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Rosemary Jacob Born and initially educated in England, arrived in Australia, 1/1/71. She has always loved maths and graduated from Imperial College London with a BSc (Special) Mathematics in 1957. Early influences have made her a strong supporter of social justice, a feminist and a believer that education is a lifelong pursuit. In 2008 she was admitted as a solicitor and barrister, practising law until 2012, while she also became an accredited mediator, practising until late 2017.She is concerned for the future of her 3 great grandchildren under the climate emergency.

Happiness – and despair

The only psychology I have studied formally was a unit on the psychology of teenagers, which was part of my Dip Ed (Secondary), which I undertook when I was living with three teenagers.

So my knowledge in this area is far from expert, having been mainly gleaned from experience in a family, in life, from reading and in teaching.

Emotion is an experience which is incredibly hard to define. When trying to explain what is ‘felt’ in a very non-concrete way, the same words can mean different things, because every experience is unique to the individual.

Research seems to indicate that sociopaths and psychopaths may lack the ability to empathise with, and hence show compassion to, other people.

Their understanding of emotion is stunted and warped.

Maybe there are too many we have elected to govern us who fit into these categories

Happiness is something more than drug induced euphoria. Many people use the word when maybe ‘contented’ might be more appropriate than ‘happy’.

One source of real happiness which many experience arises from helping someone else.

Paying a truthful compliment to a stranger, helping someone in need, particularly if you have gone out of your way to do so – these can produce a response which is quite uplifting, while making another individual more comfortable with life.

Yet we seem to live in a society which demands that we be self-reliant and leave others to look after their own needs, and those who do help others, for no fee, are denigrated as fools and do-gooders.

I am fully convinced that climate change is happening, that it is going to result in serious changes which will make life for many unbelievably uncomfortable, if not impossible, that we currently have just enough time to prevent the most extreme outcomes, but need to take action now, and that the selfish blindness of those who look to their own needs before those of others risks dooming our descendants to an unpleasant life.

Looking to the needs of others can be a source of giving and experiencing extreme happiness.

Concentrating on our own current desires can leave others in the depths of despair.

This is not religious dogma – this is an acceptance of our humanity.

We do not need to support a government which delivers policies which damage many in our society. In fact we have a moral duty not to do so!

We do not need to go to the bloody lengths of a revolution such as those in France and America in the 1700s.

But our need to overthrow this current government demands a high level of civil disobedience if we are to effect the policy changes we need so urgently.

The government does not have a mandate to give temporary help and then withdraw it prematurely, leaving people in penury and deep despair.

They have, through the childcare policy debacle, shown that they are quite capable of going down that path.

Whoever might benefit from that approach, they sure as hell are not the ones most in need of help.

I joined Extinction Rebellion because I am prepared to work to change policies that are damaging people and their future existence.

There are not thousands in the NT who can pour out onto the streets and protest, but there are in other places. They cannot safely do so yet, because of the continuing need for social distancing.

So now is the time to plan.

We have to oppose government policies which benefit corporations while harming individuals.

We can do this!

I am sure my recent Open letter to Scott Morrison did not travel very far, but responses to it certainly indicated that I am far from alone in being critical of our present, so-called, leader and the policies he and the Coalition government promulgate.

Plan to be ready to be safely out there to protest, and meantime, study the concept of civil disobedience.

It is time to stop talking and start planning for action before it is too late!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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An open letter to Scott Morrison, PM

Mr Morrison,

Do you realise how much better off you are than the vast majority of Australians who are directly affected by your policy decisions?

You have a certainty of income – unless your Coalition colleagues decide to sack you, which, sadly, is unlikely to happen in time to benefit the rest of us.

You have a very substantial income, and, literally, the power of life or death over millions of people.

That is a scary responsibility, yet you seem to manage to perform your functions in the total absence of empathy or compassion.

Your sole driver appears to be, to leave a legacy as a superior manager of the economy.

Believe me – your hubris is such that you are blind to the mess you are making of things.

The best decision your National Cabinet made, was to make child minding free – although the way you did it actually hurt those providing the service – which was not clever.

Your decision to willfully cut short the period for which this would apply was – to use a gross understatement – woefully misguided.

Your adherence to ideology and blindness to alternative approaches is damaging the lives of a majority of Australians.

I won’t begin to talk about the damage you have done, by treating as criminals desperate refugees, for whom safe haven in Australia – where they could (and some have – in outstanding fashion) contribute to our benefit – has been denied.

Many of those people have died, some through suicide, and if you are not ashamed of yourself, then you are indeed a hollow man.

What sort of a Christian are you to put personal prestige in front of following the teaching of a man you claim to worship?

You seem to have an inexplicable hostility towards education, having severely damaged our tertiary system, ignored the incredible importance of early childhood education, and encouraged the enrichment of shonky operators in the TAFE system, so that we now need to bring in skilled tradespeople from overseas – at least pre-COVID-19!

Yet, for unfathomable reasons, you continue to shower largesse on wealthy private schools, while denying sufficient funding for desperately needed services in public schools in low socioeconomic areas, and for children with special needs.

The way in which you outsource services to for-profit organisations certainly benefits the shareholders of those organisations, but is highly detrimental to those receiving an inadequate service from insufficiently trained personnel, who belittle the skills of those who seek professional jobs, requiring skills far above the level of those job providers.

Being the Prime Minister of a multicultural country like Australia demands vision, compassion and genuine leadership.

Looking back at your career history, it is clear that your major skill is self-promotion and you have achieved advancement using methods which do you no credit.

Your “this is my leader” gesture to Malcolm Turnbull, as you schemed to replace him, showed clearly how shallow is your sense of loyalty.

Judas springs to mind.

One thing is crystal clear.

You do not have what it takes to be a leader, but you ride on the backs of others – as with the National Cabinet – while ensuring that you are the one in the limelight making the announcements – particularly if there is any kudos to be gained in the process.

Your financial treatment of those who are long term unemployed or underemployed does you no credit.

They may include a few ‘dole bludgers’, and certainly some of them may squander money on drugs – more likely cigarettes and alcohol than cocaine – it is mainly the wealthy for whom that is the drug of choice!

