearly, Turnbull simply does not understand regional Queensland. Why didn’t Michelle Landry say no to the disaster funding during this media opportunity?
The Abbott-Turnbull Liberal Government have fought against helping regional Queenslanders post disaster in every disaster. They have cut assistance to individuals and families by removing Labor’s clauses for assistance criteria.
Sure Landry, O’Dowd, Barnaby, Canavan and Turnbull like to strut around town post disaster, like the lacklustre five. Their cowboy hats on and their concerned game face on point. However, that is where their hands stay – on their hats. Indeed, they find it too difficult to reach into their pockets to provide funding to actually help. Their postured concerned frowns and faux empathy we can do without.
In short, Rockhampton has experienced a natural disaster ever two years since 2008. If the Liberal National Government does not understand we need this funding because the recovery time between disasters is short lived, and we barely get back on our feet before the next one, then clearly they are completely out of touch with Queensland.
I imagine Turnbull lazing around in his Sydney mansion, pouring expensive champagne, raising his glass to the chandelier and with a smirk he says – “Queensland – Suffer in ya jocks!“
To Turnbull and Landry, I say
Income Management is a hot topic of concern. This week, in “House Music” I discuss Income Management and the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs. I will also discuss the FRC in Cape York. The FRC is the Families Responsibilities Commission. This commission has input into income management restrictions in their community.
The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs considered the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Queensland Commission Income Management Regime) Bill 2017. This Bill passed through both houses on 26th June 2017.
This Bill amends the Social Security Act (1999) and it includes an extension to income management in Cape York, Queensland until 30 June 2019. Cape York communities are participants in the Cape York welfare Reforms.
The communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge are the original participating communities from 2007. The community of Doomadgee was added in 2015.
This Bill enables Family Responsibilities Commissions (FRC) to make a determination regarding income management for individuals in their community.
The Cape York Welfare Reforms initially commenced in 2007 through the Cape York Institute’s federally funded project headed by Noel Pearson. This legislated reform commenced in 2008, once Pearson secured Government support. Therefore, this reform had tripartite support between Cape York Institute, QLD Labor Bligh Government with the support of the Rudd Labor Federal Government.
In addition, the outgoing Howard Government was very supportive of this project. The Howard Government funded the initial trial project, including funding for additional housing.
Four communities partnered with the Cape York Institute and the Queensland and Federal Governments in a Welfare Reform Partnership.
The main aim of this reform is to enable people in these communities to have empowerment and personal agency. Primarily, the aim is to achieve this through Indigenous authority, developing a culture of social norms and positive behaviour and improvements in living conditions.
A theme I discuss often is the negative narrative of the Government and their labelling of people on welfare. The Cape York Partnership sums up powerful decision makers as they negatively describe those on welfare as ‘bludgers.’
This mentality is also shared by bureaucracy that sees people on the ground as incapable. Instead of simply providing resources and facilitating decision-making and action at the ground level, it hoards power and responsibility.
However, I personally do not agree with the term ‘passive welfare’ which the Cape York Institute uses in their final report. It is my view that welfare dependency is not about passivity because welfare is within a system of power which disables empowerment, agency and personal power.
The theme of community driven self-empowerment is evident in the FRC reports.
A number of reports have been issued since 2011 about the progress of the reforms, including an ABC Four Corners documentary. Moreover, the contrast of comments in the 2011 report to the current FRC reports, shows that years later, more of the community members are on board than at the time of implementation. In addition, a key theme in the 2011 consultations was that this needed to be a long term approach. ‘Things won’t happen overnight’.
“It is great for us to finally have income management in Doomadgee. We have issued 28 conditional income management orders to our clients and they have been well received.
and.. We know that income management is a necessary tool to see our community grow and we look forward to seeing the positive results it has for our clients.
We know we have many challenges ahead, but our team is strong and we will continue to work together to improve the lives of and prospects for the children of Doomadgee.”
Doomadgee Commissioner Christopher Logan
The Family Responsibilities Commission is a Statutory Authority under the Family Responsibilities Act 2008 (QLD). Respected leaders or Elders within the community make up the FRC. Importantly, the FRC has consultations or conference with community members to reinforce positive social norms.
The aims of the FRC are:
The FRC receive notices from various departments about a breach of community standards, i.e. a child not attending school.
Decisions made at the conference are made fairly and with the best interests of the client and their family in mind. At the conclusion of the conference, Commissioners may decide that no action is necessary, reprimand the client, encourage the client to enter into a Family Responsibilities Agreement (FRA), direct the client to relevant community support services or place the client on a Conditional Income Management (CIM) order.
The key difference between this Income Management Program and the blanket roll out of income management that is being discussed at the moment, for example in Hinkler; is that the community owns and runs the program.
In the Senate Committee Hearing it was noted regarding ACOSS’ conclusion:
For example, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has acknowledged that the Cape York model of income management was not imposed by the government but was developed by the affected communities and that the FRC plays a unique role in case management, assessment and only refers individuals to income management as a last resort.
The Community Affairs portfolio coverage includes Health and Social Services (including Human Services).
The Committee convened to consider the
Social Services Legislation Amendment
(Queensland Commission Income Management Regime) Bill 2017 [Provisions] on 22nd June 2017.
Senate Committees include representatives from various parties.
Chair, Senator Jonathon Duniam Tasmania, LP
Deputy Chair Senator Rachel Siewert, Western Australia, AG;
Linda Reynolds (Senator) Western Australia, LP
The Hon Lisa Singh (Senator) Tasmania, ALP
Dean Smith (Senator) Western Australia, LP
Murray Watt (Senator) Queensland, ALP
Other Committees also report through Committee in regards to the Bill. The Scrutiny of Bills Committee had no comment on the Bill.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights made comment on the Bill. They noted that income management limits equality and non-discrimination, the right to privacy and family. They noted that the Cape York Reforms are different to the Northern Territory’s income management.
The Human Rights Committee also noted:
Notwithstanding this, the human rights committee noted that the application of income management in Cape York may be compulsory rather than voluntary and therefore drew the Parliament’s attention to the human rights implications identified in the 2016 Review of Stronger Futures Measures report.
An excerpt from the Stronger Future Measures Report states:
A human rights compliant approach requires that any measures must be effective, subject to monitoring and review and genuinely tailored to the needs and wishes of the local community. The current approach to income management falls short of this standard.
The Committee received seven submissions and all submitters supported the Bill and extension of the reforms to 2019. The Committee heard through submissions that the crucial role the FRC’s play in the reforms and the community, the increase in school attendance and child well-being, including better nourishment, were some of the main drivers behind continuing the reforms.
Since 2007, Cape York Communities have extended income management four times. A crucial aspect is, under the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) only the FRC can impose income management on an individual.
The Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Aboriginal Corporation supported the extension:
When the time does come, the people of Mossman Gorge need to be empowered to drive what happens next so that we can stay on this road of positive change. The government can’t just suddenly decide to end Income Management and the FRC, without letting us plan so that we keep going forwards and don’t go backwards after making such hard won gains.
The Committee considered the component of income management as a key measure in the Bill. In addition to ACOSS’ comment above, all submitters agreed income management should continue.
This is not rolled out across all of Cape York. The submitters impressed that it only applies to at-risk individuals in communities as determined by the FRC.
Also, the FRC noted that individuals lose the right to ‘choice’ however, it is the FRC’s view that the benefits outweighed this.
The Department of Social Services also agreed with the Bill and advised that a previous review of the reforms showed that 78% of individuals surveyed agreed that it had improved their lives.
The Committee recommended the Bill to be passed.
The Liberal National Coalition Government is pushing to roll out income management in more trial areas.There is an active protest against income management in the communities of Ceduna and Hinkler. The community I live in, Rockhampton, QLD has had income management in the form of the Basic’s card for some period of time now. However, this does not work the same as the Cape York Reforms. Instead, Centrelink determines who is income managed.
I felt that this is a significant Bill to include in this series because there is a variety of contemporary opinion regarding income management. In addition, as a regional Queenslander, I also think it is important to promote the positive work community organisations do in regional and rural communities. Unfortunately, this is largely unrecognised by the wider media.
The other reason is this can also clarify the position of at least three political parties. The Liberal and National Coalition, Australian Labor and the Australian Greens, all have different positions on income management.
The Coalition Government is clear they want a blanket roll out of income management. In short, they are keen to implement cashless welfare widely. However, not in the same manner as the Cape York Reforms, but as a Government controlled and imposed measure.
Labor‘s position is that they do not support a blanket roll out of cashless welfare. However, as clarified by Senator Gallagher, they will work with communities that say they want cashless welfare, such as this program.
In contrast to the Coalition, Labor will not support cashless welfare in communities where community members do not want cashless welfare.
Whereas, the Greens oppose all forms of cashless welfare. This includes opposition to programs such as the Cape York Reforms.
A few weeks ago, the Australian Greens misrepresented Labor and implied Labor supported cashless welfare and voted down a Greens motion to stop it. This erupted into quite a massive social media furore of attack after attack towards Labor. I clarified Labor’s position, as per above, here.
The only opposition to the Bill within the Committee was from the Australian Greens. The Green’s reported to the Senate Committee that they have opposed this measure since it was implemented by the Howard Government. Therefore, they do not support this Bill.
One reason was that they believe it is not right for some people to have to conform to ‘somebody’s version’ of social norms. and this “promotes the idea that disadvantage is primarily a result of the individual’s failure to demonstrate the necessary social values and norms.”
I find it very confusing how the Greens argue that this is “somebody’s version’ of social norms. Clearly, from its inception, the people of the Cape York communities are the people who defined the social norms. Also, it is noted that a key success is that the communities own and drive this reform.
The Cape York program of income management is different to other income management programs in Australia.
A recurring theme is that these reforms are viewed as a temporary measure. In addition, some argue that income management is another form of dependence.
Importantly, there is a long term view for communities to work together to the next stage beyond income management.
While income management has had a positive influence on Cape York communities, submitters acknowledged that it would be some time until it could be removed and that more progress could be made.
Discussions surrounding income management should take into account that there are different models. Models such as the Cape York reforms are supported by the community as well as by the people who have their welfare quarantined.
Anti-cashless welfare advocates (of which I am one), should acknowledge that every community is different. In addition, this is largely an Indigenous reform. However, every Indigenous person is also an individual. The commissioner’s approach to individual rights is especially relevant.
Governments should note that a macro-view one size fits all approach of imposing income management on groups in a blanket fashion does remove agency and choice. Government regulated and forced income management is destabilising and stigmatising without the drivers of community and participant support.
Vulnerable Jobseekers need strong leadership. A shift away from a budget-savings model to a compassionate, supportive jobseeker-focused model is needed. The diverse needs of jobseekers, particularly vulnerable jobseekers, are ignored within the jobsearch framework and welfare reforms. Vulnerable Jobseekers are becoming increasingly invisible.
Think of the word ‘Jobseeker’ and close your eyes. Who do you see?
The jobsearch and welfare framework ignores the diversity of people seeking employment. The shifts in the jobsearch framework over time have sought to encompass more and more welfare recipients. This is a concern because it neutralises the personal circumstances of the individual. The label ‘jobseeker’ will apply to almost all jobless individuals under the current Welfare Reform Bill.
Vulnerable people in dire circumstances and highly experienced former workers are viewed through the lens of sameness and homogeneity.
The term jobseeker is an active term – one who seeks a job. This also disguises the involuntary nature of the act of job seeking for many. Cases of terminally ill individuals forced to seek work have been brought to light over recent years.
The shifts in policy over time, also place a cloak of silence over the most vulnerable in society. Explicit in the current welfare reform bill, and implicit in the language of Government is that the vulnerable people will no longer have ‘excuses’ for not meeting job search requirements.
In other words, legitimate behaviour displayed in the face of complex life circumstances will render vulnerable jobseekers and disabled jobseekers inexcusable. Their normal behavioural response to complex situations, intolerable and punishable by law.
The most vulnerable suffer the most in this type of punitive system.
The aim of Governments over time is to increase participation of disabled people in work. The Liberal-National Coalition and Labor Governments have supported shifting disability support pension (DSP) recipients off the DSP and transferring them to the lower paid Newstart.
The Welfare to Work reforms, under the Howard Government, is the most significant change-point in the jobsearch framework for disabled people. Reducing welfare debt, by decreasing the number of DSP Recipients, was the main economic driver of these reforms.
‘Disabled people should not be left behind’, has been the mantra of both the Coalition and Labor Governments.
There are some success stories for enabling vulnerable jobseekers into new work. However, people with an episodic mental illness can experience more distress and increased barriers in this system.
Many disabled recipients are now on the lower rate of Newstart. They do not qualify for the DSP. A review of the Welfare to Work changes indicated that among people with disabilities, 67 percent experienced no change, 29 percent were financially worse off and 3 per cent were better off. Income losses were up to $99 a week.
In addition, since 2006, the financial penalties for ‘non-compliance’ are more wide reaching and harsh.
This will only become more prevalent under the current Welfare Reform Bill. This is because reasonable behavioural responses to complex life problems are considered ‘unacceptable excuses’.
Financial stress is an identified barrier to employment and positive mental health. This is a serious concern because this group already live 20% under the poverty line.
Industry concern at the time of the pilot testing of the Welfare to Work Reforms for disabled participants was the shift to outcome-based payments for service providers.
In essence, a concern of a quick churn out culture. That is a lack of consideration for quality job matching or individual job seeker supports and a focus on placing vulnerable jobseekers in any job.
Some eleven years and five Prime Ministers later, after thousands have experienced disadvantaged, unfair expectations and punishment for non-compliance; the Reference Group for Welfare Reforms (McClure et. al) have highlighted quick throughput as an issue.
The Government recommendation in 2015 was to increase payments linked to outcomes. Seventy percent of funding is now linked to 26-week outcomes. A change from 40% previously. However, this is not particularly ideal.
The other change John Howard implemented was a shift from block funding to the outcome-based funding of employment services. Once again, five Prime Minister’s later, this approach has become increasingly accepted and embedded. I despair at the acceptance of this approach by both major parties, with little review or criticism.
Arguments for outcome-based funding models are usually from an economic-centric rationale focused on budget savings – rather than a client-centric rationale – focused on quality outcomes from the client’s perspective.
I would strongly argue that outcome-based funding is a serious contributor to the deteriorating support and cultural attitudes displayed towards jobseekers, as reported by organisations such as the Australian Unemployed Workers Union.
There is a plethora of personal recounts by vulnerable people in extremely dire circumstances. Involuntary jobsearch and financial penalties apply to this group.
Personal Recounts such as:
Are heartbreaking recounts where privately contracted employment agencies not only exacerbated mental health conditions but seemingly were the reason the mental health condition was introduced in the first place.
Personally, since the late 1990’s I have expressed concern about the shift in funding models. I have had a consistent concern since its inception that the personal financial breaching of jobsearch participants, impedes outcomes and punishes individuals unnecessarily.
I express serious concern that a higher percentage of 26-week outcome-based funding for employment agencies, is more likely to increase punitive measures on vulnerable participants. It is more likely to see vulnerable jobseekers with an episodic disability placed in the too hard basket and increased penalties applied, and less complex clients given more time and attention.
Most outcome-based employment services contracts have tiers of payment, where people who face more difficulty finding and sustaining work attract higher payments (Department of Employment 2015; Lu, 2014). Despite this, several studies found that the incentives to service the most difficult clients were insufficient: these clients had poorer outcomes, were underserved, or ‘parked’ (Business Council of Australia 2014; Koning and Heinrich 2013; National Audit Office 2015). At the other end of the spectrum, ‘cream skimming’, the practice of favouring easier to serve clients, was also evident (Davidson and Whiteford 2012). (Emma Tomkinson, 2016)
The jobsearch framework has evolved into an empty echo chamber. Complex life-situations of homeless people, women escaping domestic violence, individuals recovering from sexual trauma, the physically disabled, those with psychiatric disabilities, silent disabilities and homeless young people, for example, are all viewed as ‘excuses not to seek employment’.
There are many recipients now on Newstart who have undiagnosed mental health conditions. Also many with diagnosed mental health conditions in regional and rural areas cannot access the appropriate services and treatment. In turn, they are financially penalised for this lack of investment in support.
There are many individuals who are treated blatantly unfairly, financially punished and driven to the depths of despair, exacerbating mental health conditions and some committing suicide. This is absolutely unacceptable.
This is a very under-reported phenomenon in the mainstream media. These individuals receive little voice by way of organised protest. These vulnerable citizens receive little attention in the political space.
When a situation such as the Robo-Debt disaster occurs, there is a furore about mistreatment and unfair and harsh measures. However, largely, politics ignores the unfairness and punishment jobseekers experience.
Strong Leadership is urgent now, to completely review this system and develop in its place a jobseeker-centric model of employment support.
The Welfare Reform changes occurred in 2006 and further reiterations of Howard’s model have occurred over time. These reiterations are by both the Liberal-National Coalition and the Labor Governments.
Specialised support services have deteriorated, such as JPET. The Gillard Government moved to a one size fits all one-stop shop model. Also, smaller community-based organisations were less likely to win contracts. In their place, much larger ‘financially stable’ organisations won tenders. This saw the merger of many smaller community-based employment services and the demise of some. Lost under these changes were local knowledge and expertise and a community-centric focus.
The current shift by the Abbott-Turnbull Government imposes further difficulty on vulnerable jobseekers. This is through a higher compliance for employment services for 70% 26-week outcomes. Agencies will leave complex jobseekers behind and pursue the outcomes which fund them.
The shift to wielding a much bigger stick by focusing on ‘unreasonable excuses and compliance’ for vulnerable people and more punitive measures, is frankly, quite frightening. The shift to homogenise the diversity of jobseekers is a major concern, as to the future ramifications of this move.
A shift to a client-centric model focused on quality outcomes as self-reported by the client is now urgent and essential.
Strong leadership in this space is crucial and quite urgent. A shift towards a jobseeker-centric model requires an enormous shift in thinking by political parties.
It requires a shift from a budget savings approach. A shift from the underpinning thought that jobseekers do not want to work. The satisfaction of jobseekers and a focus on needs-based supports and outcomes is crucial. A shift towards recognising episodic illness and complex life situations.
Crucially, a shift away from forced participation. An objective underpinned by financial penalties for vulnerable people. Vulnerable jobseekers are in complex circumstances and are already living under the poverty line.
It is simply hypocrisy to participate in the CEO Sleep Out during Homelessness week and actively contribute to the harsh regime that contributes to it.
The Government frames jobseekers as potential employees. However, the bullying, intimidation and punitive measures imposed upon them, in the most unreasonable manner, would not be acceptable in any organisation.
How can a Government remain unchallenged in this space? Should privately contracted companies receive a reward for the harsh treatment of vulnerable jobseekers?
Why is the mistreatment and harsh punishment of vulnerable people, considered a ‘positive outcome’ in this policy sphere?
Organisations that value their employees take job satisfaction seriously. Jobseeker satisfaction should be central to jobsearch models because it will enable jobseeker focused continuous improvements.
Assessment of job satisfaction for new workers is vital. Vulnerable workers self-reporting workplace bullying also a serious concern. Corporate culture and attitudes towards long-term unemployed new workers, is also critical to understand.
A jobseeker centred model will push the current model out of the comfort zone it has been in for twenty years. A model which gives voice to jobseekers will push Governments to respond to build a better model focused on supportive outcomes.
A jobseeker centred model is essential because it will make jobseekers visible again. It will give jobseekers personal agency. Vulnerable jobseekers will have a stronger internal locus of control. They will give voice to the access and supports they need.
Exposed will be the urgent need for Job Creation. This will place pressure on lazy Governments who do not meet their responsibilities in this space.
I hope for future where the privately contracted punitive outcome based model is extinct and a nationalised public sector operated, jobseeker centric model, focused on quality supports and jobseeker satisfaction exists in its place.
Turnbull’s claim that the Turnbull Liberal Party is a party embracing Menzies Liberalism, is a self-delusional fallacy. In terms of progressive welfare reform, the Menzies Liberal is dead.
The neo-liberal/conservative successors of Menzies are the insidious pathogen that flows through the Liberal party’s veins to sustain its current mutant form. Menzies views on social security and Turnbull’s stigmatising and punitive approach are poles apart.
Since the 1990’s The Liberal Party of Australia has embraced the Thatcherist concepts of framing the jobless as ‘deviants and outsiders.’ Increasing punitive measures imposed upon the jobless has existed since Howard. Howard embraced Thatcherism and punitive measures have spiralled out of control since then, with each successive Liberal Government. Turnbull’s Welfare Reform Bill, currently before Senate Committee is increasingly worse and is no exception.
I will use Adam’s Equity Theory to explain how those who embrace the tenets of Thatcherism, encourage societal divide, anger and acceptance of punitive welfare.
Equity Theory is based on the logic that humans will make social comparison’s between themselves and others. In doing so they assess effort exerted for reward gained.
Social division is created through the use of negative narrative. Categorisations such as ‘bludgers, loafers, lazy and more recently ‘the taxed not’, forces humans to make a comparison with others. To determine if one is in the ‘in-group or the ‘out-group’ is a natural reaction.
Therefore, they encourage the public to actively compare their personal input into society against those on welfare. Is their personal effort (work) for reward (income) equal with those who receive financial ‘reward’ for no effort?
