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
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.
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….
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:
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 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.
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!
The Silent Majority demand to be heard. What about your rights to be heard? Are you prepared to do nothing? Will you be heard when the ‘silent majority’ finally get their way? Or are you prepared to sit there and let the media and minor parties tell you that you do not matter anymore?
Who are the silent majority? No one really knows. They don’t protest or fight for rights. Nor do they write to newspapers or politicians to raise issues. They haven’t really given a stuff about anything, until now. Until Pauline Hanson ‘gave them a voice.’ Or so the media tells them she has.
They are the angry silent people who have never bothered with politics. While others have been out in the streets protesting, the silent majority have done nothing.
For years the silent majority have looked at politicians on television or on Facebook and have made their judgements. Not on their policies, but on what they look like.
The media has placed them front and centre and now it is only their opinion that matters. They truly believe an angry protest vote will magically make the world a perfect place.
This phenomenon has really bothered me. Particularly because of Trump and the rise of Hanson. I feel the world is teetering on the edge. I feel the hard fought gains with so many things we take for granted and enjoy, like proper health care, free education and rights at work and decent wages, will be torn to shreds in an instant.
It is a terrifying feeling and I do not believe I am the only one who feels this way.
I have an impending doom of the return of work choices – where we had NO RIGHTS AT WORK.
How can anyone forget that? I will never, ever forget.
This is not a game. Politics is not a game. It really affects people’s lives.
I have taken the time to be less political and more approachable. I’ve asked more questions, listened and not said a word. Sometimes I have been a straight out eavesdropper and listened in. (sorry Mum! – My mum did not like eavesdroppers).
Mostly, I have listened. I have listened in pubs, the checkout, at social gatherings and I have waded through commentary on newspaper forums and Facebook posts, day after day.
I often hear or read things about politicians such as:
“Ooh she looks like a bitch, I don’t like her.” (about Catherine King)
“Listen to this dickhead (physically mocking), who is this clown?’ (about Christopher Pyne)
“Jesus…Shorten is nothing but forehead, must be a brain in there somewhere hahahaha!” (about Bill Shorten)
“Blah, Blah, Blah, come and work as hard as me and then you can have an opinion, mate!” (about Barnaby Joyce)
“I like her. She seems nice.” (about Julie Bishop)
“Yeah, Yeah” (dismissive) (about Malcolm Turnbull)
“Feed that man a F ###### Pie” (about George Christensen)
“When Turnbull’s gone, don’t put Abbott back in, put him in” (about Chris Bowen – LABOR!!!!)
and of course we have:
“YEAAAHHHH Pauline. Pauline for PM” (cue five grown men insanely grinning and head nodding) (about Pauline Hanson)
They know who Pauline is because she is the star of breakfast news television and the media shoves her face in our face every five minutes and never asks her hard questions.
This may be a shock to some of the very politically engaged voters reading this (and obviously Mr. Turnbull); but some do not even know who the Prime Minister is.
Many have absolutely no idea who Barnaby Joyce, is. Many do not know which politician belongs with which party (see Chris Bowen example above).
Because some people know I am politically engaged, I will often be approached to explain an issue, when they hear or see something.
An example is:
Them: So Shorten….is he Labor or Liberal?
Them: So the other ones then….the Liberals (Me: Yeh) what are they doing to the dole?
Me: They don’t want people under 25 to have any dole for four weeks – it was six months, then six weeks, now four weeks. People will starve! We must stop this!
Them: Well Pauline will not allow that then.
Me: Ahhh yes, she will. She supports it
Them: Yeh, so she will get in and it won’t happen.
Me: No….she supports Government for no payment. She wants them to starve for a month too.
Them: No, that won’t be right.
Me: Ahh yes, it is. She votes with the bastard Liberals on almost everything. She supports it.
Them: I don’t believe that. You must have it wrong.
Me: No. She is an ex-Liberal and supports Turnbull. Hanson said she supports it.
Them: Well I say you are wrong. We will see who is right when she wins.
This is the point where I physically want to smash my head through a wall. If anyone has any answers, any advice to combat this. Please, please put your suggestions below.
Yet, this silent majority apparently know so much about the political decisions and how these decisions affect their lives. Their abundance of political knowledge has made them so angry about not being heard.
Apparently, these are the people we all must listen to, but they refuse to listen to anyone else. The silent majority will decide our future.
Well stuff that!
