Monday, 20 November 2017

We don't need another Labor govt. We need new ideas.

I've been watching our political system reward mediocrity for so long. I'm sick to death of the same political parties with similar faces regurgitating the same ideas that have failed over & over. This LNP government is a classic example of that. Trickle down economics for fuck sake. It was debunked as an economic theory while Ronald Reagan was President. Yet our govt uses it to fill the pockets of its political donors with no care for the impact on society.
Both government alternatives have no care for the refugees they have banished to islands out of sight & out of mind. Both gleefully whack their opponents from the opposition benches yet really they both have blood-soaked hands.
Then we have people on social security. Forever the whipping boys & girls of governments of both persuasions. The #notmydebt fiasco last Xmas where the government issued vulnerable people with debts, many that have been discredited over time as bogus, with no care for the impact at all. The silence from the opposition when that story broke was fascinating. They were sluggish at best.

Both our major parties rely on distractions. If they need to throw a few welfare recipients under the bus to get their heads out of the news they are fair game.
It just isn't good enough. Our combined governments are $600,000,000,000 in debt or thereabouts. It isn't Labor's fault as this govt says, nor is it the fault of the LNP. They both own it. They are both woeful economic managers. I would rate the Labor misfits slightly ahead of the LNP clowns. Why are they rated so poorly by me? Apart from the huge, debt they have done very little to address massive issues. Tax integrity, for example, both parties have for decades ignored diminishing corporate tax revenue. 679 of Australias top 1500 corporations paid no tax 2014/15 the remainder paid less than 5%. The advertised rate was 30%. It has taken decades for the fancy accounting firms to master this but they have. Governments have just watched. Personal taxation has also taken a whack. Negative gearing has taken off like a freight train to a point where millionaires are paying less tax than low & middle-income workers. As a direct result society suffers. Funding too services are cut. Governments rob Peter to pay Paul, and Paul is generally getting less anyway.

Governments job is simply to maintain the integrity of tax and to provide services for society. If they don't want to go back to the tried and true method there are other options. I found one that would generate over $300,000,000,000 every year without fail. If I can do it why can't parties with access to the best economists on speed dial? If we do have to have another Labor govt can we have one willing to do the hard things? Can we start getting the Aussies that aren't doing well off the canvas instead of ignoring their plight?

The Liberals are about to implode.

There have always been ideological differences within the Liberal party. In days gone by, they have always been held at bay by the greater lust for power. In recent times that balance has been precarious. Early on the exodus of Bernadi suggested all was not well. The issue of marriage equality has been a catalyst for great angst for the Liberal party going all the way back to 2004. When Howard altered the marriage act to stymie same-sex marriage.

We all know that some people within this government have strong religious beliefs that conflict with marriage equality. Religion & politics can coexist but they should be kept separate. This is great in theory but doesn't work in practice in my opinion. Being raised a Catholic until 18 when I walked away I can see how difficult it would be for somebody committed to their religion to be objective on issues that conflict.
Andrew Bolt who I have no time for has broken a story that a Liberal MP has threatened to quit in one month if Malcolm Turnbull remains Prime Minister. The by-elections are already threatening to end the tenuous hold the government has on power. Particularly in Bennelong where incumbent John Alexander has his work cut out for him with Kristina Keneally. Bolt will not name the MP but you can bet it is either Abbott, Andrews or somebody with leadership ambitions.
The extreme right of the party wants religious protections attached to the marriage equality bill.  Depending on who is delivering them they range from bigoted to just plain offensive to most people. They would also probably conflict with the Australian constitution s116.
Yesterday parliament sitting was moved back one week. In my opinion, it has everything to do with the same-sex marriage bill & the inability of the factions to find balance. I have little doubt that they are considering a coup of some type. In the history of the last 4 years, Abbott & Turnbull and all the failed Ministers attached with both leaders, I have difficulty seeing anyone with a brand that is worthy of the leadership. Mainstream media has thrown up Dutton, Morrison & Bishop & various times over the last few month but none are popular and all have various baggage before they begin.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Exploitation of education is reaching epedemic levels.

Being that I ran for the Senate in Victoria many of the kids that are being exploited around Australia are not really in my jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the people whose jurisdiction they are in don't seem to give a shit. I've seen correspondence from students to both the Minister Simon Birmingham & the Shadow Minister Tanya Plibersek both have generally fobbed students off with generic responses.

