Sunday, 31 July 2016

Turnbull remains a fizza.

I keep seeing stories from the media of Malcolm Turnbull's brilliance. Since he has become Prime Minister he has done nothing to support these scribes. First, there was the tax reform announcement that lifted the nation's expectations for less than 24 hours. Only to be shot down by State Premier's lack of support of Turnbull's bizarre ambitions.
Then we have the issue of the plebiscite that he will push on with knowing that his party will only support its outcome should it show the result the right wingers want. This shows how weak Turnbull's grasp on power is. The fact that he is willing to support spending $160 million in this fashion shows his lack of respect for the nation's resources.
If Turnbull was what he was cast as by the media, he would run his own race. He is merely a facade. His ability to back the right horse in a limited field is non-existent. He made Joe Hockey USA Ambassador after a stint as Australia's worst treasurer on record. Doubling the nation's debt in record time. During this time he also showed a clear lack of diplomacy required for the role he was gifted by Turnbull.                                                  
Then there was the dubious appointment of former Newscorp employee to the ABC. Surely there is a broader talent pool on offer than to pick from that well. Particularly when it is critical with the media domination of a couple of moguls that the ABC & SBS be seen as truly independent.
Then on the back of an ABC 4Corners episode, he announced a Royal Commission which was broadly lauded by media. Yet it was not well executed. The issue exposed, how poorly both our State's & federal government's grasp of community expectations is. The Turnbull government doesn't appear to have a great awareness of youth detention around Australia. In spite of it being reported both in media & via human rights watch. The Royal Commission has been limited to the Northern Territory when the federal government knows that other State governments have issues in this area. He has cherry picked a commissioner, Brian Martin that with any scrutiny will be faced with the same questions that haunted Dyson Heydon in the Trade Union Royal Commission. In a way, I am pleased as it highlights the nepotism that political appointments encourage. The indigenous people who are adversely affected appear not to have been consulted with much thought.
I think the Royal Commission is actually a bit of a political cop-out. We've already had Royal Commissions into Institutional child abuse & indigenous deaths in custody. What of the lessons learned from these? How many findings were ignored? How many recommendations were never implemented? If Turnbull isn't across this his attorney general & relevant Ministers should be briefing him.
It's only a matter of time before this goose is cooked. I think he's simmering. Who will devour him from the limited offerings is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Of course it's abuse what happened at Dondale.

 They are children, they are incarcerated and yes the footage we've seen and the information we have does constitute abuse on a grand scale. A violation of human rights. Definitely an abuse of authority. None of it comes close to meeting community expectations or standards.
Here lies the problem. Many of the State government's around Australia have passed laws through parliament that make much of what was done by the contractors in the Northern Territory, compliant.
So if that doesn't completely shift the blame to politicians it surely moves it heavily in their general direction.
If I saw the vision on 4 Corners in isolation without sound I would have assumed it to be footage from Guantanamo Bay, not Australia. Would I be shocked If told it was footage from Nauru or Manus Islands where our federal government works in a clandestine manner openly with no regard for laws? Probably not. Yet I was shocked like most Australians that this was happening in detention centres in Australia in 2016.
I'm shocked because we've had decades to fix this issue with hundreds of millions of dollars invested. We've had Royal Commissions into both institutional child abuse & indigenous deaths in custody. It is quite clear that these were either a waste of taxpayers money or a not implemented or a combination of both.                                  
Politicians immediate response as always another Royal Commission probably doomed before it starts. Meanwhile what of the young people stuck in this system? I think and say it quite freely on social media for those who follow, our political representation in Australia is pathetic. Many of them should be ashamed at their heavy reliance on others to solve problems they should be addressing themselves.
Most of these young kids that are in this system come from a culture that has been harvested by political failure. I would happily debate any politician in any forum that suggests otherwise. As an interim measure, the Northern Territory government should have been stood down pending a police investigation. Dondale staff should also face the same. The children in captivity should be assessed and cared for by qualified people at the nation's expense. They should be afforded any assistance to remedy this abominable treatment.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Government neglect owns this baby.