A stigmatising narrative drives the view that reward is equal. When in reality it is not.
The first Thatcher government was able to launch an anti-welfare campaign by tapping into deep-seated resentment of `something for nothing’ welfare beneficiaries, to especial effect when it could be suggested that those in receipt of the state’s generosity were largely `outsiders’ (Phillip M. Larkin)
Equity theory is a motivational theory. However, it also belongs to the grouping of justice theories. This is because the construct of justice underpins the motivational factors and behavioural response.
How an individual perceives distributive justice shapes our culture. This sets down the parameters of the socially acceptable response to express anger at unfairness.
For example, union activism is (largely) a socially acceptable way to express anger and protest unfair work laws. The behavioural response is anger. The motivator is to achieve equality for those worse off.
In the context of welfare, the perception of unfairness through the lens of distributive justice is manufactured by those in power who have an inherent dislike for those on welfare.
The use of a negative stigmatising narrative creates this enabling environment. The perception that those on welfare receive an equal reward for no effort is championed by influential politicians and political commentators. Therefore, this creates an enabling environment for the public to express anger towards those on welfare.
In the seminal research of distributive justice and relative deprivation, the connection between perceived injustice and aggression is clearly evident. If a state of injustice exists and it is to a person’s disadvantage – that is they person experiences deprivation – he or she will display anger. (Einarsen et. al)
However, in the instance of manufactured unfairness, deprivation is a subjective perception.
In this instance, the collective views those on welfare as ‘better off’ (as they expel less effort for the perceived ‘same’ reward). Therefore, the collective considers their situation as ‘worse off’ and unfair (deprivation).
As Newstart is 20% below the poverty line, in reality, this is clearly not the case. However, the negative narrative and the layering of punitive welfare measures over time, masks this.
In contrast to the union activism example above, the collective’s behavioural response is largely influenced by what I term as “punitive measures creep”.
This is the gradual increase in scope and intensity that punitive measures are imposed on welfare recipients by the Government.
The collective accepts increasingly harsh punitive measures. This is because they perceive these measures redress the unfairness. It is a fair punishment for the lack of exertion in exchange for the ‘same reward’. In essence, they no longer feel deprived.
Therefore, the collective is content with widening the scope of welfare recipients who must comply with punitive measures. They also accept the harshness or intensity of the measures as justified.
I would strongly argue that Abbott’s six-month wait also saw a large movement of rejection because it was not a gradual change. Whereas, historically, the changes to punitive welfare measures are gradual.
As with the development of products, sometimes radical innovation is rejected. (A famous example is Apple TV). Incremental innovation is generally low risk and more acceptable to current users (i.e. IPhone 4,5,6, and 7).
Turnbull’s current welfare reform Bill falls into the realm of incremental innovation (if we can reach across the divide and apply this term). This Bill widens the scope of those who need to participate in ‘job search compliance’. It also widens the scope of the types of welfare recipients who are labelled ‘jobseekers’. Sickness Benefit recipients, for example.
This Bill also gradually increases the intensity or harshness of measures, by removing what is deemed ‘an acceptable excuse.’ For example, those with the classified disorder of drug addiction will no longer be exempt.
So Mr Innovation is actually innovative – just in a really shitty way.
The Robert Menzies viewed through the lens of his election speech in 1946, is no comparison to the values displayed by the Turnbull Government.
Throughout his speech, Menzies framed the jobless as a ‘temporary necessity.’
Unlike the Turnbull Government and Abbott Government, Menzies recognised that there was not enough work for everyone. Menzies spoke of full employment. His view was to create enough jobs for everyone. Not to punish them for his lack of job creation. However, Turnbull does.
In this excerpt above, Menzies demonstrates that he understands that there is not enough work and his passion is to change that.
Below, Menzies is detailing his intention to invest in Australia and build jobs, rather than focus on welfare. Although this is the mantra of the Turnbull Government (Jobs and Growth) it is not evident in their actions.
It would appear that as there are 17 job seekers for every job vacancy and the Government has submitted another Bill with a focus on imposing more punitive measures on the jobless, therefore it would appear that the Turnbull Government has “turned its back upon these matters and devotes all its attention to social security.”
The concentration on punitive welfare instead of investing in real jobs and opportunity is a hallmark of the Liberal Governments of Abbott and Turnbull. It appears these were not Menzie’s values at all.
Turnbull’s idea that his leadership represents Menzies, is a self-delusional fallacy. The Menzies Liberal is dead.
The Abbott and Turnbull Governments are a mutant form of what once was. The Marvel Comic Mutants, we know as the X-Men and their nemeses, exist in their current form as they are ‘post-human’ because they carry a special gene.
The X-Gene is a ‘super-human’ gene. In the example of Menzies, we will frame the gene as Menzies frames himself. For the purpose of the argument, if we were to view the X-Gene as a super-human who has a vision of progressive values and compassionate towards those on welfare; then Turnbull evidently does not carry this gene.
The closest Turnbull will ever get to the X-Gene is his adoption of X in MacGregor’s X-Y theory. This is because he views those on welfare, as unmotivated and unwilling to work and he needs to come down upon them with punishment and authority.
If Turnbull perceives Menzies beliefs as reflective of his own leadership; and believes he has the capacity to champion this now, he is a bit late to lead this change.
Turnbull is the late starter stuck in the barrier and Shorten is a length away from winning the race.
The world outside mainstream media is a wonderful place. Every week, I will take you with me as I look back over my last week in my world outside the MSM.
I always enjoy Alan Austin’s articles. He has a knack of explaining the complex so clearly. Alan details in Independent Australia, the winners and losers in the Coalition’s Australia.
Despite the current world economic recovery, Australia’s gross debt has reached eye-watering levels and household income plunges to record depths with no relief in sight. Economics correspondent Alan Austin reports. JUNE HAS offered no joy for Australia’s wage earners, welfare recipients and families.
This video popped into my YouTube feed yesterday. The Lilongwe Community Choir singing Solidarity Forever for Labour Day in Malawi. This demonstrates the importance of unionism the world over. As a classically trained singer, it’s a big thumbs up from me for this acapella version. Watch the men towards the end. Powerful Stuff!
I mean, what’s not to like?
My favourite blog post this week is written by John Lord, AIMN. I understand there is a lot of apathy towards politics at present. In particular, the distrust of the two major parties. However, the two party system is what we work with. In a realistic world, it will be one of the two major parties that Govern. Therefore, I strongly believe the ideology of a party is extremely important to understand. John discusses various political ideologies.
A party’s ideology or value system dictates the way it will outline policy but more importantly, implement policy. The difference is crucial. For example, this value system underpins whether a Government will more likely privatise health care (Liberals), or ensure it is equally accessible and affordable to all (Labor).
My view is that many people do not take the time to understand what parties are actually about. More importantly, the Parties are not defining who they are and what really drives them. This is an important contribution to a disaffected and disengaged population.
Sunday 8 July 2017 “Socialism comprehends empathy; conservatism and its partner capitalism do not.” My post yesterday; Conservatives’ bizarre acts of self-importance evoked discussion that centered on change and the right to rule. Tom Tesoro on Facebook said; “They all sense their economic destiny, their power to shape their society to suit the elite they…
Thanks to everyone who has shared my posts this week. In case you missed them – My blog posts this week were:
Since time immemorial, the worker has fended off constant attacks. PATH is another chapter in the Liberal’s playbook where they accurse the Proles to hell. A look at the Coalition’s Internship program.
This is the first of a weekly blog about Parliamentary Business. This week: Social Security Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill, Senate Committee Inquiry and a Petition against Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients.
A once in 50-year flood has wiped out the supply of warm blankets in Central Australia. Waltja is seeking public support to raise funds for much-needed blankets.
Well, that was my world outside the MSM over the last week. How did your’s go?
This is the first of a weekly blog about Parliamentary Business. This week: Social Security Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill, Senate Committee Inquiry and a Petition against Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients.
Every week, I will discuss selected Bills, Petitions and Committee Inquiries. Where appropriate, I will discuss Matters of Public Importance raised in Parliament. Through this weekly blog, I also hope to create awareness about the APH website and encourage active interaction.
Please note: this section is a discussion, therefore it is from my own point of view. Please read the official Explanatory Note because this will explain the information as tabled.
It appears the Government’s aim is to punish as many welfare recipients as possible. Even those with a reasonable excuse.
The bereaved, widowed and incapacitated due to illness are all now “Jobseekers” under this Bill.
Even those genuinely incapacitated will need to participate in jobsearch.
These individuals will be scooped up into the same nauseating bucket the Liberals carry around at their sides filled with condemnation and labelled “Bludgers.”
Since at least the 1990’s Governments have changed access to the Widow’s pension and Wife’s pension. These pensions are primarily the domain of women, because they are now unable to rely on a husband’s income due to his illness or death. This is another move to completely cancel these payments. Hence, my view is that they should be revisited and reinstated – not abolished
These recipients, mainly women, are not bludgers. They are often active in family life and the community. Individual case managers should support Mature-Aged jobseekers in a voluntary program. A 20-year-old at a counter telling them that they haven’t done enough, should not exist. They should not live in fear they will be ‘cut off’ because they are the mercy of the system.
Mature-aged jobseekers are currently able to participate in voluntary work. This will no longer be the case. Are the Liberals suspicious this is a ‘loophole’ to avoid paid work? That is how The explanatory note reads to me. The vile deep bucket labelled “Bludgers” now includes volunteers.
The Liberal Party does not value the contribution of volunteers (particularly women). Many mature aged women and men, who have not worked, would have a history of active participation in the community and schools. In addition, they often perform caring duties for grandchildren, because formal childcare is difficult to access and punishment is ludicrous, because this is a valuable contribution to society.
Mature Aged Jobseekers, seek employment, often because of illness, death and/or bereavement of a loved one and therefore should participate in voluntary jobsearch. Jobsearch can have an emotional toll on a mature aged individual, therefore, specialised case managers who understand this demographic need to support this group.This is because the sudden requirement for jobsearch can be a shock and furthermore is a huge disruption to their regular routine.
The nature and extent of jobseeker compliance is harsher in terms of punishment and wider in the scope of recipients it is proposed to encompass.
I would describe the widening and intensity of financial penalties as ‘welfare punishment creep.’
This term describes the growing number of welfare recipients financial penalties apply to and the increasing lack of consideration and reasoning for which penalties are applied.
This new Bill recommends a financial penalty to all jobseekers, with no consideration for a reasonable excuse, it appears.
This Bill proposes:
This section in the explanatory memorandum reads as if the Liberal Party has the assumption that ‘every welfare recipient is trying to rip off the system, and they will find any excuse to get out of working‘. Do the Liberals see all welfare recipients as underhanded and dishonest? Did you really think they would stop at cheezel eating X-Box players?
Welfare recipients are required to agree with participation in drug testing:
The Government is implementing these drug trials under the premise that drug tests will show that jobseekers are not willing and able to participate in jobsearch.
A one off drug test may not show any indication of long-term or chronic drug use. Drug tests may not indicate the individual is unable to participate in jobsearch. In addition, as different tests test within the limitation of different time frames, this will not always ensure natural justice.
Urinary Drug Testing
This picks up drugs in a person’s system 3-4 days prior. This does not indicate chronic drug use or the inability to jobsearch or indicate impairment to work.
This will only show drugs used at least four weeks prior.
This means that not only are the most recent three to four weeks invisible, but so too are drugs used prior to the growing time of the hair tested. This approach approximately samples from a month prior to hair collection back as far as four months prior to hair collection depending on the length of the hair sample.
This means that a jobseeker is penalised, even if they are in a period of cessation.
..if the cessation of drug use does not extend back to further than four months prior to sample collection, the subject may argue that any drug found reflects use prior to the time of cessation
The other concern is that chronic drug users will simply shift to drugs because they are not detected in hair testing or urine testing. Especially relevant is one such drug is GBH (liquid ecstasy).
GBH is the drug that saw 21 people hospitalised earlier this year.
Testing requires rigorous standards. Otherwise, contamination can occur. The NATA information paper also indicates that false negatives and false positives can occur.
It is vital that welfare recipients experience compassion and fairness
Another concern is jobseekers who are on psychiatric medication can return a false positive (see linked article above). Statistics also show that many individuals who are drug dependent have a comorbidity of mental illness.
The Australian Government’s own Department of Health and Aging reports that:
Comorbidity or the co-occurrence of mental disorders and substance use disorders is common.
The DMS-5 classifies Drug and Alcohol Abuse as a disorder.
“substance use disorder describes a problematic pattern of using alcohol or another substance that results in impairment in daily life or noticeable distress.”
Therefore, individuals are at greater risk if they have a psychiatric disorder, with a co-morbidity of drug addiction, or have a substance abuse disorder.
In addition, it is this specific group who are most likely to not have the self-efficacy to use the complaints system.
Fairness is an issue. When we are dealing with the most vulnerable in society, this is a major concern.
If the Government is concerned about substance abuse, they should invest in prevention and support services and not punitive welfare.
Please see the petition below and sign it!
These types of measures of consolidating payments is in line with the approach of the UK Conservative Party. This was largely rejected by the Social Welfare Sector in the UK.
The Sickness that is the UK Conservative Party is on display right now. That is thanks to Jeremy Corbyn. No credit to the former UKLabour party given. Do we really want to vote for a Government that follows suit? We are the country of the fair go. Not a country of abject poverty.
The Social Security Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill has concluded it’s second reading and is now referred to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs. This committee covers Health, Social Services and Human Services.
Individuals and organisations can submit their opinions or proposals to the committee for consideration. Here is the information on how to write and submit a submission.
Submissions should be received by 4 August 2017. The reporting date is 4 September 2017.
There is not a lot of time to participate in feedback on this Bill, therefore, if you are against these changes, I would encourage you to write a submission as a direct protest.
Signing change.org petitions and sharing memes have their purpose; however, a submission is a direct voice to the Committee considering the Bill.
Many people regularly sign online petitions using platforms such as change.org, however, I would like to raise awareness that there are always petitions online in Federal and State Parliaments.
In fact, The House can only accept e-petitions that have been submitted via its e-petitions website. Signatures from other electronic or paper petitions cannot be added to your petition.
The petitions page is worth bookmarking. Submitting petitions to parliament (State and Federal) and supporting official petitions submitted to Parliament is also critical in the stand against an issue.
To support a Petition: Click on the Petition Link. Complete your details, tick the terms and conditions box, go to your email and confirm your signature.
Standing up for progress – Achievement Unlocked!
To the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives and Members of the House of Representatives
Certain citizens of Australia
The petitioners request that the House reject the Government’s proposed trial of drug testing for welfare recipients.
The petitioners request that the House reject the Government’s proposed trial of drug testing for welfare recipients. The suggested “random” selection of subjects by profiling people thought to be high risk will lead to discriminatory selection, while income quarantine and compulsory treatment are ineffective measures that will further marginalise the vulnerable. Rather than supporting people into employment, this will force those with substance abuse problems to disengage with the system and seek other means to support themselves. This reflects the experience of other jurisdictions, where mandatory testing has proven expensive and ineffective. Such resources would be better targeted towards supporting our overburdened treatment sector, as metropolitan and regional service providers continue to be understaffed and underfunded.
We ask that the House reject the Government’s proposed trial, preventing the invasive and stigmatising practice of mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients.
I hope you enjoyed this first weekly review of Parliamentary Business. Until next week….
Since time immemorial, the worker has fended off constant attacks. PATH is another chapter in the Liberal’s playbook where they accurse the Proles to hell.
The Liberal Party of Australia formed to oppose the workers’ parties. How Liberals and Labor view the worker are worlds apart. PATH is a clear example of this.
The basis of the Liberal ideology is to enable growth in the free market. They believe the cost of labour should be as low as possible. Turnbull’s Liberals believe a worker’s labour should be a cheap commodity. The incessant need to eradicate workers’ unions and weaken industrial labour laws are a testament to this.
One could strongly argue that the aspiration of full employment is not on the Liberals’ agenda. High numbers of unemployed people result in a much larger labour pool. This, in turn, drives wages down. Or in the case of PATH – the creation of an opportunity where labour is utilised for free.
As Sussan Ley said on Qanda: Governments don’t create jobs
The neo-liberal ideology aim is to purchase a worker’s labour as cheaply as possible. Ideologues like Turnbull and Cash, view a law passed to create a pool of free labour, such as PATH, as an exciting achievement.
The Australian Labor Party was borne from the struggle of the worker. They believe that a worker’s labour is valuable. In simple terms, they believe that the ‘supply’ side of labour has the right to participate in setting the value of the labour. Hence their close connections with the unions. In simple terms, Labour Unions are there to protect the working class from the disintegration of rights and fair pay as imposed by the ruling class.
From this perspective, laws that negate this right, disempower workers and remove individual agency.
This is a punishment inflicted upon the working class.
The Turnbull Government introduced the PATH Program in the 2016 budget. This bill passed the Senate on 10 May 2017; with the assistance of Cory Bernardi, Derryn Hinch, Nick Xenophon Team, Jackie Lambie, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Family First all supporting the Government.
Only David Leyonhelm opposed the Bill, along with Labor and Greens.
The PATH program offers young job seekers an internship by contract with an employer. This contract legally reduces the value of a young jobseeker’s labour. The taxpayer pays the intern at a rate of $4.00 per hour.
This is $14.29 an hour less than the minimum wage.This is $6.04 less than a 16 year old junior and $16.08 an hour less than a 21-year-old level 1 employee rate set down for many industries detailed on the Fair Work Australia payment guides.
The PATH scheme enables an employer to decrease the value of the intern’s labour by a minimum of 80% based on the scantest of entry-level wages in the country.
Internships are often painted as ‘work experience.’ However, work experience places the worker at the centre of the framework. Work experience is usually a short-term experience in a workplace. This enabled the worker to determine if they should invest in developing skills to seek future work in that industry.
PATH places business at the centre of the framework. An internship is:
The internship is designed around the needs of the host organisation and the intern’s skills, experience and interests. (Item 4, Sample Path Internship Agreement)
The employer must sign off to agree that they have a vacancy available now or in the near future. They have already identified that they need staff to meet operational requirements.
The employer is already in a willing position to outlay money on recruitment and selection of new staff. They are already in a position to employ a jobseeker in a casual, temporary or permanent capacity.
This is not an incentive to increase staffing. PATH is an incentive to reduce recruitment & labour costs for staff that the organisation has already identified are required.
Businesses can make considerable savings in induction, training and performance management costs during the probation period, in addition to recruitment and selection savings
The PATH program enables an employer to try a number of potential employees for free. This also frees them from all the associated costs during the probationary period.
Businesses are able to increase profits through the tax payer funding the PATH program. This is not the same as work experience or on the job learning, such as an apprenticeship or traineeship. This is a free labour program dressed up ‘helping the jobless who seek to work.’
The PATH program strips workers of their own agency. The worker has forced upon them, a lower dollar value in exchange for their labour. Employers have an opportunity to reduce costs and increase profit.
Labour, raw materials and overheads are the inputs in the production of goods or services. The through-put is the phase that mixes all inputs, including labour, together.
The output, being the end product or service is purchased or consumed by the consumer at the point of sale. The employer factors into consideration the costs of all labour and materials in the input and through-put stages. The final product or service is sold for a percentage amount above the cost to produce that product or service. This is the profit.
The cheaper labour is, the greater the profit for the employer. The Government is creating a legal way for employers to reduce the cost of one factor of production.
The PATH program simply offers employers a way to reduce the cost of developing their product or service, enabling them to make a greater profit.
The PATH program offers no guarantee of future secure employment. It does not offer a qualification that may be determined by the worker to be a sufficient value to trade for the monetary value of their labour.
What are the impacts on the emotional health of a young worker, if they are not retained? What are the supports in place?
Experience as a payment does not automatically equal the same value of labour. Labour is given in exchange for money, conditions and other benefits. There is no formal equivalent offered to the value of the loss of wages, such as a degree that has a beneficial use to enable the worker to sell their labour to another organisation.
There is no solid case that this experience will be valued by the young worker so much that it will negate any negative affect the young jobseeker will experience if they are not retained.
My main area of interest is emotions in the workplace. I would encourage other bloggers to approach the PATH program from the aspect of the emotional well-being of the intern. I strongly believe we need as many people as possible investigating this issue.
We are working people.
Even laugh about it sometimes.
None of us are winners.
(Cameron Wolfe – Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak.)
These six lines boom, boom, boomed like a heart beating in the middle of page 25.
Marus Zusak has captured the essence of so many Australians. This is who we are.
The struggle of the working class in this country is a dire story. Sure, we have a history of hard fought victories. But as long as free marketeers live and breathe on the parliament floor, this struggle is endless.
Past struggle lives like a dormant beast within every, single worker.
The scars that punctured the body and mind, the endless nights staring at jail cell walls and the lives lost, of those before us, embodies the beast which stirs within the heart of every worker.
When Liberals and Conservatives think they can take away agency of the jobless. When they insist upon total control of their spending with a plastic card. The beast of past struggle stirs.
When they deny us and our children the opportunity of a skilled education, to learn a trade or a profession. The beast of past struggle stirs.
When they make a rule that says the weekends are only important to people who can afford to not work on the weekend. the beast of past struggle stirs.
And when they think they have the right to tell young people who are desperate for work that their labour has no value. The beast of past struggle stirs.