Universities around Australia have been turned from service providers into commercial ventures. These universities are setting up students to fail using an unscrupulous system. Students are left with a giant HECs debt & no qualification through no fault of their own. Some students who have practical experience are forced to quit jobs to do placements which are unpaid & involve the same work. I would name the university if it was one or two but I've seen evidence of these practices at several. They are also vexatious litigators. They threaten students & anyone else who gets in their path. If I was a Senator I'd invite these students into parliament to speak with impunity.

The pattern is this. Student starts the course. Student nears completion. The student has to do practical training known to them as a placement. Students are offered placements they cannot do or none at all. The student is failed if it doesn't do the placement. The student complains they are threatened. The Universities know this is an issue yet continue to start students on courses they will never complete.

The Minister & his Shadow are just watching this with their hands in their pockets. Students are being betrayed with an intent on a production line. Imagine the damage this does to a person at such a young age. It's proof to me that education should be a birthright,
not a privatised luxury.

Monday, 30 October 2017

How many more are in breach of s44(i-v)?

When (LAFHA) living away from home allowance was introduced to federal parliament there was no referendum. It was passed in both houses as most legislation does. When it was introduced it was meant to compensate MPs & Senators for their expenses renting or living in a Motel. Over time this has evolved to a point where MP's & Senators use their LAFHA to negative gear properties in their own name or their spouses. MPs & Senators are cagey about this subject. My mail is over 50 have negative gearing in Canberra. 
Why is this a problem? 
LAFHA is a Commonwealth allowance. Using an allowance for profit may breach s44 of the Australian Constitution. How does an MP or Senator profit, negative gearing with the allowance? They can profit two ways, the first is indisputable paying money on a mortgage increases equity. The second way is via a capital gain. I've asked a couple of people in the legal profession regards this theory & both believe it may be a problem for the politicians doing it.
This is one of the reasons I believe a full an independent audit of all federal MPs & Senators is warranted.
Our federal politicians have proven since election 2016 they don't take s44(i-v) seriously we have had 7 ruled ineligible & now the Senate President has come forward & said he may be a British citizen. Many of our federal MPs have clandestine investments including our Prime Minister. Without an audit, it is not possible to see if they hold a financial interest in any companies with Commonwealth contracts. One Senator does & refuses to budge.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Delaying marriage equality keeps it on the agenda.

I'm sure the LNP government is uncomfortable with marriage equality they have done everything possible to foil it since 2004. The plebiscite was a way of not dealing with the issue for Tony Abbott in 2014. It is religious grounds that are the basis for opposition although they won't openly admit it. By not dealing with it, they keep it on the agenda. It can be used to distract us from other significant issues as required.

Things like water theft in NSW. Homelessness across the nation. The failing NBN. The s44(i-v) scandal. The Parkinson report into the Sussan Ley scandal and the failure to deal with the asylum seeker detention issue.

Marriage equality is a significant issue to many people but it isn't the life or death issue that it often runs cover for. I hope the public is aware they have been with this issue. Even some of the media are finally rolling their eyes at the way this issue is being played out.

In 2004 John Howard altered the marriage act to the detriment of #SSM. It was a deliberate move in parliament to stop marriage equality. As is the talk of a plebiscite today.



Sunday, 30 July 2017

Why s44(i-v) exists & is important.

Part of the requirements of becoming a federal politician is making a declaration to the AEC. There is one question that is asked of all candidates. It asks if you are compliant with s44(i-v) of the Australian Constitution. A seemingly innocuous question on a bureaucratic form. The link below is a sample copy of a HOR candidates form. The Senate version is very similar. http://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/candidates/files/60-60b-single-regofficer-sample.pdf


The point of the law is to ensure all political candidates are loyal to this nation. That they are not compromised by their investments when making legislation. That they are honest. Apart from gathering signatures of eligible voters and the fee, it costs to run for parliament s44(i-v) is the only thing asked of a candidate. Many people get angry about s44(i) as it prohibits dual citizens from running for parliament. People who advocate for compliance are often referred to as birthers. They think that the law is racially motivated. In actual fact this argument is ludicrous. It is very possible for an Australian born person to become a dual citizen. The legal requirement is to ensure allegiance to The Commonwealth Of Australia.

