In a surprise move the beleaguered Prime minister of Australia announced his resignation today.
Tony Abbott released this statement to the press :
Its become clear to me my popularity is the lowest of any prime minister in Australian history. Modern democracy is really a fancy a popularity contest, and without the Murdoch press constantly spruiking and spinning every move I make, my position and lobbyist for various corporations and private interests is untenable. I have feathered my nest quite well in this time is politics but the game is up. It’s time to hand the mask to a new monster currently more palatable to the mindless masses we call the Australian public. I wish the next soulless opportunist to take on the captaincy all the best, as captain of this now sinking ship.
ABC 4 corners investigation has uncovered the amoral gamification of government contracts purported to offer job seeker assistance.
This video may not be available after march 9 2015 so get in fast.
Forging and falsifying documents seemed to be industry standard practice.
Specific rorts uncovered were:
Categorizing people into more at risk categories in order to get more funding.
Claiming payments for assisting job seekers into work even when the job seeker was not assisted.
Funneling job seekers into in-house training courses order to claim a training payment, often the training was low quality, inappropriate or never actually provided.
What is more shocking was successive governments were aware of the widespread fraud and waste but did nothing to punish the fraudsters.
So a total of 18 billion dollars was spent on this program, conservative estimates are that about half was fraud by the contracted agencies.
18 billion dollars spent over a 16 year period is a lot of money, what else could be done with such a sum.
In November 1960 President Kennedy was elected and quite quickly promised to have a man on the moon before 1970.
In the period of 1961 and 1969, 34 billion dollars was spend on getting man on the moon.
So effectively we could have had half a moon landing for the price of the wacky ideologically driven ‘be mean to the battlers’ program.
So who is behind all of this, who else Tony Abbott,
Minister for employment when the program was announced,
under John Howard.
After divisive party spill (leadership) vote Tony Abbott effectively shoots the messenger by sacking party whip Phillip Ruddock. Even Opposition parties were taken aback at the apparent knee jerk reflex of Tony Abbott’s faction, dishonoring a well liked and long serving parliamentarian.
As the bad press around Abbott mounts, one can only imagine he is simply living in a self constructed fantasy land. Having bee initially endorsed by the media tyrant Rupert Murdoch, he has now completely ‘Jumped the shark’ now being criticized by the very same Murdoch.
The moment Tony Abbott coined this phrase it was yet another “suppository of wisdom” coming from Tony Abbott’s mouth.
It had ‘memebait’ written all over it. Fortunately SMH was on the job.
For those too young to know what this all means allow me to explain. (Adult themes and language)
Relevance? Today is the first day Australian warplanes began flying armed over the regions disputed by Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan (and of course the boogeyman ‘de jour’; ISIS).
In case there is any blow back, remember no one outside of the Australian political system voted for military intervention, If you want to blame anyone blame a politician.
I was thinking of a serious look at 9/11 but I really didn’t feel like it. So for now something unrelated to this auspicious date, and somewhat more entertaining.
You should see something like this:
Something a little lighthearted on a day when we might be a bit glum.
From this article today, which you may have seen on television today if you watch ABC.
Now watch the video again considering these details which you may have missed:
1) Food was being delivered to people who would otherwise go hungry.
This means poverty is severe and welfare is clearly failing. This generally means there are very limited prospects for employment in this area because money is simply not flowing in this community.
2) Tons of food was being transported, in particularly vegetables and bread. Question is why aren’t these products being sold in supermarkets? Are supermarkets simply squeezing out local manufacturers?
3) The young woman (Stacey Binns) was working for no payment.
This means no amount of work she was doing would increase her disposable income, and would not start money flowing in her community. Therefore what she was really doing was being forced to perpetuate the poverty in her community.
4) The young woman (Stacey Binns) quite rightly pointed out that there are hundreds of application for every job advertised. Her chances are slim of getting out of the poverty trap deliberately created around her.
5) This is one of 18 high unemployment areas around Australia where this scheme has been rolled out this month and already the federal government wants to expand the scheme further making it nationwide by July 2015.
6) The government will spend 900 Million dollars rolling out this scheme, that’s almost enough to send a rover to the surface of Mars. It well known that these schemes are generally not successful and actually if anything reduce the chances of transition from welfare to work.
7) 900 Million dollars is enough money to give 18,000 people 50, 000 for one year, I think 18,000 people having a basics income would generate more jobs than a downward economic spiral. The almost 1 Billion dollars will be wasted on a variety of corporate scumbags lining up for a hand out while attacking people on benefits.
8) Work for the dole or ‘help and hassle’ welfare schemes only really function when the economy is super hot and unemployment is extremely low (2% or less), not when unemployment is well above 5%.
9) All of this has been tried before and even without the stipulation to engage in slave labor, when there are no jobs no amount of looking for them will be successful.
Proof? (Warning kiwi accents.)
I cant try any harder!
-A young man shows quite succinctly by canvassing numerous Auckland suburbs that the jobs were simply not there.
The clip is from a much larger series by Alistair Barry which you can find links to here:
Don’t be too impatient give it a few minutes, you are practically looking at a working crystal ball, everything you are seeing now in the Australian economy was tried in New Zealand 25 years ago. The result was a disaster, by the time the right wing neo-con government was voted out off office in 1999 , the economy was shrinking at 2% though strangely the government statistics department was claiming it was growing at 2%. Though that is a separate scandal in itself which strangely got very little media traction. Of course this all happened while most western economies were booming, showing how much of a complete failure it was to improve the economy.
This of course was simply a tactic to reduce the average wage and introduce a whole new strata of New Zealand society to a lower standard of living ,and quite a few to abject poverty. Interestingly this right wing government launched a radical slashing of welfare just after assuming office on a strong majority after a lack luster two term Labour government with leadership changes in the dying days, sounds too bloody familiar.
For reference in 1991 $50 NZD was worth about $86NZD in today’s money. The inflation problems experienced in Australia in the 90’s had already happened in NZ in the 80’s. Food prices are comparable with Australian prices though meat is about 20% less expensive due to exceptional livestock rearing climate (fertile soil, lack of drought and neither too hot or cold most years). Beer and other alcohol is 50% cheaper due to much lower excises, personally I think if it wasn’t the country would be empty and Bondi Beach would be full. New Zealand actually produces enough food to feed itself and all of Australia, a good reason to be in the good books with the bloody kiwis, or at least have a comprehensive invasion plan.