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Welfare is not a dirty word

Christian Porter doesn’t know the meaning of the word welfare.

In general terms it means “the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group.”

More specifically, when speaking about the government, it means “statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need”.

Listening to Mr Porter, one could be forgiven for thinking that welfare meant an unfair burden placed on hard-working taxpayers by bludgers who would rather sit around drinking all day. It’s very clear that anyone on welfare should feel ashamed of themselves – they are obviously just not trying hard enough.

He is suggesting we use “mutual obligation requirements” for welfare recipients to help them get off drugs and alcohol.

“Why could mutual obligation not extend, in appropriate circumstances, to an obligation to refrain from excessive alcohol or from illicit drug use where the evidence clearly shows it creates barriers to employment, to obligations to turn up in a timely manner to key work appointments, to pay debts owed to the taxpayer, or to ensure children attend school?” he said.

Because everyone on welfare is an addict – we all know that.

There is no question that many people do need help with addictions. Cutting off their income is hardly a solution.

There is no recognition of the reasons people might turn to drugs or alcohol in the first place and no practical suggestions of how we can help them with more affordable rehabilitation beds with qualified staff (as opposed to expensive private shonky clinics), affordable housing, counselling services, community support and prevention programs, childcare, educational opportunity, skills retraining – lifting them out of the poverty that grinds them down.

Making them feel ashamed and guilty, vilified by politicians, media, and a nasty section of the community, is not helping.

Another of Porter’s suggestions is that we link welfare payments to school attendance.

Because cutting off all their income will make the kids eager to get to school and enjoy the learning experience? Can you imagine the household fights this could cause?

You can’t punish kids into wanting to go to school. That is something the Coalition can’t seem to grasp in so many of their policies. They spend money on truancy officers and more police while cutting funding to education and community programs that were achieving good results.

Porter also argued against increasing the Newstart allowance, saying the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) wanted to increase Newstart by $53 a week, at a cost to the budget of $7.7bn, but that was hard to justify.

It isn’t just ACOSS who is calling for this.

In 2012, the Business Council of Australia made a submission to a Senate inquiry saying:

“The rate of Newstart no longer meets a reasonable standard of adequacy. There is concern that the low rate of Newstart itself now presents a barrier to employment and risks entrenching poverty.”

In April this year, KPMG released a plan to reduce Australia’s structural deficit by $12 billion. They too said Newstart must be increased.

“Due to political rhetoric, payments for those who are unemployed have fallen behind other payments, to the point that it is commonly recognised that Newstart is inadequate, and significantly so,” the Solving the Structural Deficit report states.

KPMG believes dole payments should be sufficient to “allow for one to actively seek employment”.

“The low level of Newstart is encouraging the unemployed to seek higher income support in the form of disability payments. This is both psychologically damaging for the individuals and costly for government. The differential between the disability payment and Newstart needs to be substantially reduced although it need not be eliminated,” KPMG found. “The low payment has the effect of locking people into jobs for fear that they could not survive on Newstart and cannot risk moving jobs. There may even be dimensions here in the start-up and small business sector. The very low safety net may act as a disincentive to take risks.”

Mr Porter’s response to this recommendation was to dismiss it.

“This Government doesn’t believe in more taxing for the sake of more welfare spending, nor in borrowing more money to expand welfare expenditure. And where savings can be found inside the welfare system, the priority has been for expenditure in important areas such as childcare and budget repair rather than across the board increases in base payments.”

More recently, when he launched his great big scary numbers report at the Press Club, Mr Porter went into typical Coalition double-talk to justify ignoring the calls for an increase.

He wants “more thorough and consistent mutual obligations” and “better structures, rules and systems.”

He said his “priority investment approach” was less preoccupied with cutting spending on social services and more focused on identifying and eliminating “welfare traps” through evidence-based approaches and innovative policy solutions.

What a load of waffle.

