Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hullo, sole parents back in vogue with Labor!

We sole parents have our uses it seems.

Brand differentiation from the Liberals for a start.

And it is rumoured that Labor raised more money from cutting the fingers off solo mothers clinging to pension lifelines, than they did from taxing miners.

DH is peeved having just worked herself into one hell of a Jeremiad on the topic of the Labor leadership candidates' massive hypocrisy about "The Vulnerable", when Albo took the wind out of her sails by accepting limited liability, (or was it "collective responsibility"?) for Slashing Sole Parents. By the afternoon, Bill Shorten had followed suit.

DH attended both candidates' Sydney launches. Both made much of being raised by "single mothers". Hoping no doubt to earn some Leftie brownie points, if there are any "lefties" left who still give a serious damn about the underclasses.  But neither candidate mentioned exactly what they did to single mothers while they were still in power. Don't mention Newstart or the words"$35 a day".

Bill Shorten did make a big to-do about ending domestic violence! Hullo? And when those mothers leave violent marriages, straight onto Newstart and homelessness?

So was this a cynical ploy at product differentiation and rehabilitating the Labor brand? Or was cognitive dissonance catching up with Shorten and Albanese and shaming them into acknowledging the recent past?

BTW, we solo mothers are not "vulnerable". As if vulnerability was some kind of individual personality flaw. We are made vulnerable by poor policy in housing, child care, and income support.

We are the strongest people we know who do it all: Work. Study. Child rearing. All with one hand tied behind our backs.

Just look at a selection of our achievements:

Note to self: next time, find list of female high-flyers raised by solo-flyer mothers. We can do better!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lest we forget: The Howard Years

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

And boy, are we Aussies a forgetful mob!

And so we have Dr No, Tony Abbott, Prime Minister for Woman, for Keeping Us in the Dark, Cuts and Slashes, Miners, and More, Worser Concentration Camps.

So put on your black armbands and hop into DH's time machine, back to the:

     The Lowlights of the Howard Decade    


Budget Bulimia
  • Bloating on money dragged out of the teeth of battlers then
  • Disgorging the lot to special interest groups in marginal seats at election time

Darwinism masquerading as Christianity
  • Jesus would turn in his grave to see how Howard and Co have created a dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest, the-strong-shall-inherit-the-lot Australia, all in His name, meanwhile ...
  • Old fashioned Christian hypocrisy - the "Right to Life" for disabled people does not extend to the Right to a Good Life, which would require a decent level of disability funding

Centralism masquerading as Anti-Socialism
  • Liberalism used to mean opposition to Centralism. Howard had to be the most centralist PM we’ve ever had
  • He wanted to take over everything, no wasting money on planning or research, just dream something up overnight when the polls dip, and send in the army to back it up

Robbing the Poor to give to the Rich
  • the transfer of $3 BILLION from public housing into the pockets of private landlords: result: inflation
  • the "budget surplus" extracted from the nation's rotting teeth
  • the transfer of funding from the poorest schools to the richest based on the sham of postcode

Robbing Women and Children
  • gutting the childcare system set up by Labor. This policy has now coming to fruition with the collapse of ABC childcare
Robbing workers of hard won rights
  • Serfchoices
  • Welfare to Workhouse
  • fining individuals for striking
  • using the services of a repressive Muslim state (when it suits them) to secretly train strike breakers
  • the time-wasting conscription of disabled Australians into pointless low paid jobs
Pandering to religious extremists

  • for blurring the hard won boundaries between church and state
  • no worries about fundamentalist extremist lunatics if they're Exclusive Brethren adding to election coffers
  • allowing Hillsong to rip off the welfare system

Pandering to racists

  • thick as thieves with the loony anti-Semites of the League of Rights
  • Nazi Croat propagandist Lyenko Urbancic leading light of the Liberal party
  • playing the Muslim card when it suits them The Wedgie Portfolio

The Wedgie Portfolio
  • taking every opportunity to “divide and rule” by appealing to resentment, fear, downward envy, xenophobia
  • the harassment and vilification of battlers via Centrelink while pretending to be on their side

