25 Dec 2018

CHRISTMAS IS FOR CHILDREN. Is it really, or is it for grown-ups to become children?

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What makes you think it’s a grand idea to juggle fire and matches after several champagne cocktails?

And the last time you rode a bike was before high school, so please explain why you are attempting a wheelie in thongs after several hours of hooking into the Christmas spirits.

As the portly chap in the flammable red suit prepares for his annual squeeze down the exhaust extractor, take action to ensure you head into 2019 intact.

“The big injuries over Christmas in Australia feature dads who buy skateboards, scooters or bikes for the kids and then break their wrists or other bones demonstrating them.

Santa does not take any responsibility for grown-ups behaving like children after they buy so called toys for the children.

24 Dec 2018

Is this open government? Brexit secrecy once again?

Tell the public nothing, that is the mantra of the present government.
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Pharmaceutical organisations working with Whitehall to maintain medicine supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit have signed 26 “gagging orders” that bar them from revealing information to the public.

Figures show that 16 drug companies and 10 trade associations have been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) which prevent them from revealing any information related to contingency plans drawn up with the Department of Health and Social Care.

It means that the government has now asked at least 60 partners working on no-deal preparations across Whitehall to sign such agreements, angering transparency campaigners and MPs.

22 Dec 2018

Trump diplomacy? Diplomacy is no longer commonplace in America or externally.

Reliance on American commonsense, while we did not always agree, was predictable. This has now turned to fear, fear of a loose cannon president who is out of control.

The blood and treasure spent by the US in the middle east is being squandered by a TV host president?

These two US withdrawals from war don't spell peace. They show weakness and instability. America's supremacy and the world order since the Cold War were predicated on overwhelming military might and predictability.

Now Washington's adversaries are stronger militarily, and see that the old strictures no longer apply.

No longer do they know what the US will and will not accept. 

Instead, the Commander in Chief of the most powerful war machine in history thinks of it as a device to be used to change the headlines, or express his potency.

The risk of conflict being initiated as rashly as these two withdrawals were announced has risen dramatically. The risk of America's adversaries calculating -- with some justification -- that now might be the time to think about pursuing their longer-term goals in somewhere say, like, Ukraine, massively rose too.

This is not a standard Trump-era blip, but a moment when the mood music saw a key change, or perhaps the screen went blue along with the blue thoughts among world leaders.

10 Dec 2018

Boats have turned into planes? Home Affairs Department website shows 27,931 protection visa applications were made in the latest financial year by plane arrivals.

Based on an article by Michael Pascoe
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27,931 protection visa applications were made in the latest financial year by plane arrivals. (Smugglers now put refugees on planes?) What is really happening with stop the boats. How many turn backs have happened, we'll never know!

The previous record number of asylum seekers was 26,845 in the 2012-13 financial year when 18,365 protection visa applications were made for boat arrivals and 8480 for those who came by plane.

Over the weekend, the federal government continued its campaign of trying to paint Labor as “soft” on border protection, feeding compliant media outlets with allegations that admitting a relatively small number of asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus Island on medical grounds would mean people convicted of murder and rape could enter Australia. (How many of the refugees are criminals. We are never told)

But in the past four years since the government “stopped the boats”, 64,362 protection visa applications have been made by unvetted individuals who have arrived by plane while Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton were the relevant ministers.

The people smugglers are doing more business than ever.  Photo: AAP

That compares with a total of 44,581 protection visa applications for boat arrivals over the previous five years.

Former Immigration Department deputy secretary, Abul Rizvi, predicts the latest record will be broken this financial year, blaming the surge on the “chaos” in Mr Dutton’s Home Affairs department. Most of the new wage of protection visa applicants are arriving on visitor visas and then lodging appeals as asylum seekers.

Meanwhile Home Affairs is reducing frontline staff and IT contractors.

“Outsourcing visa processing will make the problem worse. Tackling the chaos in our visa processing system will cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars, possibly north of a billion dollars and take many years.

Mr Rizvi retired as Immigration Department deputy secretary in 2007. He was awarded the Public Service Medal and the Centenary Medal for services to development and implementation of immigration policy.

He has blown the whistle on protection visa applications and the resurgence of people smugglers via John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritationspublic policy website.

7 Dec 2018

The way we view The Social Economy is outdated. We need a rethink.