Just when you think you've seen it all in Australia another grenade lands in the room. Last night I watched 4 Corners which isn't a habit. I saw & was shocked by what was happening in youth detention centres in the Northern Territory. Not only was this abuse happening under the watch of government contractors. The government had legislated to make it a reality.

I've seen footage like this before but it wasn't in Australia. It was Guantanamo Bay. It makes you wonder what is happening at the government endorsed facilities on Nauru & Manus Island. I do believe there is evidence to suggest the federal government has plenty to hide.

The response has been predictable today shock, dismay & outright damnation. Calls for a Royal Commission from both major parties. Even though we have had several indigenous Royal Commissions & one into institutional abuse that would surely cover much of what happened at Dondale.                                                    

The core of this issue is the victims. They are criminals. They are kids. They are generally born into this system with a minuscule chance of escape. Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory & Western Australia are used to this cycle. It is happening now in the broader Australian community through neglect & a generational reliance on welfare.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Submission human rights commission regards "work for dole"

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Australian government has a policy of forcing people to do volunteer work involuntarily. In many cases, this is for long-term unemployed. In some cases, it is long term casual labour-hire workers that get hours cut due to business requirements or public holidays. If they fail to comply their welfare payments are cut. They are not paid for this work.

ICCPR Article 8 states:
  1. No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.
  2. No one shall be held in servitude.
  3. (a) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour;
    (b) Paragraph 3(a) shall not be held to preclude, in countries where imprisonment with hard labour may be imposed as a punishment for a crime, the performance of hard labour in pursuance of a sentence to such punishment by a competent court;
    (c) For the purpose of this paragraph the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include:
    (i) Any work or service, not referred to in sub-paragraph (b), normally required of a person who is under detention in consequence of a lawful order of a court, or of a person during conditional release from such detention;
    (ii) Any service of a military character and, in countries where conscientious objection is recognised, any national service required by law of conscientious objectors;
    iii) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
    (iv) Any work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations.             

I believe the Australian government is in breach of ICCPR Article 8 by forcing people to work without reward that generally goes with such activity. Many people in this program have been supporting the very system that is inflicting this abuse upon them. Paying taxes thinking that they may one day require it's protection. The government is failing to provide sufficient work to fully employ the population.Current unemployment figures in Australia are at 6% . The figures are not a true reflection of the state of employment or nature in reality. How can a government that is failing to provide jobs lawfully legislate to enslave those affected by their failure?   I request that the human rights commission investigate this matter with a sense of urgency as many innocent Australians down on their luck are being mistreated, by the government they paid for in many cases. The work itself is not in the interests of future employment,nor is it good for the mental health of participants. Another issue the government should be accountable for.



International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights



Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966
entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49

Preamble
The States Parties to the present Covenant,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,
Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant,
Agree upon the following articles:
PART I
Article 1
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

I also believe the Australian government work for the dole scheme contravenes Article 49 Part 1 Article 1 sec 1 & 2 for the following reasons.
By being forced by the State to perform tasks as a penalty driven by an economy & policy out of their control. People are being denied the right to pursue their own economic social & personal destiny with freedom.
By being penalised with cancellation of welfare payments or held ransom to that threat, they are being bullied by the State to comply with it or else.Which both prohibits free endeavor by threatening harm. Article 1 part 2 strictly prohibits this. 
                                        

                                                                        Regards Mark Dickenson.


Monday, 18 July 2016

#qanda We don't have constructive debate.

