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Trish loves to discuss Australian Politics. Her key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. Trish is pro-worker, anti-conservativism and anti-Liberalism. Trish is a proud member of the Australian Labor Party and her articles are written from a Laborist / Progressive perspective. Trish's blog is The Red Window (polyfeministix.wordpress.com)

Website: http://polyfeministix.wordpress.com

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Assimilate but GTFO – of our billboards

Tonight it really hit home. It hit home that the Australian people are more interested in trashing the fair go, than holding it dear as a true Australian value. Once the fair go is well and truly gone; we, as a people are nothing.

Two Girls, Two Flags,Two Tweets

As I browsed Twitter, two tweets had a huge impact on me tonight. The first was from Sam Dastyari. There was a real sadness in Sam’s tweet. A sadness that really encompassed that this insidious scourge of populist racism, led very vocally by Pauline Hanson, is actively destroying our country from the inside out.

The human face of the racial attacks, slurs, anger and hatred from so many “Hansonites” in the last 24 hours were two gorgeous, smiling little girls. This. Must. Stop.

The second tweet was from Josh Butler, Associate Editor of Huffington Post Australia. His tweet really drove home not only the callous behaviour of the last 24 hours; but the stupidity behind it. Is this what we have become? 

Why this really hit home

The reason Sam and Josh’s tweets really hit home is because they wrap up very neatly in a nice little ball how racist ranting has become the new power drug for so many. It hit home because the feeling of elation and superiority more and more Australians are feeling from this negative, insidious activism, led by Hanson (and encouraged by the Media reporting her every word); is now overwhelming us. It is dividing us. It is destroying us.

This hateful rhetoric takes precedence over everything. Over actually giving a damn about the damage, stigma and pain these harmful words and actions are doing to other human beings. Now it doesn’t even matter if the target is just a sweet, innocent, little kid. 

It didn’t matter if the loud screams and anger were aimed at these little girls. It just did not matter.

Did the people screaming in anger and making hateful comments and praising Pauline Hanson ‘to fight against this’ really care how these two little girls felt about the harmful words inflicted upon them? Or if they felt totally destroyed when the Billboard was taken down? 

The honest answer is, “No they did not”

The honest and even more terrifying answer is “No, in the name of Pauline Hanson, they would do it all again tomorrow.”

Our Racism now knows no bounds

This Hansonesque Racism, which is taking off like wildfire, now knows no bounds. Anyone is now fair game. As we can see from today – anyone. 

Just like all little girls, the two girls in this photo were most likely super excited about being on a big billboard. Their Mum and Dad would have been so proud of how beautiful they looked on such a huge poster and no doubt family and friends were delighted to just know them and how proud everyone is of them. Drive-by’s and selfies galore would have been had.

Yesterday, dedicated Hansonites destroyed that overwhelming joy for two little girls.

Due to the racist outrage and fears of safety by the advertiser and threats to the company, the billboard has now been removed.

There is a growing number of Hanson worshipping Australians who see someone in a religious garb as sub-human and they gladly treat them as such and celebrate such joy from another person’s pain and anguish.

The Hansonites don’t care about how these little girls must be feeling. These ‘Patriotic Australians of the adult variety’, actively participated in the last 24 hours in breaking the hearts of these two little girls.

Today is the day that these little girl’s have had to face the reality that they live amongst monsters. Not the BFG kind. Ugly, hateful, mean, nasty, scary monsters who worship a god with a really poor vocabulary, no positive ideas, an ever increasingly prominent narcissistic personality, an over-zealous ambition, with flaming red hair and a nasally twang. How blasphemous of them!

I want to know the names of these little girls so I can ask these Hansonites, if they actually care how [Name] and [Name] felt when the billboard was taken down?

Brave and Patriotic

How much did the Hansonites laugh because these little girls may go to bed tonight crying until they can’t cry anymore?

Did these Hansonites hoot with glee that these little girls will never understand that all they did wrong was to exist as Australians?

Who are these ‘patriots’ who say they don’t deserve to?

How big and powerful do the Hansonites feel? Screaming at these little girls that they aren’t Australian enough? Although they are Australian, just like them? 

Did the rants and screams of the Hansonites make them feel more valued as members of society, because they “protected” Australia from the great harm these two little girls inflicted upon the country by being on a billboard?

How very brave and patriotic!

Hansonite Hypocrites – Is this who we have become?

The video below is so important at this point in time.  It is important because it really visualises the Hanson rhetoric. The message of how we are supposed to shame, ridicule and tear down others. We simply must force ourselves into a position of authority above ‘the targeted others’ and insist they do not belong.

This makes us “Pauline’s Australians’ who are ‘Real Australians’…..apparently.

This video, went viral and was all over social media. Australians were appalled at how this teacher built this little boy up and then tore him down in an instant.

When I read Sam’s tweet tonight, my mind immediately returned to remembering this video and I loudly exclaimed with disgust “What hypocrites we have become.”

Such compassion from Australians for this little boy. Day in day out, people screamed for the teacher to be sacked. Capslocked in anger about what they wanted to ‘do to her.’

What hypocrites we have become.

In the last 24 hours, the big brave Hansonites have metaphorically rushed that stage, pushed the teacher out of the way and ripped that mic out of that boy’s hand in disgust. Then they screamed at him:

“YOU DO NOT BELONG ON OUR STAGE!!!!”

Not only did they do that….they laughed about it and patted each other on the back if they could snatch the mic in a particularly cruel or nasty manner. They cheered if they reached the epic status of making the kid cry really loud. This meant they were ‘true patriots dedicated to Pauline’s Australia.’ 

That is what Hanson and her pack of self-righteous “patriots” have done to these girls yesterday.  

Hanson and her patriots’ message to these girls is that they better bloody assimilate, but seriously GTFO of our billboards. Don’t you dare come to the barbie cos we will damn well make sure we smother it with bacon.  We do this because we think it makes you uncomfortable. Making you feel uncomfortable, makes us feel brave.

I am, you are, we are Pauline’s Patriots.

So yeh – assimilate but GTFO! 

Is Pauline Hanson and her happy hate club slowly choking the fair go to death?

 

This Could Change Politics Forever

I am frustrated at the state of the politics in Australia. I am here to offer a solution. This simple solution could change politics forever!

It is frustrating that so many people are apathetic about politics. I am frustrated that all it takes is a slogan or a fear repeated back to them to win the people over.

We have just seen the rise of extreme right wing Nationalist parties in Australia.  We have seen the highest amount of disengaged voters and third party voters. How did it come to this?

It has come to this because shouting people’s concerns back to them is now seen as a solution, rather than having real solutions.  

We have got to this point, because politicians are rarely held to account for the decisions they make.

We are also at this point because politicians are talking ‘over people’ and they are not listening to them.

Isolated and Ignored

It has been noted by many journalists and commentators that there is a growing number of people within Australia who feel isolated and ignored. They feel the Government is not doing enough to help them.  They feel the opposition is not standing up for them against the Government and they feel this very strongly.

There is an air of distrust that politicians say they will help, but then the actions the politicians take, don’t help – they cause harm.

The problem is that politicians routinely say one thing and then do another.  A clear example today is the Prime Minister’s cutting of domestic violence services, but responds with words and platitudes that help no one.  Domestic Violence victims need real money to build real services and supports. Not empty words.

The Solution to Change Politics – The Placard Test

I have a suggestion for all politicians.  The media often talks about the ‘pub test.’  I would like to suggest as a solution – The Placard Test.

People who are passionate about ideas, achieving justice and taking real action get out into the streets, stand together and wave placards and chant their support for an action that needs to be made, or their distaste for an action that has been made by politicians.

Politicians should be prepared to stand out in the street and wave their placards to show that their decisions are the best decisions. This would be known as “The Placard Test.”

The media would also love this. Standing somewhere waving a placard always gets attention and turns people’s heads.

On the other hand, it reaffirms that those votes were definitely not wasted on that politician. It would save a lot of effort, time and money campaigning prior to elections.

The Solo Placard Test

Politicians could do this via the solo “look at moi” approach:

hanson-worker-deaths

This could save a lot of confusion for voters. For example Pauline Hanson above campaigning on the fact that she stands up for the ‘average Australian’ would be debunked, if she had to stand holding a sign about the real action she is taking and what this means for ‘the average Australian.’ 

Or

living-in-poverty

This would also make voters less confused. The Liberals are an old hand at making harmful decisions, but telling Australians how good these harmful decisions are. If they had to hold a sign up about that decision, it would be much more clear to the average voter.

The Solidarity Placard Test

The solidarity approach would be quite exciting, with the entire party and all politicians who supported the Government involved.  All standing there side by side in solidarity waving their placards.

If the decisions of the Government and politicians who support the Government think these are great decisions then get out there and convince us with the Placard Test.

Here is a picture of what a “Liberal and National Coalition and their mates in the senate” rally would look like:

lnp-protest-2

Liberal and Coalition, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Bob Day, Leyonhelm and anyone else who is the Turnbull Government camp –  see how great this is?  (By the way, these are pro LNP, anti-Gillard, Anti-carbon tax protesters, just to make the Photoshop more authentic)  

To really stand together and own what you truly believe in is a fantastic feeling!

This is real innovation in leadership Mr. Turnbull. Round up the troops now!

For the Opposition

For the opposition. I know Labor is not new to protest. However, with so many angry and disengaged people, you need to just say it like it is.  Instead of listing a number of things you believe in (which is nice), tell people what you will do. These people are hurting and they are angry.  They need to know what you will do to stop the hurt in simple terms. For example:

butler-placard

We need a bit more of SHOUTY Bill standing up for what is right. Get out there with your megaphone Mr. Shorten and tell the country what a cad Turnbull is for cutting welfare from the most disadvantaged in our society.  Shout the Prime Minister down. Shout out to the public that you will stand by us all – for a fair go.

bill-megaphone

People say Labor and Liberal are the same. So they take the third party option. Show the country the difference between Shorten and Turnbull. Tell those supporting far right parties like One Nation and the QLD LNP that you will fight for the people a hell of a lot harder than they ever will! 

Make it a reality and let us see the emotions behind the belief. The emotions behind the fight. The fight for jobs and the fight for fairness is in Labor’s blood. Wear it on your sleeve! The contrast is very stark indeed!

shorten-vs-turnbull

Shout About Genuine Solutions

The far right parties are gaining support because they just shout the fears of the people back to them. They have no real solutions. They don’t need real solutions.  Change Politics by communicating in very simple terms the solutions of the opposition and explain how this will address their fears.

Adopt this solution to Change Politics!

I hope politicians think this is a great idea. If they are so passionate about what they believe in and the decisions they make, the Placard Test would surely win over the public.  It is a great way to get the media to take photos of them (which they love). The public would know exactly how committed they are and exactly what they believe in.