The recent events in Canberra with MPs & Senators being questioned, resignations & at least one matter being referred to the High Court have happened because this law has never been audited. While it has a serious warning after it on the nomination forms. There is no enforcement. A breach of s44(i-v) Constitution does mean that the candidate is ineligible to be in Parliament. Knowingly making a false declaration is a breach of the Criminal Code Act 1995. It carries a maximum punishment of 12 months jail. Of course, once one matter goes unpoliced the fear of penalty diminishes for all who follow.          
Surely we must ask more of people who want to represent Australia in Parliament than we do of the people? Recent events where people on welfare have been issued dubious backdated debts & forced to prove with limited access to information their innocence. Yet politicians become belligerent when asked if they are compliant to this. Some have blocked FOI requests. Many senior MPs on both sides of politics have ignored letters & emails in relation to this law.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Internships, what are they good for?

So yesterday Senator Cash & Prime Minister Turnbull were out & about spruiking jobs & growth. It was a bit different though this time they had statistics. Internship trials were run and of 1,200 participants 82 ended with jobs. At first glance good for the 82. That's a success rate of 6.8% or a failure rate of 93.2%. Is this good enough? Turnbull & Cash are talking it up. They announced 10,000 at the top end of retail.
                                                                             
This gives these big businesses a competitive edge over their competitors. It gives them access to subsidised cheap labour while their competitors will be paying award rates or more. Will these 10,000 interns replace existing workers? If so what good is it? If not how will the government know? If you get free labour it must give increased profits. Why do these businesses get such a leg up? What is their relationship with government? Are they political donors?

The retail sector has an EBA that was negotiated & signed off or ratified by SDA{a union of sorts} & FWC This internship plan undermines the conditions in this agreement. It was already a pretty shabby deal for workers. Now, this on top. How many casual workers will be impacted by the influx of Interns? How can workers be asked to bargain in good faith & then have a government come over the top with a plan that impacts the deal?

Apart from giving work experience without the benefits, I see little benefit in this plan for the participants. I see no benefit to existing workers with variable or casual employment. I see great benefit to the shareholders & executives via increased profits.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Testing the waters the grossest invasion of privacy yet.

 I was only slightly shocked when told this government was going to test the sewers around Australia. All this to work out where they should drug test people on social security they refer to as 'dole bludgers'. I knew something nasty was coming for these people as the propaganda leading up to the budget mentioned this minority at every opportunity. I think the sewer testing is just about the silliest thing this government has suggested, after the knighthood of Prince Phillip. Are the government suggesting that drug addiction is solely the domain of our unemployed? Or are they suggesting unemployed people have access to exclusive sewers? This aside it troubles me that people who are already struggling, are being targeted as a sport. This policy is blatant discrimination based on irrational generalisations. All this on top of the not my debt fiasco in the lead up to Christmas 2016. When welfare recipients were issued with debts from years back, with dodgy data matching & bullied by third party debt collectors. While Centrelink phones were unresponsive & the Ministers responsible were just pig ignorant.
                                                         
I have no doubt there are people with drug addictions on welfare but they are also in banking, politics and in sports. Why do we feel the need to target people that are generally less fortunate? The government is ambiguous. It complains about the cost of welfare, then adds another layer to it. They have promised Australia jobs at two elections and are clearly failing to deliver. I think this is why the 'dole bludger' scenarios are being pushed. It distracts us from the government failure.


                                                             

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

#notmydebt distracts from the real issues.

This government has targeted welfare recipients every time they are swamped with performance issues. Issuing backdated debts to welfare recipients is incredibly cruel policy. Doing it knowing that the data cross-referencing is flawed is just depraved. Unless you've experienced welfare you are really poorly qualified to speak on the hardship these people endure. Of our 226 federal politicians, the only person I am aware of to have experienced welfare is Jacqui Lambie. Welfare recipients represent a far greater proportion of Australian society than lawyers do.Lawyers account for less than 1% of the total population yet almost 60% of our politicians are lawyers. As you can see from that welfare recipients are far less represented in parliament. What is a welfare recipient? If a welfare recipient is someone receiving some type of financial remuneration from the government then I would argue almost all of us are. Somebody who's unemployed & single receives Newstart. Somebody who's earning $500,000.00 a year can use things like negative gearing & various other perks to reduce the amounts of tax they pay which is the equivalent of welfare without the indignity.