The division in opinion is obvious. It is the division & the personal baggage that destroys constructive debate. Pauline Hanson v Sam Dastyari & the blonde woman who's name escape me. It seemed more about political point scoring or a grab for empathy share as an observer. Meanwhile back in society this issue and many others ferment.
Sam's upbringing and his success are a great Australian story. I just don't think it adds anything to what's happening in the nation or around the world. I'm sure it matters to Sam. I reckon we need to be a little more open to hearing about others if we are to go anywhere near addressing why young people are so open to becoming radicalised. I also wonder just how serious the issue is in Australia. We are not informed by the government about such matters. This enables them to manipulate the fear & division this generates for political gain.
                                                                       
Many young Australians are not engaged in their lives or society. Why is that? As an observer, I think it comes from the treadmill of life. The humble offerings to somebody just starting off in Australia aren't that flash. Get a great education with the debt attached. Graduate with honours and work in a warehouse as a casual on very low wages while you hunt for that elusive role.
I believe most of these issues are driven by govt failure & neglect. I'm pretty consistent on that position. The huge focus on corporate growth costs humanity. We can see the adverse results around the world of nations further down this road, yet our government ignores the fact for apparent selfish means.                                                            
The existence of Australian government endorsed prisons without trials surely only adds to a threat of disenfranchised angry people that will ultimately have freedom. Walk a mile in their shoes. Imagine how that feels. How will that play out in the future?

I spent the day just watching Cosmo

Today was a bit of a strange one. My wife was out all day. My son Dylan was off to Autism plus. How would I fill the day? No campaigning. No reading up on what I needed to know if the media came knocking. I made my breakfast and contemplated what may happen I took my coffee and toast outside and sat on the back step as my dog Cosmo bounced around. Trying feverishly to knock off my toast.
Cosmo is a Jack Russell with undiagnosed  & unmedicated ADHD who the family loves dearly. Although every time my takes him for a walk she does mention the female version of Cosmo we left behind at the Lost Dogs Home.
Anyway back to breakfast, I shared more than a few morsels  with my little mate. Once he realised the plate was empty he went about his usual rituals. Chasing one miner bird away from his bowl of food only for another miner bird to swoop down for a bite. Cosmo went from one bird to the other for almost an hour. I'm not sure who was sillier Cosmo for chasing relentlessly or me for being entertained by it.
For any normal dog, this would have been enough. Not Cosmo. Realising I was still watching he decided to do some sort of bizarre territorial ritual usually reserved for my mate Mick Smith. Cosmo started barking aggressively at his water bucket. Then he proceeded to straddle the bucket with his front legs. Growling as he nuzzled the water splashing with his front legs. Soon what was a full bucket was about half full. Cosmo was drenched and the remaining water in his bucket was an unappetising Jack Russell soup not fit for human consumption.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

AEC My exchange with them.

I'm convinced our political system is corrupt. I'm also convinced that our elections are not immune. The system is heavily weighted towards incumbents. Politicians have meddled with the system since its creation generally driven by self-interest. I was impressed with the AEC professionalism in the lead up to the election. That sheen is gone for me.
On top of the issues, I have raised it has become apparent to me that at least one major party has directed voters to send postal votes back via their headquarters. I question a system that allows a party any involvement with postal votes. The competition is not afforded the same luxuries. I wasn't given access to a mailing address of every Australian voter. Why were the Liberals & Labor given more advantage? They already have a huge funding advantage from questionable sources without transparency or true scrutiny. They also are given a leg up in the media who they enjoy a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with. I could further describe the disparity & corruption, I'll save it for another day.

This is the email exchanges I've had with the AEC regards the election 2016.

Dear Jeff,
I am very upset that our democratic processes in Australia are in a state of shambles. I must say that the professionalism I saw during the lead up to the election by the AEC was tremendous. I am aware that the AEC has been subject to cuts. Apart from the issues of people not being able to vote. Ballot papers being in short supply at polling booths. Ballot papers for Victoria ending in Western Australia. A former Prime Minister instructing voters in a polling booth. On top of these things. I have had to compete without resources afforded to the major parties. Who gives them access to personal information so they can send SMS messages or call people on election eve? Who gives them the authority to send out instructions with postal voting applications? Why is the Liberal party allowed to have signage with no address on it? Running as an ungrouped independent I am already disadvantaged without all of these free kicks. I can't even see on the site how I've polled such is the disrespect afforded to myself and the other candidates that ran for public office to help this nation become a better fairer place for all people.
I want a written explanation of the issues I have raised. Any issues that can't be addressed by the AEC I  would appreciate being forwarded to the appropriate authorities. I think the independent candidates are entitled to far better than this.
                                                                     regards Mark F Dickenson
UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Mark

Thank you for your email.  I am sorry you feel that way about this election.  I will do my best to address the issues you have raised below.