The Placard Test would be much better feedback than the focus groups politicians rely on now.

It would also make all politicians accountable (and maybe think twice) for the decisions they make on behalf of the people or when they support bad decisions by the Government of the day.

This is a great way to communicate the stance the opposition has made, even when the Liberals and their mates, Hanson, Day etc., outnumber the opposition parties.

I hope the Placard Test will be a winner.  If done right, the Placard Test will be the political change we need.

Also published on Polyfeministix and Medium

One Nation Voters – Hate the Worker. Hate the Poor

This is the third article in a series which discusses how the One Nation Party leaders promote themselves compared to who they really are. Through this article I will discuss how One Nation is attacking the worker and the poor.  I am asking One Nation voters to reconsider their vote.

Anecdotally and through observation of social media engagement; One Nation Voters do not represent the elite and wealthy class in Australia. The majority of One Nation voters appear to be either working lower to middle class or recipients of full or part welfare payments.

Other suggestions have been that this party is also the third party choice of ex-Palmer United Party voters. Voters for Palmer were identified as low socio-economic, suburban and rural voters, low education status, unemployed or working part time.

One Nation has decided to support the ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) and six billion dollars worth of cuts to welfare.

Hate for the Worker

The support for the ABCC will see a return of a star chamber style inquiry for workers who may stop work due to safety breaches (including deaths in the workplace). There is a punitive motive behind this commission.  That is to deter workers from striking. By sending the message that they will may be fined or jailed if they stop work. The Government is protecting the profits of business.

The worker will have less rights than a murderer, rapist or drug dealer. They will not be entitled to a lawyer and they will not have the right to silence. They can go to jail if they refuse to answer questions.

For One Nation voters reading this, is this the type of workplace you want for either yourself, your family, friends or your children?  How will you cope when your seventeen year old apprentice tradie is facing jail time? Facing jail because they chose to stop work because someone died from an incident on site? One Nation supports that the worker should keep working. They support this even if this means the hazard has not been controlled. They support this even if the workers may be in danger.

Here is what your support for this party, along with Coalition voters will bring to workers:

Does One Nation represent their working voters?

I get that there are many people out there who absolutely hate the worker and hate unions. These people normally support the Liberal and National Parties and Family First. I find it difficult to reconcile that One Nation voters would support a bill that endangers the life of workers. Or vote to see them jailed. I find it hard to reconcile that many people in this group fought hard against the VLAD laws under Newman in QLD, and would support a party that takes away the civil rights of the worker.

Abbott and Turnbull have worked their hardest to bash unions and create a lot of distrust. The existence of unions isn’t some fun game where you get to join in to bash unions. Unions have a legitimate purpose in the workplace. One of their key responsibilities is to ensure the employer provides a safe working environment. A safe working environment means you go home the same (or better) than you went to work.

I think there are a lot of people out there who should be standing up and on the side of the worker and unions. However for some reason choose the side of the elite and the wealthy. Why?

You are now a part of this

As a voter of One Nation, I have heard you say time and time again, that you “Stand up for Australians.” Well where is your empathy for working Australians? Where was your outcry the last few weeks when five workers died in construction and transport?  Where is your attack on Pauline Hanson and her ilk? *Crickets*

Voting isn’t a game. Vote with your heart and your head. The support of this bill will ruin the lives of hard working Australians and you are now a part of that.

The harsh reality that One Nation voters will need to face, along with Liberal and National party voters, is that workers will die because of this bill.

If you voted for One Nation in the faith that they would be good for the “Average Australian” please start taking a lot of notice of what they support in the Senate and reconsider your vote.

Hate for the Poor

The other plan that Pauline Hanson announced that they are supporting, is six billion dollars of cuts to welfare.

In a nutshell, this is taking money away from anyone who receives family payment, all pensioners (including veterans) and families who have just had a baby.  In addition, if you lose your job you will need to wait for four weeks for any unemployment benefit. Some who live week to week will get kicked out of rental accommodation. They will not be able to afford food. They will not be able to even purchase items for hygiene such as soaps, shampoo or women’s sanitary products, which are essential, not a luxury item.

This will increase homelessness, poverty and crime. Having no money for phone or transport will actually make it harder for people to find work. This then makes it easier for the Government to punish people and cut them off unemployment for longer periods.

The original period was six months and Labor, the Greens and Jackie Lambie fought against this and now the Government is ‘compromising’ and have changed it to four weeks.

Here is a video about poverty in Australia. Pauline Hanson thinks that by making poverty worse, it will force people to get a job. You know and I know that, that is a ridiculous way to look at the world. Especially if you have lived it or are living it. Especially when you know that there are 19 jobseekers for every job.

I am absolutely livid. Why aren’t you?

I know people who voted for Hanson understand what it is like to live week to week. I know they know what a struggle that is. Imagine at the end of that week when you are checking your bank every five minutes – there is another three weeks to go. What would you do?  What is the party you voted for supporting?  I am asking you very sincerely to really think about this. Please put yourself in their shoes, if they are not your own. I am asking you to have empathy for these people and I want to know why you are not angry – because I am livid.

Pauline Hanson is not standing up for Australians. It is time to have a think about whether she is just another politician who has pulled the wool over the eyes of voters. It is time to think about what her real motives are.

I am targeting Pauline Hanson and the One Nation party because they asked genuine good hearted Australians for their vote, on the illusion that her party would help people who are doing it tough. Hanson knows very well, that Australians are passionate about standing up for the battler. She marketed her party to appeal to those emotions.

I know that so many people have lost faith in politics. I know that so many people out there are looking for a third option. Pauline Hanson knows this and this is why she has made a come back. I am angry because she has tricked so many good people and promoted her party based on lies.

Conclusion

Pauline Hanson is an ex-Liberal party member who was sacked from the party because her racism against Aboriginal people and Asian people was so nasty, even the Liberals did not want her.  She has always believed that those who own their own businesses are ‘harder workers’ than the average Australian worker and she has never had time for anyone on welfare.

For those who say that ‘I need to familiarise myself with Hanson’s policies’ she is proving that her policies are not worth the paper they are written on.

A leopard does not change it’s spots and Hanson will not change hers. If you truly voted for this party, not because you agree with her racist beliefs, but you truly believed that she would stand up for the battler and the average Australian. Please take heed of her history and her actions now and reconsider your vote.

One Nation Voters – Hope. Fear. Racism.

This is the second blog in a series to discuss how the One Nation Party leaders promote themselves compared to who they really are. Through this article I will discuss how One Nation uses Hope, Fear and Racism to gain voters’ trust.

For those outside of Australia or if you are someone who has no interest in Australian Politics; the One Nation Party is a right wing Nationalist Party.  They recently won four seats in the Federal Senate.

If you voted for the One Nation Party, chances are you see yourself as a Patriot. The first instalment in this series discussed how if you are a patriot, your vote is misplaced by voting One Nation. As One Nation are not Patriots, they are Nationalists.

One of the major comments from One Nation voters is that they are not racist. Some of them very proudly are; but I do not believe the majority are racist.

These voters are simply people who have grasped onto hope, through One Nation’s emotive marketing of fear. That does not make them racist.

One Nation Understands Us

If there is one thing I would like to say to One Nation voting readers; is that One Nation IS a political party. I often hear: One Nation are not like Political Parties – they ‘understand’ us. The fact that the party asked for your vote and won senate seats, means they are a political party full of politicians.

To give them automatic trust based on this falsehood does not mean that they understand you.

One Nation, Emotions and Political Marketing

This Political Party has been very clever in marketing their party to connect with your emotions. They marketed to how you feel about the lack of jobs, the inability to purchase a home, the cost of living and the fears of job insecurity. Also struggling on low wages and the worries, we have every single day for our children.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party have taken all of these fears and instead of addressing them with real solutions; they present logic that is flawed.

That is that other people, who have a different skin colour or religion than you, are the real cause of your fears and worries.

This shows that they are even more political and strategic than most other political parties. Think of it like this. All political parties believe that their ideology or values system, will deliver a better Australia for all people.  Whether this is Conservatism (Liberal), Laborism (Labor) or Environmentalism (Greens). These parties all truly believe these value systems will benefit ALL Australians. Regardless of what you believe in or what you agree with, this underpins every major party’s vision.

One Nation believes that there can only be a better Australia if we only cater for one section of Australia and make everyone exactly the same. A white Christian Australia.

This is a very politically motivated decision. It is also progressing a political agenda for their own power. They do not understand you. As a political Party they want to gain as much money and power as possible. Be wary of giving automatic trust.

Hope, Identity and Power

It is true that many Australians have lost hope and no longer trust the political system. Over many years, successive Governments have created a system that results in inequity and poverty for many. When we lose hope, we feel we lose our power and our self-identity.

People do not willingly give up power to others. It is not a natural act. That is why entire countries are forcibly taken through war. That is why labour that should be valued is stolen through unfair wages and slavery.

Many people feel that if we lose our self-identity, we give up our power. The power to have rights, make decisions, to move freely and to just be ourselves.

This is where the One Nation Party comes in.

Racism, Xenophobia and Islamophobia disguised as hope and equality

Throughout their history, they have targeted minority groups and have insisted that this minority will become the majority and take away your identity and power. That is a scary thing to think about. However, it simply is not true. Freedom is not gained through fear.

In the 1990’s they targeted Aboriginal Australians and Asians.  In 2016, they are targeting Muslims.

If this is a vote for equality, could you stand up and honestly say that you would like to be treated like the people within these groups are treated?

Can you honestly say, that you would like to be abused and spat on, shunned and ridiculed, just because of your skin colour, your features or that you look like followers of a certain religion?

Politicians have a platform, we cannot imagine to have for our voices. Privilege and power are a politician’s automatic right. The words of the One Nation Party are used with all the power they have to target certain groups and set them apart from the rest of us.

By targeting one group as different, it automatically gives people who are not in that group the false impression of power. A real system of privilege and power is created when this is backed by a politician. If it is based on race or Islam it is Racism and/or Islamophobia.

This is nothing but political marketing to get your vote. It is to make you feel powerful. The same problems that make you feel you are losing power and identity are all still there. One Nation has not solved these problems by targeting others.

They have asked you to be angry at other people, instead of Government. Why? Because otherwise, they would need to come up with actual solutions that could be compared to the Government’s solutions. One Nation has had to do nothing to get your vote. They have placed blame on a minority group to distract you away from challenging their (non) policy ideas.

Three levels of prejudice and discrimination

The creation of fear is used because it positions One Nation as ‘protectors’ and ‘authority.’ Very simply, when people are fearful, they naturally want someone to protect them and to take away the fear.

To keep a level of fear that wins votes, it is important for people act on that fear.

There are three levels of prejudice and discrimination:

The first is how we ‘see’ people as different to us and how we make a judgement about them.  It is about how we see people compared to what we see as the ideal symbol of what we think people should look like.