There is always going to be a disparity in life. People who have luck or are clever generally find a way to thrive. When a government runs on a platform of hope as this LNP government has twice since September 2013, they deserve scrutiny. Abbott promised to create 2 million jobs in 10 years. Turnbull promised jobs & growth using a dubious economic model known as trickle down economics. Since 2013 unemployment has fluctuated from 9.7% (R.Morgan) Sept 2013 to 9.4% Feb 2017 (R.Morgan) Many of the people that are categorised as employed are less than fully employed. This has increased over the last couple of decades in Australia. By any measure, this government is failing to deliver on its promises. People who are seeking the promised jobs are being unfairly branded to avert our eyes from this government's failure.

We need to provide jobs that employ people in the area's they reside. It is near on impossible for a young person to move into town for a minimum wage job the rent alone would fully consume their income. This is one of the primary reasons youth unemployment in regional Australia is so high. Governments need to solve these issues. If they don't have the answers they shouldn't be in parliament.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Complaint to ABC 20/2/2017 no response.

Posted on the 20th February 2017 via their email service. No reply within the 30-day deadline they offer up. Here is a copy of my complaint.





Program: ABC 730 
Program Date: 
ABC Service\Network: ABC Television 
ABC Recipient: 
Subject: Social media censorship & programming diversity. 
Your Comments: Last year I was a federal Senate candidate in Victoria. I have been quite vocal on social media about the appointment of Ms Guthrie and the subsequent glut of IPA members appearing on ABC programs. I have actively highlighted the lack of compliance to the ABC charter. During the final week of the federal election, we were contacted by a producer of the drum to appear on the program as a panellist, in response to a press release from my media manager. This offer was never followed up by the producer. I also some months later discovered I had been blocked on twitter by @abc730 I can only speculate as to the reasoning behind this. It does seem that my twitter account may have been vetted. @bugwannostra is my handle. I make no apologies for the position I have regarding diversity & compliance with the charter. I also think the Guthrie appointment is a deliberate attempt to give the Murdoch empire more control of content. How many of the 1,600 plus candidates did the ABC introduce to the Australian public in the lead-up to the federal election in 2016? None. They had incumbents and people that already were known to Australia via their media profiles. Surely this alone shows how far the ABC is from compliance to the charter? These issues have received a lot of attention on social media in the past 8 months.
Blocking people for being offensive is probably OK. Blocking them because they have an alternative view on one or several issues is not. Messing with somebodies election campaign & trying to quell their following by denying access to social media is just wrong. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We must close the gap.

Politics today seems to be only catering to the corporations, irrespective of who's in government. Whilst they rely on your vote to get elected they rely more on corporations for funding. The other thing that appears to be happening while unmonitored is jobs post politics. Recently we have seen many politicians resign & move into areas they have been involved with while in politics. Corruption is difficult to prove when deals are done secretly and no money changes hands immediately.

How can a government with high unemployment & many people underemployed be targeting welfare for cuts to social security & many of the services that feed this sector of society? In the same breath contemplating giving tax breaks to corporations that already do everything within their power to avoid paying taxes now.

                               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XnihgXhh3c

I recently saw a video of Noam Chomsky talking about the division of wealth in the USA. The link above isn't the link I watched but it is the same topic & runs longer so I imagine it is more comprehensive. It is indisputable that our politician's relationship with the corporate sector is driving this agenda. The focus on growth & profit for corporations to appease shareholders comes at enormous cost to society. Globalisation is designed to destroy the local industrial relations, within nations. To drive the wages of people who do have employment down again, another way of increasing profits. This, of course, is short term gain. The wages of workers are generally what stimulates markets. Putting all the money in the hands of a few is always going to end badly.
                                                                         
We need to find a party in Australia that is prepared to govern solely with the interests of the people. While we blindly follow the status quo the gap in society will continue to grow. Chomsky was talking about this in 1994 at MIT & it is still happening today. People are very slow to react.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

18c is little more than a filibuster for RWNJ's & a hapless government .


How much taxpayer money has been frittered away on 'The 18c ' chat while society's real issues are neglected deliberately by govt?

The 18c discussion in parliament takes attention away from far more pressing issues. There are so many things, homelessness, unemployment etc. The government uses several issues in the same fashion to avert our eyes. Abbott for example used terror press conferences so often it was fodder for cartoonists.