-       Unfortunately with every election, which is a massive logistical undertaking across Australia, there are things that don’t always go as well as they should or as we have planned.  We don’t accept that easily and we plan hard for issues not to occur but unfortunately they do from time to time.  In Victoria we did have some polling booths that were running short on ballot papers due to an unexpected high turnout in some areas (despite an increase in early voting) but I am not aware of anyone in Victoria not being able to cast a vote as we provided additional ballot papers where needed throughout the day.  It did result on some longer queues in some areas.
-       Ballot papers for Victoria are always dispersed all over Australia and all over the world so that electors can cast an absent vote.  Unfortunately the issue in Western Australia was that a mobile polling team who were servicing a nursing home mistakenly handed the voters a Victorian Senate ballot paper instead of a Western Australian Senate ballot paper.  This is a very bad error as those ballot papers are now considered informal and will not be counted.  Regrettably these sorts of mistakes, which is human error, can happen in elections.  Unfortunately people make mistakes and in this instance the size of the Senate ballot paper for Victoria and Western Australia was the same, the papers at a glance look identical and polling officials need to take great care to read the ballot paper to ensure it is the correct ballot paper being issued.  In this case they did not pay sufficient attention to detail.  These sorts of incidents are fully investigated and we look at ways to try and prevent these mistakes occurring again but sometimes it comes down to people working under pressure and making mistakes.
-       I am not aware of a former Prime Minister instructing voters, I must have missed that in the flurry of the election so I can’t comment on that issue.
-       Regarding the sending of SMS and the so called robocalls to electors this is not a matter for the AEC as we have no legislative authority on this issue.  You may have noted in question time after the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday evening this issue was raised and he indicated that it needed to be looked at.  After every election there is a Joint Standing Committee on Election Matters (JSCEM) which seeks public submissions and generally holds hearings in every State and Territory to inquire into the election.  This issue might be examined by this Committee but it will depend on their terms of reference.  Anyone can make a submission which is something you may wish to consider.  Otherwise, complaints for these sorts issues might best be directed to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman at https://www.tio.com.au/ or you could try the Australian Communications and Media Authority at Level 32, Melbourne Central Tower, 360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, telephone number (03) 9963-6800
-       The authority for political parties to send out postal voting applications is derived from the Electoral Act, which authorise political parties, and candidates to issue Postal Vote Application forms, to have them returned to their offices and then to forward these to the AEC for the issuing of the resultant postal vote certificate itself which contains the ballot papers.  In particular, subsection 184AA(1) of the Electoral Act provides that: ‘An application form for a postal vote may be physically attached to, or form part of, other written material issued by any person or organisation.’  You will note that this provision is not just limited to political parties but is generally only undertaken by political parties as it would be an expensive exercise to get wide coverage.  This issue has previously been considered by JSCEM but has been unchanged for a few elections now.
-       I am not aware of any signage for the Liberal party that did not have an address on it.  For me to comment definitively I would need to see a copy/photo of the signage.  I receive complaints from a range of people about the authorisation requirements or the lack of authorisation for political advertising and how to vote cards regularly throughout the election period.  I do not recall receiving one about Liberal Party signage that was not properly authorised under the Electoral Act and if I had received such a complaint I would have addressed it as soon as possible the same as I do with all other similar complaints.  Generally the escalation of these sorts of complaints dominate my polling day.
-       If you go to our Tally Room at:  http://vtr.aec.gov.au/SenateStateFirstPrefs-20499-VIC.htm you can see the first preference votes cast for every candidate in the Victorian Senate election.  The list of candidates are in order of the ballot paper so the Independents are at towards the bottom of this page.  This will be progressively updated with first preference votes as the count continues over the coming weeks and the full distribution of preferences will occur right at the end of the count which will give you the final result just as we declare the outcome.