The second is how we feel about people. When you think about different races and groups, how do you feel? Happy, angry, excited, fearful?  The key for One Nation is to play on the groups that people feel fearful about. This fear is heightened by creating falsehoods about an entire group and using emotive words, such as ‘We are being swamped by Muslims.’

Notice that the action words are negative words, that create fear about becoming the minority and losing our identity and power?

The third is about how we act towards others. This is important for One Nation. It is only logical that people will not be very friendly towards people they are fearful of.

Not being friendly and welcoming creates a divided country. This creates even more fear and uncertainty. One Nation hopes you will look to them, because they are the party who are agreeing with your fears. But they are silent about the problems that are the cause of your fears.

Conclusion

I hope that by explaining it this way, you can see that One Nation are not the ‘Average Australian’ like you. They play to your emotions and fears in a purposeful way.  

This is a highly motivated party, with a very well organised strategy to gain votes, more power and more money, based on creating fear about other human beings.

The problems which cause our fears are not solved by targeting other human beings.

The problems that are the root cause of our fears will only go away when we keep challenging the Government or other parties who can gain power to stop inequality, creates jobs and we have real fairness and supportive public services.

Blaming other human beings, because they are different, will not solve this problem. It just makes the same problems even worse for the people in these groups.

I trust this is not the reason you voted for One Nation. I do not believe that most One Nation voters would purposely make life worse for some Australians.

Your vote should never be for a party who blames other people for the country’s problems.  That is because the people within these targeted groups, don’t have the power to make the decisions. They are victims of the same system that you are.  Only a ruling Government can solve the problems that underpin our fears.

If you did vote for One Nation, because you want to see everyone treated equally with fairness, I hope you challenge and re-think your voting decision. The divisiveness, racism and hatred One Nation champions, is the opposite of who you really are.

Originally published on Polyfeministix

One Nation Voters – Nationalism, Patriotism and the ABCC

This is the first part in a series where I will discuss how the One Nation Party leaders promote their party compared to who they really are.  I will pose the question that if you voted for them, is this who you really are?  This article will discuss Patriotism versus Nationalism and the ABCC. The piece of legislation that sent us to a double dissolution election.

For those who voted for the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party; I do not believe that all of you truly share the values of this Party.  I would propose that if many Hanson voters really looked at what has occurred so far in only 100 days, and listened to the content of the various Senator’s maiden speeches; they would realise that ‘that does not sound like me at all’ and reconsider their vote next time.

I ask you, if you voted for One Nation, please consider the discussion below and answer these questions:

  1. Am I a Patriot or a Nationalist?
  2. Do One Nation really represent what I believe in?

Are you a Patriot or a Nationalist?

Patriotism

nationalism-versus-patriotism

Did you vote for the One Nation Party because you believe in Patriotism?  Did you vote for One Nation, because you strongly believe we need to be very respectful to our flag and our Nation?  I expect many of you did.  I also would believe that many people when they think about protecting our rights and our freedom get quite emotional about our fallen soldiers, returned heroes and our veterans.

Many of us have an uncle, a father, a brother a son or a grandfather who has fought in a war and some have family and friends who are still there. Many of us today have an aunt, a mother, a sister or a daughter who have served and in the armed forces today.

Without those who fought for our freedom, where would we be today? That is a rather scary thought, isn’t it?

As a Laborist, I also get quite emotional about the men and women who have fought for our work rights.  I topped my Industrial Relations class at University with a very proud 99.5%, if I can take a self-serving moment to brag. This was not just because I was studious. It was because I was absolutely consumed with the fight for work rights and how important it is. How it goes to the very reason we get up in the morning. How important standing together and solidarity are to achieving justice and fairness.

We work to live, not live to work.  Our industrial relations history is the blood, sweat and tears and the backbone of Australia. It is the backbone of the fair go.

These brave unionised workers were jailed, beaten and killed and many families, including children went without food; just so we could have decent work rights today.

This struggle is still not over. Our country’s fine men and women are out there every single day fighting for safety at work and for decent pay and conditions. The fight is endless. Yet Hanson, along with the LNP call these unionised workers thugs.  You decide if the men and women in the videos posted below are thugs.

As at 7 October, 129 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2016.  I refuse to accept that number ever. The only acceptable number is zero.

I know if you do describe yourself as a patriot; there is no way in the world you would stand for companies cutting costs on safety for their own greed if it means people die at work. If that means they never ever come home to their families, including their kids.  I know even though you voted for Hanson, I believe most of you would stand on the side of safety of the worker. Unfortunately, your vote brought four politicians to the Senate who do not stand with the worker.

If Hanson is a Patriot, her party would NOT support the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Why? Because good and decent Australians do not accept a secret star chamber.  This is where there is an accident at work and your apprentice son or your brother or your worker husband, wife, friend or family member is hauled in for questioning and does not have the same legal rights as everyone else.

This could be you or even your children. Workers and apprentices are not allowed to have you as a parent in there as a support person or even have their lawyer by their side.  In fact, if they even talk about what happened in the interview, a worker can be fined and jailed.  They are intimidated and scared into saying what the others want them to say.

How the hell is that Australian and Patriotic? It is far from it.

Here are two clips about the ABCC.  One is the real experience of a former apprentice and the other is a more lengthy video detailing the experiences of many others.

Video 1 – ABCC Interrogation full version

Video 2 – Constructing Fear – ABCC an attack on all workers

In the first video you can see the blatant unfairness of the secret star chamber that workers are exposed to. This is taking away the civil rights of workers. For those who stood against Newman’s Bikie Laws in QLD, this is the same thing. These people too lost their civil rights under this law. I stood with them and I also stand with the worker. Do you? As a Hanson voter you are voting to say you don’t.

In the second video, you can really see the emotional toll the ABCC has on workers, even on really strong men.  Hanson cannot appeal to your emotions on male depression and suicide on one hand and then support a piece of legislation that sees men break down and families break up.

In short – Pauline Hanson has fed you utter bullshit and if you voted for her, you should call her out on it.

Yesterday Pauline Hanson and One Nation announced that they would support the ABCC.

Supporting a legislation that does these things to workers, is not Patriotism.

There is nothing more important to me than protecting the rights or the worker, the safety of the worker and protecting those who cannot work.  It goes to the very heart of who we are as people.

Regardless of who you respect, armed servicemen or unionists and the workers who have built this great country. When we reflect and think of them and everything they have allowed us to have; it is quite an emotional experience.  We feel a sense of pride. It is a collective pride, everyone standing together side by side, regardless of race, colour or creed. I share that with you.  That is Patriotism. One Nation is not patriotism. One Nation are Nationalists.  It is even right there in their name.

Nationalism

patriotism-versus-nationalism

The One Nation Party are not Patriots. They are Nationalists.  I know many of you do not trust politicians.  Pauline Hanson is no different. Why do you automatically give her that trust? She should deliver what you the voter really believe in and what she sold you, not what she actually believes in. This is what you should challenge her and her party on. She only promotes her party as Patriots because she knows it connects with your emotions.

For minor parties who never will Govern and have the Prime Minister as leader of their party and never need to make the tough decisions, this is their main strategy.  These parties will appeal to you on certain issues and they will target your emotions. Even if you think these types of parties are not ‘political’ like the major parties, that is not true. 

They are in politics because they are political. That is why Pauline Hanson pretends they are Patriots, when they are indeed Nationalists.  She does this because she needs your vote for her own power.  As ugly as this fact is for ALL parties, they do need your vote.  Other parties will stand broadly for what they stand for: Labor – The Worker, The Liberals: Conservatism, The Greens: Environmentalism. However, The One Nation party leads people to believe that other parties don’t really show what they stand for and One Nation is different. Well, yes they are; but not in the way they portray themselves as in a ‘different good’.  They actually promote their party as the opposite to who they are.  Although Nationalism and Patriotism share a love for country, they are polar opposites in all other respects.

In the section on Patriotism above; I spoke about being proud of your country for people doing great things, that makes the country what it is today.  I spoke about the collective effort and burden shared amongst us and how important it is that we stand together.  Patriotism is about togetherness and peace. Nationalism is not. Nationalism is about ‘us and them’ and resentment.

This is where I believe the problem lies for many people taking offence when other people call them racist because they supported Pauline Hanson. When these people do treat other people fairly and.are not inherently racist. It is the disconnect between feeling you are a patriot but following and promoting nationalism, is why others may confuse you as racist. It is because you are misrepresenting yourself. It is like being very pro-union but voting for the Liberal Party and speaking highly of them. It misrepresents who you are.

Patriotism is built on peace. Nationalism is built on rejecting those we don’t want to share our peace with. It is about choosing who belongs and who doesn’t. Why should Pauline Hanson decide who belongs and who doesn’t?  She is asking you to stand with her and take away all the wonderful things that make up a person and just judge them by one thing – they race, colour or religion.  That is not patriotism. But she told you it was. She lied.

The problem is because regardless of the emotional attachment people may have to their vote, it can be hard to accept, that a non-racist person did vote for a racist party. The One Nation party is racist. They are a racist party and they are an intolerant party. Every speech so far has separated out different groups of people by race or religion. They speak about different laws for people who are not Christian, when Australia is a secular nation. It is racist and intolerant because it is Nationalist.  What happens when you, your loved ones or friends are the targets of this type of intolerance?  

The difference between Nationalism and Patriotism is race and national identity are very important to Nationalism, but not Patriotism. Patriotism is about loving your country regardless of who makes up that country.  

Nationalism is explained as this:

Nationalism means to give more importance to unity by way of a cultural background, including language and heritage. Patriotism pertains to the love for a nation, with more emphasis on values and beliefs.

In short, Nationalism does not believe that everyone is equal or deserves equality. Where as a Patriot does.

Patriots respect their country in a peaceful way, where as Nationalists are militant and aggressive and angry about protecting their country and have it remain as the ideal they believe that country should be.  What happens when you, or a loved one does not fit that ideal? You become the ‘them’ in ‘us and them.’ That is not patriotism, but nationalism.

Nationalist believe that their ‘race’ is more superior than any other attribute and this is what defines the greatness of a country.  Whereas Patriotism is about peace and togetherness; regardless of race. Pauline Hanson will state openly that she is not racist. However, her speech and the speeches of her Senators completely contradict this fact. This is now proven, every day of the 100 days since the election.

Patriotism is about believing your country is great and believing we can work together to improve it. Nationalists already believe their country is the best and nothing should change at all costs. Nationalists believe that foreigners are a danger to the ideal country, where as a patriot embraces the values of a peaceful co-existence and aims to prosper together.  The One Nation Senator calling for a “Patriots” TV Channel – is another blatant misrepresentation of who they are.  