When the beast of past struggle stirs in many of us, the beast of past struggle ROARS!
This is the first of a regular new series on my blog, where I will share my favourites as I traipse about Independent News and Social Media, in the world outside the MSM. All faves are embedded, so please click on any picture or link to view or read the original.
My Favourite article this week was an article written by Duncan Storrar published on Independent Australia. This article really appealed to me. The author has placed children at the centre of the debate. If politicians did this, the world would be a much better place.
The methods we are using to deal with troubled children is turning them into hardened criminals, writes Duncan Storrar. The Cain Government of Victoria of the 1980s was very progressive. As such, it spent a lot of money moving from a 19th Century British approach to children in peril towards a more humane “Scandinavian” approach.
My favourite video of the week is this video of Bill Shorten at the Labor Tasmania State Conference. This is the Bill that the MSM refuses to show. Rowan @fightingtories is Tweeting these as he sees them. Good on you Rowan! I like this video he tweeted too, but my fave video this week is below this tweet.
My favourite blog post this week is written by Andrew Hartwell on Medium. For anyone who follows my writing knows that I talk a lot about narrative. I see patterns in narrative every day. It is one reason I find social media and independent media intriguing. These patterns, through commentary, conversation and the narrative of politicians and even memes, contrast with the mainstream media. This creates our world. Narrative is powerful. The Author is right when he says:
“Please, fact-checkers, get to work.” That was Hillary Clinton’s exasperated plea during her first debate with Donald Trump. They dutifully complied: Trump was endlessly called out on his constant falsehoods by professional fact-checkers. Here’s the harshest fact-check of them all: all the fact-checkers in the world couldn’t stop Donald Trump from becoming president.
Some Top Tweets of the Week are:
Satire or Serious – You be the judge. Written from the perspective of the media reporting on the Liberals like they do about those on Welfare.
A compare and contrast of the stories about Lee Rhiannon and Tony Abbott and the reactions to them.
Well, that was my world outside the MSM over the last week. How did your’s go?
A kiss on the cheek for Lee Rhiannon and a punch in the face for Tony Abbott. Two opposing ideologues tell the same story. Two very different reactions.
During the last sitting week of Parliament, the Turnbull Government tried to pass their version of the Gonski education reforms through the Senate. The Greens initially had indicated they would vote to support the Government.
However, at the time of the vote, the Greens voted against the Government. The turnaround pleased many. However, ideology it appears was not the reason.
As the week unravelled, Greens Senators accused NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon of white-anting, for campaigning against Gonski 2.0. Senator Rhiannon was subsequently reported to the Green’s National Council and on June 28 she was ‘temporarily excluded from party room discussions and decisions on contentious legislation.’
Senator Rhiannon defends her position and is a strong advocate for grassroots-based democratic political leadership, where members have a say. The Senator also proposed in light of the UK, we should take a stronger view of socialism and insisted it is what young people are asking for.
This is a direct ultimatum to the NSW Greens: either get with the increasingly right-wing program of Greens leader Richard Di Natale and his backers or piss off. (Red Flag)
Many praise Senator Rhiannon for staying true to her convictions. Standing up for her constituents and telling the truth.
Senator Sam Dastyari tweeted his support with a kiss on the cheek.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie Tweeted:
and all over social media, we saw a similar story to this of many people angry at the Greens and Richard Di Natale for their treatment of Lee Rhiannon:
Another theme on social media is that the Greens are angry at Rhiannon, as they did not get their Greens “We Did It” to claim the glory of their negotiations. The cross-benchers who voted with the Government get their ‘We Did It’ moment instead.
and some are highlighting the ‘cosying up to the Liberals’ by the Greens is becoming all too frequent.
In short, Senator Rhiannon is reaping loads of praise and a kiss on the cheek for staying true to her convictions of leftism.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was overthrown by his own party and lost the Prime Ministership on 14th September 2015. In Abbott’s final statement as Prime Minister he said:
“There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping. I’ve never leaked or backgrounded against anyone. And I certainly won’t start now.” (SMH)
However, since that day Abbott has continued to contribute conservative commentary in response to the Turnbull-led Moderates Government. Over the last few weeks, Abbott has delivered an increasingly strong conservative narrative.
Through a series of radio interviews, including an address to the IPA over the course of the last year and even a new slogan; Tony Abbott shares with the public a consistent and strong narrative. One that speaks to the urgent need to return conservative values to the Liberal Party.
Abbott is also calling for changes to the Liberal party to make it more democratic where members have a say.
The deep conviction to the ideology of small Government, reined in spending and individual freedom, is at the heart of what Abbott sees as the core values of the Liberals and what he believes is needed to move Australia forward.
Mr Abbott is urging conservatives to “take our party back, make it a party of the people again and then we can win the next election”. (Paul Bongiorno – The New Daily)
The Former Prime Minister receives a decent amount of backing from right-wing conservatives in the MSM and social media for his current stance. There is also a noticeable ‘Pro-Abbott cheer squad’ on Twitter and in Newspaper forums.
Despite the Abbott loyalists, Abbott is copping some big blows. From the left to moderate right, he is copping a punch in the face.
There are many who consider Abbott as disruptive, chaotic, out of control and a threat to losing the next election to Bill Shorten.
Senator Cormann described Abbott’s contributions as “Unhelpful.” Senator Sinodinos conceded that “the Liberal party can’t control Tony Abbott.”
Barrie Cassidy (Insiders Extra) said, “Tony
Abbott is running amok and it’s causing the Liberal Party a world of pain.”
There are reams of anti-Abbott posts on social media. Not in the sense that they are backing Turnbull over Abbott; but posting reminders of when Abbott was in power. The main message is a rejection of the return of the Abbott Ideology as Prime Minister.
I am asking readers to put aside their personal values/political ideology to one side and consider what is central to Rhiannon’s and Abbott’s stories.
Both are displaying a deep conviction for their political ideology.
They are both championing change for their respective parties to become more inclusive.
For Abbott his deep convictions see him pushing for what he sees as the way forward for Australia – Conservatism.
For Rhiannon her deep convictions see her pushing for what she sees as the way forward
for Australia – Socialism.
However, the pattern in the response narrative I am picking up is that Rhiannon is a politician who is desperately doing what we need politicians to do. That is to stand up what they believe in, in times of adversity. The momentum is there behind Rhiannon for her to triumph over the stronger faction led by Di Natale.
The response narrative to Abbott is peppered with the insinuation that he should sit down, shut up and resign. He should not stand up for his true values of conservatism. He should not fight for what he sees as right in times of adversity. There is a momentum shouting down Abbott to bow down to the stronger faction led by Turnbull.
For those who oppose either ideology and want to rise above it in power, leadership is the key. (Bytheway Di Natale – leaders who punish dissent are sooo 1980s – Schein says it leads to crisis and dysfunction).
The Greens and the Liberals must fight this out within their own parties. The dissent must be allowed to enable the pathway to a clear direction. It must be allowed to showcase or condemn the leadership abilities of the respective leaders. Otherwise, the cracks will turn into canyons.
There is a plethora of Leadership theories. However, in very simple terms, what you put into leadership is what it does.
If your leadership strategies are about unity – you will unite. When your leadership strategies are about championing change. You will enable change. If your leadership strategies are transformational, you will empower others and develop a strong culture where people champion and truly believe your vision.
One thing Bill Shorten is not given credit for is his very strong leadership qualities. The Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years were in the not too distant past. The Labor party at that time was in the same disarray. Shorten has utilised all of the leadership strategies outlined above. For the past four years, Shorten has led a strong, unified movement, which most said would never recover from the deep factional divide of the Rudd-Gillard years.
If Turnbull was as strong a leader as Shorten, Abbott’s push for conservatism would be as insignificant as the score at half-time in the State of Origin decider.
The Australian Liberal Party are the champions of welfare bashing. If we treat the Liberals like they treat the unemployed, will they do the right thing and actively engage in job creation?
Most taxpayers don’t mind supporting Liberal Politicians who are doing the right thing. However, studies have shown that a wide number of these MP’s have become non-compliant. The public should take tough measures to ensure Liberal politicians are not just looking for a handout.
The compliance system delivered by the public is very simple. Job Creation, Fair Wages and Conditions for all Workers and properly funded Public Infrastructure and Services. This system is designed to ensure that Government’s capable of Job Creation – Do Job Creation.
The public is sick and tired of excuse after excuse. Spending too much time wining and dining corporate donors, or blaming Labor are not acceptable reasons to shirk working on Job Creation projects.
Weak-Minded “penalties” such as a constant thrashing in Newspoll is not a big enough stick to prod them along.
As of 1st July 2017, the average Australian Taxpayer needs to work 215 months (17.9 years) to generate enough taxes to support one Liberal politician on their base wage a year, based on the average Australian earning $60,082 a year.
It is clear that when the Liberals are in Government, the lack of desire to engage in Job Creation or even to attend a job creation brainstorming meeting is a significant problem. Is it a lack of leadership? A lack of ideas, or are they just plain lazy?
The Liberal Government Debt is spiralling out of control and they just keep putting their hand out and expect hard working people to pay for their lazy lifestyles.
We talk about some classic examples below:
Liberals – A Drain on the Nation
TV Show “DumbRise” has reported that Brian Anderson – an average punter, uncovered a secret ghetto where Liberal cheats and bludgers breed – the Liberal Party Room in Canberra.
This isn’t naming and shaming. Concentrations of Liberal MPs not getting off their wallet laden posteriors and getting down and dirty in job creation projects, funding schools and hospitals properly and looking after our homeless and veterans and delivering a fair go for workers, is no laughing matter for hardworking Australians.
Instead, most of these Liberal bludgers are holed up in their offices eating Cheezels and playing WOW: RotAK (World of Whiteness: Return of the Abbott King). An MMORPG where they get to live out a fantasy life. They join factions, go to neutral territory “Auction House” where they can trade preferences with One Nation. They then spend hours in group ‘Raids” where they get to take down Union Bosses and can be “Knighted” with an achievement title under their name.
We have learnt this type of behaviour from the Liberals is very common.
Barry Anderson, a local cleaner, casualised because of the Liberals unfair labour laws; took it upon himself to test the urine in the sewers below the Liberal party room on a shift he should have been working as he was underemployed. The cut to his penalty rates sees him branching out. He is hoping to pick up additional work as a urine tester, with the Government. However, his initial findings may just have cost him the job!
Barry said his testing revealed the urine found in the sewers under the Liberal party room highlights a huge problem.
He said, “honesty, public good and job creation, found in the urine of politicians ‘doing the right thing‘ is largely absent. “These initial tests show there are large pockets of bludging Liberals. Wider testing should apply in all Liberal seats.”
Anderson revealed there were noticeable quantities of the following drugs:
More alarmingly, the Party Drug MDNA (Minteds Doing Neo-Liberal Austerity) is highly prevalent. This drug makes Liberal politicians so high, they hallucinate and believe Job Creation is someone else’s problem. If people are out of work, ‘they can just innovate and create their own job”. They live in a dream state. One where giving rich people more money makes poor people better off. This includes cutting wages.
Anderson’s discovery may actually highlight the historical problem of inter-generational Liberal tax-payer funded salary dependency.
Liberals collect tax payer funded salaries on the pretence that they are in a good relationship with the public. They are best friends with Medicare and an even better friend to the workers. However, Parliament Inspectors are on their case. Secret recordings show they are constantly cheating on Medicare and Workers.
An unnamed source has photos of various Liberal Party members’ boots outside of the Office of Private Health organisations, corporate donors and the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
Yes, they use excuses such as “Productivity Commission Reports.” How they “feel deeply sympathetic to the private sector and construction bosses.” And just how they are just helping out a mate. The public is not buying it. Liberal MPs, including the Prime Minister, will need to prove they are not in a relationship.
Coupled Politicians will need to prove they are faithful and not in multiple relationships, particularly if they are Catholic. Hard-working Australians cannot afford to fund Liberal Government MPs who are actively participating in multiple relationships and breeding swarms of Young Liberals.
Taxpayers simply cannot sustain supporting breeding this type of generational entitlement, IPA membership and endless pairs of pastel dress shorts.
This is extended to relationships with others in and out of the party room. A source, we can now name only as “Hansard” has identified that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is always in bed with the Liberals.
Greens Leader Di Natale tried last week to jump into bed with the Liberals, but factional opposition Lee Rhiannon hunted him down and blocked the romance with the expertise of Joey Greco on cheaters.
A close source has indicated a sensational expose is forthcoming on Too Much Tonight.
A series of Crackdowns will be put before the People’s Parliament next month. These measures are not punitive as such. They are made to “lift the Liberal MP up by the bootstraps” so they engage actively in Job Creation, Funding Public Infrastructure and Services adequately and acting in the public good by rejecting Austerity.
Parental support is a key reform. Mum and Dad should support the lifestyle of lazy Liberal MPs, until the age of 51 which is the average age of a politician, if the are not fully participating in job creation. This will save taxpayers at least $200,000 per year per bludging Liberal Politician.
If mum and dad have the capacity to pay for them, they bloody well should. Mum and dad don’t deserve to finally have their pay to themselves after their little Liberal comes of age. These parents will have to wait until their little Liberal decides to go job creating or turns 51. Whichever one comes first.
Liberal Politicians who enter Parliament as a Liberal MP will have to wait six months for their first payment. This is not a punishment. It is meant to encourage Liberal MPs to transition properly. Going from just being a son or daughter of a wealthy donor, member of the IPA or political staffer to being a Liberal politician who is actively engaging in Job Creation and serious budget work to adequately fund public infrastructure and services, without austerity. This should help rein in the debt they caused in the first place.
Liberal politicians already receiving a salary will have a demerit system imposed on them. Just like bad drivers, this is meant to imply ‘they are all bad’.
If they fail to sign a mutual agreement plan, that they will create jobs: – 3 demerit points
They fail to actively participate in job creation – 3 demerit points
If they blame high unemployment rates on Labor – 4 demerit points
When they privatise public assets – 5 demerit points
If they accumulate seven points, their salary is cut. That is until they can prove they are re-engaging. They must participate and deliver decent Governance to Australians.
A roll out of Cashless Welfare in all Liberal held seats is imminent. Blue Ribbon seats will be the first to take up the card. This card is designed to help Liberal politicians who struggle with participating in the community. Job creation and delivering outcomes for the public good, is an expectation of mutual obligation.
The Institute for Pontificating Affairs champions this measure as an excellent strategy to ensure Liberal Politicians don’t take their hand out for granted.’
‘At risk’ Liberal politicians are the focus. Everyone will know they are not working to the best of their ability. At the checkout and at the servo. No more brown paper bags filled with cash as they stare forlornly at the ATM.
Are all banned items for Liberals placed on this card.
One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson strongly opposes these measures. “The Public and Labor are always picking on Liberals. This includes Liberals who have started their own parties like me and Cory,” She exclaimed shakily.
“We stand in solidity (sic) with Liberals and value their commitment to Austerity and bloody decent rorting. I mean, if they come for them, they will come for me and my plane next and who will be left to speak for the racists and union bashers? Not the bloody ABC, that’s for sure.”
A Liberal Party spokesperson has advised that they are in talks with The Australian Greens. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said he will adopt whatever ever measures will make him look good to the Liberals. “Keeping the Liberals cashed up to woo donors and stay in power, means the Greens will remain a strong voice for those who want to protest against the Liberals and PHON.”
“In any case, I won’t be standing over there with bloody Labor and their ‘worker this and worker that’ and that lefty-pinko Rhiannon.” He said.
As the media chase CFMEU John Setka down the road with their pitchforks, they stop to slip a hero’s cape over Senator Hanson’s shoulders. Our National Conversation is a Tale of Two Cities. One which contrasts how bigots are protected and those who speak up are condemned.
Time and time again we hear Pauline Hanson vilify and deride the vulnerable. Media and Politicians alike then protect her derision and hail her as a hero.
The ‘Autism in Schools Debate’ is a mark where the media and politicians aren’t all beating the same drum.
However, there are still a number of commentators and journalists staying true to the traditional mantra. “Pauline has it right” and “This is what Pauline actually meant.”
Hanson is prone to Dog Whistling – about well anything now. No vulnerable group is immune it seems.
There are those who like to throw Soft Kitty at the Dog Whistle, to muffle it and silence it.
They do this by taking it upon themselves to falsify the meaning of what Hanson said and then explain it to the public as something good (which she did not say).
Singing Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, makes everyone feel better. Those who agree with Hanson, don’t need to be ‘labelled’ as racist, xenophobic, or ableist. Those who cling onto the hatred espoused by Hanson, are touted as the ‘thinkers.’ As the one’s who ‘know’, but never say it.’ AKA – The Silent Majority.
From “the conversations we need to have” to “This is what Pauline meant to say. There are those who continue to stroke the shitty opinions of those in agreement, by singing this song:
We do not need journalists singing their readers and listeners a soothing song. We can all cope with discussing the harshness and contempt of Hanson’s words.
No other politician is afforded this type of pandering. None.
The “Autism in Schools” debate is peppered with hailing Hanson as a hero who highlights the issue of funding on the basis of inclusion. It was not. It was about exclusion and segregation.
Some consistently falsify the meaning of Hanson’s words to mean something she did not mean. Why?
Insiders on Sunday 25th June (see from 25:10) also put a positive spin on Hanson’s intent.
This example of falsification of meaning from Insiders:
“People got a better sense of Autism from this if there was a positive aspect to it all” (Barry Cassidy)
“…If in a class with an Autistic child or something, it can take up more of the teachers time…..you need an extra teacher or extra resources or staff…. Hanson I think was trying to say all that but it came out all wrong and mean…..it just came out all terrible and that is why everyone jumped ugly on it” (Phillip Coorey).
You can watch the entire ABC The Drum Segment Here.
This example from – The Drum
“……..I don’t think that is what she meant. I think that what she meant was that it is very, very difficult in a mainstream school. If you are not funding the classroom and funding the teacher and funding the aides to take care of large numbers of children with special needs”
These are examples of respected journalists on widely watched programs. They falsify the meaning of Hanson’s segregation speech as one of ‘misunderstood goodwill.’ It was not. So why reconfigure it?
Pauline Hanson knows exactly what she is doing. She knows her words cause division, upset and harm to others. Her speeches over 20 years which poke and prod at minorities are not just a coincidence.
Hanson means every word she says.
Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, purr, purr, purr…..
Hanson also said in her speech that “we can’t hold these other kids back” She spoke about the fear of ‘other kids’ missing out on jobs due to kids with disabilities in the classroom getting too much attention. This means “the other” kids will lose their jobs to overseas workers.
Take note from 14:00
Why is it a part of our national conversation that Hanson’s racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and now ableism is ‘because she means well?” Media reporting and discussing Hanson in this manner is simply pimping our national conversation with bucketloads of douchebaggery.
Hanson does not mean well at all. For over 20 years she never has. Never will.
If Bill Shorten or Malcolm Turnbull said what Hanson said, would they have excuses made for them? No. No, they would not.
The constant falsification of “What Hanson said” is delegitimising the experiences of anyone who is offended by Hanson’s words, particularly those who are the target of her words.
*No disrespect to the journalists who actually stand up against trash talk by Hanson.
In a compare and contrast, a Union Official emotional at the high number of worker deaths in construction and angry at the Government implemented ABCC which only makes workplaces more unsafe; is slammed backwards to sideways by all and sundry, for an emotionally laden shout down to ABCC Inspectors.
The media have reconfigured Setka’s words to mean something he did not say. That his main intent was to ‘be a thug’ for the sake of it, rather than highlight the plight of workers.
We have seen Malcolm Turnbull’s rant at the Liberal Love-In this week.
There have been countless headlines condemning Setka, focused particularly for including children in threats and a referral to the Police.
Setka threatened to expose who the secret ABCC inspectors were to family, friends and footy clubs.
“The’ve gotta lead these secret lives because they are ashamed of what they do…We will lobby their neighbourhoods, we will tell them who lives in that house and what he does for a living, or she, and we will go to their local footy club. We’ll go to their local shopping centre. They will not be able to show their faces anywhere. Their kids will be ashamed of who their parents are when we expose these ABCC inspectors” (ABC 23/06/2017)
Setka has clarified the emotion behind his speech.
“But as a family man and father of three beautiful children, if my comments were taken out of context or if they came across in a manner that was threatening, then I truly apologise,” he said.
“We’ve never gone to people’s homes or involved their families and we never would,” Mr Setka said in his statement.
“The thought of anyone going to someone’s home is reprehensible. My speech reflected the depth of anger construction workers feel about the persecution they face from the ABCC.”
Imagine if the media treated John Setka the same way they do Pauline Hanson. Imagine if they listened to his accusation that he was deliberately taken out of context. (ABC 23/06/2017)
Imagine if they pandered to Setka and excused him. Just ‘An uneducated do-gooder, who just can’t can’t get his words right.’
What if the media reconfigured Setka’s speech and framed it all about ‘what he really meant?”
Imagine if the media and politicians framed Hanson as a thug whose words threaten and intimidate minorities and may incite hate crimes and insist she is referred to the police – every time?
What if Setka was just a man “Brave enough to say what the Silent Majority think.”
If only panel shows around the country discussed that, “He meant he was just angry at the ABCC being a tool of the Government – A Government that clearly shows they have contempt for the working class. A tool that provides an enabling environment for more injury and deaths of workers and rendering the Union powerless to prevent them.’