He says he can’t justify spending about $2 billion a year to increase Newstart by $53 a week. How about we cancel a squadron or two of Abbott’s fighter jets, or one or two of his subs. Surely we can find some savings in the $1 trillion dollars the government intends spending on defence over the next 20 years.

The weekly dole payment that someone is supposed to live on is less than the politicians claim in accommodation allowance every night they don’t sleep in their own bed. How about we build an accommodation wing at Parliament House and save ourselves a fortune. Instead of 226 comcars driving individuals to the airport at the end of a parliamentary session, how about we buy a few buses.

While the dole has purposely been kept below the minimum wage – as an incentive for people to find work – Newstart has not been increased in real terms since 1994.

The unemployed need the resources, not to just survive, but to be able to get a job – rent, food, healthcare, clothing, transport, phone and internet.

Not only would an increase help with the “basic physical and material well-being of people in need”, it would act as a stimulus to the economy as every cent would be spent, boosting demand, thus creating more jobs, so more people “can get off welfare”- what a strange phrase that is.

As Greg Jericho points out, Porter’s approach still very much seems to be about impact on the budget, rather than the impact on the people.

Someone should remind him of the meaning of the word ‘welfare’.

 

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49 comments

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  1. paulwalter

    It is a species of dog whistling of the sort they’ve used re asylum seekers and migrants, gays and other minorities. They have never had any scruples, it is only a sort of Judenhecht in another form, albeit much milder, but malevolent just the same.

    There is always an undertone of intimidation…killing them softly.

    Useful politics if you are that amoral, but corrosive as cynical reinforcement of prejudices that ought to be discouraged, not fostered for base reasons.

  2. mark

    Charles Christian Porter.Charlie suits him better.mark

  3. keerti

    It is little wonder that porter doesn’t understand the meaning of welfare. His very name appears to challenge his linguistic ability! christian…one who follows christ a possible human aclaimed for the virtues of humilty and compassion…….porter …someone who carries…CHRISTIAN PORTER WOULD REASONABLY BE A NAME FOR A PERSON WHO CARRIES THE VIRTUES OF A CHRISTLIKE PERSON. PORTER FAILS! NO SIGN OF HUMILITY, NO SIGN OF COMPASSION. HE DOESN’T CARRY (OR LIFT UP), BUT RATHER DUMPS HIS JUDGEMENT ON THOSE LESS FORTUNATE! He forgets that he is a servant of the people. The very people who are the victims of his policies

  4. helvityni

    Yes but, no but, it’s all dirty when it comes out of a mouth of a Liberal.

    paulwalter, love your “killing them softly”, very apt here…

  5. keerti

    It becomes more and more clear that this government wants to create an even poorer underclass and eliminate the remains of the middle class. Will they attempt to re-place qualifications for the right to vote next? Mind voting is becoming less relevant with each passing year!

  6. Ruth Lipscombe

    Scrap the billions Abbott threw at useless subs etc and use the money saved on job creation.

  7. helvityni

    On Q&A Porter rattled on and on about DATA, it had not entered into his Liberal mindset that cuts on welfare affect PEOPLE…

    Sad how many of them seem to lack both hearts and brains…

  8. Steve Laing

    Penny wise, pound foolish. As my Granny used to say. And that’s the LNP all over.

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    This government truly believe that all can look after themselves, that government services along with welfare makes people weak. All are creators of their own plight.

    They really believe the market will provide. Worse they believe any government interference and spending will prevent this from happening.

    People serve the market, not the other way round.

    Their ideology will destroy us all.

    Capitalism will continue to be boom and bust.

  10. Klaus Petrat

    For 30 Years (In Australia) and 15 years in Germany, I have been paying taxes. In Australia approximately 50k tax per annum. Sounds all very good, except when you had a company collapsing just at the wrong time. After paying out first the banks (there goes the house), secondly the secured creditors and thirdly employees (of what was left after the Administrator cleaned out) [even this order is tilted towards the big end of town], I am now a PAYEE with a good salary and again pay taxes.