One Nation will say anything to have you believe they are patriots, the same as the Liberals will try to make out they care about people.

With regards to the ABCC legislation discussed above; a Patriot would stand up for their workmate regardless of who they are or where they have come from or where their parents or grandparents have come from and regardless of what religion or sexual orientation or gender they are. To a patriot safety is everyone’s responsibility. Your safety is their safety.

A Nationalist, would seek to place blame on anyone who was not in the defined bubble of ‘what they see as Australian.’ They would believe only the worker who they considered an ‘Australian’ has a right to safety at work. A nationalist would see the harm of a worker who is defined as ‘non-Australian’ as justified.

A nationalist would push you to believe there was something about the foreigner that was a danger to your safety at work.  We see this in many examples of the One National party member’s rhetoric. For example, calling for a ban on Muslims when we do have Muslims living peacefully in our communities and they cause no harm.  In fact, they are business owners and workers, doctors and nurses, construction workers and cleaners. They are students and graduates. They share our dreams because they are not ‘they,’ they are us. They are our friends and our neighbours. There is absolutely no reason to separate out one group, and request a separate law for that group, other than racism, or bigotry

There is absolutely no evidence that Muslims break the law any more than any other sector of society. Yet, a law is not requested for any other group, because no other group incites fear simply due to the fact that radical Muslims are also terrorists. Hanson promotes the terrorism, but she never promotes the fact that the majority of victims of ISIS are Muslims.

The important thing for Nationalists is to prevent anyone who does not fit the ‘ideal’ to be excluded and treated differently.  This is the evidence from One Nation so far.

This is not patriotism.  

Nationalism places the superiority of national identity and race above all else, even if the consequences are harmful.

By One Nation Party promoting their party as Patriots and not Nationalists, if you are a patriot, what you believed you voted for; is not what you got in return.

George Orwell explained Nationalism very well:

By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

I do not believe that the majority of One Nation voters automatically segregate people into good or bad, through class, race or creed.  However, this is the essential value, which drives the One Nation Party platform and it is evident every time Hanson or her Senators speak.  All I ask is that you really listen and make your own judgements and challenge what they are really saying. Ask yourself, “would I be comfortable if this was said about me?”.

Conclusion

I will finish with a quote from Sudhanva D Shetty of the Huffington Post:

Love for one’s country is imperative and necessary, but if this love becomes more important than Constitutional values or democratic ideals, it is misplaced.

If you voted for Hanson, because you are a Patriot. Your vote has been misplaced.

Stand up, listen and speak up to the One Nation party and hold them to account for everything you believe you voted for, but didn’t get. Do not treat them with kid gloves. Place the same expectations on them as you do other parties. They are not victims. They are politicians.

If you truly believe in patriotism, challenge and re-think your own support for One Nation’s Nationalism, as this is the opposite of who you really are.

For One Nation Voters…..

  1. Are you a Patriot or a Nationalist?
  2. Does the One Nation Party really represent what you believe in?

patrotism-versus-nationalism

Originally Published on Polyfeministix

WE DON’T SERVE THE GAYS HERE! Innovative Marketing solutions

Are you a business worried about your right to refuse service to the gays? Well listen up and save Shelton’s bank roll for your legal costs and stop Brandis worrying about writing legislation to allow you to legally refuse service to the gays. I know he isn’t the Prime Minister Tony is, but Malcolm is always challenging us to be innovative, so here are my top three, yes top three – exclusive and free innovative ideas for you, to help you refuse service to the gays. There is no need to be worried! There will be no need to refuse service! It is in your control! Marketing is so innovative! 

Uniform Revamp

The right uniform can have a very positive impact on your business. Professionalism and authority (authority is like nationalism but sexier!) are the two most highly rated indicators directly influencing consumer purchases. In a study by Suffolk University in 2011, it was found that Uniforms influence consumers on product knowledge and expertise more than the other six strategies; such as radio, television, internet etc.,

So the answer for your business is to revamp your uniform and just openly advertise your bigotry. That way the LGBTIQ community, their families and allies can walk into your shop and see clearly your deep seated hatred by your uniform.  Be warned, they may give you the middle finger! But all is good. They will take their service elsewhere.  It saves the embarrassment of defending your right to bigotry in court and the freedom to express your homophobia and bigotry openly.  Here are some great choices below:

uniform-change

Call to Action Marketing

Call to Action marketing is an online concept to directly attract the ‘right’ people to your business by them clicking on your online advertising. This takes the right customers direct to your website for sales and sign ups! Great targeted marketing tool yes? And you could go viral!

Here are some solutions to keep all LGBTIQ people, their family and allies away. This way, not only will you attract other bigots just like you, but you will most certainly win the internet by keeping basically 70% of Australia away from your business!

call-to-action

Re-branding! (Not Re-Brandis – Re-Branding)

Re-branding is a great way to really revitalise what your company is all about!  It allows you to express a newly invigorated heart and soul as the demographic for your product changes, or you want to really hit some of that solid target market. Re-branding can stir deep feelings within other human beings and connect them to your business.

If you want your customers to share your deep homophobic and and anti-gay feelings – what better way to sell this than to stimulate these feelings through a new brand!  Hopefully these fantastic re-branding ideas will help you!

logos

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed these free tips I have shared. There is no need to be worried about refusing same sex couples service ever again, with these new marketing tricks. I hope I have helped you and your business today to find new and inventive ways to express your hatefulness, homophobia and bigotry with the FREEDOM you desire!

Originally Published on Polyfeministix

Abbott & Turnbull – It’s on like Donkey Kong!

I can imagine Abbott reading the latest dismal polling figures for Turnbull and dancing around reminiscent of his 2013 election victory screaming “The Leadership will change! The Leadership will change!” After today’s revelation; is it now on like Donkey Kong?

Reports emerged this morning that Tony Abbott tells UK Tories he believes he can be PM again.  The article describes Abbott is aiming to channel a Rudd like comeback, with Senior Liberals stating he ‘has a good chance, as he is popular amongst the Liberal Membership.’

An interesting revelation though is if Abbott is successful, it appears Julie Bishop will be gone, with Abbott describing Bishop in ‘unflattering terms‘ to his colleagues abroad. The sniping already seems to have begun.  In traditional form, Abbott may as well start with sniping about a woman, before he warms up to sniping openly about Turnbull.  He does need to get back into practice.

If Abbott pulls this off, who will be his Deputy? Andrews? Perhaps. His loyalty to Abbott would make him a favourable candidate.

Will Barnaby be pushed to move over to make room for Christensen as leader of the Nats? In all fairness, it has been Christensen twisting Turnbull’s arm to get him to bow down to the conservatives and nationalists on key policy.

Will Peta Credlin return as Abbott’s adviser?

People may laugh at the thought of an Abbott return and laugh harder at an Abbott/Credlin return. However, Credlin is a highly intelligent woman and an exceptional strategist.  As Howard channelled Hanson’s policies to appease the Nationalists in the 90’s; don’t take it for granted Abbott would fail.

If Abbott follows Howard’s lead and channels the same type of Hanson rhetoric and policies, in the unique Abbottesque-style conservatives and nationalists love; it will be an entire new ball game for Labor, as Abbott will be in his element.

Abbott has the capacity to take over this space and make Hanson sound like an unnecessary annoying blip.  Sunrise will be paying to keep her OFF the show.

The other day I was watching Andrew Bolt’s thoughts on the Presidential debate and another video popped up after that. I watched it with interest. The topic: “Could Malcolm Turnbull be turning into a conservative?” In the video, Bolt noted that Turnbull may be reinventing himself as a ‘more media friendly Tony Abbott.’

The video goes on to discuss changes in Turnbull such as his stance on Daesh and his decision to take less Muslim refugees. Attacking Labor with some ‘rare passion’ on border security and an attack on Kevin Rudd, were duly noted by Bolt.

Bolt then goes on to point out how Turnbull has bowed to the pressure from conservatives on superannuation and same sex marriage.

Bolt even asks the viewer to ‘watch this transformation.’  I’ve pointed a similar thing out before. So it isn’t just because I’m a laborist cynical about the right; the same observations are coming from the most prominent conservative in the Australian media.

The reason for Turnbull’s transformation to conservatism? As Bolt rightly points out: “It is the conservatives who can kill his Prime Ministership.” 

Are there already whispers around the halls of Canberra? Is this transformation Turnbull readying himself for a full on challenge?  Have the monkey’s been released from their pod and are they ready to cause real havoc?

After a very strong theme from Bolt that Turnbull is a dud; could it be that Bolt is actually stirring Turnbull here?  Pointing out to him via this medium that there is a challenge coming and to save his leadership he needs to walk the righteous path to conservatism and beg for mercy at the feet of the likes of Christensen? It is like Bolt is pointing and laughing at Turnbull and letting him know, that he knows his game is up  (hahah I see you, you can’t fool me!)

Only those on the inside will know for sure and no doubt they will feed us snippets; but if this is finally starting, it is going to be glorious to watch.

For those who enjoy studies of organisational behaviour and leadership like myself, watching Turnbull’s increasingly obvious grapple with getting his surface acting under control as he continues to pretend to be an authentic leader, will be absolutely delicious once the pressure is really on!

In my last article, I suggested that Turnbull may be Australia’s first ever shape-shifting politician. With a challenge looming and now picked up by the media, it will be interesting to watch how rapid Turnbull’s shape shifting to fully fledged nationalist conservative will be. Is it time to start counting the number of flags at media stops yet? Perhaps.

Yep, it seems it is going to be on like Donkey Kong. Will Turnbull get barrelled? Or will he save the Princess and take the crown?

Originally published on Polyfeministix

When Christensen Talks You Better Listen to Him

I love music. I especially love Australian Music. First and foremost, I am a diehard Angels fan, but Midnight Oil are a very close second. Australian Music from the 1980s has had a huge impact on my views. The Song “When the Generals Talk” by Midnight Oil really encompasses the control of Turnbull by George Christensen.

The first verse:

Up there on the platform
He is speaking to the people
The people are responding
With clapping and a’cheering
But the meaning of the message
Not revealed to those assembled
They’re taken for a ride
Taken In his stride

This really speaks to Turnbull’s beginnings. It has been said that people were so desperate to get rid of Abbott, Ronald McDonald could have taken his place and he would have been met with clapping and a’cheering.

So there he was after knifing Abbott – up there up there up there on the Platform; and although the media gallery were not clapping and a’cheering, the reverberation could be heard in lounge rooms all over Australia.

In Turnbull’s victory speech after over-throwing Abbott, he said this:

As far as policy changes are concerned, let me just say this, it is not a question of leadership style.

The meaning of his message was not revealed to those assembled.

Turnbull did not specifically say there would be a change away from Abbott’s policies. This was an assumption by the people. The meaning of the message is clear today, that he would deliver the same harsh, punitive Abbott policies.  It actually has nothing to do with leadership style. The existing policies were important to Turnbull. He would continue on Abbott’s legacy. The nation just didn’t see it.

