Bran, babies and a bus pass.

July 15th, 2007

If we re-elect HoWARd, the paternalism will be out-of-control.

In legislation proposed yesterday, from July 1, 2008, low-income Australian families whose children are neglected or have unexplained school absences, will have the right to freely spend their government welfare payments withdrawn and replaced with a Centrelink-controlled electronic spending card.

The government plans to ‘store’ welfare payments on a parent’s individual electronic spending card which could only be used at shops to buy food and clothing for children or to pay rent.

“Governments must never be neutral when it comes to the special responsibilities that families shoulder in our society and to the importance of parents providing basic essentials like food, clothing and shelter and ensuring children attend school.’’

Under this proposal, each family would lose the ability to spend their payments autonomously. They will need to gain the approval of a public service organisation (or perhaps a private tender company) to buy essentials.

I think this government is missing a perfect opportunity for some social engineering if it doesn’t also address Australia’s childhood obesity problem, its aging population and low birth rate and the need to reduce the effects of global warming. Whilst, within this policy, there already exists Centrelink control of the parent’s electronic spending card, why not go that step further?

Clearly the PM loves the number eleven (as in 11 years in power) so in honour of that achievement, policy will be aligned to the number eleven.

Parents and their children would be weighed and if any one person in the family is more than 11 kilos overweight, the card could ban the purchase of any processed, fatty and sugary foods.

Until you have 11 children, all forms of contraception would be replaced by one cheap book- “The Billings method.”

A family’s car, if they have one, would be checked for air pollution and greenhouse emissions. If it’s over 11 (three stars), your family gets a bus pass.

Our PM, John HoWARd ends his policy statement with this:

“No one has a right to have the Australian taxpayer fund their irresponsible behaviour.’’

So, given that $55 million was spent on advertising WorkChoices legislation, the word WorkChoices will be reintroduced into the political landscape, eleven times every day, up to and including election day, so as not to be responsible for irresponsible taxpayer funded behaviour.


Image from here

No blood, No oil, only democracy building!

July 7th, 2007

It seems like a lifetime ago, when I and 349,999 other anti war protesters filled the streets of Sydney to beg this government not to join the Coalition of the willing in Operation Iraqi Freedom, better known as the illegal war in Iraq.

Many reasons and many positions were displayed on placards and on t-shirts, with No Blood for Oil being the most popular. We knew then and we know now, that this government’s motivation for the freedom of the Iraqi people, was significantly less than the motivation for to secure, continuous, supply of our oil.

The difference now is that the Minister of Defence- Dr Brendan Nelson, recently made the same point, if from a somewhat different perspective. He attempted to use the security of access to oil to sell the illegal war in Iraq.

“Energy security is extremely important to all nations throughout the world, and of course, in protecting and securing Australia’s interests. The Middle East itself, not only Iraq, but the entire region is an important supplier of energy oil, in particular, to the rest of the world.”- Dr Brendan Nelson.

Our PM- John HoWARd, will be having none of that, instantly coming out defending the indefensible by saying:

“We are not there [in Iraq] because of oil and we didn’t go there because of oil. We don’t remain there because of oil. Oil is not the reason. Oil comes from the Middle East – we all know that – but the reason we remain there is we want to give the people of Iraq the possibility of embracing democracy.” – HoWARd.

So the question has to be, how’s this democracy embracing in Iraq going? Because the question cannot be how’s our oil?

Update: Nelson has been pulled into the official line, with the following being his position a mere 24 hours later.

“Iraq has never been about oil”


Image from here