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Wake up, Australia!

It is true that 2020 is behind us and that various vaccines for COVID-19, claimed to be effective, are in the process of being distributed – BUT – we still have a Coalition government, which is ruled by the same power group which has, initially under Nick Minchin’s influence, and for at least two decades, denied us government support for realistic action on climate change.

I suspect that being in power is an incredible aphrodisiac – at the flick of a pen you can refuse to accept valid advice and expect that your popularity in the right quarters will then ensure a comfortable retirement from politics – and to hell with all those powerless fools whose lives will be forever damaged in consequence!

Inequality, in addition to lack of action on global warming, is a vicious menace.

We have a government which takes a jackboot attitude towards the poor and the disabled.

Don’t for a moment believe that the proof of illegality of Robodebt will stop this government from enforcing draconian laws on those who lack the skills and the finance to protect themselves from government mistreatment.

The current push – which, once more, is possibly illegal – is for a cashless welfare card to be imposed on many communities, and individuals, on the arrogant assumption that the people affected are incapable of managing a budget and need protection from themselves because they will fritter money away on drugs and alcohol.

And this is not being applied only to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people, yet no one notices that it goes way beyond arrogant paternalism, as it smacks of an assumption that these people are incapable of learning how to manage their own money!

Too many decision makers – be they government Ministers or bureaucrats – lack lived experience. If you have never lost a limb, been born with a disability, suffered extreme poverty, etc, you are not really in a good position to understand the effect of these situations on others.

Particularly when it comes to dealing with people with any sort of mental illness, when to lose patience with them because they are not behaving – in your personal opinion – in a rational manner, is the height of stupidity on your part.

No person with any sort of mental impairment should ever be interviewed by officials in the absence of an advocate known to the interviewee. Have you ever heard of the Anunga rules in the NT in regard to Indigenous people in police custody?

This is an approach which needs to be adopted in all cases where any issues raised might affect the ability of either party in an interview to understand the other – whether it be language or mental capacity which is the applicable issue.

Our ATSI people are, in many parts of Australia, among the most disadvantaged people in the world. They struggle to maintain – or, in many cases, recover – a culture which is extremely important to them. As with many migrants, English is not even not necessarily their first language at home, it is often their third or fourth language.

Have you ever seen this map of Australia before?

Many ATSI people can speak in multiple languages. If they do not understand English, it is not because they are any more stupid than you are if you cannot understand a Chinese speaker – because you have never learned to speak fluent Chinese!

If the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted one thing, it is that the government’s main interest is in the economy. This is, in some instances, understandable, but governments MUST multi-task!

People are in second place – or, for particular groups, even lower down the priority list – so that the only thing admired by too many of our politicians is the ability to acquire, and enhance the nature of, wealth! If you are in entertainment or politics, being wealthy makes you the darling of the media but if you are disadvantaged in any way, neither media nor politicians really give a damn about you!

I subscribe to Crikey and, over this past year or two, they have been following research into NDIS.

This has not been well received by official circles, yet when these findings have been obtained, is the research not warranted?

We live in an era where the advice on which government Ministers seem to rely does not come from experienced Public Servants, but from political advisers, whose duties are centred – not on “What is best for the country?”, but “What is most likely to help win the next election?”

When people’s lives are being damaged in consequence of a totally flawed policy approach, something has to change.

And we who are electors have got to be much more vocal in making it clear that what we are being offered doesn’t begin to meet the pub test!

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5 comments

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  1. Anthony Jackson

    This LNP rabble are the laziest, most incompetent, most corrupt, smug, self-serving, arrogant bunch of arseholes to EVER govern Australia. The complicit media, run by a cabal of matey billionaires are wholly complicit in aiding and abeting the shamozzle that is Morrisson and Co.
    I am ashamed and embarassed to be an Australian right now.

  2. RomeoCharlie29

    You are, as always, correct RJ. The idea of a billionaire iron ore magnate proposing a welfare measure for imposition on a vulnerable section of the community, and that proposition being accepted and enacted by the government, with the side benefit of enriching some mates, is surely kafkaesque. Most of us — on this site at least— are agreed that this ideologically driven bunch of spivs and grifters is the worst government we have ever had, and Morrison second only to the hapless Billy McMahon in incompetence, but not only do they legitimately hold the reins of government, with their media boosters and the army of spinners ( of which I used to be on) , they control much of the message that reaches the public. An inquiry into the Murdoch media dominance might be revelatory but since it is unlikely to be covered by those being investigated the wider public may remain in ignorance. And anyway when tv programs like survivor, lost, the bachelor, bachelorette, the voice (none of which I watch) are the most popular viewing then I feel we have little hope of a politically enlightened and engaged populace.

  3. Phil Pryor

    The title here is “Wake up Australia”, and commemorates the sleepy stupidity of those who should do better, if they can.., but many Leaders do not comprehend much except what sells, travels locally, impresses, subdues or coerces. E G, B Tyrrell, a leader and casual spokesperson for the local wine industry says, “We don’t have to lick the boots of Chinese in wine trade matters”, after recent losses in access, prestige and, money. Now that brainless bumburst will be noticed, absorbed, recorded and cost all others in that game plenty, over time, at least decades. We lick boots and botties everywhere, always have.., British, Yankee, even Japanese, while pendulum-like swings of egotistical umbrage lead us to resent any such suggestion if we need some spontaneous outrage. Why should a boofhead Hunter wine grower pomp and shout rubbish to ruin negotiations for a whole industry? Tyrrells are known for squatterlike squeamish squealing from a high throne when and if it suits them and apparently feel they speak for the Hunter wine game, and thus, for Australian wine interests. Is a billion dollars and solvency, even prosperity, worth some diplomatic silence? Miraculously, the Tyrrells and others in the Hunter have sold up to three times the wine that can be made from grapes actually grown there, and the old “long paddock” must have stretched from Pokolbin to Sweden, except for Riverina and Mudgee factors. Perhaps they licked the boots of drivers of big stainless steel bulk loading tankers…and do not mention sorbitol…

  4. Yanta

    I am on a disability. It’s tough making ends meet. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke and I don’t gamble, though if I wanted to buy the odd scratchie I should have the freedom to make that choice. I have 2 sons still living at home, and their work has been annihilated by an incompetent government. But all my bills are paid. At the end of the month I can afford a pizza. I’m not behind on anything. Why the hell should I be forced to have 80% of my income withheld, have to pay fees to use it, have my rental security threatened when indue repeatedly miss payments or my electricity cut off? I can manage my own budget competently. This is nothing more than an attack on the poor and disabled so our government cronies can make their rich friends richer whilst making more people homeless, and raise the suicide rate. Sickening! The scumbags need to be hung.

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