We need proper rehabilitation services to help those who are genuinely hooked on ice and other drugs of addiction. In fact the desperate shortage of psychological services for those with mental health problems is appalling in a wealthy country.

Another issue needing urgent attention at national level is the decriminalisation of drug use, but that will have to wait until we are back on an even keel!

The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide phenomenon. Who knows if or when there might be an effective vaccine.

Economically, we will inevitably suffer in consequence, and our ability to survive will not be helped by a worsening relationship with China and the mess that is the USA under Trump as POTUS.

Those are issues outside our control, where we have to adjust to their effects, but the highest priority is the survival of our citizens.

PLEASE stop putting the economy first, but remember, it is important in the context of doing the best it can to benefit those in our community who are in most need of help.

At present that is not the case.

People would not be dependent on, and stigmatised by, ‘welfare’ if government seriously considered alternatives – like a Universal Basic Income and a job guarantee.

We have people whose understanding of economics has moved on to reject neo-capitalism and ‘the market rules’ approaches.

Those viewpoints have put enormous wealth in the hands of massive corporations, while creating an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. Look at the information gleaned from the Banking RC?

Corruption in government itself, where ‘pork barreling’ has gone way beyond something to which we can turn a blind eye, would benefit from another Fitzgerald Inquiry!

In short – this country is in a mess, and, while some of current policies have helped us suffer less than many from the pandemic, we cannot afford to be complacent and think about returning to normal – largely because there no longer is a ‘normal’!

We are now crying out for a vision that puts people’s needs first, whatever the cost

Many, reading this rant, will tell me I am wasting my time.

I disagree.

If I feel this strongly, then I am confident there are many others with similar concerns.

We cannot afford to wait for the next election.

It is dangerous at present to congregate in the streets to demand action, so maybe we need to flood our MP’s mail boxes with protests and demands for policy change!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

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Leadership and popularity

[Terry Mills has defended his fracking flip-flop, saying he doesn’t believe the ‘pipe dream’ will improve the Territory’s finances. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford]

My knowledge of Australian political history is somewhat limited because I was not born here and have only ever lived in the Northern Territory.

Some PMs and Premiers stand out more than others – not always for good reasons – but there are only two for whom I have a significant level of respect.

One is Don Dunstan, a former SA Premier, and the other is Gough Whitlam and the same reason for my choice applies to both – they were leaders who introduced policies which were needed and provided that leadership in a moral framework.

I will explain the importance of this later.

The two major parties in the NT have been the CLP and the ALP, and we also have a Greens Party.

Following a devastating loss at the last polls, the CLP has shrunk, but several former members have formed breakaway minor parties, one of which is led by a former CLP Chief Minister, Terry Mills.

Some weeks ago, on a Wednesday, when I was doing my Greta Thunberg stint outside NT Parliament house, Terry stopped by to discuss fracking with me, and insisted that, since contracts had been signed for fracking to proceed, the NT would expose themselves to sovereign risk if those contracts were cancelled.

Ignoring the fact that ‘sovereign risk’ is possibly an inappropriate term, the main issue was that he regarded the NT Government as being committed to continue fracking.

Then an opinion poll showed that a significant proportion of the NT voters are opposed to fracking, so he publicly reversed his support for continuing – to howls of ‘political expediency’!

As it was being reported, he actually came out to to where I was again sitting in front of Parliament House, to talk to me, and ensure that I knew that he had changed his policy!

I was dubious that he had made the change for reasons related to the need for action on climate change, which, for me is the only issue of current importance for government apart from COVID-19!

Then he did some homework, and was reported as having changed his mind, because continuing with fracking for CSG would not be economically viable as the price of gas is falling.

In actual fact, I believe the real story in the NT is much more complicated and convoluted, but, anyway, today (8/07/20) being Wednesday (again!) he took time to come out to talk to me this afternoon.

(I am not sure why Terry Mills uses me as a sounding board. I am not an important person. My opinions are not totaIly unknown, as I regularly write letters to the NT News, many of which they publish – largely, on their part, to stir up controversy (good for business) – and there are many fairly abusive responses from those much further right in their politics which clearly identify me!)

His position now is that a majority of the people in the NT do not want fracking, so he is changing his policy in order to offer the NT voters what they want!

I sometimes wonder whether too much reality TV (which I never watch but hear about!) has engendered this emphasis on pursuing popularity.

A few generations back, parents of teenagers were prepared to be unpopular, with a view to ensuring that their children were appropriately protected from the many risks arising from immature decisions.

Reality TV encourages people to vote actors out of the drama, popularity being the only criterion.

But in government, what we need more than anything else is transparent leadership, based on ensuring that policies provide us with what we need to be healthy, in all senses, as a nation.

Because a policy is supported by a majority does not guarantee that it is good policy, so trying to be popular is a dangerous game, IMHO.

It is brutally clear that our current PM, Scott Morrison, is obsessed with the economy. He has been in the forefront of pressuring a return to ‘normal’, ASAP, following the economic impact of the COVID-19 lock down.

He must still be grieving over the fact that the pandemic knocked his ‘back in black’ for six!

And Victoria’s current woes show how ill-advised that pressure was.

In my discussion today with Mr Mills, I expressed my opinion that policy based on popular demands was not an ethical way to conduct politics. After all, we elect a government to provide a system which is better for us, and if they have made promises over what they will do, and a majority have elected them, then that is what we expect them to do.

But, hopefully, before making those promises, they will have at least explored what we need, as well as what we say we want.

Now – back to the moral framework.

A majority of the Australian public, in all states and territories, have expressed a need for action on climate change. We are not so stupid as to think that one state, territory or even country can achieve what is necessary to reduce emissions, but we are intelligent enough to realise that, if too many states, territories or countries hang back from taking action, we will never succeed.

In some ways the COVID-19 epidemic has put a spanner in the works by distracting attention from climate action, but, by the same token, it has also caused a temporary reduction in emissions, as manufacturing plants have been temporarily shut down, and general traffic has reduced.

What we desperately need at the moment is for ideology to be removed from the planning process (sometimes the impossible does happen!) and for governments at all levels to look much more closely at what we need, given that we are effectively starting from scratch and people are desperate for a sense of security and certainty!

Thousands are concerned about mortgage payments or rent.