    However, having lost the super and about 4 years of work left, i will be called a bludger, a leaner, a dirty welfare recipient etc.

    Enough Self Reflection. The only bludgers and leaners I see, are the ones which never held a real job, work a couple of years as prime minister or MP and get hundreds of thousands in annual pension, millions in super etc…

    So, where do I find the bludgers?

  11. economicreform

    Incidentally, the structural deficit does not need “solving” or “repairing”. It ‘s not a problem. The real problem lies in having a bunch of politicians holding cabinet positions who are completely ignorant of basic macroeconomic principles.

  12. crypt0

    The bludgers can be found in Canberra … in droves.
    Whenever i hear the words dole bludgers, I automatically think of tax bludgers.
    And aren’t there a lot of them?
    Porter is looking to import the NZ system of welfare.
    Between 2013- 2014, people living rough on the streets around Auckland more than doubled.
    I’m sure christian knows this … will that be of concern to him ?
    Of course not.
    He’s a Liebral.
    I’m alright, Jack.

  13. Klaus Petrat

    yes crypt0, LNP mentality. It’s in their genes.

  14. kerri

    Here’s an idea? Why don’t we just tell local businesses, suoermarkets and the like to not serve people on welfare? It would have the same effect as cutting their welfare. Maybe schools could be told to confiscate the lunches of those kids whose parents are on welfare. Trams and buses could refuse to let them on board and protective services could kick them off trains and make them walk? That’d make them want a job quick smart! And maybe so we could tell, at a glance, who are welfare recipients they could be made to wear some distinctive mark, I dunno like maybe a gold star stitched to all their clothes?

  15. bobrafto

    There are 2 welfare sectors, the rich one and the poor one.

    The rich sector needs more of a leg up than the poor sector.

    Why?

    becos the LNP says so and they’re more deserving and there is no problem on the budget for the negative gearers and the super rorters and the big tax evaders.

    Unfortunately that’s what a lot of people believe and it’s the dole bludger’s fault as well as Labor’s.

  16. Travelalot

    Another video from Nick Hanauer for out conservative government

  17. Wayne Turner

    Attacking the less well off,is “class warfare” Libs and Nats style.
    These attacks to “pass the buck” and another “distraction”,because this government is useless and can’t help create decent paying stable jobs.So much for jobs and growth.

    The reals reason they don’t like them include “reinforce” the ignorant stereotype of “dole bludger” for votes.Also because they don’t pay BRIBES to the Libs and Nats – Hence why they love the mining and gambling industries for example.It’s also why they hate workers unions – If workers unions paid BRIBES to the Libs and Nats,then they would suddenly be loved.

    The Libs and Nats LOVE welfare for themselves,and their bribers from the big end of town.

  18. Miriam English

    Yes, Travelalot, that’s an excellent one. Another that TED did publish was Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming in which he gives a warning to the wealthy that it’s in their own best interests to deal fairly with the rest of society. (Oops, you posted it while I was posting… I’ll leave my link there though because it’s an alternative address.)

    Trouble is, people like those in our government and many in our business community and many of our wealthy are strangely two-faced puritans. They believe we should not have indulgences and that our sole purpose in life is to work until we drop. However they feel quite differently when it comes to themselves. They are special and deserve silk and gold and all the luxuries life can offer because they’re the elite, born to rule us poor simple sheeple because we need the tough love from our masters.

    They need to be rudely pulled back down to Earth — pack of over-privileged morons.

    Give me a wealthy gay businessman like Nick Hanauer with a good brain between his ears any day over those horrid, fake, puritanical Christians.

  19. abbienoiraude

    Tip of the iceberg Kaye and a well exposed one you have done there. Thank you.

    I had a brother who once was a comcar driver.

    He took it up for ‘pin money’ after retiring very well off after selling three businesses. Way back then he was getting $22 an hour and $25 after five hours of continual duty. Meanwhile my daughter who is a qualified Dispensary Technician was getting around $15 an hour and trying to live on it after fleeing DV!