In 2013 the Abbott government promised to create 2 million jobs in 10 years. In 2016 the Turnbull government ran on a jobs & growth platform. Unemployment was 9.7% in January 2017 according to Morgan research. Little wonder the government want to distract us. The recent FWC decision on penalty rates which they claim may create jobs is also a furphy. 700,000 workers losing up to $6,000.00 a year isn't a great thing for the workers or the economy. It removes large amounts of cash from circulation. Low-income workers generally spend what they earn. I'm sceptical that these penalty rate cuts will generate jobs. If the economy is still tracking the same way in July this would probably trigger a recession. It's virtually the opposite of what our govt did during the global economic crisis. They put money into the hands of our poorest people. That helped business & kept jobs going, bucking global trends.
Many of the serious issues get random political attention yet the funding & lack of policy focus suggests it isn't sincere. Homelessness is a great example of this. Over 105,000 Aussies are homeless in Australia. How often is it discussed in question time? There are many things that feed this problem. Most trace back to government policy in one way or another. Our governments over the past 30 years have allowed tax integrity to erode so they have become revenue poor. Services that have been historically funded by government have been cut dramatically. Our government owned services have been privatised fully or partially. All off the neglect & rising costs of services feeds into homelessness & poverty.
Which kind of explains why an issue like 18c is a go too topic for our government. It's a filibuster. It distracts from all the serious issues that are growing in society. It's an argument that seems to only matter to the extreme right of politics who also seem to have a huge regard for austerity & privatisation.
I guess my point is a sitting day in parliament isn't cheap and there aren't that many of them. We pay for travel accommodation meals & all the support that is necessary. Surely we have a right to expect that these days are utilised servicing issues on a priority basis. The need for the Bernardi's of the world to push the boundaries of free speech should not be the priority when so many serious issues are evolving before our eyes.



 Social environmental & political activist

Monday, 27 February 2017

Corporate globalisation is a path to destruction.

Allowing corporations to have their way with us is both foolish & a perilous path. These faceless entities have no empathy or care for the impact they have on society. They have no plan for what they discard. They have no desire to fix what they break.
                                                                       
We are told that the world is changing. That we are moving to a world where there are very few jobs. They call it automation. In a world where discussions about unemployment & welfare are so immature. Governments severely compromised by their relationships with lobbyists and corporations seemingly have no plans to combat this, in fact, they seem to be in bed with it.
                                                                           
I wonder how a society that has real trouble resolving issues like euthanasia, is going to feel when kids as young as 15 will have no prospect of employment. What will be the stimulus provided to these people to make their life meaningful? Or are they simply being written off, without care for the consequence? Can you imagine the problems this will cause society? Does society still exist?
I'd say no while we still can. The massive division in rich & poor is widening. The people have the power to change this. They must fight for a future if they want to have one for future generations. Embracing progress assuming its motives are good is no longer prudent. If our governments & politicians refuse to listen they must be removed.
Progress is only progressing if it is inclusive & adds value to the quality of life of people and is respectful of the planet with its finite resources.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Be like Iceland. Australia can be a 'great southern land'.

There is a real sense of futility in the community. It was noticeable when I was campaigning last year. While the anger & frustration is warranted generally, we do have options. We don't have to accept what our MPs & Senators serve up. We know that there is corruption in and around our parliament. We know that there are inappropriate relationships with donors & government contractors. We know that many very ordinary politicians are being gifted roles they don't deserve. In some instances, we can see how they have got the rewards they are so blatant. We can see the authorities that should be the providers of political oversight have been slowly scuttled over decades with appointments & all sorts of intimidation. Our political system is recognised as one of the more corrupt systems in the world today & it hasn't even been properly investigated. Our system is far worse than Iceland's was.

                                                                       

We should be looking at what they did as inspiration. A catalyst for change in Australia. We could do the same and more. Install an interim government. Become a republic. Investigate corruption. Fund the services society requires. Re-nationalise our bank. Reduce government interference in people's lives. Ensure the corporations pay their taxes by modifying their tax system. Introduce an ASX tax of 0.25% to help get the national debt heading towards balance. Build & retain ownership of all new infrastructure.                

Stop companies that are pillaging our nation's resources. Invest in education. Work on reducing welfare without negativity. Try & lift the living standards & opportunities for those who struggle. Find solutions to issues today instead of leaving them for future generations. So much is possible if we find the right people.
I am sure we could put together a team of diversely talented people to solve the many issues that are snowballing under our current system & representation. What happened in Iceland was the will of the people. It wasn't violent. It just required the engagement of the people.