I hope this assists in explaining some issues.  I would encourage you to make a submission to JSCEM when that process begins which is likely to be in a few months.

Regards

Jeff

 Dear Jeff,
Thanks for the prompt response. I've attached a copy of the picture of the former PM that was posted on social media. Pretty sure this is a breach of electoral law. I didn't take photos of the signs the Liberal Party had without addresses of which I personally saw 3. I've also seen this mentioned numerous times on social media not all from the same location. The signage now has been removed. I would happily sign a statutory declaration if required. If laws are not enforced. What's the point in having them? I'm not the only independent candidate that is upset with the integrity of the election and our democracy. I'm seriously considering posting all of my grievances online so that the people can decide if what happens is acceptable.
                                                                                                       regards Mark Dickenson 
                                                                                                      

UNCLASSIFIED
Dear Mark

I am not in a position to comment on the photo.  The apparent interaction could have been about a range of different possibilities.

With respect to the signage we do enforce the electoral laws at the time of the offence but it would seem we did not receive a complaint about this particular signage otherwise we would have immediately addressed it.  I can advise that myself and our Chief Legal Officer always act very swiftly to all complaints we receive regardless of which party they relate to and our responses always occur contemporaneously when the offences have been detected. 

As mentioned yesterday I would encourage you to share your views with the Joint Standing Committee on Election Matters when submissions open.

I note your thoughts regarding communicating your views via social media.  Please be advised that I do not consent to any of my responses being published on social media as I have undertaken these responses to you in good faith with the purpose of this private correspondence being to try and explain or resolve your grievances.

Regards

Jeff

Dear Jeff,
Our correspondence is unclassified, your stamp not mine . It doesn't say in the candidates handbook candidates can campaign or interact with voters while voting. Perhaps you can get the handbook updated to reflect it as that is clearly what's happening in the photo.
                                                                                                Mark Dickenson
I haven't had a response to the last email.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Steve Price you goose. Don't distract us.

Tonight I sat up and watched qanda as I often do. It really didn't do much for me until they touched on domestic violence. It got rather heated. Ms. Vanbadham who blocks me on twitter had the moral high ground. Steve Price played the Villian. I think Eddie Sam & all the crew from this story had a foot in mouth. Having said that It's a stretch to liken the banter "ill-informed" as it was to a  partner killing their partner. I do agree that anyone raising a hand to anyone or worse is just wrong. I think that this area has been attacked by austerity when a progressive government would have invested. I hate the fact that one woman a week at least has died a premature death. Leaving children without parents. Families without loved ones. Lives forever scarred.
Now the circus that was on qanda, pisses me off. Steve Price should be ashamed of himself putting his own ego in front of the issue. Ms. Vanbadam did a pretty fair job of representing aspects of the issue. The biggest issue was missed in the crap & not for the first time.
Our government invested $100 million in domestic violence which to average Aussies sounds like a poultice. Let's give it some perspective. Our federal MPs spent 20 times that on themselves in the same period. During this year 1, MP died of natural causes over 60 women died . Apart from what this says about the sincerity of our MPs it also highlights what a disgraceful offering $100 million is.


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Corruption runs deep

I have a lot of respect for real journalists like Michael West. He's probably discovering first-hand what it's like to be a whistleblower in the modern landscape. The story Michael has clearly been targeted over is globally significant. It exposes the fringes of true organised crime. This story threatens the modern economy and the 1% that truly govern it. It is a gutsy thing to poke a bear like this. This runs to the highest levels of government around the world. It is the underbelly of plutocracy.