When the silent majority vote for Hanson, will you be happy to be ignored? A blind anger the media has told them they have when they have never cared about politics before? People who judge politicians on their hair style? Are you better than this?
Let’s have a look at just four things a Hanson / Liberal Duopoly will bring.
You will not be heard if you are out of work and under 25. You are a citizen who does not matter. Four weeks with no income. No money for food, rent, phone, basic hygiene needs. Nothing. Then you will receive less money than now. Only $433 per fortnight. If you are a parent of someone under 25. You will support them, out of your own pocket. Hanson and Turnbull are paid way, way more than you. They do not care. If the silent majority decides. You do not have a say.
Hanson supported the Liberal’s ABCC, so if you are an apprentice or a mature aged worker, your voice will not be heard if you want a job in the construction industry. The ABCC discourages apprenticeships and mature aged workers. You are a citizen who does not matter. Worker deaths increased under the last ABCC.This could be your loved one or friend. Hanson and Turnbull do not care. If the silent majority decides. You do not have a say.
The Hanson / Liberal duopoly don’t want to listen to you on this one. You are a citizen that does not matter. You will not be heard. Hanson supports the West Australian Liberal Government’s plan to privatise electricity assets. There is no guarantee of service with a private provider. Cost of electricity will sky rocket. If you are a low income family or a pensioner, your voice will not be heard. Your worries about affording electricity or ensuring connection in times of crisis will be dismissed. If the silent majority decides. You do not have a say.
If you are a low income earning family and rely on family payment to make ends meet; your voice will no longer be heard. You do not matter. Hanson supports the current cuts to family payment. Pauline Hanson said of welfare, ‘I see a big waste of money and we actually have to rein it back in’. This means your kids will have less. So will you. Hanson does not have a family support agenda. She does not care. If the silent majority decides, you do not have a say and neither do your kids.
Because the silent majority are worried about a few women wearing a burqa, are these the acceptable trade offs?
If you vote for Hanson because of this concern, on the other hand you will vote for jobless young people starving for a whole month, privatised electricity, unsafe workplaces, less apprentices and mature aged workers and less money for kids and that is only the beginning.
If you are one of the people who post the memes about helping homeless first before refugees. Well here is your chance. Put Liberals and One Nation last and help the homeless. Welfare cuts create more homelessness. Not less. That is how your vote can make a difference. You can be heard!
Read up. Listen up. Speak up on the issues that matter to you. About jobs, welfare, families, health and education. Find out exactly what Hanson and the Liberals support and do not stop asking or reading until you find out the truth. Log onto www.aph.gov.au and have a look around. If you don’t know what something means, ask a friend who does or join a facebook political group and ask.
Become aware of what matters. For example, Muslims with multiple wives is a diversion. It does not affect you. It does not affect your family home or your kids. Hanson’s vote to cut your family payment does.
Take particular note that when a party preferences another party – that means their values and what they believe in are very similar. Pauline Hanson and the Liberals are preferencing each other in the Western Australian election and Turnbull will not rule it out. They are now ‘in bed together’ whispering political promises in the dark. A duopoly. Joined at the hip.
The Hanson Party who says they are better than the majors, has now joined forces with a major party. Think about that for a second. She has sold the ‘silent majority’ out.
That means, Hanson prefers the Liberals with all their harsh cuts to welfare and the fight to keep overseas 457 visas workers in abundance and us out of jobs over Labor and the Greens who oppose both of these things. I think this really paints her as a fraud and a liar – don’t you?
It is YOUR time to be heard. Do not let the silent majority voting in blind rage speak for you. Do not let Hanson speak for you. Also do not let the media speak for you. It is YOUR time to be heard.
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.
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.
Mr. Harbour-side Mansion, or so he’s been called, waved and smiled at those below him
Leather jacket gone, I lean to the right, I’ll do whatever you say, He told ’em
Two Thousand and Sixteen, I’ve been the selfie-Queen, everyone will recognise me
‘Cept that lady on the train, who was clearly insane, “Mr. PM” is how they baptised me.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has agreed to sign off on the anti-worker ABCC Bill. Labor’s Senator Doug Cameron has hung up One Nation’s dirty laundry out to dry for everyone to see.
Labor’s Senator Doug Cameron fought the anti-worker parties yesterday in the senate. He pointed out One Nation’s hypocrisy as the ‘Party for the Average Australian.’ The Average Australian does not have a helicopter pilot like Ms. Hanson; they go out every day and slog their guts out for a weekly wage.