What if they said – Yeh – we should talk about that?
What if Setka was framed as “A well-intentioned man who just wants to highlight that workers deaths are a huge issue and no one is talking about that?”
Imagine if workers, risking lives every day in a high-risk industry, made even more dangerous by the ABCC, were treated as the ‘Silent Majority.”
Imagine if Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese instead of agreeing with Turnbull that the this is just ‘Thuggery’ stepped forward and shouted down the Liberals and the ABCC.
What if they said that they don’t agree with the way Setka said it, but understood the emotion behind it and then insisted the ABCC be abolished and this is what he really meant?”
If only all Labor MPs and media used this speech as the impetus and insisted we need to have a national conversation about safety at work.
What if the Media chased Turnbull with a pitchfork and insisted he explains the high number of worker deaths?
If the media and politicians sang Soft Kitty the way they do for Pauline Hanson and spoke about what they ‘assume’ the underlying intention was, then more conversations would look like this, instead of tirades about Unions being thugs and good for nothing else. Workers deaths and Worker Safety would be highlighted as a real issue of national concern.
Bosses threatening Unionists who are trying to ensure the safety of workers on site, dangerous conditions and worker deaths and how to prevent them, would be the topic of talk-back shows and panels all around the nation.
We have heard post the Grenfell Tower Inferno phrases used such as ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ contrasting the treatment of the poor and the wealthy in the UK.
Our National Conversation is also a tragic tale of two cities. One where the powerful bigots with platforms can demean already vulnerable groups. These bigots then have more powerful people cover up their bigotry. They falsify the meaning of what bigots actually say into something ‘nice’ they did not say and then explain “What they really meant.”
Then we have the underdogs, screaming for someone to notice their plight. Trying to highlight what the rich and powerful are doing to those who do not have full agency, who are not empowered, who do not have a voice.
Whether this is workers, the unemployed or asylum seekers or any other vulnerable group. The same powerful people be it politicians or media, cover up this contempt for these groups, and label them thugs, bludgers and terrorists.
Corbyn’s For the Many, Not for the Few – is not a platitude. It has the ability to change life as we know it. It is time we too, looked at our own national conversations through the lens of a Tale of Two Cities, where the powerful reign and the powerless suffer.
The Greens are like that sibling who tells Mum and Dad the half-truth to get you into trouble. Then they sit back and gloat at your punishment. Three days and three lies from the Greens, plastered all over social media. It’s time Labor started fighting back.
I am not sure about other Labor supporters, but I am sick and tired of opening social media and seeing wall to wall posts of Greens claims that Labor has done something so horrible. Only to check out Hansard to see what really happened and the Green’s lies are far from the truth. Blatant and bold lies. Is integrity even a thing anymore?
Admins responsible for pages and groups, share these half truths with a carelessness that beggars belief. It takes five minutes to check Hansard, maybe ten if you don’t know where to look. (Hint: Big rectangle window on the APH home page, Watch, Read and Listen).
I understand many people pride themselves on sharing political information online. I am the same. However, unless we want to spiral into the dumbness of believing anything that is posted like we have seen with Trump, it is really important to check facts, before posting or reposting.
Basically, the Greens central theme of their lies is that Labor hates people. The other main theme is that Liberal and Labor are both the same. They claim that Labor is so elitist that they have pure contempt for the most vulnerable in society. They try their hardest to paint Labor as closet Tories. The Green’s – wearers of the almighty cape.
The Greens must have been so enamoured with Albo’s speech about how the Liberals hate the Public, they have copied it (as usual) as their stick to stir the embers of Labor hate on social media. Because you know, aspiring to be the party who has given the nation every single progressive reform in history, can only be emulated, as Labor already wears that crown.
The assumption that the Greens are just some do-gooders out there fighting the good fight and not a political party is a nonsensical point of view. The Greens are a political party. Although Labor and Greens agree on many things, the Greens are an opposition party to Labor and their aim is to take as many seats off Labor as possible. They see Labor’s place – that is a party that is in a position to govern; as THEIR rightful place, without the 100 odd years of hard work.
It is time Labor fought back.
Three days and three lies. Let’s talk about them below.
The first lie in the last few days that had Social Media dripping with wall to wall hatred for Labor, was the claim by the Greens that Labor supports drug testing for welfare recipients.
So, as we can see above, Labor had already discussed the Green’s motion with the Green’s and asked them to hold off until they had more information. There are many reasons why Labor has done this, and only Labor Senator’s involved will know those reasons. However, one reason could be that every other crossbencher so far supports drug testing, from what I have been able to ascertain. This bill may be very hard to defeat. Or they may be something in the bill (I can’t imagine what that would be) that Labor may agree with. If Labor voted down a bill sight unseen, and they voted down something they agree with, then the Liberals could use this against Labor. To not even want to read a bill, like the Greens, is reckless.
As Corbyn has taught us, never ever trust a Tory.
All other parties voted down this motion, not just Labor. Notice how the Greens don’t mention that? They use half-truths (aka lies) to give the impression it is just Labor standing over there with the rotten conservatives. Why? Votes and Politics. That is why.
Labor may need to gather evidence from stakeholders to put forward a solid argument in the Senate to defeat the bill. The Senate is a house of scrutiny. Stakeholder’s voices deserve to be heard. The Greens have disrespect for the purpose of that Chamber.
The Greens know that Labor’s position is to always, always find out all the facts, scrutinise bills and put bills through a proper process. That is what a party who is in the position to Govern does. Knowing this is always Labor’s position on any bill, the Greens are playing a game. They are playing it well, and it is time Labor fought back.
The second lie is the lie touted about by the Greens and also from Australia ProBono which makes the claim that,
“It is disappointing to see the Labor party and crossbench turn their back on people accessing the social safety net who will be dumped onto the card without consultation.
Clearly, we can see from the official Labor response in the Senate above, that Labor is in the middle of consulting with many communities. We can see a clear statement that Labor opposes a nationwide roll out. Once again, Ayes 9 (Greens) Noes 41 (Everyone else) but the Greens only target Labor.
Whilst I personally vehemently disagree with any use of cashless welfare, Labor’s traditional approach is to consult with communities.
I personally do not agree that enough consultation was done with Ceduna. Clearly, there is a very large backlash from the people in that community, which Labor should listen to.
We do not need cashless welfare in ANY form in Australia. What we need is a welfare review led by Professor John Falzon, to identify solutions that give people respect and dignity.
However, this is yet another tactic by the Greens to leave the impression that Labor supports cashless welfare as a whole and a nationwide rollout which is not the truth.
The Greens use this tactic believing that people will vote for them if they paint Labor in a bad light. In Queensland where Keith Pitt is trying to roll out Cashless Welfare in Hinkler (Bundaberg area), the Greens will only convince voters to vote for One Nation. What do the Green’s care? It was their voting of the Senate reforms that has lumped us with One Nation in the first place. As long as Labor are the bad guys, right?
The third lie in as many days is the lie that Labor supports a tax on sanitary products for women. The overdramatic headline from the Greens really goes to the heart of the vehemency and trickery to do their best to try to paint Labor and Liberals as exactly the same.
What Labor’s central argument is here, is that whilst they support the removal of tax on Sanitary products, Labor’s argument here is that they also do not agree with ripping GST from states without another measure to replace that GST. That is why Labor is working on proposals that are palatable to other states to support so that we can ACTUALLY see tax removed from sanitary products, and not at the expense of a loss of revenue to the states. A loss of revenue from the states will only hurt vulnerable women in other ways.
In addition, this was just shoved into a debate about a bill that imposes GST on cheap items ordered online from overseas. This is not a bill about removing GST from sanitary items for women. The Greens know online readers will believe that this was a debate about a bill to remove the GST on sanitary items. The Greens know this, and they use this ploy very well.
I get so frustrated with the Green’s painting their lack of risk management as some faux empathy for vulnerable people.
GST is a matter for the states to agree on, and the Greens know this. This is just another political ploy to paint Labor and Liberals as the same. The catch cry of One Nation. Why go to all this effort when James Ashby probably has templates they can use? You never know, he might even give them to them ‘at cost’.
I am critical of Labor’s inability to use social media well and the Greens clearly are winning the social media political Olympics. Over-dramatic headlines and posts by the Greens and their supporters, steeped in lies and half-truths, gather momentum very quickly. These are followed by a wall of comments of hate from readers directed at Labor. “Labor has lost me.” “I won’t forgive Labor for supporting this.” “I used to vote Labor, but now they are scum.” and so forth and so on.
Labor needs to use social media well and knock these lies from the Greens on the head very quickly, as they happen. The damage is real.
If Labor is just sitting in the Senate, self-satisfied that they have done the right thing, using pragmatism and risk management and looking at the impact on all people, or by taking the time to collect evidence and consult with stakeholders, they need to really pop their head out once in a while.
The myth that social media does not have an impact on voting behaviour, is a very ignorant view to take. The Greens love Labor bashing and they are using social media to do this very well.
Labor needs to fight fire with fire and learn to use social media tools to make sure that the truth is heard to counter Greens lie after Greens lie.
Just like that unjust punishment from Mum, when siblings tell a half-truth to get you into trouble, the Greens are gloating whilst making damn sure that voters punish Labor just the same.
Bolman and Deal’s “Reframing Organisations” encourages leaders to look through various ‘windows’ to reframe and solve problems. The Author argues that climate change activism is led from a position of privilege. To counter this, the worker must be central to the climate change debate.
Climate Change Activism is not a passing phase. Warnings about climate change have progressed since the 1980’s. Aerosols and cows expelling gas would destroy the earth. Climate change activism has become increasingly more prevalent in politics, media, and society.
The current phase, post-Paris Agreement, is a particularly strong phase of climate change activism. This is globally pushing leaders to implement legislation and regulations to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The vocal aim of activists to shut down entire industries, such as coal (and some say beef is on their radar as well), places climate change as a (negative) force of change on the working class.
We are no longer in an era where we are debating the reality of climate change. The majority of people accept that climate change is real and we must act on climate change.
Many activists still operate in the mindset that any question about jobs equals denialism. They do not try to understand if the other person believes in climate change. Lectures about the merits of climate change stream forth in abundance, regardless.
Abuse and ridicule are common responses to the jobs issue. A strong position is jobs do not matter in the end. They argue fiercely if mining destroys the earth, there will be no jobs at all. This is particularly exacerbated by the current anti-Adani movement at present.
Activists who do try to engage only have one solution – all the coal workers will now work in renewables. There is no vision to reinvent communities or truly see the human factor and offer diversity and true renewal.
Other activists are quite discriminatory about who deserves jobs. They will respond with the notion that Great Barrier Reef jobs are more important than coal jobs. The notion of job losses in the coal sector is sometimes even celebrated by activists as an achievement.
Rebuttals are in the form of industry that is not yet prevalent.
Oh! They can just go get jobs in the renewabls industry!
The conversation around jobs and regional communities towards a post-coal world is extremely difficult to get off the ground.
Environmental activists must cease the perverse accusation that one is a “climate change denier” if displaced workers are a major concern.
(And Malcolm Roberts, by some weird turn of events you read this; despite what you may have read from Climate Change activists yelling at me on Twitter – I am not in love with you).
To achieve positive progress we need to reframe the debate with the worker as the centre. This will highlight the negative impact climate change action has on workers.
Environmentalists must question if their position is so pure that negative consequences, such as mass layoffs are inconsequential. If mass layoffs are inconsequential, and workers can’t put food on the table, then does one’s activism come from a position of privilege?
Activists generally sincerely value their actions and advocacy as a positive effect on society. I do not disagree that this is the intent with climate change activists.
However, I would strongly argue to value the intent of activism is not enough. I would also argue it is ignorant. Activists must also value the consequences of their actions, not just the intent. Sometimes a positive action can result in negative consequences.
An environmental lens ensures the following remain silent:
Displaced workers, economic loss, increased welfare, homelessness, poverty, despair, an increase in psychosomatic symptoms and even suicide.
Reframing the debate with the worker as central to the climate change debate is essential. This places climate change action as an externality that is a force of change on industry and work. This shifts the worker from an irrelevant byproduct of change to the central focus.
This should serve as the impetus to mitigate harm to the working class co-existent with positive action on climate change.
I am using this example to demonstrate activism and privilege. Often the negative consequences of positive action, are not recognised. The activist does not have a desire to reframe the debate. It is not until voices push for reframing that the negative consequences of activism are realised.
As a white liberal/radical feminist in the 1980’s, I was oblivious that the activism I participated in had negative consequences. This activism had a negative affect on women of colour and also misrepresented men of colour.
It has been through women of colour persisting with their voices, who created this change. This forced white liberal feminists to reframe their activism and recognise specific feminist issues for women of colour. Many white liberal feminists now follow women of colour as allies in support of their activism.
Through reframing by women of colour, white liberal feminists could then identify the negative consequences. They recognise their activism was from a position of privilege.
A united and stronger feminist wave was born.
Activism that spares no thought about how to alleviate harm on the worker is from a position of privilege.
Activism that is not involved in ideas and discussions to mitigate harm to the worker, is a position of privilege.
Persisting with ‘lecturing and convincing others’ and shouting down concerns about jobs is regressive and obstructive.
If this continues, unlike feminism – a stronger united movement will not be born.
Privilege is a term commonly used in sociology and feminist literature and it is described as:
As a concept, privilege is defined in relational terms and in reference to social groups, and involves unearned benefits afforded to powerful social groups within systems of oppression (Kendall, 2006; McIntosh, 1988).
Within Environmental Literature this concept is defined as “Elitism” (Dunlap, 1986). There are three types of environmental elitism.
The third type of elitism is the most relevant for the purpose of this article:
Some examples of impact elitism are:
The Climate Change debate would look much different if activists, politicians and media reframed this to a worker-centred debate.
Decisions around budget measures, domestic and foreign affairs, industrial relations, training and the distribution of revenue would look much different.
The continual lecturing and ridicule from activists who are stuck in the view that the majority of people still need convincing are stifling the debate.
The leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, is also guilty of this. Shorten’s narrative concentrates too much on the environmental, rather than the working class.
It is up to the Australian Labor party to lead serious reform in this area. Leave the environmentalism to the Greens. Australian Labor should be working to mitigate the effects of climate change whilst simultaneously loudly advocating for national reform. Championing the new way we look at jobs, industry and the economy in a post-coal world.
The Labor party has a transition document available. However, in my view, it does not go far enough. The legacy of Labor is about national progressive reform. I welcome a transition plan. However, one that responds within an environmental framework is not enough. The answer is not just about renewables.
We urgently need a visionary set of serious reforms for regional communities.
These are some questions to be asked.
The Labor Party’s narrative about the world of work in a world of serious climate change action is also non-existent.
Unless we fight and win a region-focused jobs and economic transition plan, the resultant high unemployment, filled with skilled heavy industry unemployed, only risks tipping the balance of power to the employer. This is a huge risk for further erosion of job security, safety and fair wages and conditions.
I have renewed hope now that Australian Unions are speaking up.
Food on the table, rewarding and permanent secure work should be an inherent value we ALL fight for.
This cyclical fight does not have to continue to be the case. The “left” appears to be fighting itself to champion one social cause (environmentalism) at the expense of another (the worker).
Mass layoffs and closures will become a prevalent and a visible acknowledgement of successful climate change activism. Without a serious region-focused economic and jobs transition plan, this divide will deepen. It will hurt.
Arguments that the worker is secondary give fuel to the ONLY argument that the actual climate change deniers have left. That is pretending to care about the working class as the reason to block change. We saw that in abundance this week with the Liberal and National Party’s rejection of the Finkel Review.
The absence of narrative about jobs is also partly attributed to the rise of Trump and Hanson. I do not want that to continue. Do you?
Reframing and placing the worker at the centre of the policy debate and self-identifying privilege is the first step. A step towards a synergistic policy framework of positive climate change action united in positive progress for the worker.
We need an immediate shift from the current aimless national political discourse and we must insist upon politics with clear definable aims. The involvement of more young people in politics is now urgent. We need young voices now, not later. Continue reading
The fear of ‘the others’ permeates everything lately. Social media, politicians, commentators and the mainstream media are enabling a culture of stigma and ‘othering’. Fear of people we don’t understand shuffles beneath the surface of individual thought. These fears have a parasitic grip on beliefs, ideas and thought. It channels thought, word and deed through the prism of fear. This fear is a man-made construct, developed by conservatives to destroy the working class. It can be framed as the pre-agenda of the real agenda. The real agenda for the conservatives is as always – to destroy the working class. The pre-agenda is to establish a base, through fear of others, to help them get there.
This pre-agenda was first tried in the 1990’s with the aim to support the real agenda. That was to see more people embrace Howard’s Work Choices. In the 1990’s the stigma and fear of Indigenous people and Asian people was developed with a particular aim. That is fear would grip people. They would turn to those speaking out loudest against Indigenous people and Asian people. This would then, see people turn to the Government’s ‘paternalist-guiding hand’ agenda. In other words, stand with the Government to destroy the unions and destroy the working class. Even better if you were working class yourself and you left the union.
It was not going according to plan. To save some face, Howard had to terminate his association with the person he mentored, developed and gave a platform to, to be the voice of the pre-agenda. The agenda of racism. A person so ‘brave’ her voice shook when she spoke. A person dressed as an everyday Australian suburban woman. The mother at school, the tuckshop lady, the shop owner, the corner store worker. The person we don’t really know but feel comfortable ‘having a chat to.’ This person was Pauline Hanson. Pauline Hanson was to be the very voice to create a culture of fear, stigma and racism. This fear was to be so great that people’s attention would divert away from the atrocity of Work Choices. So blinded by fear of others, they would support it.
As history has shown us, this backfired. It was the wrong time and the wrong targets of racism for longevity. It did work in part. A conservative Government was in for four terms and the biggest defining piece of anti-worker legislation was enabled.
However, the uptake was not strong enough for people to be blinded to the plight of the worker and the destructive anti-worker policies put forward by the Howard Government.The Rights at Work movement was the light of the working class fighting against the darkness of Work Choices. Good trumped Evil and in 2007 the working class won. We are seeing no such movement today. No such swell of deep angst organising to take up the cause. The ‘fear of other’s’ is blinding people to the real agenda. There appears to be no lessons learnt from the Work Choices era.
Prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, racism, hatred and xenophobia suck the life from rational decision-making like an insidious contagious disease. Once it has obtained its grip, this fear underpins and drives people to agree and believe in political ideology and political direction and policies, they would normally not have agreed with or believed in. The fear that we must stay safe from ‘the others’ now underpins agreement. Agreement to attack the worker and demonise and denigrating the poor. Those who choose to do so defend this stance vehemently. They see this as the just thing to do. It does not matter what the consequences are.
The Howard Government, along with the Abbott-Turnbull-(?) Government underpins their policy decisions with the idea that the working class do not know what is good for the country. That is, to allow the free market to flourish, by allowing the owners of the capital to tell the owners of the labour what they will be paid, how they will work and the conditions they will work in. Not to stand in they way of big business.
The fear of others is so great that some of the people who fought against this in the 1990’s are not remotely interested in what is happening to the working class, the jobless and the poor. They are too busy battling the ghosts the agenda of fear has conjured. The conservatives appear to have chosen the right time and the right targets of racism and stigma.
Muslims, in the minds of the fearful, are far more frightening than Indigenous people or Asians. In the 90’s these targets of victimisation were “stealing our social security money, stealing our jobs and stealing our land.” Today, in a nutshell, the belief among the fearful is that Muslims will take over the world and force us to become ISIS.”
Therefore, they must seek solace in ‘the brave’ – find their ‘protector.’ When Pauline Hanson’s voice shakes today it sounds much more brave to fearful ears, as the fear is much more magnified today with Muslims as the target. Hanson is indeed much more appealing as a consoling leader, as she speaks the loudest and the media makes her the centre of attention, which reinforces her words as ‘normal and justified.’ This is a disturbing reality towards the success of the conservative agenda of destroying the working class.
Today in 2017, the fear of others is so great that some of the people who fought against Work Choices in the 1990’s are not remotely interested in what is happening to the working class, the jobless and the poor. They are too busy battling the ghosts the agenda of fear has conjured. The fear of things that may never, ever happen and are not happening underpins their decisions to support anti-worker, anti-welfare and anti-community policies. They will even argue that these things are not happening, although the nightly news will tell the stories of what has been passed in parliament and although they can watch both houses live. It is a case of blanket denial, because ‘Pauline stands up for us Aussies against those Muzzie Bastards – Have you even read the Koran?‘
They will scream, yell, insult and rant at those who are awake to the fact that these policies are being passed and are deeply concerned about their implications, and call them liars or ‘too sensitive’. They are practised at standing firm with everyone who agrees with them and calling it ‘the right’ and those who they shun and don’t agree with them ‘the left.’
Hanson advocates appear to have a twisted belief that Hanson, a conservative, Christian, nationalist, ex-member of the Liberal party, who shows immense support for the Liberal Party and who wants to abolish all penalty rates, abolish holiday leave loading and voted for the ABCC, somehow is ‘for the worker.’ This would indeed make Hanson ‘left’ on the political spectrum.