I knew two of the players In Michael's story before I read it. I've seen KPMG operate up close. They were called in by the board of Securency the dodgy RBA subsidiary with high-level links deeply rooted in the RBA. Post getting caught bribing overseas officials for lucrative banknote contracts KPMG were called to assist cleaning shop. From what I saw KPMG put things in place so Securency was less transparent, not more open & better behaved. That's my opinion I'm sure they'd put a different spin on it.
I have no doubt that everything Michael wrote about is true. I'm also quite sure these issues are at epidemic levels in the developed world. Corruption follows money where ever it goes. This story leads to the stratosphere. They are seemingly untouchable. Protected by lawyers politicians and fancy accounting firms. The sad reality of all this. Is the human cost that results. The world's riches only go so far.                                                            
Fixing issues like this will take political courage and genuine relentless determined policing by truly independent authorities with a lot of skill & courage. Where you find that I don't know. It does make you wonder about the sincerity of politicians when they reject things like an independent federal ICAC in Australia. If anything it adds weight to my belief they're complicit.

It's pretty clear that ordinary people around the world are being stitched up systematically with political assistance. The sacking of a true journalist. Shows the powers that be don't want unsanitized news in the public eye.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Dutton above the law?



Whatever is going on behind the barb wire fences? Whoever, these people are?  This facility is real as I saw it being constructed. It is on the old Broadmeadows Maygar Army barracks site. Where a golf course once was. Only meters away from businesses on Northcorp boulevarde. I've been told twice by different sources that this facility houses asylum seekers the govt considers high risk. Whether or not this is an accurate description of the inmates is difficult to confirm. Most issues that involve asylum are considered off limits by our Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Probably in an endeavour to protect himself and his government from prosecution. It is not a surprise this govt is using an American model of captivity. This government has a long history of  kowtowing to the USA. This is indisputable and has rarely led to anything that is of benefit.

This camp is apparently operating in Australia without recognising our laws or complying with their requirements. They are allegedly holding people Indefinitely as the govt does on Nauru & Manus Island. They are not and have no intention of being an open or honest government. The media it seems has no intention of calling them out on it either.

I wonder how many more of these facilities are scattered around Australia?

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Why One Nation?

To me, this is pretty simple. I'm sure there is an element of racism in it. The size of the vote this party received suggests that it's more. Around 7% of the nation's vote, went to a party with a discredited leader & unknown candidates. Sure Pauline Hanson gets regular media in Australia. Prime-time live crosses on television & radio around Australia have kept her brand alive. Even that is no explanation for a result such as this.                          
I think the reason for the massive exodus from our mainstream parties is explained in the budget and the austerity measures over the past three years. It also reflects the anger in Australia of the neglect of the people already here for the people that want to be. The focus on asylum seekers in the media when we have over 105,000 people homeless pisses off many Australians. For all the rhetoric during the past 3 years, the irony of a "jobs & growth" theme also drove voters mad. Since 2013 the definition of employed has been watered down. Still, there is a 50,000 rise in the numbers. The amount of permanent roles being culled for casualised roles is frightening. Then there's 457 visa's being given to foreign workers like nightclub drink cards in the 80s. We have had 3 years of University & TAFE graduates with no jobs to go to. We have ignorant major parties in love with their donors.
To be honest I'm surprised the exodus from both major parties wasn't higher. They are out of touch. They park useless candidates that haven't performed in safe seats that they could sleep in unchallenged. If there was another election next week, this wouldn't change. That is the reason this pattern will only grow.
  It wasn't just Pauline Hanson's One Nation. It was Nick Xenophon's in South Australia, Jacqui Lambie's Party in Tasmania  and Deryn Hinch in Victoria. Not suggesting there is a policy or performance link. They have all been in the right place at the right time. It was a  major reason I put my name up as an independent. It was blatantly clear that people are fed up with mainstream politics in Australia & across the world.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Cory Bernardi, Did I say that out loud?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Cory Bernardi has always been a fringe dweller. This week without hesitation less than a week after the federal election in which he campaigned as a Liberal. Senator Bernardi wants to split from his party to form another. This is clearly another man without the courage or principles to back his own ideologies in front of the Australian public. He has clearly put his pockets before principles. Had Bernardi ran as his own Party he'd of vanished like the ghost of  Christmas past.
The Liberal Party would sack him today if they had any guts. I have little doubt Turnbull doesn't have the spine for that. Which further erodes his credibility while heightening the govt instability.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Autism a different perspective

My son Dylan is autistic. We have similar traits yet I'm not & he is. My father has bipolar & manic depression yet I don't. We also share similar traits. Whilst I'm not an expert in genetics. I do agree there are links passed via this pathway.
Dylan's autism is somewhere between mid to high range. He has always had splinter skills that are quite extraordinary. Finding practical uses for these is a challenge as he has always been reticent to verbalise. His skills on computers & with words are extraordinary it was noticeable at around three. Some of Dylan's other autistic friends have things or one area they excel at.

