(The postings in this Blog are a memorial to the more than 3 million Aussie Battlers have been Breached. It is especially a memorial to the (estimated) 5,000+ Aussie Battlers who did not survive being breached.)
“The Labor Party has shown that there are three things that they have perfected – they can neither run a program repay a debt, nor release a report”.
Barnaby Joyce, The Australian, 23rd March 2010, page 31
Dear Senator Joyce,
The above quote may have had unintended consequences for you, i.e. your demotion.
Your comments were perfect for highlighting issues that I am currently raising with both the Liberal Party’s financial support base and the 3 million plus people who have been breached.
I used your comment in a ‘press release’ to target issues that Tony Abbott wants to bury. Below are extracts from the email that I bounced back to Tony Abbott after receiving a ‘spam email’ from him. (Politicians ‘right’ to spam is a double edged sword that really jacks off many voters, especially hackers. Malcolm Turnbull’s spam server appears to have been hi-jacked if some of the emails I have received recently are any indication.)
1. Howard Government: FY 2000-01 there were 346,078 Breaches with a 13 week "non-payment period". (John Howard’s “Sudden Death” breaching policy which sometimes resulted in as many as 4 deaths per day from heart attacks, strokes and suicides!)
2. Rudd Government: FY 2008-09 there were 2805 “Compliance Procedures”, i.e. breaches with an 8 week "non-payment period". (The new name merely hides the old sins.)
Picking up on your quote:
1. “…they can neither run a program” When it came to setting up programs the planning and implementation of the Job Network was a complete and utter disaster. Despite being warned that the program was highly vulnerable to rorting by Job Network agencies, breaching legislation was misused to defraud both welfare recipients and the Commonwealth. This was due to grossly inept Planning and Implementation with Inadequate Oversight and a fatefully serious Lack of Due Diligence procedures The massive scale of rorting nearly bankrupted the Job Network in just 4 months!
2. “…repay a debt”. Through the illegal use of Breaching Quotas, hundreds of thousands of welfare recipients were deliberately defrauded of legitimate welfare entitlements. …the cruel and heartless enforcement of Breaching Quotas drove the levels of breaching to the astronomical heights of 346,078 breaches in one year with impoverished Aussie Battlers being breached at the staggering rate of 3 per minute. This triggered a massive humanitarian disaster with a sharp jump in the rate of Post-Breaching Terminal Outcomes… John Howard attempted to double the Breaching penalty from 13 weeks to 26 weeks! In the name of “Sound Economic Management”, the Howard Government was more than willing to recklessly endanger the lives of welfare recipients and secretly tolerated a massive death toll amongst welfare recipients!
At the time of writing, despite opportunities to do so, neither John Howard or Kevin Rudd has ever denied that the cumulative death toll from Breaching exceeds 5,000, i.e. an average of 4 deaths per week over the last 25 years…
3. “…nor release a report”. When it comes to not releasing a report, Tony Abbott and the Liberal/National Coalition should be on their knees thanking God and endlessly shouting Hail Mary’s because, despite six months of lobbying, the Home Minister, Brendan O’Connor, will still not release the secret Post-Breaching Terminal Outcomes statistics.
Senator Joyce, it is my guess that you were unaware that “Government protocols” have ensured that Post-Breaching Terminal Outcomes” were never reported to Federal Parliament. For decades, the breaching death toll has been kept a close secret by both the Liberal/National Coalition and the ALP and so your reference to the ALP sitting on reports was a golden opportunity to highlight the secrecy surrounding these deaths. Had you been aware of this, I doubt that you would have made such an inopportune comment.
One of the unintended consequences of Tony Abbott’s cannon-mouth “Industrial Manslaughter” comments is that he has highlighted the fact that he should be held accountable for the reckless endangerment and subsequent deaths of job seekers who died as a consequence of being breached whilst he was John Howard’s Employment Minister.
The ECA committee inquiry into what is now called “Roofgate” is another monumental blunder that is about to backfire on the opposition parties. Both the report itself and any careless cannon-mouth comments will be used to reinforce the hypocrisy surrounding the huge breaching triggered death toll. It might be a wise move if a joint party meeting is held to discuss the breaching triggered deaths and the potential for more cannon-mouth comments to rebound on the Liberal/National Coalition. If such a meeting is held, just ask Tony Abbott and he might confirm that when it came to breaching triggered deaths, his personal “batting average” when he was the Employment Minister was about deaths 4 per week!
I am sorry if my ‘press release’ proved to the “final straw” that resulted in your demotion. I do admire your courage in speaking plainly and it was not my intention that you should be demoted for making an off-the-cuff comment. It just goes to show that the old adage, “Loose lips sink ships” can also apply to political careers and my advice is to keep that in mind once the Roofgate Report is released next week.
Ron Medlicott (Christian welfare justice activist.)
Further broad outline details can be found at: http://cid-cdd51f2f72a454f2.spaces.live.com/