Yes, the pro-working class voter of yesteryear, now see being angry at the passing of legislation that will increase worker deaths, where a worker has no right to silence, that removes mandatory employment of apprentices, that sees income ripped from low paid workers and harsh and unjust punitive measures on the jobless, as weak and ‘not concerned enough about ‘the others’ (who will destroy our freedoms). Workers rights have become secondary to many people who are actually good working class people, simply blinded by unfounded fear. That is a disturbing reality.
This time, the conservatives appear to have chosen the right time and the right targets of racism and stigma. This is also a disturbing reality.
With so much talk about Australian values lately; attacking the worker and denigrating the poor were conservative agendas that people would fight tooth and nail against. It was against our values. They would rise up and join the struggle to ward off this narrative from becoming the norm.
The narrative of the pre-agenda is, however, strong and it has born an entirely new class of voters. Voters who are now welcoming these baseless attacks on the working class and the poor as ‘the new acceptable norm’. Some choose to ignore the implications, such as anti-worker policy passing both houses. Others see it as a ‘sacrifice’ for the greater good, of staying safe and not letting ‘the others’ destroy us, take over our country, our jobs and our freedoms.
Some of these people are true conservatives. Some are the non-union working class, some are union working class and some are jobless and/or are living below the poverty line. The majority of people within the ‘right wing agenda-Hansonite groupings’ supporting this ‘pre-agenda’ are the very people conservative politics attacks.
The desire to keep fear and prejudice strong within individuals has now formed into a collective, via contagion and has formed into a mini-resistance. It is suffocating the empathy and understanding of the plight of the worker, the jobless and the poor. There are those who were in the trenches with the working class in the 1990s, who are now fighting against the worker, shoulder to shoulder, embracing the enemy of the working class.
There are those who fight by shouting their prejudices and wearing them on their sleeve; angrily scream at anyone who dares to ‘not see the real truth.’ Their truth.
Then there are those who consciously or unconsciously deny their prejudices. They don’t want to say these things out loud. They just want to think them. Pauline Hanson, other conservative politicians, conservative commentators and the media will say these things for them. (She speaks for me). This gives them a new confidence to speak these prejudices out loud for the first time. To speak them gives a sense of reinforcement and belonging. For some, the feeling is almost euphoric. A relief beyond comprehension. They feel they are finally part of a collective. A resistance and that they ‘belong.’
This sense of belonging brings a sense of security and protection. A belief that if the ‘protectors’ – the one’s who are loudest attacking ‘the others’ will keep us safe from harm. However, it is through this false sense of reality, that real harm is being ignored and disbelieved. For some who have made the complete transformation to anti-working class – they embrace it.
What other anti-worker, anti-welfare policies will dedicated ‘Hansonites’ ignore, accept, condone and defend, all in the name of staying true and remaining loyal to the resistance that fights against minorities and speaks loudly to denigrate ‘the others?’
The racist agenda is a man-made construct developed as a pre-agenda to assist the conservative Government to destroy the working class. In 1996, “Howard’s Battlers” of the working class enabled the biggest onslaught on the working class we have ever seen. In 2017, “Pauline’s Battlers” are on the rise.
People must stop allowing the unrealistic fear of others to underpin and guide their beliefs, opinions, and decisions and take notice of the attacks on the working class. They must make a conscious choice. Support the workers and the jobless. Otherwise, support the Christian-Conservative Nationalist anti-worker agenda of Hanson and the rest of the right-wing parties. Supporting Hanson, the Liberals, The Bernardis, the Xenophons and Hinch, gives zero support to the working class.
Otherwise, this time, the conservatives may win and sustain longevity and the attacks on the working class may completely destroy everything unionists and the working class have fought for, were jailed for and died for.
Michelle Landry, LNP MP for Capricornia must resign. The Liberal National Party have now admitted they went to the election based on a blatant lie. Turnbull said he will bring back integrity to politics He must insist that Ms. Landry resigns today.
On 3rd February, I published Is the Defence Land Grab” Turnbull’s Carbon Tax Lie? This article details the timeline and agenda through an analysis of press releases, Hansard, the Defence White paper and the Budget.
My timeline shows that the Liberal National Coalition either knew they were going to acquire land, or they are severely incompetent and had developed no contingency plan for the expansion to house the Singaporean Army at Shoalwater.
They say a week is a long time in politics. However two weeks have revealed two things. The first is that Peta Credlin admitted on national television that the Gillard’s carbon tax lie was just dirty politics made up by the Liberals and it was never a carbon tax.
Michelle Landry needs to admit that either she did not know about the land grab or she is incompetent. So incompetent that she did not inquire as to the impact of the Defence training deal on her own constituency. For either one of these she MUST resign.
Although the Government has now backed down on compulsory acquisition, after protests and rallies; the electorate was prevented from voting on all the facts at the time of the election, due to dishonesty by the now Government.
I felt sick today. Truly sick. Malcolm Turnbull dangled people with disabilities as political pawns. He used vulnerable people as pawns to pressure Labor to support harsh cuts to welfare or he would hold off on the NDIS. Turnbull has now slid all the way from Diamond to Deviant. There is absolutely no coming back from this.
Before Turnbull had to whisper tawdry deals to Pauline Hanson between the sheets; he was so proud of the NDIS. When he thought he was invincible in September, 2015 he said this about signing agreements for the NDIS.
This marks a huge milestone towards the delivery of one of the largest social policy reforms in our nation’s history.
Fast forward post the 2016 election, Turnbull returns by the skin of his teeth. No longer popular with the people. No longer popular with his party. A whipping boy for the rancid right and now plays kissing cousins for real with Pauline Hanson – the Jimmy Swaggart of the Racist Set.
In 2015, he was considered a diamond. Precious and rare. A Prime Minister who would never lose his sparkle. In that point in time, in all his verbose puffery, he wailed glorious over the benefits of the NDIS.
I am proud our Governments are securing a sustainable NDIS that will be available to all who need it and I want to thank all of those who have worked so hard to get us here.
Today, just 17 months later Turnbull dismissed the NDIS as a burdensome cost to the taxpayer. A shameful political defence that reduced some of our most vulnerable people, who need our support, love and pro-community solidarity, into nothing more than a stigmatising liability on the taxpayer.
He then drew the “Hanson card” and pitted the oppressed against the oppressed. A tactic normally reserved to pit the homeless against the refugees; he used this card to pit jobless youth living under the poverty line against people with a disability
In a dehumanising fashion that literally made my skin crawl and my stomach flop; he did something so abhorrently repulsive, I could not believe my ears.
I know I have already expressed I was shocked. I still am, hours later. Listening to this today, I was appalled. I couldn’t imagine what sort of person I would have to become to do this. How would I feel? What would I be thinking about? How could I look a person with a disability in the face again?
I really want to know what was going through his head. What was he feeling. Not that he would reply but I just had to tweet him this. If a journalist can ask him face to face that would be great.
Turnbull threatened to withhold assistance for people with a disability they have been waiting years for, unless Labor signed off on harsh reductions in welfare. This includes a reduction in payment for Newstart and withholding payment from new recipients for four weeks. Over 25% of people on Newstart also have a disability.
The choice Turnbull gave Labor is sickening and can be summed up as:
Sign up to push unemployed young people into more poverty and homelessness or the disabled kid gets it.
The Prime Minister is showing an obvious contempt for people with a disability. The tirade towards Bill Shorten calling Shorten a parasite; clearly shows this was a case of psychological projection where Turnbull was bellowing out his deepest feelings about himself. Today he was on display as a parasitic, loathsome creature.
I would not normally be so harsh; but his behaviour today was nothing short of contemptible. I have no other words. I’m sorry.
In 2017, the transition from diamond to deviant is complete. Turnbull now holds views that are incompatible with civil society. Oh! How he has fallen!
Redcuchulain takes a look at the growing number of voters attracted to Pauline Hanson and puts forth suggestions for progressive leaders to combat this.
To quote an old Arabic saying , “If people are thirsty enough they will drink the sand”. I do not believe that 23% of Queenslanders are turning to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation because they are racist. It is more that they feel that they are not being listened to by anyone else. They will no longer put up with it.
There is no doubt that social inequality is increasing. The poor feel vilified and disenfranchised. All while we hear stories like we did last week about the six executives from Australia post taking home half the profits. Jobs disappear and it is the less educated who are suffering. Jobs are outsourced to countries where labour is cheaper. We are being replaced by machines everywhere from the coal mine to the supermarket checkout.
Back in 1964 Donald Horne coined the phrase , “The Lucky Country”. While this phrase is generally now accepted as a positive reference and has been repeated everywhere from cigarette adverts to patriotic Aussie songs, Horne’s original meaning of the phrase was somewhat different. He noticed that the structure of our economy was more like a developing nation. We export lots of raw material and then we buy back finished product.
We also do not have a great record on the management of our environment. Australia is essentially an Anglo-Saxon culture country in the middle of Asia. However, we haven’t really worked out our place in it. Australia was seen as ‘The Lucky Country,’ as it enjoys a very good standard of living despite all this.
Quite simply there are a lot of natural resources compared to the size of the population. Fifty years on from Horne’s book our luck is running out.
I believe the future of Australia requires us to structurally change our economy. It requires us to increase our educational standards. Our educational standards aren’t all that great compared with other countries. We need to invest more in science and innovation and actually start exporting knowledge and products. We need world standard infrastructure, like the original NBN.
Hanson is openly anti-science. She supports a dumbing down of educational standards for professionals. Hanson does not seem to have any original ideas other than to collect vastly less tax than even a conservative government would support.
Of course her followers do not seem to be able to deduct that this type of conservatism would flow to vastly less expenditure on everything from defence to education. Perhaps she thinks that everything in the new world will be priced in 1964 dollars as well.
It is perhaps ironic that that Hanson and her party are prepared to sit and deny that the world is changing and are in fear of Islam. They sit like the Byzantines who denied science and clung to their old religious beliefs right up until Mehmet was at their gates with his superior technology and took their city from them.
Except the Hansonites are chasing the wrong foe. It is not the Muslims who will destroy our way of life but our own failure to innovate.
Protectionist policies do nothing to lift productivity. They give a country the economic prowess of the South African rugby team when they first waddled around the pitch at the end of the apartheid era after being isolated for 25 years.
There is a difference between governments creating infrastructure and investing in research to give your industry a fighting chance and putting up trade barriers.
Populist politicians are tapping into the very valid emotion people are feeling that things felt better in the past.
One Nation’s idea seems to be to go back to 1964 when Australia felt lucky. I do not believe that rolling back social attitudes back to 1964, denying climate change or rolling back education to what was required in the 60’s is going to make us lucky again. It isn’t going to bring the jobs back.
It is my sincere hope that the next elections are fought over policy issues. I hope our debates move to positive ideas on how we don’t leave sections of our community behind in terms of rising living standards.
The first thing that progressive politicians need to do is acknowledge the lack of hope that sections of the community are feeling at the moment.
In 1964 a person could move from job to job, they had more in life than their parents had (their parents lived through a war but people often forget that) and the idea that growth could not go on forever without destroying our planet was the domain of a few academics.
The more narrow religion dominated social narrative, while abhorrent for progressives may have been easier for many people to understand. There is a large cohort of mainly white, 50 and over Australians who perhaps miss that country that they perceived lucky.
They make up a large portion of the electorate. They have less of their life in front of them than what is behind them.
The ‘serious’ consequences of climate change are always talked about occurring in 2050 and it is human nature to think of something beyond our expected lifetime as abstract and unreal.
They see things harder for their children and grandchildren and if we could just dial back the clock on a few things it would be better. Wouldn’t it? These people don’t care much for celebrating our progressive victories such as improved university participation, women’s rights or social justice. These are things that affect other people. The ‘elites’.
Progressives need to find a way to reconnect with these people if we are to bring them on our journey forward. Part of this will involve acknowledging that there are bits of the old world that had value and that we have lost as well as gained.
These people have not enough hope to drink. They are thirsty.
Drinking Pauline’s sand will not quench thirst. It will make you even thirstier and your guts will end up… well…full of it. It is up to us to provide a different bottle.
Is Turnbull just a Mean Girl, or is he a Heisenberg or possibly a Trumbleberg? What has he become? The once suave leather jacket wearing moderate has transformed into the incarnation of Abbott with his sycophant speech. A man full of angry personally abusive ranting and zero policy.
The media seem to really get their rocks off on this type of abusive ranting politician. They love it. They channel Highlander with “There can be only One!” in their writing. They wallow unashamedly in it. As they did with Abbott. For this reason, vulnerable people will always be doomed.
The media (except VanBadham) have missed the mark. The only thing that will be immortalised about the Turnbull Speech is how the media got this wrong. Except Van Badham. Trust Van to be head and shoulders above the rest, standing against the grain.
The media have compared the sycophant speech with Gillard’s misogyny speech. There is no comparison. Where can Turnbull go from here?
A common trope in movies is the ‘corruption of the cutie’. That is, the ‘nice guy or girl turned villain.’ When Turnbull became leader he was seen as the ‘unbeatable good guy’ with 60% plus in the polls. A wide appeal. The nice guy next door.
How Turnbull has transitioned since he stole leadership from Tony Abbott is in line with this trope of corruption of the cutie – it is a slow progression of nastiness, until the transformation is complete and BAM! The lead good guy is now the lead bastard and he is a bastard in spades.
This is epitomised in Mean Girls when the good girl character Cady, becomes a mean girl herself.
Walter White, calm, nerdy, good, family loving chemistry teacher, turning into Heisenberg, self obsessed, greedy drug lord, “I am the one who knocks” in Breaking Bad, is another example.
For some, they will be torn between the good guy who they believe is still deep inside, and will be loyal to him, waiting for his return. This is how I was with Walter White. I never got my wish.
I failed to realise the good guy is either dead, or never was. People will realise the same with Turnbull.
The corruption of the cutie, is the role Turnbull played the other day. This is in stark contrast to the trope of the bullied character, who stands up in the end, in the case of Gillard. The character who is the butt of jokes, picked on, ridiculed by bullies. However, has the personal resilience to stand strong in the face of adversity. Always determined to rise up with a right versus might speech.
Gillard’s speech was about right versus might. It was Gillard insisting that the right of women to enjoy life free from sexism is paramount above the might of the misogynists.
Turnbull’s response to Shorten’s objection to cuts to family payments by calling him a sycophant and a parasite, was all about might versus right. This was Turnbull insisting that the might of the rich and powerful always is paramount above the poor, the worker, the downtrodden who fight against them.
A stark contrast indeed. The media have this, very, very wrong.
Indeed, Turnbull will think people love him for being a bully. His inner circle will tell him so. It worked for Abbott after all. His party members have felt so adrift with not being able to express their true ugliness. They are excited now they can clap and cheer at bullying in all it’s glory, like they did with Abbott on a day-to-day basis. Now again in love with Turnbull because he is bringing back the ugly.
But Now they have Steff – the Ultimate Rich Mean Boy
Now they can clap and cheer because they have the actual God of all mean rich boys. All the rich kids love this guy. They love him because he is rich, he decides the pecking order, he decides who gets to go to the best parties. He reassures them all daily that they are superior and the poor kids are just scum. That makes them feel so much better. By their clapping and a cheering you can see the meaning of the message. The message is the LNP thrive on ugly politics.
They love Steff-like characters because he is real true arsehole. He picks on the poor kids. They get behind him and stand tall, staking their ‘rightful place’. Feeling strong by the jollies they get from humiliating ‘the working class trash’. They all play a part in reminding them, that even if you turn up to the rich kids party, you will never be one of them. You. Do. Not. Belong.
In 16 Candles, Steff, made sure he let Andie know she did not belong. Just like Malcolm made sure he told Bill that he does not belong at the same table as rich men.
Gillard’s Misogyny speech was a rousing speech. It can be encapsulated as the determination trope. It was brought on through the determination that is required to face daily, sexist slurs and pointed sexist ridicule. It is the determination that is required to get up every morning and face a narrative that talks women down, while she was determined to always talk women up.
Gillard’s message was to everyone – I am a leader. Follow me and say no to sexism and misogyny and make the world a much better place for women.
Turnbull’s sycophant speech can be encapsulated as the evil gloating trope. It is what mean people do. They gloat. This is brought on by a born to rule mentality. A mentality that aims to bring the good guy down. It is brought about when the popular kid or the rich kid sees their perfect world threatened by the inclusion of an outsider. An outsider they consider who does not belong. The threat that ‘the lower class’ may just make it to the place they see as rightfully theirs. A right they inherited, and did not have to yuk ‘earn’.
Turnbull’s message was really to his party. As a leader, follow me and I will teach you how to keep the worker trash out of our posh parties and I will make the world a much better place for the deservedly wealthy.
The message to everyone else was – I am a leader, follow me and I will make sure if you ever actually ‘make it’ I will be here to put you back in your place and remind you where you truly belong – with the other working class trash.
The media has played this up for all it is worth. However, deep inside so many Australians is the love for the Aussie Battler. Shorten will continue to stand up for the little guy, the worker and the poor.
Turnbull it seems will continue his Shorten bashing from a place of ‘you don’t deserve to be here’.
If Turnbull continues these mean girl rants, he will realise that even those who were once loyal will turn on him. When you become an Mean Girl, not everyone will love you.
He may realise that even though his internal party members love him for being the meanest, nastiest, rich-boy bully; those on the outside, especially those suffering under his cuts to family payment, will not feel the same way.
Now he has started on this trajectory, is there a way back for Turnbull? To get out of this dilemma, and claw his way back to any semblance of decency; he may need to pray that the leader of the right-wing instructing his every move, is taken out by a bus.
(Don’t worry, she doesn’t die….)
It is very clear to us now that Malcolm Turnbull knows his place and we should all damn well know ours. Through his attack on Bill Shorten yesterday, he let us all know that only the ‘real’ rich kids get to sit at the table with other ‘real’ rich kids. If you are the poor kid who gets that invitation to go to the cool rich kids party, then you better not show up, cos the rich kids are waiting to slap you down.
In question time yesterday, Labor Leader, Bill Shorten loudly objected to the Turnbull Government’s harsh cuts on families, pensioners and the poor in general. For those who continuously state that Liberal and Labor are the same; please take note of this stark contrast between the two and please press the buzzer and get off this bizarre unicorn led school bus you are riding.
You know, the cuts that mean sausages and mince some nights and peanut on bread the other nights.
Cuts that mean that even if your kid is a bloody star and you are so proud of them, they have to just miss out, because you can no longer afford footy fees or singing lessons.
The cuts that mean pensioners cannot afford to keep cool or keep warm because it is a choice between meager amounts of food or electricity.
Cuts from an uncaring Government who are threatening jail to disability pensioners, whilst their leader smiles as he protects the big banks and big companies.
Liberals always tout their very loud support for the low paid casualised labour, abolition of penalty rates and high childcare fees. This means that most families need to rely on family payments to simply make ends meet. Yet Turnbull decides it might be fun to cut that too.
The Liberals very vocal advocacy of making it really super easy to sack people, like their mate John Howard did, forces many families to work for next to nothing. They never rise up, stay complacent, never complain. This means a dream of a fair days work for a fair days pay is just a dream. Full time work is not even in the scope of reality. Yet Turnbull decides to cut the one thing that makes up the gap for these struggling families: Family Payment.
Shorten had enough so he rightly attacked the Government and stood up and spoke up for every single parent, child and even the family dog that these cuts hurt. Shorten insisted that these pensioners and families, to please sir, have some more.
Just like in Oliver Twist, when he asked “Please Sir, Can I have some more?” Turnbull, just like the big fat custodian of the workhouse, bellowed at the orphaned worker “Moooorreeee?”
Turnbull yesterday moved through classic literature in one very angry rant. Moving from the Workhouse boss in Oliver Twist and then transforming into Flashman from Tom Brown’s School Days. Shouting at Shorten, “How dare you, you poor person sit with the rich kids!” While Flashy’s mates stood around him smugly laughing.
It is a wonder Turnbull didn’t yell at Shorten:
“You’ll be fagging for me by the end of term, BOY!”
As Rhys Muldoon summed it up yesterday:
Morphing yet again, we have Barnaby this time, in the background, Turnbull’s main Droogie from A Clockwork Orange, who has made his way to parliament yesterday straight from the Korova Milk Bar where he overdosed on some horrorshow Moloko.
(If you don’t understand any of these examples, I suggest you lobby the Liberal Government to start re-funding the Arts).
So there we have it. Turnbull destroyed the Liberal Party ideology in one big fat childish rant. The Liberal ideology that tells people who “If you work hard enough, you will make it.”
The way they always tell us that “Everyone is born equal and it is up to you to be all the way up here with us! You can do it. We did!”
The sniveling privileged born to rule ideology that insists that if you haven’t made it, it is all your fault and you should be ashamed.
The stigmatising and derogatory ideology that points to anyone on welfare as a criminal and a cheat. That is while the Liberals sit there and destroy the economy so there are no jobs to be had!
The main point of Turnbull’s rant yesterday was that even if you do work hard like Bill Shorten and end up earning $400,000 a year, and become the leader of a major party, you will never, ever, ever be a real rich kid. The rich kids will be here to push you around to remind you just where you have come from.
Turnbull made the very big point that if you start even hanging around with the rich kids, we will make sure we let the other poor kids know, that now you are rich you have lost your values and you are now one of us. You know, the rich kids who hate and ridicule the poor kids.