Probably thousands of landlords are also concerned about their mortgage payments, too.

Thousands are concerned about finding a job.

Life is never going to be the same for today’s adults.

Approaches to government finance can and must change. A UBI has major problems but it is also an initiative which could buy the government time, more simply than using processes which cause them to be get tangled in a mass of complex ‘welfare’ measures.

People need food, a roof over their heads, ability to move around, once infection levels are under control, and children need an education.

We really can afford to worry later about where the money is coming from!

We are a fiat nation!

To force people into poverty because of action taken by government – yes, it was necessary, but it has also been destructive – is immoral and probably illegal.

And – thinking of legality – the illegally obtained money from Robodebt MUST be returned ASAP!!! In full, immediately and with no adverse income tax implications!

In general I feel that politicians are far more interested in helping themselves than in helping us – and since we elect them, we have to take some blame for this.

If we want to keep the bastards honest, we have to make the moves and ensure that we are led by people who do have a moral compass.

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

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Constitutional Failure

If the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed one thing, it is the total inadequacy of the Australian Constitution.

Like most people, I know a little about a lot of things and am slightly better informed than many in a few areas, while really expert in none! So I beg your tolerance for my presumption in writing this article.

I arrived in Australia when I was well, into my thirties and have been here for nearly 50 years, coming without the State-centric bias enjoyed by many Australians.

In fact, having been in the Northern Territory since before self-government, any sense of being locally controlled is not ingrained.

And I have studied, and for a few years practiced, law, so am possibly more familiar with the Australian Constitution than are many dinky-Di, born and bred Aussies.

And it falls far short of what is needed in the 21st Century!

Those who drafted the Australian Constitution, had the task of choosing which powers to take away from the existing states to transfer to the embryonic Commonwealth government.

They also fell over backwards to make sure that a minority of more populous states could not force changes to the Constitution onto the other states, while also allowing the range of powers of the Commonwealth to be expanded by mutual agreement between the States.

At the time of federation, the politics of the world was very different, and trade tended to be on a less global scale. Even within Australia, which regarded trade largely in the context of the British Commonwealth, it appears that it was necessary to ensure there were limited barriers to trade between the states.

But as corporations grew and expanded their power beyond state and country borders, the complications arising over conforming to varying state legislation became insurmountable. So the states and territories agreed to cede their powers in this area to the Commonwealth which was done by passage of the Corporations Act (2001) Cth.

This was far from being the only instance of having overarching legislation, and, when, in the 1970s, the Commonwealth decided to introduce Family Law legislation, WA – which has long wished to secede from the Commonwealth – decided it would not be be bound by federal legislation, and introduced its own Family Law Act.

The biggest nightmare in this context – for everyone, not just lawyers – is that there are 9 sets of legislation affecting criminal law, which makes crossing state boundaries a nightmare on occasion!

At the time that I was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the NT, lawyers did not have an automatic right to practice in other jurisdictions – just as, years ago, those accredited as teachers, accountants, etc were only qualified within their local jurisdictions, and had no automatic right to have their qualifications accepted in other states – but, thankfully, we have moved on, at least in most specialist professional areas.

But this pandemic has highlighted the problems this causes when States and Territories have exclusive powers, which, in the case of State powers, cannot be brushed aside by the Commonwealth government.

So we are currently faced with a Commonwealth government, which has its attention firmly fixed on the national economy, in a stand-off with State governments, some of which understandably wish to keep inter-State borders closed in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

I am not sure how the Coalition federal government was persuaded to establish a National Cabinet. While it has assiduously avoided including representatives of the Federal Opposition, it has, thankfully, included Premiers of varying political persuasions, which provides a much more balanced base from which to develop reasonably non-partisan policy.

It is, I suspect, the only reason that the national Coalition government was persuaded to introduce stimulus legislation, similar to that created by the ALP in the GFC, which has always been heavily criticised by Coalition members in the intervening years!

But this it not a GFC. It is not even a conventional recession.

It is a crisis occurring as a result of a Pandemic, occurring at a time when conservatives are refusing to accept the need for global action on global warming, and, tying the handling of the situation to a politically driven system, is heading us into total disaster.

Just as, in wartime on the scale of WWII, politics has to be set aside and the experts called in to provide clear advice, we now need to get right away from politics and opinions and work with facts. Otherwise the world we bequeath to our descendants will be in an appalling state.

And there is nothing in the Constitution to enable us to force the government to set up, not just a National Cabinet, but a non-partisan National government, whose advisors are not chosen heavily from the ranks of those whose wealth is derived from fossil fuels!

As a nation, we are struggling as a result of the lack of a plan to deal with a pandemic. It might be a once in a 100 years event, but if we are honest with ourselves, we have been dealing with crisis after crisis in recent years – driven by climate as well as economic and health issues – which should have alerted us to the need to planning for a catastrophic event.

The most recent 4 Corners program highlighted the dreadful situation being endured by those coping with winter, without proper resources, following the bush fires, ignored, despite promises of help, because the COVID-19 pandemic is dominating the headlines.

Governments are failing us – and part of the reason is that they are so intent on planning for people, without consulting with people. Ideology destroys awareness of the needs of those whose life style differs massively from that of the decision makers.

This is as true for our First Nations as it is for those whose livelihoods and homes were destroyed in the Black Summer!

The only good news for governments is that we cannot demonstrate en masse because of the pandemic restrictions!

We have a possibly once in a lifetime opportunity to refine plans to force governments to be more sensitive to the needs of those who would not necessarily vote for them!

Please let’s not waste that opportunity!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

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Values and change

History gives us an imperfect picture of time past. Perspective and purpose of the author of public records can distort the view of what has gone before, but some recorded facts are incontrovertible.

Evolution and increasing levels of understanding of science have enabled societies to change over time, although, as currently being illustrated in China, the disposition of a country’s leader can seriously pervert local and world events.

Over the centuries, adventurers and governments have explored and colonised, with little regard for their impact on the existing local population of the countries they have visited – whether in peace or in war.

Power has been a significant driver for much of these activities, and nationalism has distorted the moral perspective of the methods used.

They say you reap what you sow – and the current crop of outcomes has a bitter taste.

Human rights are not recognised by many nations, while others only pay lip service.

