Friday, September 28, 2007

It's not just Royal North Shore Hospital

  • Pressure on staff
  • Not enough hands on deck
  • Dedicated workers giving 200% overworked, overtired
  • Work is much more intense
  • Technological complexity
  • No time for training
  • Administrative overload
  • Lack of specialised staff
  • Political footballs
  • No time for listening, reflection,
  • Lack of money
  • Demoralised staff
  • No time to do the job properly
DH is typing this list while listening to Fran Kelly on the ABC discussing the background to the tragic miscarriage at RNSH

It's not just RNSH.
As a temp, DH has worked recently at several State Govt departments, a politicians office, several peak NGO's, and a University department.
These problems are endemic to all.

It is a miracle that the vital provision of the states' services and infrastructure of the state get done at all, and its only because the majority of workers give 200%, often even dipping into their own pockets, their own time, to hold it all together.

DH wonders if our state institutions are suffering from a rapidly progressing internal haemmorhagic fever, and one day we'll wake up and find that our institutions have collapsed around us.

DH reckons one culprit is technological change that is happening faster than our institutions can cope with, or absorb. While we are paying heavily for all this expensive technology, it's actually slowing us down.

But no time to develop a major thesis. Heigh, ho, heigh ho, late for work again, while pontificating... DH will have an exciting day today. She has been encouraged by the staff to challenge the management to make major changes with herself leading the charge.

Guess why?

Because DH has secure housing, she need not fear losing her job, and can speak her mind, and do what's right.

And this leads us to this interesting political point.

The best way to control a population is to keep them in fear of homelessness.

If Shelter was a right, if everyone had Land Rights, or at least Pied-a-Terre Rights, imagine ...
Thesis to be continued...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Urgent philosophical query for blog readers

Applying "Beginners' Mind" to the apparently insoluble question of why a wealthy country like Australia can't afford to house its citizens so that they can put down some roots and get their lives into some kind of order, DH realises that she doesn't even understand the basics.
So please help her to get a grip on first principles 
Can anyone remind DH why it is that such a huge deposit is required to climb up the slippery slope to home ownership in the first place?.
Is there a genuine economic reason for this,  inscribed in the Laws of Nature, or is this simply some kind of moral hurdle / rationing device dreamed up by the same miserable wretches who brought us the Protestant Work Ethic and its horrible corollary, John Howard? 
Why can't everyone simply stake out a claim on a property, promise faithfully to love, honour and be responsible for it for ever and ever amen, and then start paying the builders.  
Is this a way of saying that only people with inherited property, (and in the case of White Australia, we know exactly the lofty morality with which they acquired their property in the first place),  or those with a capacity for self-denial during the best years of their lives, deserve a home?
AHA!!! Is it because builders require some capital to start with, which the banks must provide?
Why can't our taxes provide this startup capital?
AHA!!! (2).  That's called Public Housing!!! Now DH gets it!
Yeah but,...  Public Housing is when the Government hires so-called architects deliberately selected on the basis of their loathing of humanity and their lack of a sense of design and beauty to go out of their way to create housing of such ugliness and disutility that it won't upset miserable wretches  who think the only way to a moral life is through self-flagellation and parsimony.
To be continued - DH is off to her one-stop self-flagellation shop aka "The Job" to save up for next months bus fare to "The Job"

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Breaches of Mutual Reponsibility: Can an Ant sue a Herd of Elephants?

Are there any lawyers lurking about?

The Question
Can Centrelink Recipients mount a class action against the Howard Government for breaching its own much-trumpeted Doctrine of "Mutual Responsibility".