It speaks volumes that a strict conservative like Cory Bernardi has jumped ship. Conservatives may have twisted values, but one thing they loathe is uncouth clowns like Turnbull who cannot hold it together.
Malcolm Turnbull like all self entitled right wingers do when they are lost and backed into a corner did. He spurted a great big lump of psychological projection. As a poor kid of the 70s and 80s, Turnbull only said two things to me yesterday:
Considering Turnbull is both in abundance, how is it possible that he can Govern for more than one percent of our people? The truth is, he does not.
I will end this article with some more of Shorten’s words to show that it will not matter how many rich people he dines with (even if they did die eight years ago), he has stayed true to his Labor values. This is Shorten on why Labor fights to help people with a disability.
As a poor kid of a Father with a disability, these words mean a lot to me, as it is how Dad used to explain it. “On the invalid pension, you never ever get a chance to get ahead. You are punished until the day you die.” he would say.
This is the alternative Prime Minister telling his story behind his involvement in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
This is a narrative you will never ever hear from the Prime Minister Turnbull, even if he is angry and shouting as loud as he can.
The media are hailing Turnbull a hero for berating the man and attacking the man. They must get super excited over right-wing nut job trolls on Twitter!
That night, the Policy Nerd Shorten smiled through yet another Sales interview on ABC 7.30. Instead of asking more about Shorten’s concerns, Sales tried to excuse Turnbull’s right to have his pointed personal attack on ‘the man.’
The current state of politics as described by the media is:
Angry shouty born to rule elites devoid of policy, just so they can wear a crown and destroy the country?
Policy Nerds who quietly get stuff done in the background. Like say, a national scheme to assist people with a disability. You know, stuff that really matters….
Boring! Bah! Boo!
What Turnbull did yesterday was what every single LNP or nationalist nut job on Twitter does, day in day out. Yells, Screams and personally attacks people because they cannot understand, nor articulate policy. Yesterday, Turnbull was like a real life Twitter Troll come to life. It was incredible to watch.
Heads up to the Media. This is NOT leadership.
Turnbull is right to worry about a stab in the back. He should worry some more. There are literally thousands of idiots on Twitter who do the same ranty personal attack diatribe every day and some are very skilled at it. With Hansonism, every idiot in a clown suit thinks they can now be Prime Minister.
In what reads like a paid Advertorial, but is a subscriber only exclusive, able to be viewed by non-subscribers; the Courier Mail apparently interviewed Pauline Hanson. This time about what she would do if she was the Prime Minister. What is in it for her voters? Not much. Not much at all. Let’s take a look at just one idea – Prenuptial Agreements. Pauline now wants to interfere in our bedroom lives. GTFO!
They often say that in populist politics, that there is a wider agenda at play. It appears that 20 years of opinions on race and religion, makes Pauline a dull girl. Now she wants to be dictator and chief in our private lives. What is it about the genuine romance and happiness that most couples enjoy, that she simply won’t put up with?
The power has really gone to her head now. Enshrining in law and forcing couples to sign a prenuptial agreement is a blatant intrusion into our private lives.
Seriously Pauline, stay out of our private lives and get the hell out of my bedroom!
Pauline Hanson has revealed, if she was Prime Minister, all couples should have to enter into mandatory prenuptial agreements. That means, that Pauline Hanson would make it a law, that you must sign a prenuptial agreement.
No free choice for you. This is Pauline taking away your personal freedom. Taking away your freedom of choice in a matter concerning your private life. If this was a Muslim country she would tell us the Muslims are controlling the women. But in Australia we have Pauline who wants to control all of us.
What Pauline says goes. Because she has had it up to here with being tolerant of happy couples who may never ever get divorced. Hanson is twice divorced with a string of other failed relationships. This does not mean everyone is as unlucky in love as she is. Nor does it mean should dictate to everyone else.
It is not clear if these agreements are for married couples or all couples. This is Hanson’s answer to the Family Court. After all, it is not only married couples who have children. It is not only couples with children who lose out in divorce settlements or break-ups. Once again, no deep thought has gone into this by Hanson.
Once again, she has not thought this through and is actually betraying her voter base.
PHON voters are said to be white, male over 40 years of age. They are traditionally right-wing voters, living in regional or rural communities. However, it is also this group who Hanson claims to support for domestic violence and Family court. What Pauline is proposing here, may result in severe distress for victims of domestic violence.
We all know that the suicide rate is the highest in this group. We also know that the prevalence of family violence towards men in this group is emotional violence, demeaning their self-worth, control of finances and personal freedoms. Yet, a prenuptial agreement can place more pressure on a couple, not less.
What is Hanson doing to protect the men in her voter base? The vulnerable men who may feel forced (well they will be by law) to sign a prenuptial agreement. The men who may feel forced to put in place what their partner insists on. This goes both ways of course, but this is purely focusing on Hanson’s own voter base. Hanson is a great big ball of contradiction.
Domestic violence has phases. No one signs a prenuptial agreement when they are at logger heads with each other. Typically, they are very much in love.
If one person has a controlling nature, it would be very easy make financial control of another person legal. Especially, when the other person is in blinded by love. Way before things turn ugly.
One of the most common cited pitfalls of a prenuptial agreement is distrust. This inflames a relationship and cause more friction and more arguments. Sometimes interfering in-laws insist on terms.
I know part of Hanson’s “charm” is that she is not very intelligent. Not a higher educated ‘elite’ to put it in the Hansonite’s lingo. Hanson should always seek expert advice. This should be not negotiable. She should understand the pros and cons and how it will affect vulnerable people. Hanson should assess all risks, before she thinks of enshrining something in law.
That is her responsibility to all citizens as a politician.
In this case, this thought bubble may actually harm the very people who vote for her.
A domestic violence victim is not always aware their partner is controlling them, until it is too late.
If someone is in genuinely violent relationship, a prenuptial agreement can make it even harder to get away from the abuser, depending upon what is in the agreement.
Pauline Hanson is setting the ground work for those in relationships who want control over others, to have this control legitimately.
As discussed above, prenuptial agreements can have pitfalls. The law should always protect the vulnerable who are subject to these pitfalls.
What if the controlling party, threatened to leave if they did not put in the prenuptial agreement what they wanted? Someone being controlled is dependent. The abuser knows this.
What if the prenuptial agreement including giving sole custody to one parent and you felt forced to sign? Signing away your parenting rights? Manipulative partners can use this as a guilt towards the victim that they don’t trust them (the abuser).
If it is a Hanson Government mandated requirement, you may have absolutely no choice, but to give up your own freedoms. You may lose more than you have bargained for.
Politicians should aim to legislate to protect the most vulnerable in society. In the case of anyone in a domestic violent/controlling relationship. Hanson is doing the opposite with this proposal and it may have severe consequences.
In addition, prenuptial agreements are already available in Australia, entered into of a couple’s own free will. Entering into private bedrooms and forcing couples into a signed legal agreement, in my view, is extremely un-Australian. It is downright dictatorial.
Since when have we just laid back and accepted a politician making decisions that are private matters for our bedrooms? Most people don’t. Most people now even recognise that who we marry or what gender they are, is no longer the business of the Government but our own.
Unless you can afford a very good lawyer, you could end up much worse off than what the State may protect you for already. Coupled with Kevin Andrew’s idea of mandatory marriage counselling, between Hanson and Andrews Lawyers and Marriage Counsellors will be making a packet from laws mandated by a Hanson led Government.
Prenuptial agreements are normally for the very wealthy in society – of which Hanson is one of them, as she is a multi-millionaire. Maybe her voter base should consider that maybe she does not really speak for them on this issue and push this back to her to explain.
Explain why she thinks her opinions and laws belong in our bedrooms?
Also, ask her to explain if she gained financially from either of her two marriages which ended in divorce and did either of these contain a prenuptial agreement? According to this article, “Pauline Hanson’s Bitter Harvest” the ex-husbands may be sued if they answer your questions. So it may be best to start asking her directly.
Or perhaps ask her yourself. Ask, “Is it normal for someone to go from barmaid, to divorce first husband, then to a plumbing business, then divorce said second tradie husband, then to fish-shop owner to $500,000 dollar house, to a multi-million dollar lifestyle in 20 years?” Ask her how she actually did it.
I don’t know about you, but in my world, this is not normal.
How dare Hanson dictate to anyone when her married life has been far from perfect.
Pauline Hanson is always the first one to tell people to stay the hell out of her private life, but she thinks she is the self nominated Queen and can interfere in ours! I seriously do not think so.
Hanson does not live in my world and she certainly does not speak for me. She can shove her forced prenuptial agreement where it fits and stay the hell out of my bedroom!
In 2010, Tony Abbott, supported by the media in epic proportions, touted Gillard’s infamous “Carbon Tax Lie” as THE lie that cost Abbott the Prime Ministership. Moving forward to 2017, an even bigger lie has been revealed. This just may be THE lie which allowed Turnbull to hang on by the skin of his teeth to power. This lie is the Turnbull Government remained silent on the compulsory acquisition of farming land in Central Queensland for supplying land to the Singaporean Army for defence training.
When the lust for political power is such that it sees citizens denied their rights, or it denies voters to make an informed vote, it is up to all of us to stand up against that.
Prior to the election in May 2016, the LNP MP for Capricornia, Michelle Landry announced that the Turnbull Government was investing in defence at Shoalwater Bay. Landry was pleased to announce that this would pump millions into the local economy and it was a positive for small business.
In all instances, Michelle Landry framed the Shoalwater Bay investment in terms of an upgrade, implicitly insinuating that the upgrade was to existing facilities. Landry omitted the cold hard facts that this also included, or had even the potential to include compulsory acquisition of nearby farming land, owned by local farmers for generations (see maps in link above).
In addition, Bill Byrne, QLD Labor Minister for Agriculture has also accused Defence Minister Marise Payne of misleading the Senate.
QLD Labor Minister Byrne said that:
“There is no doubt in my mind that vital information was withheld to gain electoral advantage, and I am raising the possibility that Minister Payne… misled the senate estimates hearing,”
On 18th March, 2016, Defence Minister Payne issued a press release which detailed the enhanced development of training operations between Singapore and Australia.
Therefore, in March 2016, the Defence Minister, Minister for Trade and Investment, Special Envoy for Trade and the Foreign Minister knew that an increase of Singaporean Troops was earmarked or military training facilities. The question is:
Did not one of these Ministers have any awareness that this increase would indeed require an expansion to the military training areas?
Was this promise made without even developing an understanding of how it might impact on people living in the region or the impact on our economy?
Has the Member for Capricornia, shown absolutely no interest in asking her own Party about any perceived negative impacts on the constituency she is supposed to represent?
The Federal Budget papers do not detail any expenses for upgrading the Military Operations in Shoalwater Bay.
However, in capital expenses, the Government does commit to $29.9 billion over 10 years from 2016‑17 to 2025‑26 to support initiatives in the Defence White paper which includes:
A number of ADF training areas in northern Australia will receive upgrades by 2020, including Shoalwater Bay (Queensland)
Once again, Shoalwater Bay and Townsville are only discussed as upgrades and not as an expansion.
In October, Senator Payne took a question from Senator McDonald regarding the memorandum of understanding with Singapore. Senator Payne detailed that the Singaporean Army will invest “around $2.25 billion in upgrades to Australian training areas while up to 14,000 Singaporean troops will join our own for training for up to 18 weeks per year in Australia.”
However, in Senator Payne’s response in the Senate, she details that this inclusion in the Defence White Paper includes increasing international defence engagement. The CSP will particularly enhance training area access and joint development of facilities.
The expansion was announced in the Senator on 8th November. Senator Payne advised the house that she would make sure that ADF would conduct extensive engagement and consultation. This has not occurred and Farmers were advised via a letter of the compulsory acquisition of Land, a shock to many. The Coalition Government decided upon compulsory acquisition of land without consulting Farmers.
The strategic partnership is detailed as developed in May, the White Paper states upgrades as an aim. However, in May, 2016, the Government did not detail any expenses for an expansion, just an ‘upgrade.’ The Government knew the increase in Singaporean Personnel and the aims of the strategic plan, at least in May. Why did they not question the logistics of this increase? QLD Minister Bill Byrne goes into much more depth here.
The Government either hid the information regarding the compulsory acquisition of farming land from voters prior to the election, or they were incompetent in their planning with the Singaporean Army in the land area that was required to achieve the aims of the strategic plan.
If the Government was evasive and did not disclose in May that this land was a necessity to acquire by force of compulsory acquisition, then the Government is also incompetent by excluding the loss of revenue from Beef Producers in the region in the Agriculture revenue within the Budget. This will rip approximately 100,000 head of cattle from our local producers and severely impact on the two meat works in Rockhampton. Rockhampton is the Beef Capital of Australia. This Defence threat to farmer’s land will hand this title to Casino in NSW.
To put the omission of the compulsory acquisition of farming land into perspective of the infamous “Carbon Tax Lie” is that the Coalition rests on just 76 seats. Just enough to form Government. The Carbon Tax Lie was touted by the Coalition and by the media as the lie that denied Abbott the Prime Ministership.
In Queensland the Coalition won 21 seats. There are quite a number of seats in QLD that the coalition holds onto with very slim margins. Michelle Landry’s seat of Capricornia scraped through with only 1111 votes, with the majority of Liberal votes coming from the rural areas via postal votes. The nearby seat of Flynn, saw the local Labor candidate, Zac Beers, almost decimated O’Dowd’s comfortable seat, leaving O’Dowd with a swing against him of -8.96. Capricornia was one of the deciding seats in the election. Flynn now sits on a margin of 2.08, 1,814 votes.
These are just some examples of regional seats in Queensland, where the Liberal National Coalition and indeed the local LNP MPs fighting to keep their seats would know full well that attacks on our farming community and a farmers land grab would have banished at least Landry and O’Dowd into oblivion.
In Regional Queensland regardless of whether we live in town, or out on a property, or what our traditional political beliefs are, everyone is united in standing up for the farmers. No doubt, many Australians feel the way regional Queenslanders do and would have voted accordingly.
As detailed above in March, the Defence Minister met with Singapore to discuss mutual aims for Defence, including access and development of training facilities. From May, the Coalition were spruiking their deal with the Singaporean Army, which would bring 14,000 Singaporeans to the region for training. The ADF website details that:
“Identifying a remote parcel of land for Singapore Armed Forces training was considered during development of the agreement, but was dismissed due to the limited benefit for the Australian Defence Force.”
Therefore, in May, the Coalition knew full well that an expansion was required. In no instance, did Michelle Landry or Marise Payne identify the expansion and what land was to be (initially) used. They simply implicitly stated that they were ‘upgrading existing facilities’ to house the increase of Singaporeans.
The revelation that the Liberal National Government had no contingency plan if this ‘parcel of land’ detailed above fell over and that would mean forced acquisition of farming land, speaks to the either a cover up and deceit to voters or blatant incompetence.
Psychological projection is a tried and true campaign style of the LNP, particularly in Queensland. Psychological projection is when someone takes their undesirable feelings or beliefs and projects them onto others. This takes the focus off them and project it onto others, with the intent to have others believe it is the target who has the undesirable feelings or belief and not them.
For example, if the Liberals stated the opposition would ‘harm families’ but knew it was their party and not the opposition, that had a plan to abolish funding that would harm families. This is psychological projection. This technique is also used by Republicans in America.
On the 4th May, the Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry posed a question to the Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce. This question was put forward to demonstrate how much the LNP invest in helping farmers. This is such a contradiction in terms to the real truth that an expansion would heavily impact on Beef production and supply for the Capricornia region. Landry had already established a platform that LNP supports farmers and Labor does not prior to the election. That smells very much like a precursor for the campaign strategy below.
At the Norman Road booth in Capricornia, where I handed out HTV cards, Landry’s fly-in campaigners from down south (because her local volunteers do not appear to be in abundance) were screaming:
They were also telling voters not to vote for the Katter Party or Glenn Lazurus as “they are funded by the dirty filthy unions.” The absolute hatred for the worker by the LNP in Capricornia also runs deep.
If this was the campaign style at one booth, then it would stand to reason that this was the campaign strategy at many booths.
The truth in this, is that whilst Landry’s mob were screaming “Labor Hates Farmers!!” it was indeed Landry’s mob who were getting set to do the dirty on farmers in the Capricornia region.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, QLD Minister Bill Byrne, QLD MPs Jim Pearce and Brittany Lauga and Federal Senator Murray Watt, have organised forums and rallies to give these Farmers a voice. Brittany Lauga also organised counselling services for local farmers as, readers would appreciate the impact on their emotional health with this decision is heartbreaking and as Lauga said, quite urgent.
Please see the video below from the Rally, including a brilliant speech from local Farmer, Pip Rea.
We have already seen what happens in QLD when the Government defies the wishes of the electorate. In 2012, QLD Labor were banished to seven seats, for selling QLD Rail. In 2015, the LNP were thrown out of office after one term, with Labor taking 37 seats from the opposition for a total of 44 seats. Our assets are not for sale. Not now. Now ever.
Similar anger would have been felt from Queenslanders, on July 2, if they knew about the compulsory acquisition of farming land. This would have most certainly resulted in a very different parliament than we have today.
Yesterday, the Federal Government said they would look at ‘alternatives’ due to the outcry from local farmers. However, local farmers are not satisfied, with some suggesting this is just to take the heat off of the first week in Parliament.
Bill Shorten has written to the Prime Minister personally and The QLD Premier has requested COAG be held in Rockhampton.
“IF he has any guts he will come here and face you.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk, QLD Premier, commenting on the Prime Minister “The Rally” Rockhampton 1st February, 2017.
However, that is not a victory. A victory is no forced compulsory acquisition of farming land. That is the outcome local farmers want.
To support Farmers you can like and encourage friends to like the Marlborough Defence Land Grab Facebook Page
Sign and share the Stop the Australian Farm Land being Blown Up Petition
Write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, Defence Minister Marise Payne and your local member and insist upon no forced compulsory acquisition of farming land for Defence Training to accommodate the Singaporean Army
Listen and Share Ray Hadley’s scathing interview with Barnaby Joyce linked below:
Barnaby: If we say we will never forcibly acquire anything, we will never build another road, we will never build another dam…..
Hadley: Yeh but they are not giving it to the Singaporeans…….
Hadley: Barnaby, Barnaby, the one thing we never get involved in is BS…..
Bill Shorten’s speech at the National Press Club was incredible. Shorten shifted the political narrative and claimed a very large space as his own, in less than one hour. The stage is now his. I see the future as something like this……
Bill Shorten has a very strong advantage over Turnbull. He has clearly denounced Trump’s promises and his policies. Whereas, Turnbull clearly wants to show his commitment and love of Trump and his support for his actions.
Trump is making a very ugly America. Nationalism is not kind, nor gentle and there are always casualties. Australians now have the chance to see nationalism in action. They will see what Hanson wants for us. Hansonism will come to life, and the people won’t like it. They will sit back and watch Turnbull condone it.
Regardless of how loud and proud some people have been or still are, of Trump and Hanson; via media they will be forced to take on the burden of witnessing the casualties of Trump’s nationalism. They will see children handcuffed and hear about people fleeing America in fear. From the freest country in the world, people will be seeking Asylum. It is happening now.
They will see a broken man crying for his brother. “Sending them back to where they came from” and how cruel and inhumane it is, will hit home for many.
They will see the ugliness and fear created by Hansonism and Trumpism as supported by Turnbullism and they will in turn, reject it.
Those of good conscience will see people in emotional pain and distress and they too will feel emotional pain and distress. They will want it to stop. Helplessness will be a normal feeling. The fear it will happen here, will be a huge concern. Turnbull, with his support for Trump and Hanson is setting an agenda that he would encourage it. He would welcome it here. This message will be extremely clear to all Australians.
These people will look to the leaders who endorse the infliction of pain and distress on others and they will turn to the leaders who do not. Turnbull is a supporter, Shorten is not.
Regardless of how far on-board the populist bandwagon people may be; our test is always in crises. During times of flood, cyclones, fires and drought, asset sales and compulsory land acquisition of farming land, that is happening right now in Central Queensland; regardless of our political affiliation, our sexuality, ability or gender we stand united as one Australia. Race, religion and politics no longer matters.
Trump will deliver up a crisis, day after day after day. Hanson will promise to do the same here. The Morrison’s and the Christensen’s will clap their hands and cheer. Turnbull will stand back and give every indication he would never stop these crises happening here, as everyone in parliament is democratically elected.
As the discussion keeps unfolding around Trump, we will be discussing the casualties, like the man in the video above. Turnbull will be standing there in all his pomp and splendour agreeing that the pain of these casualties is right and just. He will wave a flag and and meep about secure borders. He will palaver on about ‘what we simply must remember and something about something and how important that something is.’
In addition, he will elevate high above us “Lucy and me” with a fondness of a Malcolm and Lucy story, fit for a 1980s edition of Woman’s Day. Turnbull and Lucy are his fantasy of Australia’s first royal family. The push for the republic back in the day is now quite clear. He has legitimate status as King and Lucy as Queen now. So, that is why a republic no longer matters.
Bill Shorten will be stating with conviction that these victims are human beings. That they are workers and family people. They are the casualties of an ugly right wing populist nationalism that we don’t need here and that we don’t accept. he will clearly state these actions towards others are unacceptable and he will detail how he will oppose it and condemn it.
