Thursday 12 January 2017
Today I have given over my post to some friends who have some thoughtful things to say on a variety of matters. Its only for today.
Tim Dixon on ”Welfare overpayments v GP’s expenses”. (Tim has a sardonic sense of humour).
”As part of the Government’s welfare overpayment crackdown, numerous individuals have been exposed as rorting the taxpayer purse, claiming exorbitant COMCAR and travel allowances, attending the PM’s private New Year’s function and making trips to purchase property on the Gold Coast.
In a bid to rein in overspending on payments individuals were not entitled to, the Turnbull Government has taken a harsh approach in investigating incorrect use of taxpayer funds. The system is proving to be very effective, already generating compliance notices for several Government Ministers making questionable claims on monetary benefits.
Following allegations Health Minister Sussan Ley purchased property on a taxpayer funded trip, today four Ministers come under fire for claiming entitlements to eat rock oysters, quail breasts and fat stacks of cash at the PM’s private New Year’s party.
“Our aim is to ensure people get what they’re entitled to – no more and no less. And to crack down hard when people deliberately defraud the system,” Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said on the issue.
Ministers affected by the overpaid entitlements crackdown have been assured they will simply need to stay on hold for 4 hours, find proof of travel and pay slips from up to 6 years ago and use a non-functioning online system to prove their entitlements were correct.”
Peter Morris on his ongoing battle to access the ”NBN”. (Peter is a fellow thespian and a fine actor).
”So here’s where the NBN is at. Technician drives 13 hours from up near Newcastle to clean up the debacle being created by the so-called techs of NBN. Opens node box on side of house connects his Telstra phone device and busts into laughter. The idiot has swapped all the wires around and reconnected us back to adsl as well as land line. He then advises after returning from NBN box around the corner the smoker hadn’t even connected us at the box. Problem is these untrained bastards get around $69 per 9min connection and either don’t get it right or are not doing what they’re supposed to do. The poor old Telstra man has to fix the cock ups, cop the abuse from angry customers for half the wage. More people need to get up and make the government accountable for this shit type of service not to mention all the $$$$$ going to these useless pricks doing the initial install. 😡😡😡😡😡”
Stuart Whitman on ”Considerations on a Parliamentary Republic”. (Stuart has written for The AIMN on previous occasions).
”I have been committed to an Australian republic as long as I have been politically conscious and I remain so but recent developments in America are changing my views on how that republic might be constituted.
Australia is all but a republic in name now, and Australians are probably more republican in our egalitarian and meritocratic ethos than many actual republics. The symbolism of clinging to the British monarchy though stunts our …potential in the longer term.
The monarchy might be perfectly fine for the United Kingdom with its centuries of entrenched class structures, and privilege and deference. But it is alien to Australia.
That’s something the Australian Republican Movement should take into account given what appears to be its recent tendency to repeat its mistake of 1999 appealing to an elitist section of the Australian population and obsessing about window dressing and symbols in contrast to making a substantive case for constitutional change. We won’t become a republic if the ARM doesn’t reach out to monarchists to persuade them, or to bring the populace with us by speaking to the concerns and needs of grassroots Australians.
We have the potential to be a great power, a great force for good in the world but that can’t happen fully while we are content to live in the shadow of a bygone era or a foreign power. The second wave move towards an Australia republic though must also fully address issues of constitutional and democratic renewal, rights, and the state’s relationship with Indigenous Australians. It must move beyond superficial patriotic appeals as occurred last time to really grapple how we will achieve “Advance Australia FAIR”.
In addition to these considerations at home, the recent trajectory of the American republic though has given me pause for thought about how an Australian republic should be constitutionally framed.
In the republic campaign leading up to the 1999 referendum in Australia I sided with those wanting a model of a directly elected president. Having watched the rise of Trump and the sinking into oligarchy of the American republic my views are changing.
Australia has one of the oldest democratic constitutions in the world. And while there is room for improvement and modernisation in our constitution it has provided over a century of democratic stability. It’s in essence the “if it ain’t broke” argument proffered by monarchists. Australian republicans really do need to have a persuasive response to that challenge.
How do we ensure the continuity and flourishing of our parliamentary democracy should we become a republic? How do we reflect in our constitutional arrangements those core Australia values of equality, fairness and merit? And how might we frame an Australian presidency so as not to repeat the mistakes of other republics where power has been so abused?”
Henry Johnson on the 7:30 Report.
