Sunday, November 29, 2009

Labor's peculiar notion of justice

Labor has come up with a brilliant and logically incontrovertible new philosophical proposition:

To make an unjust system more just, simply
extend injustice equally to all

... starting with the lower classes or course.
The rich will just have to wait their turn ...


  • Rent at 30% or more creates housing stress and its attendant evils: depression, debilitation, family breakdown,

    Therefore to make social housing fairer, public housing tenants on a wage must as soon as possible have their rent upped to 30% + to be on a par with the unfortunates in private housing

  • It's racist to humiliate Aboriginals as a class by compulsory income management.

    So let's humiliate the Unemployed classes as well. Then it won't be racist anymore

    In the fullness of time, of course, Labor will extend this principal to all Australians. For example, it will be a requirement that half of banking executives salaries are to be paid in the form of Coles vouchers. But Rome wasn't built in a day, so the working class should be patient.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How much lower can Labor go in its treatment of unemployed Australians?

So now unemployed people are to be further humiliated with the "Basics card"? And by Labor!

Bloody hell!

DH's blood is boiling right now, and here is why.

She has been unemployed now since May 2008. And it's not for want of trying. She has applied for hundreds of jobs and been knocked back. And remember that every job app these days requires a complete reconfiguring of the hapless jobseeker's resume, not to mention that it takes a day to answer the host of "selection criteria" which DH reckons are designed to weed out sweet, hardworking modest Cordelias like herself from the shamelessly self-aggrandising Gonerils and Regans of this world.

Now DH has two post-graduate qualifications, a Cert IV in training and assessment, a long list of published articles, and a heap of experience in project management, publishing, admin, office management, programming and analysis, IT, technical writing, communications, mostly in non-profits, and government

And DH has given back heaps to the community, on P&C executives, on HNSW committees, on disability support groups and local community groups.

So how come she can't get a job?

Simple: she
  • is over 50
  • has a patchy work record having been a carer for a disabled child
  • took a gamble and decided to target contract work with the NSW government in the hope that it would eventually pay off as a permanent placement. But then the State Govt employment freeze happened. (And there's a whole article on her friends in the public service who are being expected to do more and more on less and less as colleagues are not replaced when they leave).
As a result, DH has a patchwork resume, which she thinks demonstrates her initiative and adaptability, but employers don't see it that away. Every job she applies for ends up being offered to people who've been doing the exact same job for 5 years.

Anyhow, the good news is, she has finally got a job, starting soon.

But not soon enough to over-ride the bitterness of a year and a half living off $135 a week after rent. And she's one of the lucky ones living in cheap public housing. Her heart bleeds for other Australians who don't have this. How on earth are they surviving?

And just what does the Labor Party expect its traditional supporters, the working class, to spend that $135 on if it's not food and electricity? The basics card is to be spend on clothes??? Who has money left over out of $135 to buy clothes??? And what about telecommunications. Aren't a phone, mobile, and internet access and computer consumables absolute necessities these days? And what about things like annual membership fees, repairs, medical bills, dental work, medications, insurance, and yes, cosmetics. How are you gonna get a job with teeth missing and no lipstick?

And won't we be allowed to pay for the occasional outing? We can't all get an invite to the Lord Mayor's picnic as our one outing of the year for Chrissake!!!

DH, btw, is always well dressed, so if you know her, and thinks she's lying about how hard up she has been, here's how she does it: She bloody well had to cash out half her super, which was minuscule in the first place (she was a carer, remember) and now there's practically nothing left.

Bloody hell.

DH, btw, resigned from the ALP just before the local council elections this year. She figured she was already part of one one despised minority as a houso. She couldn't bear the approbrium of being associated with another as an ALP branch member.

But maybe it's time to rejoin the party as the Ghost of Pre-selectors Past to haunt Tanya and Verity.


If you're wondering why DH has been silent lately, it's because she spends most of her waking hours job hunting, doing courses and volunteering in various housing, disability and local community activities. Being a member of various HNSW committees, DH has found it pretty damn hard to be an independant critic when HNSW staff are so intelligent, nice and well-meaning, and work so hard on so many carefully-thought out policies.

It seems churlish then to complain when innovations don't translate effectively down to the local level. Of course it takes years to develop and implement policies, so being a considerate old houso, DH has been practicing patience, and a wait-and-see attitude.

(Though oddly enough, the ham-fisted "Tenant Fraud Amendment" and the "Ferguson" amendment were brought in practically overnight... But that's NSW Labor's fault ... )

The upshot is that over the years, this diary has gone soft on HNSW. If there is anyone to blame, it goes back to lack of commitment from the state government, especially the terrible right wing ministerial trio of Tripodi, Cherie Burton, and Matt Brown, to abuse and neglect from the Howard Government, (may there memory be blotted out), and sadly, a lack of cohesion, organisation and leadership from amongst tenants.