Definition of terms
  • A state sanctioned band of reprobates who rob from the poor to give to the rich (hereinafter referred to as the 'Howard Government')
  • The Howard Government and its legal heirs and descendants, (just in case Labor gets in and ends up doing bugger all for the lumpen-proletariat) (hereinafter referred to as ' the State')
  • A poor sod trying to feed, clothe, transport, medicate, entertain and generally keep their family together on $200 a week after rent (hereinafter referred to as the "Centrelink Recipient" or "'the Individual"
Case Study

A school-leaver with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) began University in Semester 1, 2006. AS is characterised by high intelligence, but difficulties with executive function, eg the ability to self-start, prioritise and multi-task, as well as difficulties with social communication, eg naivety, an aversion to initiating contact. Often known as "Absent Minded Professor Syndrome", or "Nerd Syndrome".

The student, having a touching faith in the natural justice of the system, assumed that her Austudy Supplement would apply retrospectively to the beginning of the year. By the time the student had settled into her course and applied for the Supplement, she found she had missed out on 4 months' worth. Let's not get excited about the generosity of the State at this point, folks, we are only looking at $360 for the whole 12 weeks. The student was assured that appeal was pointless and left it at that.

After successfully finishing Semester 1 with Distinction, the Student realised that nevertheless University was too emotional demanding for her, and switched to TAFE. Alas, the student again made the wrong assumption. Knowing that as a Disability Pensioner, she was equally entitled to the Supplement at TAFE, and being disorganised, and finding it difficult to self-start, as well as to surmount the communication barrier by initiating contact with a government department, she just put her head in the sand and put off contacting Centrelink. She finished her TAFE course a year later, again with distinction.

Finally, having completed her education, the student, knowing she was no longer entitled to a subsidy, and being honest and lawabiding, overcame her fear of contact to notify Centrelink. It took her several weeks to get up the courage, but was perfect willing to pay back the overpayment, since the Austudy supplement is only $30 a week. She was shocked to discover, that the worst had happened. While she was entitled to the payment, by failing to report the change within 3 months, she had lost her entitlement, and now had an overpayment of something like $1800 to make, a huge amount for a person on a disability pension, and a sad way for a young person to embark on working life with a government debt.

Where is the mutual obligation?

While the student breached her responsibility to report within the statutory period, surely the State breached natural justice and fairness by depriving the student of her her rightful stipend on a mere technicality?

It sounds like State Chicanery.

Where is the reciprocity between a welfare recipient, operating with limited resources, and struggling with complex, difficult to access information, and the State, with all its organised resources and might?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


DH wonders whether she is psychic after yesterday's entry, in which she apparently anticipated Howard's smear against yet another Labor Leader's "ticker".

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Revealed! Howard Lacks the Pecker!

If there's one thing DH regrets about the demise of Kim Beazley, it's the lost opportunity for some top slogans.
Including the obvious counter above to "Beazley lacks the Ticker". He may have lacked the ticker, but any redblooded woman can tell you what Howard obviously lacks.
There's not enough said about unattractive men who substitute the pursuit of political power as compensation for their lack of success with more pleasurable manly pursuits. CF Nixon vs Kennedy, Hitler vs ... , oh never mind.
We have allowed Howard to do to the country what no self-respecting woman armed with a 10 foot pole, or even a paddle pop stick, would
tolerate for a moment.
PS: Not to mention: "Beazley vs Beastly: The Choice is Yours")

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Labor refuses to nationalise Mum-and-Dad landlords!

Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Housing, last night ruled out nationalisation as a solution to Australia's rental crisis.

Speaking at a Forum on Affordable Housing at Glebe recently, Ms Plibersek made it plain that Labor would not be putting the middle classes out of their misery. Deaf to "mum-and-dad" landlords' cries of unprofitability and their horror stories of tenants who trash the property and abscond with the rent, Labor will instead be offering a raft of proposals to prolong the agony of the small-time property investor, including:

  • A $603 million National Rental Affordability Scheme that will create 50 000 new affordable rental properties across Australia, for rent to low-income families at 20 per cent below market rates;
  • A $500 million Housing Affordability Fund to tackle the undersupply of new residential housing and the cost of infrastructure, saving new home buyers up to $20 000;
  • A National Housing Supply Research Council, to analyse the adequacy of land supply across the nation, as well as rates of construction;
  • Infrastructure Australia – a statutory authority to oversee reform, planning, development and investment in priority infrastructure;
  • A cabinet-level Minister responsible for federal policy on housing; and
  • a $2.5 billion fund to provide all of Australia’s 2,650 secondary schools with vocational training facilities to help combat the skills shortage, including in the building trades.