    So when you wrote;

    “How about we build an accommodation wing at Parliament House and save ourselves a fortune. Instead of 226 comcars driving individuals to the airport at the end of a parliamentary session, how about we buy a few buses.”
    I yelled YES so loudly my husband jumped with surprise!

    We are part of the ‘bludgers’ Porter demonises as part of his lofty ambition.

    I don’t mind if I swap with him for a month or two so he can realise what is involved in being a carer to someone on DSP. The money I would get during that time could see me out to my gaining old age pension age in 2 years time. I am that able to ‘live off the smell of an oily rag’ ( as my mum used to say). It would be lovely to be able to afford “drugs and alcohol.” Don’t blame for one second those wallowing under the neo-liberalism of this cruel and christian government for turn to escape.
    What would this ‘Christian’ do?

  20. Jaquix

    OK, lets imagine the Libs got their wish, a fairy godmother waved a magic wand over them and allowed them to cut off all forms of welfare (at this stage disregard corporate welfare). Not one dollar to the disabled, out of a job, or aged person. Imagine what would happen. Small businesx would lose half their customers overnight. Shops, restaurants, supermarkets, hardware shops, hairdressers, doctors, petrol stations, all would be scared out of their wits, many small operators wouldnt be able to afford rent, so would fold. Landlords as well as families would default on loans. People would be starving. Children malnourished, go to school in rags. Old people begging in the streets. In fact you would have a similar scenario to that of the Great Depression, when there was no welfare and much needless suffering.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Exactly Jaquix. That is the crazimess we must endure from these ignorant so-called leaders. It has been shown that increasing the income of the top 20% leads to a reduction in GDP whereas increasing the income of the bottom 20% increases GDP. Likewise, every dollar invested in education brings a far greater return than what they get on the $120 billion sitting there in our future fund.

  22. Miriam English

    Hmmm… maybe what we need is a general strike by unemployed people. A fortnight where we don’t spend any money at all. Sure, it would be difficult, but it could be done. If we could convince the wider population to strike too then it would have the dual advantages of scaring the willies out of the money managers when the see the economy take a hit during those two weeks, and it would focus attention on the fact that money for the unemployed and low wage earners doesn’t just magically stop with them; it feeds immediately through to the rest of society around them — supermarkets, newsagents, accommodation, grocers, and so on. Twenty percent of the population stops spending money for two weeks… that’s gotta hurt.

  23. abbienoiraude

    @Miriam English
    You speak for me!

    Enough.
    Every time you give a dollar to a welfare recipient ( like Rudd did during the GFC) it gets sunk back into the economy.
    Smart move..EVERY time.

    Neoliberalism refuses to accept this fact. ( NB IPA)

  24. MichaelW

    Meanwhile, on Wednesday the high court will hand down it’s ruling on bigger pensions and increases in travel allowances for politicians. I can’t wait to see the result.
    Where are our politicians? Are they on their Christmas break already? How many weeks or days or is it hours per year these leaners actually work?

  25. Miriam English

    Holy cow! Politicians are getting more money?? They’re already some of the most generously paid politicians on the planet. How can they justify this?

    Does anybody know who a petition would be sent to in the High Court?

    The current judges appear to be:

    Chief Justice French AC,
    Justice Kiefel AC,
    Justice Bell AC,
    Justice Gageler,
    Justice Keane AC,
    Justice Nettle,
    Justice Gordon.

    I found the postal address:

    High Court of Australia,
    PO Box 6309,
    Kingston ACT 2604

    Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any email addresses for them so if I got a petition started it’d have to be printed out and hand-delivered. Anybody here live in Canberra? The High Court is in Parkes, ACT.

    How many hours do our politicians actually work? How many days in the year?

    A backbencher gets almost $200,000 per year ($199,040), while our illustrious PM gets well over half a million dollars each year ($517,504). So a backbencher has to make do on close to $4,000 each week, and Turnbull, with his tens of millions stashed offshore in tax havens, has to squeak by with just under $10,000 each week — $1,417 each day… the poor impoverished dear. How the hell can they justify it?