The Australian politicians of the far right, as well as some of less extreme persuasions, who readily spout about Australian values, are rarely admirable role models. Our treatment of genuine refugees is – IMHO – disgusting, and the inhumanity of many of the policies foisted upon us, reek of the sense of privilege of those in government – and their disdain for all who do not share their view of life.

We currently face an existential threat from global warming, while we also struggle to ensure containment of the spread of Covid-19 in a population which, in some cases, has lost all faith in government.

I am by nature an optimist, but, until and unless our leaders start to show a greater sense of genuine humanity – putting the needs of the desperate ahead of the leader’s  need for self-aggrandisment and power, then we deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth by natural forces more powerful than anything puny mankind can create.

Toppling statues of (almost exclusively) men who have been renowned, but have also committed offences against humanity, will not change our future, unless current leaders develop coherent policies which truly recognise human rights.

Democracy is in its death throes and there is no sign that life-support is available – so it is up to all of us who care, to ensure that it recovers.

That is what ‘being a citizen’ demands.

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

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Day 22

Day 1 was Wednesday, 5 February, 2020.

I am 84, and Greta Thunberg’s activism on climate change has been one of the few things which has given me any hope that my 3 great-grandchildren – and all subsequent generations – might have a faint chance of a life worth living.

So I decided that I would follow her example, on a modified scale, and set myself the challenge to sit outside the NT Parliament House from 1:00 to 3:00 pm every Wednesday afternoon.

I obtained permission to do so until Christmas, and, if things have not taken a turn for the better by then, I shall continue into 2021.

I wear my Extinction Rebellion T-shirt – so no one is any doubt as to my political orientation – and for quite a few of the 22 weeks, I have had one or two like-minded friends joining me.

Our Parliament House is off the beaten track, so there has been no danger of creating a crowd during the Covid-19 crisis! Where I sit, I am looking straight at the end of the Supreme Court with the Parliament House to my right, and, as you can see from the photo, at this time of year, being outdoors is delightful, and an umbrella doubles for a parasol!

The wet season is less pleasant, but I only got soaked on one occasion, in March, I think, and that is no hardship in our temperatures!

Having practiced law a few years back, several of the legal fraternity who recognise me, stop to chat occasionally, plus some I have not met before, tradies walking through give me a thumbs up when I wave to them, a few members of the public also stop by to talk and even the occasional politician or staffer comes out briefly!

Among those who stop for a discussion, the general feeling is that we have an uphill battle to overcome greed and self-interest before it is too late to have an acceptable outcome in developing a valid climate change policy.

A tall order!

Yet – why is it that Australia always wants to reinvent the wheel?

Other countries are making great strides in reducing the use of fossil fuels so why is it so hard for us???

The leader of a newly formed local political party, took time out a few weeks back to try to impress on me that we could not withdraw from existing contracts for CSG fracking, referring, inappropriately, to ‘sovereign risk’.

Subsequently, polling indicated a high level of opposition to fracking in the NT, and we have an election in August, so there has been a complete policy change, well documented in the press.

Last Wednesday, Mr Mills went out of his way to make sure I knew of his change of policy – which is generally regarded as a political stunt.

Without a fully thought out policy to combat climate change, simply deciding to oppose fracking does not really cut it.

Fracking in itself might be a problem on several scores, particularly if the myriad requirements laid down by the enquiry are not adhered to, but the real problem is the releasing of CSG – a fossil fuel – the use of which will further increase emissions into the global atmosphere.

I had a very pleasant conversation today with a young woman who has been contemplating starting a family in a few years time. She and her partner are having second thoughts, and, unless major steps to curb emissions are taken in the very near future, I suspect that they will change their plans.

We are wasting valuable time.

We have a government which looks at dollar signs before it considers people’s well-being.

Thousands of people are currently living on a knife’s edge, having no clear idea what the government’s plans for the future are.

Yes – it was necessary to put us into shut down – and it is really sad that some people are so self-centred as to ignore the fact that acceptance of testing might save someone else’s life.

No – we do not have an energy crisis. As long as the sun shines, the wind blows, the rivers run, and the tides rise and fall, we have energy and to spare. It is the lack of will to harness it that causes the crisis. The UK is streets ahead of Australia in using renewable energy while we still fiddle around talking about transitioning.

If mankind has learned anything, it is that if something needs doing, you do it – now.

Remember Chamberlain’s appeasement policy?

Transitioning is a process of postponing, which far too often means no further progress is made.

Increasingly, today’s economists are referring to Modern Monetary Theory, which can be utilised by any country which prints its own currency, so was never an option when we lived under the gold standard.

Alan Kohler discusses this in the NT News 01/07/20, page 38 – and possibly in the Business section of other news.com outlets – pay-walled, of course.

Government’s fear of debt is actually totally misplaced. Just as they regard education as an expense rather than an investment, they do not appreciate that their spending money to get business up and running – thereby employing people, and – in turn – people having money to spend in the market – puts the economy on its feet again.

Scott Morrison went to the last election with one policy – cut taxes.

There will be precious little tax paid while people are out of work, except that the GST will be a greater burden on those with slashed incomes as compared to those with high levels of savings.

He also had a few other irons in the fire, like protecting religion (and he is doing that now by paying job keeper to priests, while ignoring the needs of university lecturers), and further reducing the power of the unions.

Ideology not rational policy is driving the government agenda, and I am one of many who are deeply grateful that the National Cabinet has been able to prevent some of the potentially more damaging policies being implemented, and to push the government to adopt policies similar to Labor’s in the GFC, policies which the Coalition have torn to shreds for over 10 years!

To think that the government could appoint an advisory group with a composition which denies a serious interest in renewable energy is mind-blowing!

The only way we will survive the current chaos is by giving people hope for the future.

They need to be sure of a roof over their heads, without worrying themselves sick about the rent or the mortgage.

They need to have work as soon as possible – and that means that childminding services – which includes early education – are provided by the government, so that women can safely return to work.

Because Covid-19 will remain a threat for some time – if not forever – then working from home should remain an option where appropriate.

Life is never going to return to how it was. Too many people have died or suffered permanent damage to their health, and too many businesses have folded.