  • the deliverance of the effective CES (Commonwealth Employment Service) into the hands of unscrupulous private operators
  • Centrelink's punitive and humiliating regimes
  • the gutting of Centrelink’s administrative infrastructure subjecting welfare recipients to bungle after bungle and desperation-inducing delays in payment
  • miserable pensions that don’t keep up with the cost of living
  • breaching the weakest

The Big Lies
  • Is it $1 BILLION dollars of taxpayers money spent on Liberal Party advertising since they got in?
  • non-core promises
  • successfully slandering people with a social conscience as the “elites”, while the real elites have never been richer

Sending in the army
  • Iraq? Refugees? Aboriginals? No problem. No plan either.
  • And of course no two diggers can get together for a quiet beer without our egregious PM suddenly popping up between them to clap them on the shoulders

Muzzling the press

The Intervention
  • discrimination against Aboriginal people
  • control without proof of effectiveness

Shaming Australia
  • Toadying to the Imbecile Bush
  • Children overboard, lies, the Tampa,  lies to win an election
  • Christmas Island - detention centres run like concentration camps, incarcerating children, driving them into mental illness and self-harm
  • Refusal to act on Australian citizen David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay (however dumb Hicks was)
  • Haneef case

  • It just wasn't...

Bonus Howard-Speak Dictionary

Howard's linguistic legacy

How he changed the Aussie psyche and our language forever
Promise: Previously an absolute value, now variable. Divided into non-core for the benefit of mugs, and core promises for the benefit of insiders
Compassion:Formerly a Christlike virtue, now a dirty word.

Elites: Once referred to the aristocracy/ upper classes who had the gold and made the rules. Now refers to anyone who bases decisions on verifiable information and logic rather than resentment.

Reform: Once meant a political change for the better. Now means demolition
 Social security: Once a form of insurance paid by workers and collected by the government on their behalf. Intended to provide security in the event of illness, disability, old age. Meant to to be contributed to by the elites via taxes, but mostly they manage to wriggle out of it. Nowadays, a dirty word.

A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Poor from being a Burden to the Housing Ministers of the Nation

First published in 2007 in those heady days when we were lucky enough to even have Ministries for Housing, as opposed to Ministries for "Mention anything but the H-word".
DH had an Eureka! moment while tossing and turning in bed last night.
As is incumbent on all conscientious welfare dependants in these difficult times,she had been doing her daily moral stocktake:
  • Was I one of the Deserving Poor, or one of the Undeserving Poor today?
  • Are my children sufficiently disabled, or are they taking up a bedroom that should go to someone more in need?
  • When exactly does a Hand-up become a Hand-out?
  • And how can all this be measured accurately, so that the System Remains Fair?
It was then that DH began to dream.
Like, just imagine a world in which every houso got funding to develop their own Personal Housing Mission Statement in conjunction with their Department of Housing Team Leader!
Then they could simply fill in an FPR (Fortnightly Performance Report) on how they were meeting their Self-Reliance Objectives.
It would be easy enough to adapt Chairman John’s “Little Teal and Orange Workbook”, (that’s the “Dole Diary” to you, Sunshine) by appending a further couple of reams.
DH had just got to the really fun bit, dreaming up a host of great KPI’s to hold herself accountable to, e.g. “Today I took positive steps to keep the BMW hidden in the garage, lest it provoke the envy of the Taxpayer”, when she recalled that in fact the carport was already occupied by an ever-proliferating set of gaily colour-coded rubbish bins. This got her totally applauding the notion that every type of garbage requires its own special container…
And that’s when it happened… Suddenly, it was, like, …. EUREEEEEKA-A-A!!!
GARBAGE! The answer lay in Garbage!
Because everybody recognises that all the categories of waste need to be housed in their own appropriate containers. Nobody is ever downwardly envious of landfill.
After all, not even The Blessed Taxpayer, blames industrial waste for its own degradation. On the contrary all fair-minded folk recognises that waste is simply a necessary by-product of Progress.
The advantages are obvious!
Why not reframe the Housing Problem as a Waste Recyling Problem, rather than as a boring Social Justice Problem or a Moral Problem???
Why, with one fell swoop, we could eliminate vast tracts of ideological argy-bargy, which has been going on for far too man already with no resolution in sight!
Why not simply reclassify housos, not as failures, misfits, and moral outcasts but as …

The Human Waste Products of the C*p*talist Mode of Production!