    No bloody wonder they have no clue what the rest of Australia has to deal with. Economic problems? What economic problems? Life is cushy if you’re an Australian politician.

    Gosh, if we’re paying them that amount of money you’d think they’d be actually doing something positive instead of victimising the most vulnerable and stripping our society of the past century’s improvements and having their hands out to big business and mining companies for more money. There goes the rationale for big wages: that it reduces the temptation of being bribed. That clearly doesn’t work.

  26. Miriam English

    Here is a bit of an eye-opener. Politicians’ wages are very generous, but that gets greatly inflated by all the other perks that get piled on:
    Eye-watering extent of pollies’ perks

    Note that the wages given in that article are actually out of date. They were increased beyond those numbers last year.

    I think politicians’ wages could be halved and they’d still be very generously paid. I’d also remove ALL of their perks. They’ve amply shown they abuse them. They can pay for things out of their own pockets like the rest of us have to. And they should pay for their own superannuation or retire on the same pension the rest of us do. Why the hell should they get a hefty wage forever for doing nothing? …especially if they’ve done criminal damage to the country.

  27. wam

    the unemployed have been studied by lambe and she asserts that cashless welfare would work in tassie. Wonder if any unemployed voted for her???
    Lord vesty and his type of slavery with payment by sugar flour and tea is revived minus the mubbage (nicotine chewing mixed with ash and kept in capstan tins).
    How ‘ard is it too see that if the rich did a piece of lifting and paid tax/medicare levy because they couldn’t hide income no worries but???
    ps no cash no strike no chance of dignity.
    wonder if taswegians will feel victimised by being identified as ‘welfare’.

  28. Matters Not

    Settle down, the High Court is not involved in this decision making process in any shape or form. It’s the:

    http://www.remtribunal.gov.au/about-us

    In fact it’s this very tribunal that decides on the remuneration of High Court members.

  29. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    They are referring to this which is indeed a high court case….

    Retired federal politicians will get bigger pensions and more free travel paid by the taxpayer if the High Court rules in their favour this week.

    The court will give its ruling on Wednesday after it heard a challenge by four former MPs – Labor’s Barry Cunningham, Tony Lamb and Barry Cohen, and Liberal John Moore – seeking a big boost to their entitlements.

    But if they’re successful, the ruling won’t just benefit the four of them. It could benefit up to 350 former MPs – including recently retired politicians like Bronwyn Bishop and Philip Ruddock – and 100 spouses.

    A positive ruling from the court could also give former MPs unlimited free business-class travel on the Life Gold Pass. Changes have limited them to 10 return flights a year but the plaintiffs want that overturned.

    They are using section 51 of the constitution – made famous in the Aussie comedy classic The Castle – to challenge legislative changes that have slowed the growth of their retirement allowances.

    They claim the changes were an unlawful acquisition of their property by the Commonwealth – the same argument the Kerrigan family used to fend off developers who wanted to take their home.

    One of the litigants, Labor backbencher Tony Lamb, paid just $35,297 into his super account during his nine-year parliamentary career – but has so far been paid $1.3 million in benefits.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/mps-perks-court-to-rule-on-bigger-pensions-more-free-travel-for-retired-politicians-20161007-grx2jt.html

    Whilst the case refers to ex-politicians elected before 2004, it is interesting to note from the article,….

    Choppergate led to an independent review of the entitlements system, which delivered its report in March. The government said at the time it accepted all 36 of the review’s recommendations but more than six months later it has not actually implemented a single one.

  30. helvityni

    wam, next it will no cards, just a weekly carbon box from Salvation Army full of no- names cans of tasteless food , and a black plastic bag full of old dank-smelling clothes from Vinnies…wrong size, mate. Stop whinging, just wear them too small…

    Dignity, you got to work for it. But, but, there are no jobs…

  31. helvityni

    Oops, a cardboard box 🙂

  32. Miriam English

    Thanks Kaye.