”Is Stan Grant staying on as presenter of the 7.30 Report? Hope so.”
Peter Wynn on ”Sexism and Sussan Ley”. (Peter is a Facebook friend).
”A good friend of mine suggested, and not without justification, that Sussan Ley is being targeted because she’s a woman, when men have done far worse. Okay, Ley’s actions make Chopper Bronnie “Let’s Allege A Socialist Conspiracy” chartering a chopper and charging the taxpayers $5,000 look like tickling the till, BUT, what she has done is not as bad as Captain Empty Head Clown Shoes’ charging the taxpayer for the most expensive roll of toilet paper one could buy (aka Battlelines) or charging the taxpayer for being seen in pedaling a bike wearing Lycra on a charity ride whilst staying in motels. It also makes Banana Brain from New England’s junket to India for the wedding of an associate of Queen Rinehart and a “research” trip to Malaysia producing an assignment that wouldn’t impress a Year Two Teacher look meek and mild. And let’s not forget, the electorate of Warringah was stupid enough to re-elect Captain Clown Shoes despite not knowing the difference between a place to store things and a medication you insert in your bum, making ridiculous Captain’s calls, such as Knighting A Prince, and being the most regressive, misogynistic Minister For (Should Be Against) Women, the country has ever seen! Yes, Chopper Socialist Conspiracy Bronnie and Harper’s Bizarre RAAF JET Chartering Death Stare’s actions were small fry compared to Sussan Ley’s actions, but Sussan Ley’s actions are small fry compared to Captain Empty Head Clown Shoes and Beetroot Banana Brain’s actions, yet they retained their seats and positions. The Labor Party needs to ensure it is beyond reproach or else the Empty Heads on the Far Right may shift towards a nasal-voiced redhead who is a cancerous blight on the body politic of Australia, who, while she’ll never defile Kirribilli, will, along with the self-entitled Liberals, ensure that the joke is on Australia for electing them.”
Stephen Tardrew about ”The dysfunction of society”. (Stephen often puts a finer gloss to my writing).
”Thing is this is we need a general across the board view of the dysfunction of a society that no longer respects science, logic and rationality letting the religious ideologues, left and right, gain great political influence. It is a global US phenomena and to try to give weighted value to either political party is like trying to pick between two irrational and self-serving narcissists. The two-party system is a big fail while neoliberals and non-conservatives run riot increasing inequality, injustice and redistribution of wealth upwards. There are so many lies that people no longer know who the hell to believe so they opt for the most belligerent and egotistical. The whole of government is composed of very wealthy and super wealthy elites isolated form the real hardship in the streets. At Least Sanders could see it and could have beaten Trump. The point is it is no longer left and right but your particular variety of inequity and injustice, one maybe slightly more rational, however the end result is continued injustice, inequality and endless warfare. Seems like a Catch Twenty Two to me.”
Toni Tarikson on ”The American voting system”. (Tony is also a Facebook friend).
”I am completely floored by the American Public. Their voting system needs to change so that everyone is forced to partake of their right to have a say about who gets “the top job”. Their laws, particularly regarding their “right” to carry a firearm and to defend themselves with a firearm, are antiquated…and override a human being’s right to safety. Much of the public couldn’t be bothered to vote, couldn’t decide, so chose to do nothing…the vast majority who did actually turn up to vote picked Clinton but somehow trump, the most crass narcissist on earth, got in. Something stinks in the country of America. Too much attachment to TV? Too much love for the old western movies? Too much dependence on the drugs? Too much love for having too much? Too much need for power? The fact is that trump has no frigging idea what to do, how to act, what to say, how to feel respect for others, how to share his toys with his playmates, how to think and speak rationally; how to think or analyse, how to be tactful towards others, how to be kind, caring or compassionate…all he does is talk about himself; all he cares about is money and how he can acquire it and anything else he wants, and how he and the women that surround him, physically look….because it is all about him! He is shallow, yes, narcissistic; not very bright. He is antagonistic, a bully, crude, rude and a racist. Yes, he is a child. And a nasty spoilt brat of a child at that! Yet…he was allowed to run as a presidential candidate! Go figure! It’s too late for Donald trump to grow up. Way too late …fingers crossed the USA will not be another of his failed businesses!”
My thought for the day.
”I am willing to share whatever wisdom I have with anyone who has the heart to listen on condition that they share theirs. Everyone has some proportional to their life’s experience”.
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