Turnbull will continue with verbose lectures, poli-speak and blaming Shorten, throwing some union bashing in for good measure. Avoiding media questions will become more prominent and he will shrink further into his defensive shell and perhaps get a little angry and remind such journalists of ‘their place.’
Shorten will show more openness, engagement and genuine concern. He will apologise to the people for being part of the out of touch political scene. Shorten will show genuine contrition. He will follow through on the action he sets down to make it right. Shorten will be open and frank with the media and even if a prominent ABC journalist interrupts him 32 times; he will continue to be gracious and respectful, as a leader should. Always appreciating our quality journalism, pro-Bill or not. He will point to the existence of fake news and acknowledge the confusion it inflicts on every day citizens.
There will be more town halls, he will call out the media more on silly antagonistic questions. He will challenge the Government on job creation and also insist on transparency.
Shorten will claim back the space of being a worker or union and proud of it. He will bear no shame for it. Others will follow, because there IS no shame in being working class or union. Turnbull’s solutions are all business focused, strongly focused on making businesses richer. Shorten is people focused, strongly focusing on making the lives of the working class and the poor, richer.
Turnbull will prattle on about removing red tape to improve quality of business. Shorten will outline a clear plan to improve our quality of life.
He will claim back the space that has been tainted and attacked by the right and openly slurred, by a taxpayer funded witch-hunt called TURC.
Bill Shorten will own this space because Shorten is the real deal. Turnbull is a fake and it is showing in abundance.
In a world of uncertainty (and now fear) for many as they watch Trump play God; charisma, fancy suits or pomp-speak are not the traits they will seek. Sincerity, honesty, stead-fastness/dependability are the traits they will seek out. Shorten has demonstrated that in spades for a long time now. As the world gets more uncertain, these qualities will shine like a beacon.
The NPC speech was particularly exciting for me, as I love observing strategy. Bill shifted the political narrative away from the populist rhetoric and delivered a sincere, honest, tenacious and steadfast, reliable alternative to the Prime Minister.
He set himself aside and laid out a clear agenda for jobs, families and Australia. Shorten established himself firmly as the political leader and the leading expert in this space.
There are no other politicians who can claim the space of caring for Australian jobs, putting on our kids as apprentices, giving our kids a quality education and understanding families and the disadvantaged.
Shorten laid claim to this space during his NPC speech and now he completely owns this space. At election time, jobs, the economy and families are always central and are the three biggest issues people care about. The stage is all his.
The right wing populist nationalist space is getting very over crowded. Especially now Turnbull and the two Bishops have jumped in there with Hanson and her nutty crew along with Christensen and Morrison and the entire channel seven breakfast crew.
Turnbull’s National Press Club address was gutless, weak, pointing fingers, shallow and evasive. A very stark contrast to Bill Shorten who will be Prime Minister for a very, very long time – very soon.
For those who judge Shorten by his ‘charisma level’ I say this too you:
How we define who is Australian and what we mean by “Australian” has become strong focus over many years. With the rise of nationalism in Australia, there are those who insist they are the authority on this.
Redcuchulain asks why do nationalist monarchists like Hanson believe they have the legitimate right to dictate to the rest of us who we are? Does a true Australian worship the Queen, or do they stand in solidarity with an Australian President of an Australian Republic? Would Hanson pass the citizenship test?
One of the most wonderful things about Australia day is the number of people who choose to become Australian citizens. They make a permanent commitment to this country. It is easy to understand why.
I still look back fondly on the day when I became an Australian citizen. Yet, I can still imagine what those people are feeling as they take their oath. I fell in love with Australia the first time I visited here. For me it is the egalitarian outlook of most people, the beautiful country. It is also the freedom from the old baggage which holds other places back that makes this country great. We are still young enough to shape our own destiny.
I could not help noticing the oath this year and the irony that some people in the public eye now who claim to be bastions of Australian values would not be able to take the oath with a straight face. “Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background”
How could Pauline Hanson seriously take this vow and not choke on the words? Or: “compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good” when she recently voted to support the LNP’s latest round of cuts to welfare recipients and pensioners.
Maybe it is because Pauline still sees our allegiance to a foreign Queen that she is so out of step with the values of modern Australia?
Perhaps if she was made to take the education, citizenship test and oath herself she may realise who is really a threat to our culture and way of life.
Overtly racist, Anti-Muslim, Right Wing Nationalist-Populist Pauline Hanson yesterday announced in a coded message that she has redressed all the issues for women which underpin feminism. We no longer need feminism! Cancel the next Women’s March!
The Women’s March on Washington was held on 21st January, 2017. This was an international event with over five million women and men marching world wide. The Unity Principle of the movement is defined as:
We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. We must create a society in which women – including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.
Women, men and children marched to raise awareness to end violence against women. They marched for reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice.
Australian women, men and children also marched in solidarity. This is what they marched in solidarity for:
Pauline Hanson expressed outright anger yesterday at Australian women marching in solidarity with another five million women worldwide.
Now we all know Hanson insists she is not racist. Despite still saying racist things about them, she now loves Indigenous people, Asians and Muslims. She stands for all Australians.
That is, except fat, white women who chose to march in the biggest women’s march in our history, because human rights are women’s rights.
Hanson described these women as clowns, who needed some sun and exercise. I know many will think that this is just an unplanned rant by Hanson, because she is just an ignorant and angry woman. No, not at all. This is very planned and strategic.
This is simply a strategic tactic to appeal to her main demographic voter base – white men over 40 and to plant herself firmly into the spotlight by saying something divisive about feminism. Being a woman herself, this just legitimises her as a ‘strong woman’ in the eyes of her voter base – white men over 40. A woman standing up to fight against the ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ women who are attempting to share equal space with ‘good’ or ‘strong’ men and have men relinquish some of that power they hold dear, is most certainly a beauty to behold and to vote for.
Dumb clowns are confused. These dumb clowns are stupid. Silly dumb clowns always frown. The saying that we say back to bullies, “it takes one to know one” is quite apt here. Hanson is openly stating that she thinks women are marching against democracy. She thinks they are marching against a process to elect a Government democratically.
Think before you speak might be another one that fits here.
Because dumb clowns are stupid, another one that does fit very well is “educate yourself”.
This is normally used towards people who make claims about feminism. However, they are super dumb, just shaking and crying all over their keyboards angrily hammering out myths and propaganda, rather than actual facts.
Hanson in this rant is the epitome of the clown, she accuses other women to be. A dumb clown at that.
These women were not marching to protest against democracy. Women were marching for an entire gamut of human rights and women’s rights. They were not marching to over-turn a democratic process of electing leaders. Or insisting on authoritarian rule. They were however, sending a message that women’s rights are human rights.
Bandwagon jumping is when someone pops into an online cause or trend for personal ego trips. Normally, reserved for social justice, these bandwagon jumpers are often louder and drown out the voices of the legitimate minority group that need to be heard. They do it for personal gain, for followers, for ego pumping.
Regardless, they see a trend and they jump right on that bandwagon. Just like Pauline did.
Trending online opposing the women’s march were two groups – Trump supporters and men who oppose the rights of women. Often referred to as MRA’s.
One of the main arguments used against the women’s march was the use of the “Divide and Conquer” strategy. In all fairness, this is Hanson’s primary tactic in obtaining voters for her own personal gain in her pursuit of power. This may explain why this bandwagon was so appealing.
This particular bandwagon had so many jumping on it to pit Muslim women against white women. They did it by trying to delegitimise the many struggles women face. This is done by championing the fact that Muslim women in Muslim Majority countries have it far worse.
That is, pitting the oppressed against the oppressed. Veterans and homeless before refugees! Sound familiar?
Having women question their compassion for all women, to incite them to turn on one another in competition between race, gender status, geography, is a tried and true tactic of those who seek to destroy the feminist movement.
Those in power or who seek to be in power, like Pauline Hanson, do this because facing the enormity of not only the legal discrimination women face, but discrimination by default and the ingrained sexism and misogyny women face daily, is simply too difficult.
For leaders to be sincere about women’s rights issues, would mean that they would need to invest or actually think about solutions. That is far too hard.
Instead, they do things like this to divide and conquer:
I want you to ask yourself- Where is the #WomensMarch to protest the suffering of women in countries under the rule of Islamic Extremists?
— Pauline Hanson (@PaulineHansonOz) January 22, 2017
Sorry, didn’t mean to scare the Hanson voters reading this with that headline. My point of that headline is that there are two takes on this: Hanson either purposely did this as a tactic, or she is purposely ignorant, which is not a fitting quality for any leader.
The leader and organiser of the Women’s March is a very famous Muslim-Palestinian – Linda Sarsour. Sarsour is a strong advocate that women of colour should lead the women’s movement.
The other fact that Hanson seems to apply her ignorance to, is that the March was an inter-sectional march. That means that women were marching for all women, regardless of where they come from or if they do or do not fit into a minority sub-group of women. They were marching for Human Rights for all. As women’s rights are human rights.
The HUGE fact that Hanson ignored was that thousands of Muslim Women marched. Yes, even in Saudi Arabia.
Perhaps I am being far too pessimistic. Maybe Hanson thinks that women do not need to march because she has all the answers. Has she redressed all the issues women face? In all fairness, she does claim to have the answers to everything.
The problem is, Pauline Hanson never tells us what those answers are. She just mirrors a problem and agrees with it. She says she will do something about it. That she is standing up for it.
This is the era of ‘Fake News’. We are also asking ‘should the media hold politicians to account or should the politicians hold the media to account’? Therefore, it is the responsibility of the media to put some decency back into their profession and ask Hanson the tough questions.
Ask her questions about her reasons why a women’s march in Australia is a waste of time.
The media can start with similar to these:
Does she think it is appropriate for her followers to burn mosques, interrupt sermons and scare women?
How much does she think her rhetoric impacts on white-on-Muslim women violence in the streets?
If she can tell us her solution for violence against women, longer questioning and scrutiny of sexual assault victims in court and wage inequality, that may be an interesting start.
The media questioned Gladys Berejiklian yesterday about why she was childless. This infers she is not a ‘whole woman’ and is an attack on all women.
They might want to question Hanson if her hyper-masculine, anti-women attitude is a front to protect herself from this type of attack the media inflict on women in politics.
Or is Hanson actually just an anti-woman woman, who gets her jollies from fat shaming other women?
Are you angry enough yet? That is the question March Australia would like to know. In 2017, they are taking it to the streets again!
In 2014, Tony Abbott and the Liberal National Coalition Government saw the anger well up in so many people and March in March took it to the streets. Three years later the Australian people are still angry and Malcolm Turnbull, like Tony Abbott before him, still does not have a positive or progressive agenda.
Although this morning on Twitter John Wren thinks he knows where the Prime Minister’s agenda might be. If only Irona was not on holidays! 😂😂😂😂
— John Wren (@JohnWren1950) January 21, 2017
The Turnbull Government is still NOT listening to the people and March in March is BACK!
The Liberal Government has failed miserably under Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull and the list of things the Australians are angry about is almost endless.
It is time to Stand Up Australia! Instead, this year bring your best banners of Fizza, as the Lyin King has been removed and replaced! Thank you Australia! Give yourselves a round of applause!
Here is the list presented by March in March as some of the things you may be angry about. If you are angry about any of these things, something else, or maybe just the flat-out incompetence of the Turnbull Coalition Government – then get amongst it. Boots on the ground people!
Watch the Video below for how to get involved today; or visit the March Australia Activist Interchange Facebook Page:
As we saw with the influence that marches like these had on the influence of the removal of Tony Abbott and the influence of pure people power to remove Campbell Newman from power in Queensland, with Labor and other parties taking 40 seats off the LNP Government. The removal of the Newman LNP Government freed Queenslanders from mass sackings, removal of civil liberties and the closure of many vital and important public and community services and the privatisation of our important assets.
Yesterday, a heartbreaking tragedy occurred in the centre of Melbourne. Four people are dead including a young child. In times of crisis and tragedy, it is important to reflect on how our leaders respond.
It is important to reflect on the words of those who seek high office and those who seek to represent the people.
Their words can either unify us in strength and respond with solutions that will protect us from greater harm, or they can divide us and offer us non-practical knee jerk reactions.
Their words should console us and give us the strength to carry on. Their words should respect the lives lost and those who are injured.
Their words should pay tribute to those who selflessly put their own lives in danger, whether it is emergency services or volunteers at the scene.
Our leaders should respond with genuine empathy, seriousness and concern. Their first concern should always be about the people.
The public and of course other leaders should outright condemn politicians who make a tragedy all about themselves or their agenda.
I will leave the responses from our various leaders and politicians below for the readers to judge.
The prayers and heartfelt sympathies of all Australians are with the victims and the families of the victims of this shocking crime in Melbourne today. And we thank and acknowledge the heroism, the professionalism of the police and the emergency workers who rushed to the aid of the victims, joined by bystanders who mindless of their own danger sought to help those who had been attacked in this shocking crime. Their love, their selflessness, their courage, is the very best of our Australian spirit.
All Australians stand with the people of Melbourne in this horrific moment.
We offer our heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of the lost.
We pray for the injured and the frightened, in particular the very young children.
We pay tribute to the first responders. We give thanks for the bravery of the police, the speed of the paramedics and the skill of those who’ve worked to save the lives of the injured.
We salute those passers-by who rushed to the aid of their neighbours.
But we also know that on dark days like this, words are so inadequate.
Words can’t capture the horror we feel. Words can’t comfort those who’ve lost someone they love. Words won’t heal people who’ve been hurt or banish the fear. Words can’t put back the lives stolen in a few minutes of madness.
It’s difficult for all of us to comprehend how, why and what has happened. Harder still to understand that it happened here, in a country and a city that prides itself on being such a welcoming, safe and peaceful place.
Victoria Police have made it clear this was not an act of terror, it was an act of murder. A cowardly, senseless, destructive crime that has claimed the lives of innocent people.
We wait for answers, we wait for justice and tonight we hold all those in sadness and pain, close to our hearts.
People who are concerned about loved ones can call the helpline on 1800 727 077.
Our hearts are breaking this afternoon.
People have died in the heart of our city.
Others are seriously injured. Young and old. And all of them were innocent.
All of them were just going about their day, like you or I.
Some families are just starting to find out the news about their loved ones, and right now, our thoughts are with each and every one of them.
I’m so proud of all the Victorians who reached out and provided care and support to strangers today.
I’m so thankful for all our police, paramedics and emergency services workers who launched into action, and will now be working around the clock.
And I hope that everyone can be patient and cooperative, so we can let these professionals do their job.
This was a terrible crime – a senseless, evil act – and justice will be done.
My heart goes out to everyone affected by the horrible scenes we’ve seen in Melbourne’s CBD today.
I’ve stood on those Bourke Street corners many times, including with kids. My heart goes out to everyone suffering today. Big thanks to emergency service workers, especially those trying hard tonight to save lives.
I have just been told that there has been a terrorism attack in Melbourne.
People don’t look right. That they are not going to assimilate into our society, have a different ideology, different beliefs, don’t abide by our laws, our culture, our way of life, don’t let them in. Make this country safer for future generations.
All terrorist attacks in this country have been by Muslims. (Journalist: No they haven’t).
Australia is not immune to tragedy. Our tragedies are from the actions of other human beings or forced upon us by nature with fires, floods and cyclones.
Regardless of our politics, we should always seek to reject those who do not put others first. This is an automatic indicator that the inherent requirement to represent others is simply not a driver for that person and their motivations for public office are disingenuous and self-serving.
It is up to us to accept and revere Leaders who stand with us, comfort us and guide us in times of tragedy. Our existence as human beings, as community members, as families and as individuals is above all else.
It is up to us to reject, condemn and shame those who are not genuine in their desire to serve the people. It is up to us to demand that the media and other leaders do the same. However, trusted and true Leaders should need no encouragement from the people to do so.
There is a very stark and dark contrast between the words of Pauline Hanson today and that of other prominent leaders. As someone who the media promotes as a potential next Prime Minister; it is really important to frame Hanson’s words as the central to her motivations in public life.
Will the media continue to give a free rein and a supportive kid-glove approach to someone who believes they ‘say what Australians are thinking’ yet puts herself before others, even in times of devastating tragedy?
Well Pauline, yesterday Australians were thinking about the lives lost, the people injured and those who were left terrified and the work of our emergency services and volunteers. Australians were not thinking about where your next vote will come from.
The media is constantly giving the Pauline Hanson One Nation Party an absolute gamut of free advertising and promotion in the media, through their reporting, radio and TV shows. The media should take responsibility and cease this free promotion of this self-serving right wing nationalist immediately. The media are not oblivious to the power of influence they hold over the voting public.
Clearly, the contrast is in the video of this interview, where Hanson actually smirks as she turns away from James Ashby back to the media, before she went into her tirade about blaming terrorism and Muslims for this absolutely devastating tragedy.
Not once did she show empathy, compassion, concern or horror at what had occurred. Not once did she want to know more. The scale of the attack. How many injured. Was there still a threat?
Instead, Hanson smirked, turned to face the media and with smug satisfaction she announced there had been a terrorist attack in Melbourne. Then she used the death of others and the serious injuries of others to promote her populist ideology.
Considering Populism is the stark contrast between the corrupt elite and the will of the people; for Hanson to completely exclude any concern for the people from her rant, really reeks of blatant hypocrisy. It is time to put Australia first and reject this charlatan.
Clearly Hanson is all about the conversion of votes into cash and the luxury the power that public office brings. Clearly, no one but herself was her concern today.
Imagine Hanson leading the country in a time of war? No thanks.
It no longer saddens me that Hanson’s popularity is increasing. It absolutely distresses me.
The media is a very, very powerful being and it can and does shape the minds of the voting public. They media are very aware of their own influence. It is time the media took some responsibility for their role in the promotion of politicians.
We can no longer afford to stand by and to continue to allow the media to promote politicians who are disingenuous and self-serving and this is always very evident in times of crisis and tragedy. I thank the media who have called her actions out.
Let’s hope Channel Seven responds with a blanket ban.
Our country and our people are too precious to waste our faith in those who do not stand with us, but stand for themselves.
I know along with everyone reading this, my heart goes out to the people who have lost their lives and were injured yesterday and also to their families.
I would like to end this article by directing readers to another very good article on this topic by Jennifer Wilson: Giving a Damn Still Matters.
Indeed it does. Let’s not lose that anymore than we already have.
Tonight it really hit home. It hit home that the Australian people are more interested in trashing the fair go, than holding it dear as a true Australian value. Once the fair go is well and truly gone; we, as a people are nothing.
As I browsed Twitter, two tweets had a huge impact on me tonight. The first was from Sam Dastyari. There was a real sadness in Sam’s tweet. A sadness that really encompassed that this insidious scourge of populist racism, led very vocally by Pauline Hanson, is actively destroying our country from the inside out.
The human face of the racial attacks, slurs, anger and hatred from so many “Hansonites” in the last 24 hours were two gorgeous, smiling little girls. This. Must. Stop.
Australia is better than how these girls have been treated. pic.twitter.com/nDrVW3wIms
— Sam Dastyari (@samdastyari) January 17, 2017
The second tweet was from Josh Butler, Associate Editor of Huffington Post Australia. His tweet really drove home not only the callous behaviour of the last 24 hours; but the stupidity behind it. Is this what we have become?
Imagine waking up in the morning and deciding “yep, two happy little girls waving Aussie flags, THAT’S what I’m gonna be mad about today” pic.twitter.com/4IoUvE2ypK
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) January 17, 2017
The reason Sam and Josh’s tweets really hit home is because they wrap up very neatly in a nice little ball how racist ranting has become the new power drug for so many. It hit home because the feeling of elation and superiority more and more Australians are feeling from this negative, insidious activism, led by Hanson (and encouraged by the Media reporting her every word); is now overwhelming us. It is dividing us. It is destroying us.
This hateful rhetoric takes precedence over everything. Over actually giving a damn about the damage, stigma and pain these harmful words and actions are doing to other human beings. Now it doesn’t even matter if the target is just a sweet, innocent, little kid.
It didn’t matter if the loud screams and anger were aimed at these little girls. It just did not matter.
Did the people screaming in anger and making hateful comments and praising Pauline Hanson ‘to fight against this’ really care how these two little girls felt about the harmful words inflicted upon them? Or if they felt totally destroyed when the Billboard was taken down?
The honest answer is, “No they did not”
The honest and even more terrifying answer is “No, in the name of Pauline Hanson, they would do it all again tomorrow.”
This Hansonesque Racism, which is taking off like wildfire, now knows no bounds. Anyone is now fair game. As we can see from today – anyone.
Just like all little girls, the two girls in this photo were most likely super excited about being on a big billboard. Their Mum and Dad would have been so proud of how beautiful they looked on such a huge poster and no doubt family and friends were delighted to just know them and how proud everyone is of them. Drive-by’s and selfies galore would have been had.
Yesterday, dedicated Hansonites destroyed that overwhelming joy for two little girls.
Due to the racist outrage and fears of safety by the advertiser and threats to the company, the billboard has now been removed.
There is a growing number of Hanson worshipping Australians who see someone in a religious garb as sub-human and they gladly treat them as such and celebrate such joy from another person’s pain and anguish.