He then said:

There are few things more important in any organisation than its culture.

The meaning of this message was not revealed to those assembled.

However, if we really pick this apart the meaning is evident. Schein is the seminal author and most prominent author regarding organisational culture. Schein defines culture as:

“A pattern of shared basic assumptions learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration”

In his initial victory speech post Abbott, Turnbull never even gave a hint that the Liberal party would change trajectory. He never implied he would be more compassionate, consider fairness or move away from the free market radicalisation he so adores. If this is dissected, he was actually saying that he believed that he could lead and develop the existing culture (right wing conservatism) better than Abbott, who was ‘losing the flock’ so to speak.  This was his guarantee to those who put him there, he just didn’t let us know that.

Turnbull is possibly the first shape-shifter we have seen in Australian Politics. He is empty and devoid of any real values and has always moulded himself to whatever he feels will appeal to others, so he can sustain power. The talk of Turnbull being a ‘lefty’ and he should have joined Labor is absolute rubbish. That type of front merely suited his power-purpose at the time. He is an empty canvas willing to be painted by anyone who will feed his ego.  I often visualise that we will see Turnbull one day as the last chapters of Dorian Gray and his real hidden ugliness coming to life.

It is evident that he does not care what he stands for. As long as he is at the top.

In essence, the nation at that point in time were “Taken for a ride, Taken in his stride”

So that is where this links to the Chorus. With the right wing speaking to Turnbull.

When the Generals talk
You better listen to him
When the Generals talk
You better do what he say

We have seen time and time again the right wing of the party controlling Turnbull and George Christensen featuring quite prominently in this.

In the current state of affairs, I think it is quite feasible to say that George Christensen is the General at the moment in control of the Turnbull Government. I think it is fair to say that evidence so far does present itself as this:

When Christensen talks
Turnbull better listen to him
When Christensen talks
Turnbull better do what he say

So far Turnbull has done what Christensen wants on Marriage Equality, Superannuation and most recently the Backpacker Tax. All just in three months and we have three more years of this!

What we have essentially here is a leader cowering to a self-identified General within his own ranks. Australia has no leadership.

The second verse of the song:

There’s a rumor in the ranking
Someone’s talking insurrection
So the General has a purge
Cause he wants to win elections
With the certain satisfaction
That the people are appeased
Long live the revolution
The General’s very pleased

The rumour in the ranking, someone’s talking insurrection, defines the beginning of an era where I believe we will see Turnbull attuned to becoming more and more instep with the right wing Nationalists within the Coalition. The insurrection is Christensen fighting the Government on it’s own policies and demanding his own.

Queensland is an essential state for an election win and Christensen has embraced Hanson and has even pleaded with her not to run a candidate against him. Christensen also threatened to quit the Coalition over the Backpacker tax, which would have destabilised the Government and most importantly posed a huge threat to Turnbull’s leadership.  Therefore, with his love for One Nation and the real possibility he could defect, Christensen as ‘the General’ plays a huge part in controlling Turnbull.

So the General has a purge cos he wants to win elections – can be aligned with the Christensen’s insistence of the purging of any policies Malcolm Turnbull may personally like but Christensen (the General) does not. As mentioned previously, Christensen has also appealed to One Nation not to run a candidate in Dawson because “The views of One Nation to a degree are the views of many in the rank and file of the (Liberal National Party).’’ (The Australian). Turnbull really does not have a voice at the moment. Christensen sees himself as the voice of the rank and file and that voice is synonymous with One Nation. The threat of Christensen possibly defecting to One Nation, with others who may follow, is an extreme threat to Turnbull holding onto power.  Turnbull is a man putting his lust for power before the needs of the nation.

As a staunch Christian who flirted with Priesthood the same as Abbott and who has very strong Nationalist Anti-Muslim views, Christensen has been placed by the media as the controlling General of the current Government and rightly so.

With the certain satisfaction, That the people are appeased is about the right wing arm of the Coalition, especially the Queensland Nationalists who dream about running the country. They know that now Christensen has lead Turnbull on the path of upholding one man one woman marriage, a backflip on Superannuation, a backflip on the backpacker tax and now anything is possible. The right wing are appeased.

And the remainder of the song speaks for itself…..

Sitting on the fence both ears to the ground
The fat cats still push the thin cats around

This is not a slight on Christensen, but a metaphor for how he is literally pushing Turnbull around.

Turnbull has nowhere to go. He is trapped in an abyss drowning, desperately trying to find an air pocket. Turnbull’s Leadership is beyond the point of failure. He is a Fizzer. The King is dead.

Le Turnbull est mort, vive le Christensen!!

Long live the revolution
The General’s very pleased

Originally Published on Polyfeministix

Politics Driven Fear and the Pain it Brings

People are expressing the increasing need to separate themselves and self-identify as situated above certain groups. They feel the need to paint others as lesser. This need is fed by fear driven politics and it is causing a loss of focus and it is causing a lot of pain.

Memes used to be funny. They were quirky, sometimes delightful, sometimes thought provoking and sometimes so funny one would cry from laughing. Now memes are more about social status. Sharing to place oneself in a better class.  A class above Jobseekers, Unionist, Muslims, Indigenous and LGBTI people who just want to get married amongst other groups.

Not an hour goes by on social media when I do not scroll by some defamatory post about Muslims (mostly aimed at degrading Muslim women) or how jobseekers are bludgers and should just get a job. Then I scroll by more shares about how unionists are self-serving, dodgy criminals. Then I come across those who belong to the special group who believe they are more Australian than the Indigenous Australians who were here in the first place.

Every day we scroll through the privileged Olympics, but there are no winners. Only losers.

The privileged I am talking about here, are not the Turnbull type of privileged; but so many every day Australians who share derogatory memes about various groups on a daily basis. These people come from all walks of life. They are not necessarily rich and they may be poor.  Wealth status is not the issue here.

These people are privileged by default, because they do not belong to the group that they and others scorn, ridicule, shame, shun, ostracise and stigmatise. It is like every share elevates one to being a gold card member of the ‘in-group.’

The problem is that the privileged do not see. They are blinded. They cannot calm their egos enough to bring themselves down to another level to try to understand the life of another.  They do not attempt to listen and empathise; they are on autopilot with judgement and ridicule.

Social media has made it so it is so much more important to hold dear to the opinion originally developed, than to attempt to understand an issue enough or look at it through different eyes; to recognise it is causing harm and change that opinion.

If we are complaining we haven’t progressed since Whitlam, it is largely our fault. It is our fault that there are so many people in pain, because every day I see stereotypes and stigmatisation shared around to approve and contribute to the infliction of pain on others.

We pit the oppressed against the oppressed when a meme is shared to give the homeless more than refugees. How does one judge the value of what assistance should be given? What drives us to choose between a person who has seen their entire family raped, tortured, slaughtered and burnt and fled their homeland or give to a person in desperate need of shelter, food, clothing and care? Do they both not deserve love, kindness and generosity?

What fear is within us that makes us share such memes as representations of our thoughts that we play judge and jury and decide who is not worthy of care and assistance? Is kindness such an ugly emotion that we reject it? Is it a fear that others may judge you as being too kind?

No, it is the fear driven politics that has led us to believe that a Government and its citizens cannot be generous enough to help both. It is the fear that if they do, we would somehow be worse off. It is fear driven politics that sees us remain silent on the generous assistance to the wealthy banks and business, whilst we verbally bash the poor.

We glorify a free-market-worker-hating-Government every time we share a meme about the ‘pathetic’ unemployed and how they are bludging and living off our taxes. We kick the worker every time we contemplate how unfair it may be that some  greedy workers are getting paid penalty rates and how terrible this is for business and their profits. Pass me a goddamn tissue.

The Abbott-Turnbull Government is the epitome of the greedy bourgeoisie and there are every day citizens working so hard to work with them and for them to shove the worker and those who are jobless down as far as they can be kicked.

We have come to a peculiar space in time where the plebs themselves are standing with the bourgeoisie. For if they do this, then being a pleb, is better than a prole or the “hoi polloi.”  The common worker, consumed by politics driven fear is tearing their own class apart.

“Workers United will never be defeated….” Go on…say it….it means something real.

What is the fear that drives us to glorify a Government who insists that the unemployed (human beings in case you have forgotten) should starve for a six months, six weeks and now a month?

Is it a fear that we may lose something if jobseekers are offered assistance from the public purse?

Is it a fear that we may just not have one more submarine to build if a jobseeker can live on real meat instead of noodles?  Is it a genuine fear that Gina Rinehart might have less billions and that would somehow hurt us?

Is it the fear that we may confront the uncomfortable truth that our judgements reinforce the message that turning to sexual favours and even suicide is a reality for these individuals who are finding it so hard to survive in a world of  not just poverty, but scorn and condemnation?

Above all else, it is the politics driven fear that those living in poverty are stealing something from us. It is the fear that they are getting something for less effort than us. It is the fear reinforced by the LNP message that there will be fewer hospitals, fewer schools and fewer jobs if we treat the unemployed with dignity. It is the politics driven fear that assisting jobseekers will result in less jobs; because that means we could one day be them.

There is no point attempting to provide input of an opposing view.  Try to tell someone to be angry at the Government for not creating jobs, instead of blaming the unemployed. It is an interesting exercise. Contrition is not an emotion that we appear to embrace as Australian citizens.

This politics driven fear is also blinding us. We are losing focus. The fear of people from different lands and different religions is so critical we cannot take our eyes off them for a second. It is vital to share, share, share anything we can find, made up or not on the internet. It is critical to continuously reinforce this fear as legitimate and worthy to defend.

It is more important to have conversations on social media that can last days about how the viewpoint of one radical Muslim is the view of all Muslims; than to really engage thoughtfully and productively about how we can lift good Australian people out of poverty.

It is more important to remain silent on humanitarian issues,and use our fear of a religion we don’t understand as an excuse, because if we really stop and think about it; we may realise we are actually being inhumane and that is an ugly truth to face.

What fear is driving us that we are content with leaving other human beings in indefinite detention?  Indefinite – without a hope, never to be released – just in case the key word has not hit you yet. Murderers get less.

The irrational politics driven fear that unionists are doing less work than the regular taxpayer for a greater gain, is more important to hold onto, than to stand with unionists who have given us the work-life we enjoy today and that they continuously fight for. This fear culminates and makes us forget that we once stood with pride and dignity and shed tears to remember those workers who were jailed, murdered, maimed, starved and broken just so our labour is recognised as a valuable input in exchange for fair wages and safe conditions.  How soon we have forgotten the pain of John Howard’s Work Choices?