Now here's the thing. I'm not autistic. Yet I can and always have been able to be in a room physically
yet mentally vacate it. I am aware of audible sounds around me, just unresponsive to them. It's a trait I've had for as long as I remember.  It annoys my wife immensely.
I imagine this is the space where autism resides. I don't know this as fact. It just seems logical to me.
I call it my holiday home. It has no walls, but it is a safe place.

Australian politics needs ears.

When I ran for federal parliament. I knew it was going to be difficult to generate enough attention to stimulate success. Having great positions on issues is only part of the equation. I had no concerns about the timing. I knew the electorate were pissed off with our major parties. It would be very difficult to imagine how anyone watching would not be. On this front, I was spot on. The electorate has abandoned the major parties in record numbers. It has caused havoc in the Senate. The major parties are captives of their benefactors & the people can see it. This result is their reaction. Reporting on this hasn't been great. I did think independents would do better on the back of this. My reasons for believing this were the failed Palmer United experience and the ambiguity displayed by the Greens. I was wrong about who voters woud turn to. They chose the high media profile parties Xenaphon, Hanson Lambie & Hinch. They may not be the best candidates in all cases but they all get a massive leg up in the media. Not like the major parties of course.

I have no idea who the parties get advice from. Clearly, they need to rethink it. You need to engage with people. You need to act responsibly in parliament. You need to be better with how you manage the nation's resources. From MP expenditure to huge government contracts & everything in between.I think this is getting very close to a tipping point in Australia. If the Major parties don't respond they are dead in the water.
It's going to be very interesting to see how all of this works in the coming months.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Get rid of corruption.

When they give me something positive to write about I will dance for joy. It isn't just the government on this occasion. It's the system itself. The machinations of politics and the reliance on its surrounds. Our political system poisons itself deliberately. They appoint people with agendas. People with past associations that imply they are compromised yet our political leaders don't bat an eyelid pulling the trigger. When they actually have a person performing their role, the immediate response is to scuttle & remove them. The most blatant recent issues that highlight this would be the attack on "Gillian Triggs" and the issues with the NBN coverup at our independent broadcaster ABC and subsequent board appointment. Even if these things are above board. To the naked eye with little scrutiny, they appear as dodgy as hell. When things got a little crazy with the TURC Royal Commission it took me 3 minutes on a laptop to establish several anomalies that would scuttle a steam liners integrity. Weeks before calling the double dissolution the govt made over 100 appointments. They did this to further scuttle integrity as insurance. Just in case they lost the keys to the lodge. Where does this end? What wouldn't these people do? How long are the people of Australia going to be kept at arms length from the truth? Some of it may not be corruption. Much of it is. The perception from afar is it is rampant.

The media are compromised as they benefit from massive advertising campaigns that fill the pockets of media moguls. The independents live in fear of funding cuts. This too appears as dodgy as hell and impacts content dramatically. You only need to spend an evening perusing social media news to see the varied content.

Shallow Mal.