The Hansonites don’t care about how these little girls must be feeling. These ‘Patriotic Australians of the adult variety’, actively participated in the last 24 hours in breaking the hearts of these two little girls.
Today is the day that these little girl’s have had to face the reality that they live amongst monsters. Not the BFG kind. Ugly, hateful, mean, nasty, scary monsters who worship a god with a really poor vocabulary, no positive ideas, an ever increasingly prominent narcissistic personality, an over-zealous ambition, with flaming red hair and a nasally twang. How blasphemous of them!
I want to know the names of these little girls so I can ask these Hansonites, if they actually care how [Name] and [Name] felt when the billboard was taken down?
How much did the Hansonites laugh because these little girls may go to bed tonight crying until they can’t cry anymore?
Did these Hansonites hoot with glee that these little girls will never understand that all they did wrong was to exist as Australians?
Who are these ‘patriots’ who say they don’t deserve to?
How big and powerful do the Hansonites feel? Screaming at these little girls that they aren’t Australian enough? Although they are Australian, just like them?
Did the rants and screams of the Hansonites make them feel more valued as members of society, because they “protected” Australia from the great harm these two little girls inflicted upon the country by being on a billboard?
How very brave and patriotic!
The video below is so important at this point in time. It is important because it really visualises the Hanson rhetoric. The message of how we are supposed to shame, ridicule and tear down others. We simply must force ourselves into a position of authority above ‘the targeted others’ and insist they do not belong.
This makes us “Pauline’s Australians’ who are ‘Real Australians’…..apparently.
This video, went viral and was all over social media. Australians were appalled at how this teacher built this little boy up and then tore him down in an instant.
When I read Sam’s tweet tonight, my mind immediately returned to remembering this video and I loudly exclaimed with disgust “What hypocrites we have become.”
Such compassion from Australians for this little boy. Day in day out, people screamed for the teacher to be sacked. Capslocked in anger about what they wanted to ‘do to her.’
What hypocrites we have become.
In the last 24 hours, the big brave Hansonites have metaphorically rushed that stage, pushed the teacher out of the way and ripped that mic out of that boy’s hand in disgust. Then they screamed at him:
Not only did they do that….they laughed about it and patted each other on the back if they could snatch the mic in a particularly cruel or nasty manner. They cheered if they reached the epic status of making the kid cry really loud. This meant they were ‘true patriots dedicated to Pauline’s Australia.’
That is what Hanson and her pack of self-righteous “patriots” have done to these girls yesterday.
Hanson and her patriots’ message to these girls is that they better bloody assimilate, but seriously GTFO of our billboards. Don’t you dare come to the barbie cos we will damn well make sure we smother it with bacon. We do this because we think it makes you uncomfortable. Making you feel uncomfortable, makes us feel brave.
I am, you are, we are Pauline’s Patriots.
So yeh – assimilate but GTFO!
From F. Scott-Fitzgerald: ‘The Crack-up’
“This is what I think now: that the natural state of the sentient adult is a qualified unhappiness. I think also that in an adult the desire to be finer in grain that you are, “a constant striving” (as those people say who gain their bread by saying it) only adds to this unhappiness in the end — that end that comes to our youth and hope.”
It doesn’t do to become too cynical at a young age, THAT is best left those who reach the “winter” of one’s life and can “cheerfully” find justification for cynicism alongside their other trophies of other disappointments in life. It is one of the privileges of living a long life where one can, with experience (no matter how twisted that experience is!) talk-up justification without a youngsters interruption for one’s opinion….it’s called “booorinnng!”
I am hearing, especially in these rural areas where I live, an ironic twist of cynicism and naivety from the same mouths at the same time. For example, like in these cases of parliamentary privileges rorting by certain ministers.
Many in these rural areas, being “welded-on” LNP. Supporters, curled their lips in sneering cynicism when a Labor minister stepped down from his post for a $1600.
Bill-pay done for him by a company..mumbles of “It’s what you’d expect” spat in disgust from those parched conservative lips.
Even one of “their own”, the Speaker of the House in the Gillard years; Mr. Slipper, was hounded from his position in disgrace for a cab-charge of; circa $900. Dollars!
But THEN, when conservative ministers (that’s plural !) are caught red-handed with their pilfering arms plunged elbow-deep into the proverbial “ministerial entitlements” cookie-jar, there is this eye blinking, ashen-faced disbelief that “one of their own” could do such a thing, even when one of their own is a fervent follower of that philosophy that believes in self-enrichment for the greater public good.
You have to wonder what the conservative public expects from the people they voted for…: Mother Theresa in a banker’s suit?
I would offer a bigger fish to fry.
In my trade of building, one learns from bitter experience (hopefully from others!) that certain types of soil can only support certain types of buildings without an injection of significant amounts of money!
For instance, the extremes of expansion and contraction of “Bay of Biscay” soils of the Adelaide plains made for the invention and development of “brick-veneer” construction after those earlier houses of solid-brick developed cracks in the walls you could drive a Mack Truck through!
One lives and learns..the same could be said (metaphorically) for people; only a certain quality of judgement can be expected or “built on” of a certain type of personality.
Which brings us straight to politics!
This cynicism about the intentions of politicians from BOTH sides of the House, creates an unfair imbalance between two opposing philosophies. The Conservative philosophy could, in fair comment, be considered both hypocritical and cynical in its twisted ideology of providing through Bills and Legislation passed through the House when it has power, of providing largesse and speculative opportunity for the Capitalist ideal and then laying claim to being the best friend to those in need of community support for the social welfare demographic…a contradiction in terms of intention and action, surely?
To sneer cynically at the attempts by Labor when in power to swing the public purse from Right to Left principles of governance, against extreme prejudice of conservative media broadsides that concentrate their fire to “expose” and to “ridicule” and to “demoralise” those attempts by the Labor party to bring about social equality by incremental shifts (so as not to “scare the horses” of public opinion), has to be in itself a most disgusting exercise of political cynicism bordering on sedition.
In some cases this is outright sabotage of vital communications infrastructure that benefits a foreign Media baron, and could be classed as outright treason against the people AND the State.
Then to use the Parliament to undo vital programs that give real benefit to the majority of citizens both young and aged has to be the lowest act of cynicism by the conservative parties.
So when I hear those snorts of: “They’re both (parties) as bad as each other.” I have to wince in despair, because there has to be a time when the “sentient adult” in all of us has to stop for a moment..think about it a moment..and then realise that there IS a vast difference in both the political goals, the background lives and the policy aspirations to benefit whom and how many citizens of this nation between the two parties. It is clearly defined by the scale of outrage against the amounts of rorting and the number of failed and dismissed ministers and members of the LNP as against Labor in these accusations..
Let’s get THAT straight.
There is a VAST difference between the arrogance of expected entitlements, the length and scale of rorting and the lenience of punishment against the scale of the crime that marks the Conservative Parties as the one most deserving of the public’s cynical “curl of lip”.
This article was written by Jaycee and originally Published on Freef’all852
I have just watched Pauline Hanson’s video with her Queensland State Election candidate for Townsville (only referred to as Tyrell) and neither politician nor candidate did any favours for Townsville Tourism.
Listening to and watching this video was like standing behind two gossip-mongers at the checkout who were moaning about the everyday ills that we all face and know about.
If I was living in a community with such terrible crime as they both promoted Townsville to be, I would expect a politician who claims to ‘understand the ordinary Australian’ to at least give an ‘ordinary solution.’ However, Hanson, offered no solutions at all, except to say that the candidate ran a local crime Facebook page.
Hanson also said that we need to put ‘pressure on the politicians.’ That is right folks. Hanson doesn’t need to come up with any solutions, it is your job – the average Joe, to fight the Government. It isn’t like it is her job or she gets paid mountains of cash to do that job or anything.
For those who don’t think she is a politician but ‘one of us’….Newsflash: When a person campaigns in elections across a span of 18 years, receives oodles of cash in AEC funding, heads a political party, has a political party named after her, has ‘staffers’ and sits in the Senate – they are a politician.
I find it remarkable that someone who has been given the power and the privilege to be a politician, talks about herself as if she is not a politician at all.
Is this the new era of politician? Pretend you are not one, so you can absolve yourself of generating ideas and solutions, or taking responsibility?
For someone who has never been to Townsville, I’m not inclined to drop by any time soon, as both women made it sound like an extremely terrifying place to live.
Their focus was all about how the Queensland Police Service have basically no control over crime in the community and hooning and stolen vehicle crime is sky rocketing.
According to Hanson, here are the two main issues that are ‘sky-rocketing’ in Townsville:
It appears that over the last five years, the QPS have been working really hard to curb these types of crimes in the Townsville region. There has been an increase in statistics in the last year; but the factors are unknown. Townsville is indeed above the State average for hooning and vehicle theft. However, Hanson did not have a serious take on this issue as to a standard one would expect of a politician. Why do the media treat her with kid gloves in this respect, yet hound other politicians?
Unemployment was blamed, however, on the other hand Hanson also supports more welfare cuts by the Government.
Speaking to issues such as these are complex matters with a variety of factors. That is why it is much easier for Hanson to just blame a certain race of people for the entire problem. It sounds so simple to so many, that this just makes sense. You don’t need to really think about how to fix it if you already have a simple (albeit wrong) answer.
Hanson, then tried to give the impression this is happening everywhere and used Mackay as another example. The crime stats do not support Hanson’s claims.
What is the political purpose to promote two coastal towns that rely on Tourism as ‘places with uncontrollable crime?”
After Hanson kind of shooed her candidate away because she wanted to talk about herself (awkward moment); other topics covered were promoting the Adani mine, rubbishing the Greens and rubbishing renewables because they are too expensive. In Townsville where unemployment is extremely high; Hanson, once again offered no solution or even acknowledged that whilst coal is essential for jobs in the region; the possibility that investment in various sources of energy would create even more jobs and it would be looking at a long term solution. In fact, Hanson played up the ‘scariness’ of renewables and how much they would cost.
If Hanson had genuine concern for the disadvantaged, would it not be more appropriate for her to talk about how she is backing the welfare cuts by the Turnbull Government?
Then Hanson turned to her favourite 90’s retro topic – “The Aboriginal Issue” (her term, not mine). According to Hanson some ‘Aboriginals’ approached her with open arms asking her to help them, to stop them from committing the escalating crime. She then clearly stated that Aboriginals commit 75% of the crime in Townsville. Again, no solutions, blaming ‘politicians and forgetting she is one herself.’
Now we escalate to scaring the good people of Townsville with those Terrorist Muslims who are going to cancel Anzac day. Hanson did not explain that this was an issue of state and local Government in one state fighting each other for funding for the necessary security at a major event. She did however pinpoint very specifically that this is the fault of Muslims that we allow into the country.
Although Hanson says this again, as some type of off the cuff remark, she knows full well that although Townsville, going by population data has a very tiny Muslim population of about 1%, yet had this type of attack which only occurred in Townsville last year.
I really need to ask.
Do readers think Hanson purposely tries to incite more of these types of attacks on innocent people, through her constant stigmatisation and blaming of entire groups of people for the actions of a few? or
Is Hanson really too stupid to understand her position of power and the influence she has over those who truly revere her and the actions they take to ‘feel part of her cause?’
I would strongly question that Hanson has targeted car theft and hooning and a very misleading take on Anzac Day, but steered clear of drug crime and domestic violence. Drug Crime and breaches of domestic violence orders have almost doubled in five years in Townsville, (whilst car theft and hooning has actually gone down in the last five years.) This is in line with state wide statistics; which shows it is a huge concern and a statewide issue.
Do readers find it remarkable that Hanson steers clear of two such major issues? Is it because Indigenous people or Muslims are not stereotyped as the main offenders of these crimes in the media and society?
That is serious question to ponder.
As Sam Dastyari said on Qanda – Hanson is an experienced politician and she knows exactly what she is doing.
Hanson then ends the video with a delusional note that Bill Shorten is the either the Prime Minister or a Minister in the Liberal Government, as she lumps him in with Turnbull and Bishop with some incoherent tirade about selling Cane Growers agricultural land to the overseas buyer.
It is a pity she didn’t tell the cane growers and people of Townsville how she just supported the sale of the largest piece of agricultural land in Australia to Gina Rinehart and her Chinese Investors.
Once again, the contradiction becomes very evident, when she back flips on her Populist Nationalist agenda and makes the excuse that it is only one third Chinese and they promised to hire Australians. This is not Australia’s favourite measuring yardstick – an Olympic swimming pool. The Kidman property is listed as ‘larger than Ireland.’
The portion she is happy for the Chinese to own is approximately 34,000 kilometres squared. To put it into perspective – Sydney is 12,368 kilometres squared. The portion her Nationalist self is pleased the Chinese own is almost three times the size of Sydney!
Those who align with the right and support Hanson for her ‘steadfast ideals’ and are still calling for her to be the Prime Minister, have lost the right to call leftists blind non-thinking sheep ever again.
So, there we have it. Townsville, according to Hanson, is a very scary place where Aboriginals who are only 7% of the Townsville population are committing 75% of all crime; where the police have no control crime and criminals are running rampant and where we live in a totalitarian society and Muslims are forcing Australians to cancel Anzac Day. What a terrible place to go for a holiday. No thank you! I hope Townsville Regional Council take note of the impression Hanson and her candidate have broadcast about their community.
Just like waiting for the morning paper at the corner shop, Hanson and her Townsville Candidate are like those two women who stand there holding up the counter with their whiny gossip. We have them in every neighbourhood. We know them. They get parodied in Australian comedy. These women know all, like to have a good gossip about what ‘they have heard’ but offer nothing in return, no solutions – just gossip and ‘their point of view’ as they frown and run a particular group of people in the community down to the ground.
You know the type…… If a young Aboriginal boy got caught stealing a car, they would be frowning and making sure everyone in the shop knew that they thought ALL young Aboriginal men should be locked up. Even if 99% of Aboriginal young men were fine upstanding citizens, tut, tut, tut, don’t let that fool you – that just means YOU are stupid and can’t see it.
(lowers voice) Can’t you SEE?…. (nods head over right shoulder vigorously) It’s them….It’s what they’re like……they are ALL the same.
These type of people always think they are ‘correct!” and that everyone should agree with them, and shame on you if you do not!
Should we aspire to more than this? Or is this all there is? If corner shop gossip is all Hanson has to offer this great country of ours – I ask you, “What is the point of Hanson?”
“Now fable night hath with her ebon’ robe,
Darken the Surface of this earthly Globe,
And drowsy Morpheus, with his leaden Key,
Locked up the doors of every mortal eye,
Come, let us fall into our wanton games…”
“Thus I tamper Poison for myself; but, were I sure to drink the baneful Draught, …”
from “The Harleian Miscellany.”
For too long has the educated working-class, through deference to a more erudite, well-dressed and long-winded educated upper middle-class, stood to one side while those rhetoric-driven managers have manipulated the levers of governance to steer us now down a cu-de-sac of an economic and social dead-end. It is the wealthy upper class; the likes of Murdoch and Gina etc. who operate and manage the conservative politics in Australia.
I grew up, as I suppose many of you likewise, fulfilling the expected role of a many generation working-class family, slipping easily and comfortably into a trade. Others around me of the same demographic group also went into skilled trades or labour.
Very, very few came from families familiar with or able to afford tertiary education. It was within those trades that many of us after several decades gained a knowledge of system and structure of our particular workplace, be it health, mechanics, government administration and others, or like mine; building / construction. We gained a depth of knowledge and more importantly; a nous of how we “fitted” into the structure of management.
Many of us came to understand that there was an “outside force” that had the call of employment or sacking over us, and this “management group”, backed in all encounters by any conservative government resented the presence of union representation of the working-class. They resented it because Management knows through intense education from an early age that power x a few, is no match against power x legion!
However, these isolated cases of a factory or group in conflict between union representatives and corporate management came and went outside the general concern of the majority of the population of working people. There was rarely any “bringing together” of the combined strengths of the unions to call a general strike against a government or corporations.
This must change.
There must be an awakening from a sleepy acceptance of conservative governments continual attack on the working people of this nation. This includes those who are now made redundant through corp’ / govt’ outsourcing and the incompetent closing of large manufacturing enterprises. This combined with the sabotage and destruction of high-speed broadband delivery, equitable education scheme and winding down of universal health schemes demonstrates an ineptitude toward social responsibility and democracy (remember : “Of , For and By the people” ?) by an out of touch government and corporate class steeped in the theories of an out of date, foolish and now educated to imbecility upper middle-class.
We have slept too long from the effects of “Morpheus’s draught. We – the educated working-class need to awaken and step forward to take our place at the helm of leadership of the nation. There needs be more evidence of “blue-collar” and less “white-collar” behind the navigator’s post.
By “educated”, I do not necessarily mean those multiple degrees in this or that tertiary discipline, I mean a well-read and concise knowledge of one’s “trade” gained through years of study at the foot of that most severe of mentors and masters; Labour. We need those who know and understand the complexities of domestic management on limited monies, of begetting and raising children in a safe environment of a “owned” home on limited monies. We need those who while doing this have a broader knowledge of the workings and machinations of a national psyche and of the needs of those engaged in production of goods and services outside or allied to their own workplace. This knowledge is a complimentary addition automatically gained through contact over many years with those trades allied to one’s own.
For too long have we drunk the “advising” poison of the entrepreneurial / speculative upper middle-classes, who with their blind faith in an idiot’s ideology, have driven our economy, our society, our international reputation and lastly and most damagingly our cultural spirit and our overall good nature into the depraved depths of their own personal hell!
Labor needs to stand solidly on a level dais alongside the unions and the working / producing (yes..we must begin to encompass that other side-lined working peoples; the inter-generational family small farmer/orchardist / dairy farmer ) class, and wrest back control of the nation from a merchant money-grubbing upper middle-class more interested in selling this nation and its workforce to the lowest bidder and then shifting such selfish profit away from fair and equitable taxation to an overseas tax haven most suited to their “robber-baron” status.
It’s time for the working-class to nominate those representatives more and better suited to make laws, regulations, trade agreements and governance OF, FOR and BY the many ethnic and cultural diverse peoples of this nation.
It’s Time …once again….It’s Time!
Originally published on Freef’all852
“If you jail a man for striking, it’s a rich man’s country yet.” These words had the biggest impact on me in 2016. These simple words cut through the distrustful MSM, the spineless rhetoric of Prime Minister Turnbull, Trumpism, Hansonism and me-too-ism. They silenced the noise, propaganda, discombobulation and the head spinning mind blowing ‘post-truth’ lies.
As I fought my way through the narratives or dishonesty, distrust, jingoism, cronyism, nepotism, elitism and divisiveness in our fractured society; these few words made it all clear. They were truly “my light on the hill.”
Regardless of what politicians throw at us. Regardless of how the media want to spin politics to play their own game. Regardless of the diversionary tactics of racism, nationalism and sectarianism. Regardless of how the public are closing their eyes and ears to facts and rejecting the reasonable, sensible debate of ideas. What will always remain is the same struggle that has always been. The words in my opening paragraph define this.
The struggle between the capitalist class and the working class. The struggle to maintain the rights of the worker and to protect those who are not engaged in work, regardless of the reason. This struggle underpins every single political thought, word and deed.
May aim for 2017, through this blog, is to keep this focus. To cut through the noise. To bring the worker back to the table.
Before, I post the summary of my year in review; I would like to send a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has read any of my blog posts in the past year. Readers who have taken the time to read my thoughts and who have taken the time to comment, like, subscribe and share. Your support is invaluable and greatly appreciated.
Anything in the public view such as blogging, can and does have an ugly side and at times, it can attract the less than friendly commentariat, weirdos tracking me down on Facebook or email who share their vile thoughts about me more privately and the going does get tough.
In 2016, I will be honest. I struggled at times. Sometimes it was dealing with negative and very personal commentary. Sometimes it was struggling with the exasperation I constantly felt with real people being harmed and feeling so helpless all because of Government decisions. Part of the struggle was whether blogging even made a difference. I have always just written because I simply have to write. It is something that I can’t control. I’ve never stopped to think about making any difference. However, I began to struggle with the purpose or the reason of doing this publicly.
As they say, a change is as good as a holiday. So I refocused and renamed. Polyfeministix, which has been the name of this blog since the beginning; had a restyle and a name change to “The Red Window Blog.” It is a better reflection of who I am and my writing style. I also made a decision to actively label myself a laborist rather than a leftist.
I cannot end this year, without expressing my deepest and sincerest gratitude and thanks to two incredibly selfless, kind and generous men who I am honoured to call my friends and my comrades. These two fine, fine men propped me up and gave me confidence and strength every single time I was so close to throwing away my writing and my blog.
So Biggy and Corny, I raise my glass to both of you and send you my deepest thanks for your kindness and support and your tireless listening ears. Your invaluable guidance and your treasured friendship. May 2017 deliver to you your hopes and dreams for you and yours.
Happy New Year from me at The Red Window Blog to all of you and I wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2017.
A recap of my articles and other political media for 2016 is listed below:
No posts of my own. A reblog of “Should I quit writing” by Josephine Moon – the question on my mind at the time! and a petition about the changes in the publishing industry.
After plummeting into deep despair after the election and losing all faith in humanity, I zipped up my pencil-case and just read Stephen King and Dean Koontz for a whole month.
A guest blog by Redcuchulain
and of course – The Red Window Blog – 2016 in Review.