But that is actually good in some ways, because it leaves a clean slate on which to plan completely new initiatives and avoid past mistakes.

Politics and the law are based on an adversarial approach which is liable to be highly destructive.

Cooperative debate of policy options cannot afford to be on a win/lose basis.

We need a bipartisan government – hang it all – neither major party has an overwhelming majority of seats, which clearly says that the people do not all support all the current government’s policies!

I suspect the National Cabinet might prove to be the saving of Australia’s future.

You will probably tell me that there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that this Coalition government will change its tune.

But in some respects it already has! And with the national Cabinet continuing in existence, it is more likely that it will continue to do so.

Just to help it along, maybe a few more retirees like me can sit on their Parliament’s steps or forecourts on a regular basis – or outside their federal parliamentarian’s offices.

Being visible is important. Greta established that very firmly!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

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Information and influence

This post might be usefully be sub-titled

“Communication, consultation and cultural connections”.

We have not learnt our lesson from dealing with our First Nations, because we continue to try to impose policies and procedures on cultural groups without adequate explanation of the relevant background.

COVID-19 appears to have several important characteristics in the context of trying to minimise harm. People can be, and many are, asymptomatic, and there is no certainty as to the extent that these people may pass on the infection.

The people most likely to die, if they become infected, are in our more senior ranks and those with impaired immune systems – but that does not mean that the infection cannot both be passed on to and be serious for younger age groups – including children.

We do not know for certain how infectious a person might be if they are infected but not yet displaying symptoms.

All of these variables mean that an offer of free testing should never be refused.

COVID-19 is only like flu in a few respects, and is much more likely than flu to leave the person who becomes infected, with quite serious after-effects, resulting from damage to the lungs or the cardiovascular system.

Once infected, if social isolation is not adhered to, there is a virtual certainty that the infection will be passed on and may be responsible for a massive increase in cases. This, in turn, puts severe pressure on the health system – and puts at risk the lives of all health care workers.

I watched the other day a news report showing interviews with Victorians in the hot-spot areas being invited to be tested. I was horrified by the casualness with which the offer was brushed aside “I have no symptoms”, “I don’t care if I catch it” were the sort of phrases used by those denying the need to be tested.

I was left wondering how much clear information had been given to these people about the reasons for and importance of the testing process. Do they understand the difference between being in contact with other household members, as opposed to with other members of the family, for example?

Centrelink gets criticised over many things, but when they put out an information pamphlet, they make it available in just about every language (actually over 60)  used  in Australia, except possibly those of our First Nations.

The point of being tested is not exclusively to find out if the person is her/himself in need of treatment, but to prevent or reduce cross-infection and avoid soaring numbers requiring hospitalisation.

I know that people are often very self centred, and do not immediately consider the possible impact of their actions on others. All the more reason to ensure, in the pandemic context, that they are fully aware that being tested may save the lives of other people, including ones to whom they are related.

This is where tribal and religious leaders need to be brought into the picture, because they may well be able to explain the importance of testing more effectively in a community context.

After all, most religious leaders have been cooperative in holding religious services other than in crowded churches, synagogues, mosques and temples.

We look like being limited to travel inside Australia for some time to come, while also limiting the countries from which we will accept visitors.

If we are going to be able to move around reasonably freely inside Australia, then it has to be a joint effort by everybody to ensure that we reduce to an absolute minimum the possibility of further waves of infection and consequent deaths.

Communication of the reasons why testing everyone – not necessarily only once – is incredibly important and every valid means of getting that message across should be used.

We have more than enough laws already, so we should try to use firm persuasion whenever possible – carrot rather than stick!

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Prejudice springs from ignorance

Before coming to Australia, I lived for just over 10 years in Gravesend, Kent – directly across the Thames from the Tilbury docks.

This was a time when anyone born in the British Commonwealth, was entitled to a British passport, and Tilbury was the destination for hundreds of Indian and Pakistani migrants.

It is still standard practice in both these countries, for marriages to be arranged by the families. I was briefly acquainted with a young woman from the Punjab, who had been sent to Gravesend to marry a man whose wife had died, leaving him with one or two small children needing a mother.

We had no common language, but I did establish that she was in hospital over a threatened miscarriage.

It was quite normal in Gravesend for schoolchildren to shop with their mothers to act as translators, since the women lived fairly secluded lives, socialising only with family and other women. It took a few generations for the women to become fluent in English and adapt to their new environment.

There was a degree of mild discrimination in the local ‘white’ community, but it was never intense. It often related to different food practices, as some of the possibly over-sensitive objected to the smells of the spices used in the preferred foods of the migrants.

Those migrants who worked hard and were able to buy a house, generally decorated the house in the distinctively bold colours that were also used in their clothing. More conventional members of the local community rarely even used bold colours for the external doors, let alone on the brickwork! These houses were mostly semi-detached, 2-storey houses, with small front and larger back gardens.

Some existing residents, fearing their properties might be de-valued, sold out and moved elsewhere, until one street was locally dubbed the Khyber Pass!

I was never aware of any real hostility, but when the migrant families form what is virtually a ghetto, and the women do not speak English well enough to socialise outside the migrant community, it can be hard to bridge the gap, and even harder for the ethnic community to keep up to date with official information.

There would be similar situations in Australia. Just as some older Australians lack internet skills and often fail to receive information from governments – which now rely heavily on the assumption that everyone can be contacted electronically – so too there will be pockets of migrant groups which require particularly close attention in a situation like the current pandemic.

I get the feeling that Daniel Andrews is falling over backwards to avoid any remarks  about the cluster of COVID-19 infections currently causing concern, where prejudice about the communities involved might be the outcome.

I have a friend, who is only a smidgen younger than I am, but whose aversion for most forms of technology means that I have to make sure she knows when notices to members of the bridge club where we both play have gone out!

I do not know to what extent governments use ethnic community groups to help ensure that those for whom English is not a first language receive accurate information about matters of community concern. I hope they do so to a meaningful extent.

To ensure that both the facts and the gravity of the situation are fully disseminated among all communities is a matter of real concern for us all.

Last night’s Four Corners exposé of the Newmarch Nursing Home debacle was a clear reminder of the dire consequences of failing to ensure that plans and communications which affect life and death have to be well thought through and delivered.