Malcolm Turnbull is the man who has everything. He was the man stood for something. He now will be remembered as the man who ran with nothing. When Malcolm became Prime Minister. He was more concerned with his own survival. He forgot why he resonated with the public.
Malcolm wasn't popular with Aussies because he was filthy rich. Which he is. It wasn't because he was a man's man. He was popular because he spoke freely on things that mattered. He did so when the sheep & nutters in his party had no position or just an ignorant one. Issues like climate change, marriage equality, employment & investment. He was seen as the great hope if personal popularity has any bearing on politics.
When Turnbull took the poison chalice from his predecessor he had an unassailable lead. Perhaps it was that that led to the complacency of his campaign. It wasn't Bill Shorten's brilliance that has us in limbo politically in Australia. It was Malcolm's failure to run with who he was. He ran like a slave to the factions of his party.  It would appear from the outside he made deals with the drongos to get the gig.
Instead of running with what he believe he ran with a slogan "jobs & growth". This was a  flimsy platform. Since 2013 unemployment had risen by 50,000. If you accept the doctored figures the system provides. There was real evidence that people were losing permanent employment at a rapid rate over the past 3 years. Casualisation of the workforce was evolving to record levels. Low & middle-income earners were the targets. It was never a good call to run with this as a strength.
The other issue that didn't help Turnbull was Medicare. The Liberals have been scuttling it for decades. The neo-liberalism over the last 40 years makes it hard for them to plead innocence. They'd privatise their mothers if there was money in it. Shorten only had to sew the seed of doubt. It is like killing Bambi in the eyes of most Australians.
                                                   
I don't see how Turnbull can survive such a debacle. His only saving grace is the talent behind him is all, virtual reality. Nobody of substance.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Gone but never forgotten. RIP. Josh

My beautiful cousin has fought to keep her son for around 8 years. He was battling his demons. Not by design just genetics I suppose. I know my father has bipolar & there are traces of this without the fancy label scattered throughout the family tree. I don't doubt there is a link with this & the autism my son Dylan has.
Last week was Josh's funeral. Tragically the young man couldn't see a way out. It wasn't because he wasn't loved enough. Proven by the beautiful service & tears in grown mens eyes, myself included. My cousin Simone spoke beautifully about Josh. She found words of meaning in incredible adversity. Never lost for words generally, I watched in awe as she detailed the journey of his life. Nothing was taboo most was wonderful. In all the devastation of the moment. I don't remember ever being so proud of anyone in my family. A family that I hold in very high regard. I'm biased undoubtedly.

The thing that riled me apart from the loss & the pain was something Simone touched on in her speech. Post josh's death Simone had discovered Josh had several failed attempts to reach out online.
I haven't asked what organisations. I am sure that they all struggle for govt funds. Those cuts to mental health that MPs make with the stroke of a pen have a consequence. The end game is the phones or facebook page or twitter sites were not manned when young Josh needed them. Nothing can change what was or what could have been for Simone or my kinfolk.
I am sure that we can change our approach to ensure that we do properly fund these resources so that the next person reaching out is given the chance to find a way back from the edge. I have long been against austerity for its adverse impact on humanity. This just makes it personal.
                                                                   

More good than bad.

Whilst I'm really pleased with what we achieved in a short amount of time. I am a little disappointed that we didn't find a way to reach a bigger audience. It wasn't like we didn't try. We did various media releases over an 18 month period. I tried to reach out to various organisations I felt were a good fit for my social awareness, fairness theme. None of it played out the way we wanted. It has left me more than a tad cynical about the sincerity & fairness of our political system.

I built an audience on social media that gave me a sense that what I stood for mattered to people. Issues like political integrity, corruption, elite & corporate tax minimisation political advertising & donations all issues that people have clear concerns about.
On top of this social issues, that austerity is cultivating in Australia. Homelessness, mental health, pensions, welfare, Medicare, sick, elderly & low & middle-income workers all were issues that people related to, or at least cared about.
I was in a hurry to matter. My passion for the things that I see wrong in society while motivating me. Didn't allow me to be objective about what I was taking on. I guess my emotion while sometimes a real asset on this occasion consumed my focus to a point where it wasn't. Had I been more clinical I would have found a better way to run for the Senate. I got my fair whack at the polls as a result. I did at one stage contemplate running as a grouped independent above the line. I'm sure that is probably the better alternative yet even that wouldn't have been successful without acknowledgement of mainstream media. Parties seem to be a better way yet incredibly messy & difficult to control  in terms of personalities & content.
I think I need to let the dust settle on the experience before deciding what to do next.