What is "The Left" coming to? Why, young people these days don't even know what it is to quiver in their beds about the Nationalisation Bogey! Where is the joy of preparing shortlists of class traitors, to be dealt with after the revolution? Where is the promise of bovver and barricades in the streets? Instead, Labor asks us to settle for a basketload of responsible fiscal measures.

(Pictured above, Tanya Plibersek, Professor Bill Randolf - Director of the City Future Research Centre, Michael Coffey - Youth Accommodation Association NSW, Prof Julian Disney - Chair of the National Summit on Affordable Housing, addressing the Glebe forum)

Delta Houso stumbles on Terrorist Nest staking out Safe Base Charlie!

DH got into the spirit of APEC by doing some more snooping around Pitt St in her lunch time. She was hoping to clandestinely photograph the high-powered security measures in place within the humble steel and glass fortress known only as Australian Government Defence HQ: now thrillingly rebadged in a handwritten notice as "Safe Base Charlie".
Unfortunately, the way was now barred by some kind of cinderblock barricade, and with a bunch of people in serious looking grey uniforms looking like they meant business inside, DH felt it was impolitic to whip out the mobile phone camera.
Thinking to find a hidden photographic vantage point, she slipped into a shop front on the opposite side of Pitt St, when she was horrified to discover that she had apparently stumbled into a nest of terrorists, who were clearly staking out the joint.
Before running for her life, DH hastily snapped this picture: It clearly shows a phalanx of telescopes all pointing at Defence HQ. Note the many posters all featuring some kind of Charismatic Leader of Middle Eastern Appearance with an uncanny resemblance to Saddam Hussein! Just as DH suspected, Saddam Hussein was a CIA operative all along, he was never executed, but smuggled out of the country, given a new identity, known only by the code name "Ted" and now runs ASIO while masquerading as a "camera enthusiast". Ha! Tell us another!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Delta Houso to Golf Dubya Bravissimo: We wish you'd Foxtrot Charlie Uppsala Kevin (Kevin???) O-F-F-T

DH was inspired yesterday by a hastily posted handwritten sign inside the gleaming glass foyer of Defence Dept HQ. Something like "Assembly Centre Charlie". Tiring of cowering under the bedcovers in case of dirty bombs, she ventured forth on a reconnaisance mission to her favourite Dumpling Restaurant in Pitt Street, which is when she came across this sophisticated security measure.

In the interests of a free press, she will today attempt to secure a photo for her readers If you haven't heard from her by Friday, search the Rendering Centres of Uzbehkistan.

PS: Delta Houso knows her headline is crude, but she has always longed to broadcast a message with the dead glamourous letters "Foxtrot Charlie" in it. It seemed like now or never.

* (The O-F-F-T bit comes from one of her favourite films "Brother Where Art Thou?)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

HMAS "Aspiration" founders on Privatised Health Care

DH's faith in Aspirationalism has been rocked to the core by revelations emanating from the region of her wallet.

With take-home pay of $720 a week, rent of $313 a week to kick in in a months time, and the shock discovery that her monthly prescription meds, including one non-PBS item that must be imported, will cost $240, medical gap fees averaging at about $100 a month, and health insurance of $106 a month, not to mention weekly transport costs, phones and mobiles and ISPs, DH has been forced to face up to the grim reality: There will be no gambolling at Cap d'Antibes again this year.

No matter. You can't keep a good Aspirationalist down for long.

It is still possible to aspire to seeing Public Tenant No 1 evicted from his Kirribilli sinecure.