Every single time we share memes, or have conversations that reinforce the politics driven fear espoused by the Liberals and the Nationals, and now the more right wing parties; we are condoning the infliction of pain on the vulnerable.

We have a responsibility to stop and take stock that this rhetoric that is being whipped into a frenzy day after day has gone too far.  It is time to sit up and take notice, that by doing this, we are hurting the people we talk about helping in other conversations we have

It is time to stop and think about those on the right who say they have the solutions, actually don’t.  It is time to really listen to their proposals. Tearing down the worker and punishing those who are unemployed due to Government failure is not a solution. Dividing people by race or religion is not a solution. Clinging to the harmful measures that create more poverty and more divisiveness are not solutions. Why this is not being realised is the real phenomenon.

Choose Populism if you want a Rock Star. Reject it if you want a leader.

Some appear to be genuinely good people. However, politics driven fear is driving some people to throw brimstone and fire at those they want to help, instead of at the Government and other right wing parties who are the central cause of the problem.

It is time to take a stand to honour those and respect those who cannot, to challenge the Turnbull Government and others every time they reinforce the degradation of a vulnerable group.

It is time to stop sharing derogatory memes and start having real conversations about how we can build a nation, and not share our acceptance of helping the Liberals and others on the right tear it down.

It is time to stop dividing and start uniting. It is time for a hand up and to bring back the fair go.

It is time for the mate-ship and camaraderie we apparently as Australians represent.

I miss that. Do you?

Welfare Bashing the NEETS: The new team in the sport of welfare bashing

The acronym NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) is becoming more prevalent with those who enjoy the art of welfare bashing. For those who see themselves as a class above the unemployed, specialised welfare bashing is the new team sport.

Welfare bashing is no longer homogeneous. There are so many individual groups to welfare bash; it has now turned into a team sport. For those who enjoy the sport of welfare bashing, like any sport, it is very important to pick a side. Picking a side ensures the stigmatisation of anyone on welfare is further ingrained in society, because it adds to the generalisation that anyone on welfare is lazy and undeserving. Those who participate in welfare bashing see themselves as part of an elite class; even if they fail to recognise it in themselves.

Let’s have a look at four of the leading Welfare Bashing Teams, currently active in society today.

The Single Mother Welfare Basher

There are those who enjoy the art of welfare bashing the single mother. Gender is important here; because the act of sexual activity of behalf of a woman is still in 2016, considered a slovenly act by so many, particularly if it produces a child out of marriage.

For the women who have been brave enough to leave a domestic violent relationship; this too does not matter. Single Mother Welfare bashing jersey wearers truly believe that women are stupid and should have thought of not having kids if she was with someone violent.

No matter how you plead for leniency and understanding towards single mothers, the loud obnoxious Single Mother welfare bashers all point their fingers at the woman and her vagina as the spawn of all the evil in the world, which takes away their hard earned taxes.

Team Colours: Yellow and Red – (opposites to Purple and Green the power colours for women)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising mothers who are unable to work due to caring responsibilities as scum and a burden on society

War Cry: Keep your legs crossed!

The Unemployed Youth Welfare Basher

It is important to distinguish the Unemployed Youth Welfare basher as separate from one who welfare bashes all unemployed people. I have come across a significant peculiarity amongst some voices in mature aged welfare. Although these baby boomers are currently unemployed, it is not unusual for people within this group to see their welfare as more deserving than unemployed youth. I have seen some very disheartening comments from people who belong to mature job seeker groups and general welfare groups on social media. Including degrading comments about young single mothers as a particular favourite.

General comments about young people unemployed are normally associated with ‘laziness and bludging’ however conversations around mature aged unemployed are normally blamed on external factors such as ‘ageism and discrimination.’

Young people are seen as desperate to avoid employment and mature aged jobseekers are seen as desperate to find employment.

The media also encourages this separation. For example, A Current Affair appears empathetic to mature aged jobseekers, whilst demonising the rest of the unemployed, including single mothers (with hard hitting investigative stories like “should single mothers be forced to go on contraception?”).

Disparaging media claims about unemployed youth focus on young people rejecting jobs, participating in welfare rorting, ripping off the system, sleeping through interviews, choosing welfare over work and being idle and lazy, playing X-Box and eating Cheetos.

Regardless of how you ask for consideration that there are far more unemployed youth, than there are jobs for them to fill; the unemployed youth basher, will strongly argue that ‘they are not trying hard enough.’ They often compare their 1970’s utopia of going straight from year 10 into an apprenticeship as if that still exists today. They often still believe that free university education exists and that even TAFE is free and completely accessible for all.

Team Colours: Black – (opposite to white for poverty awareness)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising young unemployed people because the Government is too lazy to engage in job creation policy and laying the burden of this on jobless young people.

War Cry: YA BLUDGER!!!!! TRY HARDER!!!!

The Homeless person Welfare Basher

The homeless person welfare basher is a particular type of sick and cruel person. This type of welfare bashing jersey wearer places all blame on the individual and truly believes homelessness is their own making. They believe that the homeless are truly lazy individuals and do not want to work due to alcohol or drug addiction, or are just destructive young people who could go home if they really wanted to.

Race is also particularly important. Those that don this welfare bashing jersey see if people of colour are homeless; it is simply because their skin colour makes them drug addled, drunk, lazy and homeless, according to the loud mouthed, obnoxious, racist, vile crap that can smack you in the face all over social media.

This group champions official authoritarian responses to further degrade homeless people. The increased ban on homeless people using public restrooms, nail spikes to prevent sleeping in some areas and pop up sprinklers to deter them as well. Income management, especially for indigenous homeless people is a real vote winner for the Homeless Person welfare basher.

This group likes to point out that there are groups that help homeless people, so what is the problem? Some Government Ministers even like to blame the groups they cut funding from for the problem of homelessness; such as Western Australian Minister Liza Harvey who defended the use of sprinklers in Perth:

“The accommodation is there, the support services are there, the not-for-profit groups are there, the money’s flowing into the system. Clearly if there’s homeless people sleeping on King Street, those people aren’t doing their jobs properly.”

No matter how you much you plead for understanding and consideration of factors, which cause homelessness, the homeless person welfare basher will always, insist that all of these measures are avoidable. The ones that are not avoidable, such as mental illness or child sexual abuse, they should ‘just get over’ so they can stop being homeless.

Team Colours: Yellow (opposite to Purple the colour for homelessness)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising homeless people because they insist homelessness is their choice.

War Cry: Get off the drugs and get a job!!!

And Introducing….The NEET Welfare Basher

NEET hailed from the UK as a young person Not in Employment, Education or Training. The NEET Welfare basher is the hipster of all welfare bashers. They target this niche group of welfare recipients as the most abhorrent and lazy of all welfare recipients. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if the young person is in receipt of benefits; being under 25 they may well be reliant upon their parents for support. As long as the young person is not in school, TAFE, Uni or employed, the finger is extended to frantically point with judgemental criticism and wailing screams of ‘back in my day..’ at the NEET.

The NEET welfare basher is often someone who has had the luxury of getting a job when they were young, through the ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ or the ‘Daddy has rich friends employment scheme’. Or the woman who married someone quite young, who has the income to support both of them, whilst she stays at home and looks after the children.

The NEET welfare basher has had no hindrances to enter into university or has no confidence or financial issues with undertaking study. The NEET welfare basher also falls into the same category as the youth unemployment welfare basher who still lives in the utopia of the 1970s where public sector exams and entrance to the public sector was the norm, or apprenticeships for young men were in abundance, all done by just completing junior high school with a pass average.

The NEET welfare basher feels quite comfortable that they have the undeniable right to judge and stigmatise young people who are not engaged in employment or education, because to them finding a job or going to TAFE all seems so simple.

This type of welfare basher reassures themselves that there is nothing wrong with welfare bashing NEETs, because they believe that this group faces no hardships whatsoever.

They do not see themselves as stigmatising a young person who is the primary carer for a child or a disabled parent; or a young person who is disabled themselves. They just see it as degrading a lazy young person, who deserves it.

The NEET welfare basher can normally clear their conscience by asking a NEET who has been severely depressed due to constant rejection from employment, “RUOK” on that one day of the year. This self-absolves them from being arseholes.

The main factors associated with being a NEET are low level of education, low household income, having some type of disability, immigration background, living in a remote area, and a difficult family environment (Eurofound 2012). In tougher labour markets, the size of the NEET group will increase.

Regardless of how many facts that are presented by journalists who want to present the actual facts about NEETs; the NEET welfare basher reminisces about their youth and when they job hunted and how easy it was for them and waves the facts away with an indignant snarl.

Team Colours: Orange (opposite to Green, the colour for hope)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising young people who are not engaged in employment or education, because they truly believe after 30 odd years of a punitive jobsearch framework, coupled with the idea that ‘the free market will sort the jobs out’ that hindrances to employment for young people are just a myth.

War Cry: “Back in my day…”

In a country where we consider young people, ‘young’ up to 25 years of age and where the Prime Minister champions the ‘free market’ as the answer to everything, rejects Government intervention for job creation and truly believes that anyone can just go and be innovative and create an App to bring themselves out of poverty and into self-employment; welfare bashing will be an Olympic sport by 2020.

 

Originally published on Polyfeministix

Have the Greens just divided the Nation?

Have the Greens divided the nation? Is this what a political party should do? Is this disrespecting the people? Is this against democracy? Is this challenging the right to free speech? People need to start really expressing their views on this now. It should be a topic of conversation around every dinner table.

In an act of defiance today, the Greens turned their backs and walked out on Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in the Senate. In an email I received from Richard DiNatale tonight, he explained this was because he was called a ‘greasy wog’ at school and told to ‘go home’ and the Greens do not condone racism.

DiNatale has a personal story that so many can relate to. Whatever your individual circumstance, be it racism, or disability, or poverty; so many know the ridicule, the shame and the stigma runs deep and stays forever.  For some who can never change who they are, the hurt runs deeper. This is the shame and stigma that Hanson and her followers want to cut deep.

I listened to Pauline Hanson’s speech today and I was truly sickened listening to Hanson’s attack on almost every segment of vulnerable people in our society. The divisiveness, which underpinned her speech, shows that Hanson plans to pit group against group until we all hate each other. Her goal is to make Australians choose between ‘her’ or ‘them.’

Hanson’s speech resonated as someone who thinks they have so much reverent power amongst ‘the right’ and her ambition is to grow into a major political party. Her aim is to take every single conservative vote in Australia, to punish the Liberals who rejected her, ridiculed her and jailed her.

In her speech, she metaphorically strolled by and kicked the teeth in of homeless people, and single mothers and mothers who were single because of domestic violence. She metaphorically sat from above and spat on all those on unemployment; the young, the disadvantaged and the disabled.

Hanson’s speech was about creating fear of the disadvantaged. Her aim is to stigmatise and divide our people.