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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Ignorant, ill-informed or just plain stupid?

I wonder how many of you share my feeling of desperation over our failure to elect a government which believes in research, science, evidence, improving life for those who need help and generally doing a good job of governing – for our benefit, not theirs?

They have just announced a policy designed to ensure some categories of undergraduates get a better deal than do others.

They argue that we should enable those most likely to be employed following graduation as matter of priority.

Does research support their rationalisation? NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! – to echo a former, never to be forgotten worst-ever (but Scomo is rapidly challenging that status!) PM!

We have made such a botch of our choices of governments, that we manage to have one in charge of the country which clearly believes that the poor would rather live on welfare than seek a job – when the only people who benefit from the job seeking process are the private firms who get paid every time they place a job seeker.

And not to mention the heart-breaking process of job applications which get no response, or those to employers who are inundated by applicants, given the unfavourable ratio of job seekers to job vacancies.

What is more, if they are currently on benefits then they surely must have rorted the system – this is not exclusively the prerogative of government Ministers who dole out community grants with a clear bias towards those recipients whose vote you are likely to get.

And if a welfare recipient has rorted the system, then they must be punished. That punishment is specifically reserved for those who are already at the end of their wits as to how to survive, while unpaid taxes owed by wealthy corporations are not pursued and others gain by selling non-existent water which they do not own and hide their ill-gotten gains well offshore to avoid ever paying tax on interest.

We all know all these stories. They do not hit the headlines because the MSM has a vested interest in keeping a conservative government in power.

Morality, transparency, integrity, competence – are a few of the qualities we should be able to identify in our politicians.

It increasingly becomes like looking for a needle in a haystack!

I sincerely hope that pressure from the Premiers in the National Cabinet will prevent any decisions to cut benefits by the originally suggested dates, as charities and other NFPs totally lack sufficient resources to make up the desperately needed shortfall that would create!

We might be coming out of shutdown, but many businesses will not have survived, and their demise adds to the long list of required vacancies being anxiously sought by the increasingly desperate job seekers.

Yes – Black Lives Matter. Yes – Hong Kong – is being given a bum’s rush by China. Yes – we have much to protest about.

What we need to be out on the streets protesting, is lack of action on climate change. Because that guarantees a massive increase in jobs – in manufacturing powered by renewable energy.

It also ensures a healthier population when we cease pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so benefitting from reduced pollution in the air we breathe.

We cannot afford to wait another 30 years!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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Optimist, pessimist – or realist?

I have not always been an optimist, but serendipity has intervened so often in my life, that I now see helpful outcomes as more likely than less favourable ones – at least, most of the time!

I try to avoid pessimistic thoughts because that way lies depression and damage to mental health – which is currently far too common for many who have not experienced good fortune at any stage in their lives.

Politically, I guess I am a progressive who sees social justice, and active efforts to reduce inequality, as essential goals, ones which do not appear to be embraced with any conviction by our major political parties!

But I see ideology as a serious enemy to progress – and progress is not necessarily achieved through continuous growth.

Human beings are the only animals where perpetual population growth is an expected outcome – with no thought for what that means in the context of limited resources.

If we were to stabilise population growth, which could now be done humanely, without wars and pandemics, we would reduce the pressure for continual growth.

‘Growing the economy’ has been the political mantra for too long, and we are achieving that growth through creating more and more waste and pollution, exploiting less developed countries to provide what verges on slave labour, and generally guaranteeing that future generations will be less and less likely to have a life worth living!

When I graduated with a maths degree in the UK in 1957, there was a high demand for maths and science graduates to go into secondary teaching, to raise the standards – this being the time of the space race.

Nothing has changed. Skills in STEM subjects are still in short supply, and those who have those skills are not attracted into a profession which undervalues teachers – just like it undervalues all caring professions.

It has been an eye opener to see a Coalition government actively rely on specialist advice from the medical sciences in planning a path through COVID-19. Doubly surprising, because the almost total lack of understanding of any branch of science (politics and economics are not sciences!) among our politicians, has resulted in their dismissive response to any suggestion that they listen to scientific advice.

OK – almost all of us come from a background where doctors have been held in high regard because of their power of controlling life or death situations.

But our climate scientists are in exactly the same situation, knowing that we are on the path to self-destruction, just as much as any drug addict or diabetic who refuses to follow medical advice.

I am not a psychologist, so cannot begin to even hazard a guess as to why our ideological Coalition government is so addicted to promoting fossil fuels as the continuing preferred source of energy.

The growing consensus is that we are fast running out of time to make serious steps to cease using fossil fuels beyond the essential – as in making steel – and advances in the development and use of renewable energy make this a realistic goal.

Pessimism starts creeping in when I am forced to realise that this is most unlikely to happen under the current Coalition government and we are stuck with them for the best – or worst – part of another two years.

If you, or close relatives, have children, grandchildren, great grandchildren – surely you want them to have the best lives possible?

The pandemic has disastrously affected our economy, and there will be slow progress in recovering, with so many now unemployed and so many jobs no longer available.

But this is where we cannot afford to look back and seek to return to ‘normal’, because the old ‘normal’, with a sluggish economy and increasing inequality, was dooming our kids’ futures, anyway.

Experts are telling us that now is the time for a massive move towards developing and refining all forms of renewable energy, creating job opportunities in the process.

I am pessimistic that Coalition policies will lead us in this direction – so we have got to make it possible – through civil disobedience, if necessary (let’s not go as far as the French Revolution).

Black Lives Matter is an issue we should support, if we have a moral bone in our bodies. That ties in with working our butts off to reduce inequality, whether in wealth or related to ethnicity.

We do not deserve to seek a comfortable life if we can only do do at a cost to the lives of others.

Morality is not a religious issue. It is the foundation stone of a viable society. In fact the apparent absence of morality in many who claim to follow some religion or cult is seriously high.

We elect governments to develop policies to support our lives – for all of us, not a select few.

If they cannot do this effectively, it is up to us to make them!

That is realism!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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How real is history?

Even witnesses to an accident have a different perception of what happened, and the more they try to remember what they actually saw and heard, the less certain they become. Ask any crime scene investigator!