(DH can't bring herself to utter the unfashionable C* word)
Thus your average houso might be rebadged as Human:
  • Waste: perhaps reduced to depression, alcoholism or "mental illness" by meaningless, underpaid work
  • Offcuts: Industrial reject material who for reasons of age, neurological difference, erratic bio-rhythms, learning difficulties, hyper- or hypo-activity, are simply superfluous to workplace requirements
  • By-product: rendered redundant by changing work practices, globalisation
  • Flotsam: a refugee created by globalisation
  • Mutants: born that way, disabled, or 2nd generation housos, psychologically mutated in the toxic wastelands of “housing of last resort”
Consider the advantages. For a start, everybody recognises that waste containers need to be appropriately insulated to prevent waste from polluting its neighbours.Thus, for instance, no-one would begrudge spending to provide proper sound insulation for apartment blocks where there are many tenants with mental illness.

And nobody thinks it is appropriate to simply dump waste in someone else’s backyard. Everyone expects governments to recycle waste and onsell it profitably as fertiliser. So governments can’t simply dump people with disabilities and mental illness into housing estates and hope the existing tenants will rehabilitate them. What is needed is an injection of energy into processing the pain of disadvantage and disability into cultural fertiliser. For instance, why not give housos grants to write film scripts about their redemptive journeys? As portrayed by Geoff Rush, or perhaps Nicole Kidman with blacked out teeth, and then export the lot to Hollywood to earn top dollar.
What’s more, we live in a market economy, right? So everything has its price, even the bad stuff like CO2... So surely even housos must be worth something? And then suddenly, it's, like, the opportunities for making a profit seemed endless! What with a Houso Futures Exchange, Houso Trading Schemes and Houso Emissions taxes and rebates…
Of course, there could be negative impacts. What if some future government, less tender-hearted than the current lot, decided it was more economical to simply bulldoze the waste into the estates that formerly housed it?
Or simply just containerise all the housos, and ship them off to some remote location, just outside territorial waters, and dump them. A solution already tried on excess populations in Europe with some success in the middle of 20th century.
Still, not to worry.
That can’t happen here in Australia, can it?

Thursday, September 05, 2013


I say, chaps, this 11th hour release of budget costings is a bit in our faces, eh what?

DH grants that all such projections are based on the Never Never anyway, on the assumptions of wishful thinking plus the hope that a butterfly wing won't flutter in a bank vault somewhere in Switzerland and create a financial tsunami here.

Or that Al Qaeda won't send some ambiguous tweet just for the fun of watching us go into lockdown!

But for the Libs to flaunt in our faces that they are so sure of winning, that they have no need to even pretend that they give a fig for public scrutiny!

A sign that they intend to be a law unto themselves from the get-go?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Ministry for Managing Expectations

DH's pick for most likely new ministries in our parliament, come the new dawn on September 9*.

Whether we adjust our government or not on Saturday, the sad news is that we're going to have to adjust our minds.

The chatter in the system is that any pain experienced by the masses is not the fault of the government at all, but in the unrealistic, extravagant expectations of the underclasses.

So go gently into what "Better Future" may come, lest you be seen as a trouble-maker with ideas above your rapidly sinking station

DH's prediction:

Libs win: Julie "Death Stare" Bishop  ia guaranteed to wither any uppity impulse on the vine.

Labs win: Can't go past Jenny "I-can-live-on-$35-a-day" Macklin.

* OMG: Sep 9? ... 9/11? The first working day of the new government ??? Hope it's not an omen.