If you were ever made feel ashamed because of who you are, then Hanson is intent on making you relive that nightmare.

If you were made feel less than human because you were poor, or disabled, or recovering from an addiction then Hanson is here to make you feel less than human again.

If you were ever shunned because you were unemployed, homeless or broken, then Hanson wants you to hate those who are living this now.

This is not about Asians, or Muslims or racism, these groups are merely the start. Over the next six years we will see her use the full gamut of disadvantaged groups to create fear and divisiveness amongst us all.

Over time, Hanson will target individual groups and attack them one by one. People in disadvantaged and minority groups will be ridiculed, shamed, and labelled ‘unAustralian.’ Her mantra will be to hate all things ‘unAustralian.’  Her followers who think it is this ‘hate’ that will make Australia a great country, will actively create unrest.

If Hanson achieves her aim of a nation divided in two, what then?

Do we dare to imagine the civil unrest of the “Hanson’s Australians” attacking the bludging poor in the streets?

Do we dare to imagine “Hanson’s Australians” attacking young single mothers and calling scum and slutty whores and thieves who steal taxes?

Do we dare to imagine the intensity of racial hatred and racial violence we have never known before?

Do we dare to imagine Hanson’s Australia?  The Greens did and they turned their backs.

Did the Greens just divide the Nation? Yes, they did.

The Greens symbolically asked every Australian to divide and either stand with “Hanson’s Australians” or with all Australians.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

In six years time, don’t let there be no-one left to speak for you.

The Greens have divided the Nation.

Today is the day to decide on which side you stand.

Originally published on Polyfeministix

No! I don’t defend your right to say it

When your words make her put her wrist to the razor

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When you words make people spit and stare at her

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make a mother shed endless tears

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make them feel they don’t belong here

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words inflict pain and distress on beautiful faces

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words mean we need the safest of spaces

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make others stigmatise and shun

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words incite thoughts of killing and guns

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make a young man die alone by a tree

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make a father grieve ’til he’s empty

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make their day as dark as the night

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make suicide a national plight

I don’t defend your fight to say it!

When your words are divisive so hateful they kill

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make someone’s best friend overdose on pills

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make no one sit near him on the bus

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make it all about them and us

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words make another feel less than whole

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your words eat away slowly at a beautiful soul

I don’t defend your right to say it!

When your excuse for this harm is speech and freedom

To self-absolve from the hurt that you have caused

I say your words are sick and I condemn them

To honour the beautiful lives forever paused.

Originally Published on Polyfeministix

Turnbull – A Friendly Mushroom and a Destructive Seagull

“You’re not saying anything Tony” a famous statement by a journalist in an interview with Tony Abbott, really summed up the former Prime Minister’s inability to defend his bad decisions, words or actions.

“You’re not doing anything Malcolm” is the thought that appears to be in almost everyone’s mind summing up what they think of Turnbull’s Prime Ministership and leadership qualities.

When people start reminiscing that Tony Abbott should come back, then that is a sure sign that Turnbull’s leadership has failed miserably.

The really sad thing about all of this, is Turnbull promotes himself as a great leader through his self-portrayal of positive leadership archetypes. It is almost as if he has a little read of popular coffee-top books about ‘great leadership’ and then pops up in public and acts out his newly found knowledge about ‘what makes a good leader.’  I’m not sure about you, but he always looks so fake and staged to me. It is my biggest annoyance with his ‘style.’

He has promoted himself as “The Change Catalyst” when he removed Tony Abbott and promised great change.  He has promoted himself as “The Communicator” promising everyone with pomp and splendour and great verbosity, that he has the communication style that appeals to those within the party, has great appeal with the public and the communication style desperately needed to discuss important issues with all the friends and best friends and bestest of best good friends in other countries.

Most famously, he has promoted himself as “The Innovator”.  He really got into character for this one. This one was like a full dress rehearsal – Apple Watch and reeling off a full gamut of tech apps. He was very careful not to include apps like Tinder, to give the impression he just ‘wasn’t just rattling off apps’, but he was an active app user. However it seems that everyone is now swiping left. Sorry Malcolm.

The disconnect between how Turnbull displays himself as a positive leadership archetype, to the negative leadership archetype he actually delivers, appears to be vast.

Turnbull in my view is a collective of negative leadership archetypes which are used to symbolise toxic, bad, poor, weak or useless leaders.

Turnbull’s leadership behaviour can be summed up as collective of the negative leadership archetypes of  “Friendly, mushroom, destructive seagull” leader. His leadership is so poor, that it is difficult to pick just one which describes his current failure in leading this country forward and providing good Governance.

The Friendly Leader

Although this sounds like a positive trait, this negative leadership trait is the most discussed amongst the media and other politicians. The Friendly leader is too scared to make waves with others he disagrees with, out of fear of being derailed or losing power. This leader enables subordinates to hold power over the leader and this leads to poor decision making through trying to keep the most powerful subordinates onside.  These poor decisions include unpopular decisions for the majority but favoured by the sub-group ‘in power.’ The leader ends up losing control and powerful subordinates end up being the defacto leaders. When people start asking “Who is really running the country?” it is almost certain a weak leader has enabled defacto leadership to occur.

The Mushroom Leader

The mushroom leader kind of fits Turnbull, but also kind of doesn’t.  The Mushroom leader effectively “keeps everyone in the dark and feeds them a load of manure.”

The problem is with a mushroom leader they have an agenda, but don’t communicate it to anyone else. So, what happens is only the leader knows what he wants to achieve, but everyone else….does not! This creates a lot of confusion and disarray (Pyne! Pyne! lock the bloody doors mate!)

A good example of this is the GST debate, where it was on the table, not taken completely off the table, back on the table, a thought bubble to gauge public opinion, and then Turnbull announced he had killed his own idea, because it was umm…not a good idea? Confused? I bow before Mark Kenny  who had the ability to be able to describe this debacle with a straight face.

The conundrum of using the definition of a Mushroom Leader, is does Turnbull have an agenda he isn’t sharing; or does he have no agenda at all?  Regardless, would there be consensus that we are being kept in the dark and being fed a load of manure? I would personally put my hand up for that one.

The Destructive Leader

Turnbull is more a passive-destructive leader in the way he has a clear absence of any agenda, be it the progressive agenda he pretended to promote prior to becoming PM (that is a story for another day) or a conservative agenda many in his own party value. The negative trait of insincerity speaks to this. Destructive leaders are about short term gain, usually to their own benefit.  They are driven by egoism and ‘the desire to take their rightful place.’  It doesn’t matter that they don’t know what to do when they get there, they will either bully or blame others and manage from a distance and avoid responsibility. A destructive leader does not understand nor champion the strong values of those he leads and is a danger to ‘destroying the brand.’  We are hearing strong arguments from those who truly value conservatism on this as Turnbull’s biggest failure.   We are hearing strong arguments from the general public, on his inability to champion what Australians see as important issues to champion, through his complete lack of vision and agenda.

Unless of course, I am wrong and the discussion of favourite TV shows in the Senate today are indeed matters of serious importance and this was not  due to the lack of matters of serious importance to debate!

The Seagull

The most famous of all negative leadership archetypes is the beloved Seagull.  The Seagull is defined as the leader who ‘flies in, craps all over everything and takes off.”  The interesting thing about the Seagull as related to describing Turnbull’s leadership is:

How do they fly in?
They normally appear (sometimes out of nowhere) puffed up, brave, resilient and knowledgeable in times of trouble, ‘as the hero who can save the company – or in this case – the country.’

How do they communicate?
Seagulls make a lot of noise. Normally about themselves to deflect any attention away that they have no idea what they are doing. They need constant attention and spotlight to talk about themselves, so they appear important. Squawk. Squawk. Innovation. Squaarrk. (Sorry Mr. Pyne, but Mr. Turnbull wants us to believe he is the real fixer!)

How do they relate to others?
The Seagull (when it is impossible to talk about himself to avoid responsibility) blames others. They will target others as a source of their anger and the Seagull never accepts blame.   It is unusual in politics for leaders to blame their own party members, so deflection of blame is usually, on other parties, members of other parties, or even the Media (Yes ABC – Sorry Turnbull had to cut all that money from you, but….Squark!)

Sometimes they will have hysterical fits and take things away from others (Sorry Scott, but Malcolm couldn’t talk about himself to get out of this one, so he just had to take that GST play thingy off you!)

When do they fly off?
I don’t have a crystal ball on this one, but to stay true to the Seagull form, Turnbull simply cannot be deposed (Put that thing back in the top drawer!). The genuine style of the Seagull is he would need to take a much more glorious job offer of much more importance (global position? Innovative start up which will be the cure all unemployment in Australia?), where his skills are in great need to solve greater problems than the ones he has offered to solve now. In true form he would tearfully wave goodbye to all those who adore him, with a great big long speech about himself and take off.

Once Turnbull takes off, the questions are:

What mess will he leave behind?  and…

Who will fly in to steal your chips at the beach? Abbott, Morrison or maybe Bishop?

Only time will tell.

Originally Published on Polyfeministix

What have you really noticed about Bill Shorten?

With so much of the same old, same old meeps about the Lib-Lab monopoly/duopoly and the clatter of mismatched voices who want something new, but can’t articulate what that is; the question is “have you actually taken the time to notice what Bill Shorten is about?”

Is it possible that for some, the inner voices of cynicism and pessimism developed by participating in the mob culture of screaming against a two party system, automatically disregard even the most progressive and positive reforms from Shorten’s Labor, just because they are a major party?

Is it possible that some are so fixated on the decisions of leaders of the past they did not agree with? Is it possible that due to this, they are not yet ready to notice Labor in 2016 and view them with a clean slate? Turnbull has been afforded this opportunity, but I do not notice this being extended to Shorten.

Is it possible that this is just a rant by someone who is dedicated to the Labor cause? Possibly. That is for the reader to decide.

However, all I can talk about is what I have noticed from my own perspective. So I will outline a few things that really strike me about Bill Shorten and his leadership and the direction he has been taking Labor thus far.

I will do this as counters to two distinct areas of the narrative I have noticed in the context of myth breaking,  of “Both Parties are exactly the same” as I see it – “Underpinning Values” and “They are selfish and out of touch and just don’t listen.”

 

Myth: Both the Major Parties are exactly the Same

Underpinning Values

I personally always find this statement extremely confusing. I will begin with the underpinning values of both parties, as I see them.

Liberals – The Liberal’s values are underpinned by individualism. In terms of public social policy, they believe that everyone is born equal and it is up to the individual’s inherent propensity to ‘make it in life. They believe, this in turn this develops the country as a strong and prosperous country.  Liberals believe in small Government intervention as they see Government intervention makes individuals lazy and reliant on Government and this weakens society.