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Luke Michael, Journalist
The social economy is the workforce of the future, according to a new report, which says outdated perceptions of the social services sector must change.

The Future Social Service Institute (FSSI) report identified the social economy as the fastest growing segment of the Australian labour market, with 250,000 new jobs projected by 2022.

“However despite this rapid growth, the social economy is largely overlooked in discourses about… Australia’s economic future,” the report said.

“Instead, attention is typically given to new jobs in advanced manufacturing, defence, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and construction.”

The report said it was time to change how the the social economy was “recognised, respected and rewarded”, with a need to make social services jobs more attractive to meet demand.

“In short, we must see the social economy as the workforce of the future,” the report said.

“We must stop talking about the sector as if it were only a welfare cost to the public purse, and we must start seeing it as being about industries, professions and careers.”

Government's fight against terrorism to stop over Christmas holidays? Home Affairs slashes staff over Christmas at Airports. So, terrorist must go on holidays? I don't think so!

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Terrorist selecting holiday destination. Australia is available.

Home Affairs budget slashed to avoid $300 million overspend

The Australian Border Force is slashing staff numbers at airports over the busy Christmas period as part of desperate measures to stem a predicted $300 million overspend at the Department of Home Affairs.

Leaked emails from two regional commanders show the Border Force is taking dramatic action in the face of "significant budget pressures", including slashing casual staff by up to two-thirds in some areas. Sources say the organisation is becoming increasingly casualized, which suggests the reduction in overall workers will be substantial.

On Thursday we had PM Morrison giving Shorten a blast about not supporting governments bill on Cyber Security(this bill is not workable without amendments).
Now we learn the Government is going on holidays early and now Boarder Force's staff has been cut over the holidays. Terrorists go on holidays? Talk about hypocrisy!

3 Dec 2018

Where are the children? 'They are our present government'. I say again where are the children- answer:- marching in the street like gown-ups protesting about lack of action on climate change.

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Based on an article by BIGSMOKE

Our school kids skipping school to protest the Government’s inaction should be an example to follow. In fact, compared to the people who govern us, they seem like the real adults.

Now I have been a little more jaded than usual with respect to our leaders and political system. But something happened this week that enraged me so much that I had to say something in a public forum.

For those that haven’t kept up. Thousands of school kids skipped school this week to hold a protest against the Government’s lack of action on climate change. 

Now whether you agree with their cause or not, you’d have to agree that seeing the next generation politically engaged is an absolute plus.

Perhaps if my generation or the others around mine had done more of it, we might not be where we are right now.
Now the embattled (sacred cow) Liberal MP Craig Kelly treated us to a further example of our elected juvenility. 
As he strode into a leisure centre, castigating a local mayor with four-letter words for not shaking his hand. Apparently, this was at a function attended by children.

Meanwhile  Kelly, of course, is in the midst of being saved by his own party, not for his merit, but because his friends(climate change deniers) chose to keep him around.

The government, I feel, needs a fairly comprehensive shift of three years in the naughty corner.

2 Dec 2018

Royal Commission stage 2 is waiting in the wings to investigate criminal offences!

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Only 27 customers heard at Royal Commission

The clamour for a royal commission 2.0 is already starting to build among victims of misconduct in the financial services industry. They are unanimous in saying that the inquiry – although thorough and on occasions a brutal expose of the industry’s shortcomings.
They heard from only 27 customers and did not go nearly far enough.

Geoff Shannon, who set up a group to help victims of bank misconduct several years ago, said the commission had only just begun the work of exposing problems in the financial system.

“It’s not even scratched the surface in terms of bank scandals. The industry think they are just about off the hook but we are only just at the beginning,” said Shannon, a former Bankwest customer.

Another campaigner, Peter Brandson, agreed that the commission needed to carry on investigating the financial industry but with increased powers to expose misconduct.

The commission is not looking at the most serious offences,” said Brandson, who set up Bank Reform Now after fighting a loan dispute with NAB. “There has been criminal fraud, forged documents, asset-stripping and millions of dollars of assets have been taken from people.

Both activists have held numerous meetings with the banks and politicians but say there is still not enough recognition of the damage done by what they claim is decades of misconduct.

It is not inconceivable that a change of government in Canberra next year could put the banks, wealth managers, super funds and insurance companies on the interrogatory rack again.

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