    Those retired scumbags who are whining that they need more than 10 free business class flights per year (not even willing to settle for economy class!) are living in a fantasy world where they are naturally entitled to whatever they want because they sucked at the teat of society in an excessively well-paid job with low work expectations and they expect to continue with the same.

    Why don’t they pay for their travel out of their fat pension payments like other Australians with stingy pensions have to? And now they want even fatter pensions and unlimited free business class flights??? Screw them!

    Who do they think they are? Bastards! This utterly infuriates me!

    Interesting that four of them were Labor MPs and one LNP.

  33. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee.
    ““How about we build an accommodation wing at Parliament House and save ourselves a fortune”
    We wouldn’t, too many loopholes.
    Various States have different deals and QLD already provides accomodation for 80 or so MPs,
    I haven’t had a feed there since last year so prices may have increased but the food, all sudsidised was top notch
    Pollies can salary sacrifice 100% of income and technically live on allowances .
    from 2013
    QUEENSLAND MPs will be able to claim an extra $105 a day to cover the cost of meals while at State Parliament.
    The MPs have been granted the payment despite having access to taxpayer-subsidised meals for as little as $4.20.
    Eighty of the 89 MPs who have free accommodation at the Parliamentary Annexe will be eligible for payments, with no receipts needed.
    Nine mostly city-based MPs who are not provided with a room because of space restrictions can already claim a $315 daily travel allowance for an overnight stay in Brisbane.
    MPs and their guests currently have access to taxpayer-subsidised meals at the parliamentary canteen with hot dinners for as little as $4.20.

    At the Members’ Dining Room, a buffet breakfast can be had for $6.65, and a three-course meal for $10.55.

  34. Kaye Lee

    Close the loopholes. No-one ever paid for my lunch at work – ok occasionally someone shouted, but to get a $105 a day meal allowance when they provide a subsidised canteen is ridiculous. These people think they are celebrities. It would do them good to have to pack their own lunch like most of us do.

  35. cornlegend

    Miriam English
    Until the whole system gets a huge shake up nothing will change and NONE of those elected now would instigate change.
    The other thing that needs totally scrapping and starting again on, is TAXATION
    The only one carrying the can for tax is the poor old PAYE taxpayer and even moreso the the ones closer to minumum wage as usually their employers don’t offer benefits.
    I have to plead guilty myself to minimising the taxes I pay but I do so within the guidelines of the ATO,
    9 family members and 2 employees leave next friday to go to {our annual holiday} a “Training and Development” exercise in Amilla Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives wher, travel, accomodation, meals etc are all tax deductable .
    The other dodges like Novated car leasing, salary sacrificing, salary packaging is a bit of a growth industry
    and ways to minimise tax, avoid gst etc
    Without salary packaging
    Your pay .> Income Tax.> Purchased Item .> Take home pay
    With salary packaging
    Your pay .> Purchased Item .>Income Tax.>Take home pay

    from an ad, aimed to pollies and medium businesses
    Novated car leasing
    No GST to pay on your car purchase
    Save on tax by using pre-tax income on insurance, rego, CTP, fuel, servicing and other running costs
    Hassle free with one, all inclusive fortnightly payment.

    Try getting a shop assistant from Woolies some of these benefits or the casual part timer from a fast food joint.
    Time to burn the current tax system and start a fair and equitable system where those who can pay, should and those on less than the average wage shouldn’t

  36. Trish Corry

    Great points corny. Also Bowen pointed out on Insiders this morning that the minimum wage is dropping considerably compared to the past and they want to take away penalty rates without compensation. We know that if Penalty rates are removed and compensation is put in it’s place, the system will just be more an more inequitable for these employees. They will have one round of meagre compensation and then it will be whittled away to nothing.