Government intervention is usually paternalistic with punitive measurements seen as a guiding hand, that is required to motivate those without an internal propensity for self-development.

They believe in low taxes and favour a user pays system instead of major investment in Government funded services. The Liberals are semi anti socialism of the public sector and favour privatisation and outsourcing of the public sector where they can achieve it.

They believe in the free market and the balance of power in favour of the employer is the best result for the economy.  Liberals have a disregard for the value of a person’s labour and believe low wages and low cost to employers create more jobs and are drivers for the economy.

Liberals do not promote Government intervention in high unemployment as a large surplus labour force drives wages down, as opposed to a tight competitive labour force.

The Liberals believe in maintaining the status quo through conservative and nationalist values.

Malcolm Turnbull and his predecessor Tony Abbott, continue to champion their commitment to these values. Abbott being more vocal and committed to these values than Turnbull, who is committed to these values, but remains largely silent on the intent or values which underpin his policies. 

Malcolm Turnbull’s reason for going to a double dissolution election, was a policy which has star chamber type elements and strips away the civil rights of the worker, including apprentices. He saw this as so important, so vital to the progress of the nation.

Malcolm Turnbull continues with Tony Abbott’s abhorrent budget cut regime progressed and championed by Turnbull, with all the pomp and ceremony of an entitled King.

Labor –  Labor’s values are underpinned by a form of collectivism and solidarity. Their valued are based on democratic socialism, egalitarianism and laborism. Labor recognises that not everyone is born equal and that it is the Government’s duty to intervene and provide assistance to those who need a hand up to achieve equality. They believe in a Welfare State to provide protection and social and economic benefits to the nation’s citizens.

Government intervention is incentive based and with a propensity towards proactive rather than reactive measures. (Such as investment in preventative health measures and needs based education funding).

Labor believe in the socialism of the public sector as opposed to the privatisation of the public sector to provide the best services to the community.  They believe the right assistance can develop individuals into strong, productive citizens, able to engage in the community, and break down the hindrances that were preventing them from doing so. Labor’s values consider external factors to the individual’s inherent drive and personality, and do not seek to place blame on the individual, but seek to address these hindrances and strive to provide an egalitarian society.

Labor’s overarching philosophy is Laborism, which values the labour of the working class. Laborists believe in the protection of safe work, rights and wages. They also believe this drives productivity and keeps the economy strong. They strongly believe that everyone should have equal access to work and a fair days work for a fair days pay. They believe in the Fair Go for workers.

Laborism is consistent with Government intervention in job creation projects to bring equal opportunity to everyone through the ability to access secure work, self development and career progression. They strive for low unemployment as this also creates a better standard of living though higher productivity and higher wages.

Labor believes in collective progressive policy which seeks to challenge the norms of the status quo. They are the leaders of every major positive reform contemporary Australia has ever had, such as: Medicare, Superannuation, Collective Bargaining, Fair Work Tribunal, Gonski, NDIS and NBN  

Under Bill Shorten’s leadership, his message is clear that he has returned to the true Labor values ingrained in Laborism which distinguishes Labor as a defiant opposition to the conservative alternative.

His very vocally championing egalitarian values and laborism as progressive solutions. His rejection of the increase to a GST as it would hurt the most vulnerable, his damning rejection of changes to Medicare and tenacious protection of our universal health system, his rejection of the removal of penalty rates and his submission to the Fair Work Commission to protect same.  His endless counter attacks on the Government to protect pensioners and families from harmful cuts and to stop the Liberals making the unemployed starve for six months!

His policy for protecting workers from underpayment, from exploitation and ensuring clarity of the term “Internship” to separate this from an essential learning or training activity from one of exploitation of the working class. In addition to policy for mandatory quotas of apprentices in Federally funded projects and investment in upskilling and training in new technologies.  There many more examples of this differentiation between Shorten’s Labor and Turnbull’s Liberals, and they can be found here.

Both parties are selfish and out of touch – they just don’t listen to the people

Liberals – The Liberals view of “the people” traditionally focuses big business as centric to their policy development.  A key focus of economic policy management is built around the rhetoric of welfare bashing of ‘lifters and leaners’ or ‘taxed and taxed nots’ so cuts will be met with little resistance from the public, through the stigmatisation of this group.

Engagement with the “community” is often restricted to attendance at high end functions, with high end priced tickets for high end donations.

As described in the section above, the attacks on families, welfare recipients and workers are a testament to how out of touch the Liberals are with the every day Australian and their families.

Turnbull’s “look at moi” empty verbose rhetoric, where he talks at people and not to them. An example of this is, his common phrase of, “We simply must remember….” in my view is a clear indication of class separation where the ‘people (a forgetful and unintelligent lot) need a gentle paternalistic guiding hand from those who need to remind us of our place.”

Labor – The Labor movement invests in grass roots activism. Under Bill Shorten engaging with the public has been a central focus.  Community Cabinets in QLD were introduced by the Labor Government and Shorten’s personal style is community forums, where he openly takes questions from the floor and answers questions in an open public forum.

Shorten has done about 150 public forums in the last 18 months and numerous live Facebook feeds direct to anyone on Facebook who cares to subscribe to his live posts.

As for if Shorten is in touch with the people. I will leave you with his budget reply address for you to decide.

My personal view on Shorten

I have had the personal opportunity to attend one of Bill Shorten’s community forums.

In my own experience, he fielded a huge variety of random questions and answered them in detail. He was relaxed and open and quite focused on the night being about the people and their questions and not about us listening to a speech about him or Labor.

I had the opportunity to ask a question.  He approached me after the event and asked me to write to him in more detail with my concerns and expressed genuine interest in speaking to me further. I saw him openly engaging with others with genuine interest as well after the event.

He did not have to do that. He did not have to seek me or others out. He had enough people around him to purposely avoid me, if he wanted to. It speaks to his genuineness as a leader. I wish everyone could meet Bill Shorten because until you meet him up close and speak with him, you don’t realise that much of the negative media portrayal and other people’s negative perceptions are so very wrong.

I have not been truly excited about the vision of a Labor leader in a long time, but I truly connect with Shorten’s vision and leadership. In my opinion Shorten is the real deal. His ability to remember names, faces and detail of questions at community forums is phenomenal. You kind of need to see this in action. He is a highly intelligent man with great compassion and a great passion for people and their concerns, which is truly visible at a community forum.

I truly believe he will win the next election outright and will go down as one of our greatest Prime Ministers in our history.  I have 100% faith in him and the direction he is taking Labor.

Conclusion

It is such a shame that for many engaged in ‘left politics social media commentary’ disregard the shift in direction under Shorten’s leadership.  It is disappointing that those on the ‘left’ who oppose Shorten’s Labor discuss him as if he has evolved from some 1980’s mindset where neo-Liberalism was forging it’s place across the world and judge him on the decisions made by former leaders, which really should be critiqued in the context of that time. It is also frustrating that the progressive policies and Laborist solutions he is putting forward, fall on already made up closed minds and deaf ears.

Whether you think this post is just a rant from a someone who is dedicated to the Labor cause, or a genuine attempt to implore people aligned with the left to view Shorten and his modern Labor party with a fresh open mind and really critique his current direction which is ingrained in the values of laborism and truly engaging with the the people. As well as a plea to not to continue to compare and contrast with the decisions and leadership of Hawke, Keating, Rudd or Gillard, which many say they have issues with, then that is up to the reader to decide.

Labor’s policies will not suit everyone, nor are they perfect with no room for improvement. However, it is very, very evident that Bill Shorten making a dedicated effort to meet as many people across as many communities as possible and he is really listening and is open to positive and progressive ideas for change and he has already led substantial policy development as a testament to this shift to the left and laborism.

For those who genuinely and fiercely arguing to topple both of the major parties from power and who are insisting Shorten does not have ‘Leftist’ values –  have you really truly taken the time to noticed what Bill Shorten is about?

Originally published on Polyfeministix

Cashless Welfare – Enough is Enough!

Yesterday I watched Bill Shorten’s address on the McKell Institute’s Report Choosing Opportunity where he spoke passionately about equality and a fair go. However, to achieve real opportunity, the first thing we must acknowledge is that stigma and discrimination are not conducive to equal opportunity.

Income Management, Cashless Welfare and Basics Card all have the same aim.  The aim is a paternalistic approach of a ‘guiding hand’ to set those unfortunate enough not to have a job on the path to ‘wholeness.’

The aim of income management is to enforce a patronising approach which places the burden of shame and stigma on the unemployed, because the Government cannot be bothered to engage in job creation; because oh! that’s right, “the market will sort it all out.” Bullocks!

The aim of income management is to inconvenience, stigmatise, and label the unemployed as ‘others’ who are not part of the ‘normals’ in society.

The aim of income management is to conduct surveillance of the unemployed (Dee, 2013).

The aim is to extend a measure that was originally aimed at reducing alcohol abuse and child abuse in remote communities and now has extended to so many.  The current and previous Governments have placed control measures on those who do not need controlling. That is not the “Fair Go” Australians long to return to.

With the NT having more than four times the number of all the other income management sites combined, it really begs the question if this measure is indeed racist and the extension of this measure is to appear ‘not racist!’

The McKell Institute explains three types of welfare models in their report:

“The study identified three main forms of welfare state: the ‘liberal welfare regime,’ which emphasised market efficiencies and demonstrated limited government interventions; the ‘corporatist regime’ which is committed to preserving the traditional family, and invest in social insurance programs that encourage motherhood and provide benefits that encourage mothers to return to work; and finally the ‘social democrat’ model which pursues equality.

If the underpinning construct of Bill Shorten’s speech and the McKell Institute’s report is equality; then income management simply must be high on the list to be abolished.

With donations reform and perks for politicians in a huge big glaring spotlight; Australians should be rising up and screaming about situations such as the excerpt below, instead of getting reeled into the agenda set by the media.  I’ve seen an overwhelming amount of people absolutely fixated on the Dastyari saga and counter-attacking with dodginess from the Liberals. Meanwhile, in the land of cashless welfare, people can eat plastic or starve!

cashless-welfare

It is time for change. It is time to stand up now. It is time to stand up for the jobless, the homeless, the disadvantaged, and the disabled, who have their income managed by the Government.  These are the people who matter.  These people. The innocent, the vulnerable, the labelled and stigmatised.

Enough is enough.  If you truly believe in a Fair Go. If you truly believe the Fair Go underpins everything we believe as Australians, please write a letter to the following insisting on the abolition of mandatory income management for welfare recipients in Australia.

Minister for Social Services
The Hon Christian Porter MP

Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services
Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Members representing your electorate
Your local MP

Senators in your state
Senators

Enough is enough!

Originally published on Polyfeministix

Dee, M 2013, ‘Welfare Surveillance, Income Management and New Paternalism in Australia’, Surveillance & Society, 11, 3, pp. 272-286.