Catching a photo or a video might appear to provide a more accurate picture of the event, but, again where precisely the individual recording the scene is located, in relation to the recorded event might, and often does, affect how the picture can be interpreted.

We cannot change history – but we can never be certain it has been recorded or reported accurately, and it is rare for the record to not be influenced, at least to some extent, by the personal perspectives of, and choices made by, the recorder, even if only in what to include and what to exclude..

What is indelibly ingrained in the first memory of someone hurt in an accident, is the pain.

I have fallen many times. I could not tell you how I looked, as I fell, but I can tell you – if I survive the fall (clearly I always have done, so far!) – exactly which bits of me hurt as a result of the fall.

You can see where I am bruised – I bruise very easily and the bruises appear remarkably quickly! – and, if you have medical knowledge, you can assess whether I have broken any bones or possibly incurred more serious internal injuries.

But you can never experience or record my pain.

However nature has a remedy. If we recover from the fall, we remember that we were hurt, but no longer feel the pain.

Around the world, wars, invasions and catastrophic events have left people bereaved maimed, grieving – or dead. The survivors each have an individual story and for many the pain never really goes away.

The concept of human rights is a relatively modern phenomenon, even though, through the ages, there have always been people who sought to help others, just as there have also always been people who seek a goal, carelessly destroying any who get in their way while they stride towards it.

Some countries – even ones like the USA, which regard themselves as being modern and enlightened (laughter off-stage) – still have the death penalty for certain crimes. Yet those same countries often have a very flawed justice system. And if you execute someone who is not the real culprit, that situation is not open to reversal.

We are all imperfect beings, who make mistakes, hurt other people – sometimes deliberately – and experience many emotions. Much of our experience is not recorded, and those records are often questioned.

What is – IMHO – indisputable is that descendants of those forced into slavery by invading Europeans, and transported to Europe and the Americas, are members of the human race and entitled to as much care and respect as all other members of that race.

No – revise that statement – they are entitled to more care and respect, to recompense them for much of what they have been denied because of their origins.

What is done, cannot be undone is a trite but true statement.

When the First Fleet, and those that followed it, arrived in Australia, in their ignorance they regarded our First Nations as savages and made a good fist of trying to destroy them.

Yet we now know that they have a long history of developing a culture which saw nurturing the land as their duty. Their culture is, in fact, very complex and contains many elements which are far superior to our money-centred life-style.

I personally feel that is not really fair to judge the past by standards which we have adopted only recently.

Pulling down statues of slave traders, or others who are no longer regarded highly, is not necessary, because it does not change what they did. What would be more effective would be to erect an easily-read plaque which critiques the damage done through their actions.

In our criminal law system, intent to cause harm is a critical element of finding guilt. If a political climate sanctions certain behaviours, then where does the guilt lie?

We are at a watershed in history as regards discrimination in first world nations.

If we genuinely support human rights, then surely we need to sanction all – be they Presidents, police officers or governments – who promote or condone discrimination on racial grounds, particularly if it leads to harm, or death, of anyone subject to that discrimination.

In Australia, our education system MUST incorporate the history of our First Nations if we hope to change our attitudes to any significant extent. We need to consult community leaders and involve them in decision making and we need to stop allowing mining companies from destroying heritage treasures tens of thousands of years old.

If we stopped worshipping money, just think how much better our world might be!

We cannot change the past but we can and should make a real effort to ensure our behaviour in the future leaves a history which does not make our descendants ashamed of their ancestors.

And if we are to have a future, we need to start listening to the experts in all of the sciences, not just health!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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Women must not be ignored

Have you ever felt you are being ignored by everybody – or, even worse, treated like a doormat?

If so, then you are probably female!

All generalisations have to allow that there are exceptions, but on a proportionate basis, I stand by my statement.

The vast majority of people who work in the ‘caring professions’ are women. Have you ever stopped to wonder why?

Because, for the most part, few men are interested in taking on the required duties, for the pay that is offered!

Early childhood and primary teachers, nurses and health care workers are among the most obvious – and have been the most needed workers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

How much gratitude have they been shown by government? About as much as the volunteer firefighters who ‘enjoy their work’!

The most important years in a child’s life are the first 5 – with the first 3 being the stand-out years.

Guess who spends the most time with the child, during this period, in most cultures?

The mother, and other female relatives, closely followed, in the case of a working mother, by an early childhood educator.

Increasingly fathers are taking more interest in their children from an early age, but as a broad generalisation, mothers spend more time than fathers – and practically all early childhood teachers are female.

So what – you might ask?

Well, the latest government decision in relation to child-care would never have been made by a woman. In fact, a woman would have been offering higher pay to early childhood educators and ensuring that access to the child care service remains free in the future.

Many are now criticising the government for its poor treatment of those employed in education, whether it be in universities – which have had no support from government –  or in early childhood education – which should be a compulsory and government-provided part of state education.

Among women who become national leaders, Jacinda Ardern is a stand-out, having become a mother so soon after becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand, and having so successfully steered her country through the COVID-19 crisis.

OK. She had a lot going for her.

Like Australia, her country is an island – a massive advantage in keeping out a viral infection – but hers is smaller. She has a partner who is willing to let his own career take a backseat to his taking on a larger than usual part of the role of parenting a small child.

Being a woman has almost certainly given the New Zealand PM a greater sensitivity to the impact of the policies she developed, on the people affected by them. After all, that is another aspect of the preponderance of females in the caring professions, who are regularly just taken for granted under male policy-makers! They feel for the pain of others.

It is not enough to do the right thing. It is incredibly important that you work to minimise any adverse impacts your policies have, and ensure that everyone understands how and why the policy was formulated, while ensuring that pressure is relieved as soon as it can be, and resisting pressure to move too soon.

Here in Australia, there are so many occasions when a predominantly male group of decision-makers are clearly tin-eared and lacking in empathy when it comes to making policies which significantly affect certain groups adversely, that I am sure women will have a lot of similar reactions to those of many Indigenous groups.

The assistance packages which the Australian government belatedly implemented have proved incredibly inequitable, again demonstrating the lack of sensitivity in government.

It has often been said that fewer if any countries would go to war if they were governed by women.

I would venture to suggest that a great deal of current policy decisions would be vastly improved if more input from women was incorporated.