  37. cornlegend

    Trish,
    The Americanisation of the workforce :-{
    It gets to a stage where they can take no more.I watched a doco on Trump, interviewing workers, the dispossessed, unionists who are at breaking point {East Cleveland} and are even prepared to back Trump.
    One compared Trump to a wolf, Hillary to a fox and all the unemployed, homeless, low paid , as the chickens
    It’s not who will devour them just which one will do it quicker, and they being the first time voters who supported Obama so strongly and feeling forgotten after 8 years of Democrats that they are prepared to give Trump a go.
    Desperation and need drives people to extremes
    People are writing Trump off.
    A bit soon I feel

  38. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The ‘mutual obligations’ system that anti-Christ Porter and his LNP Degenerates, as well as the Labor Party, enjoy inflicting on Welfare recipients is yet again a convenient form of slave labour that suits the well positioned or economically comfortable, while pretending to provide voluntary labour for worthwhile community enterprises.

    Anything that is forced is not voluntary and often reaps the opposite to the goodwill that should accompany true voluntary service.

    Bring on MMT where there is a guaranteed basic, living income for a wide range of jobs that currently fall conveniently under the banner of ‘voluntary’.

    Additionally, bring on SUFFicient and ACCessible government backed Micro Finance Incentive Programs for low and no income people on Welfare so that they may move themselves off Welfare and into self-employment with growing their own enterprises based on their intelllects, skills and qualifications.

  39. The Faceless Man

    Bloodlust, really.

  40. The Faceless Man

    I would happily and relentlessly fight to prevent another young unpaid carer having to go through what I did. My familt tree is made of hero’s who fought the Nazi’s as rebels, warriors who defended their land from greedy pious Conquistadors, the Peruvian\Bolivian advance and again against that tyrant Pinochet. I have family that disappeared during this time. To this day they still fight in the form of active protest for the plight of the Mapuche, which is very similar to the aboriginal sufferings here. The Conquistadors never made it past the Atacama, Peru lost Tacna. Bolivia, it’s sea and we hall know how Pinochet ended. They never said it would happen to them, but it did and they had to sacrifice lives to make good, I wonder, do we the Australian people have what it takes to stop this madness when it occur’s here? Do you believe that an undoubtedly emotionally charged protest attended by a massive turnout of welfare recipients wouldn’t end in chaos? Just how much do you estimate the police to value our lives in that situation? As we are helped less our problems grow, fester, infect and spread. Our days get shoter and the chains of bondage have become digitalized.

    Ps Helvityni, does the word ‘Hel’ ring any bells?

  41. helvityni

    Yes, Faceless, Helsinki, Helga, Helena, help, helicopter , hello, Hellas, Helmut, hell…and then some more…what about you?

  42. The Faceless Man

    Extremely off topic but profoundly interesting (at least to me anyways)
    Do a bit of digging into the mythology surrounding Viking Funerals and look into the Nordic realm of ‘Hel’ (hello christian history thiefs)
    You’ll find Helvityni a prominent figure in that and I don’t believe she was malevolent.
    It’s a name rich with history.

  43. helvityni

    Faceless, I often got official letters addressed to Mr H, it’s an ordinary Finnish name, not very common though, I met a very lovely Estonian woman in Oz with the same name so I’m not the only H in the village. Aussie kids ‘shortened’ it to Helvs as a term of endearment… ?

    Thank you for pointing me to the Viking history of the name, interesting reading. 🙂

  44. The Faceless Man

    Funny enough, I never knew that it wasn’t an unusual name so thank you for pointing that out to me!
    Funny enough, the vikings had a better understanding of welfare than our scumbag leaders.

  45. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I signed your petition, Miriam and put it on Twitter and Facebook.

  46. townsvilleblog

    Porter is the most dispassionate extremist ultra right wing Social Security Minister Australia has ever seen. He uses the department od Social Security as a weapon to belt every pensioner over the ear-hole, instead of trying to help us, he hurts us. We are of course far too weak to fight back, the only move we have to counter this bloke is at the ballot box.

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