Well – maybe not from Bridget McKenzie unless you, too, support the Coalition!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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The governments of Australia condemned for incompetence

I am sure I am not alone in having a high opinion of Alan Kohler, who regularly reports on business and finance issues.

Hopefully many of you will have read the article published today (10/06/20) in the Murdoch press Business section, titled What we’re facing is not a ‘recession’.

If you can get behind the paywall to read the whole article on page 32, please do. Copyright does not permit me to reproduce the whole article here but this is a taster.

It’s not just the Federal Government. All Australian governments have made a series of decisions over the past four months that have destroyed thousands of businesses and put more than a million people out of work, and none of them have properly compensated all of the afflicted.

In fact, targeted support for those affected by the business closures should have been announced simultaneously with the closures and it should have been unlimited.

It is a disgrace that this wasn’t done, that so many lives have been devastated while others have sailed on unaffected because their employer doesn’t happen to rely on travel or crowds mingling together to make money.

Mr Kohler has no quarrel with the fact of the closures, which have almost certainly saved hundreds of lives, rather he says “The problem — the only problem — is that having decided to make people unemployed, reduce incomes and close businesses, they did little to help those affected for weeks, and when the help came, it was untargeted and capped.”

He goes on to offer a clear solution and to criticise the fact that the government is pretending it is being generous in giving help to anyone at all – instead of openly admitting that we all need help, that it is not our fault but theirs – if fault is the right word, because the reason was to prevent a more serious crisis.

But governments at all levels are complicit in the decisions made, and the implementation of those decisions, without a ready-made plan to minimise the damage.

Any government worth electing must be prepared for disasters. The Ruby Princess was another example of unpreparedness.

When you board any commercial plane, you are advised of the process to follow in the event of a disaster. It is very rare for any flight to experience a disaster, and we all know that the probability of surviving one unscathed is slim. But at least we have been provided with a hope of survival.

It would be an interesting exercise for someone to list all the disasters which can affect the whole population of a country, and a pandemic would have to be high on the list.

So procedures to follow have to be prepared in advance, ready to put into immediate effect – and we did get fair warning of the corona virus disaster!

But if governments are going to require the population to take actions which put their lives and livelihoods at risk, then it is those governments which have to wear the cost – and Alan Kohler’s article indicates a simple process for doing this (was that beyond the thinking of government officials?) and the outcome must be equitable.

If my memory serves me well, after the Bali bombings, a special unit was set up, based at the Royal Darwin Hospital to be immediately available in the event of another similar occurrence.

In the present crisis, public servants and many other workers have kept their jobs and are minimally affected.

But many in the arts and entertainment areas and in tertiary education have had their lives and their futures shattered.

And as for those non-nationals on visas, along with refugees in the community, and those poor souls, normally incarcerated offshore, but currently packed into hotels, and essentially forgotten while waiting for medical treatment –  they are being damaged with no avenue for recompense.

PLEASE do not praise the Prime Minister for doing a good job.

Tell him to listen to the appropriate experts – and that also applies to developing policy to tackle the inexorable path of climate change.

I have noted in a previous article, how Darwin, looking like it had been hit by a nuclear bomb after Cyclone Tracy, was restored by the Federal Government (this was before the NT gained self-government) and experienced a cashless society for weeks, with the government covering the cost of establishing food drops for those who stayed and also assisting those who were evacuated inter-state.

Of course, there will be critics who say this occurred on Gough Whitlam’s watch and he spent money like water!

Well – none of us can survive without water, either, and the cost of caring is usually far less than the cost of ignoring a desperate situation.

PLEASE read Alan Kohler’s article if you can and pressure governments to seek advice from qualified sources rather than fumbling and bumbling along with ill-thought out plans, developed on the run.

What is always apparent with this Coalition government – it is reactive not proactive – and if we ever needed proactive policies it is NOW!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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In whom can we trust?

According to Ernst & Young (EY), the renewable energy sector is approaching a situation where it does not need government subsidies.

By contrast, “G20 countries are subsidising oil, gas and coal explorers to the tune of $US88 billion ($100 billion) annually through grants, loans, and tax deductions.”

We have to ask ourselves – WHY???

Have governments sold their collective soul to fossil fuel and mining companies for a post-politics sinecure?

They sure as hell do not put the electors high in their list of priorities when it comes to providing much-needed assistance!

As far as Robo-debt is concerned, the government has not only admitted it acted unlawfully, and has undertaken to repay the money demanded from a multitude of Centrelink beneficiaries, many of whom paid up while not accepting that the demand was legitimate, but it has gone further, and is trying to head off a class action seeking damages for their illegal behaviour.

There will always be a few bad eggs in every basket, but the flawed process used by the government to identify those whom they then accused of having defrauded Centrelink, wrongly identified hundreds who either owed nothing or at least less than was being demanded from them.

And this is in a situation where Gestapo-like tactics are being used with people who are largely highly vulnerable.

It appears that the ill-fated algorithm was developed by Centrelink in response to a requirement from government that Centrelink raise revenue by recovering funds over-paid to recipients.

And this is the same government which has been begged to take action to recover outstanding tax from corporations.

Almost simultaneously, it is alleged that the ATO required its tax collectors to issue garnishee orders on hundreds of debtors, ignoring the circumstances of those affected. An investigation is underway, but the whistle-blower who revealed the situation is being sued by ATO, with more than 100 years imprisonment at stake.

What faith can we have that our elected government develops policies for our benefit, when it creates super-departments like Human Services (a ludicrously mis-named organisation, the way it offers its services is far from humane!), the ATO and – it has to be added – Home Affairs, all of which appear to create more misery than happiness, while allowing the corporate sector to flout the rules.

Is this really the sort of government we want?

And the fact that they are currently hiding from scrutiny, by preventing Parliament from doing its proper job, is further cause for concern.

The National Cabinet has done a good job to date, but they must still prevent the Coalition from withdrawing desperately needed financial assistance, and throwing thousands if not millions into penury.

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

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When I went through my secondary education at a state-funded C of E Grammar school in the UK, we had a very good general education, which included Art, Biology, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Physics and Scripture. We also, being an all-girls school, spent a year on needlework and…

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