(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. Please, help to spread the word about this humanitarian disaster by using the “Share with a friend “link in the right hand column.)
Malcolm Turnbull probably knows the cause of it. Do You?
“Does Tony Abbott really want to win the federal election?
At first glance that question sounds totally idiotic. Until you realize that the News Corporation recently had to go into damage control mode after Tony, just 12 weeks out from the PM calling an election, told voters that he is not always truthful with them. Why on earth did he say that?
The rot actually set in a long time ago and it is highly probable that once the penny dropped, Malcolm Turnbull had absolutely no other option but to retract his decision to not contest the next federal election. (If Tony self-destructs, Malcolm will be on hand to pick the pieces.)
Tony Abbott may be fighting an internal war. Intellectually, he is a dynamic, hard-line right wing economic rationalist. However, he is also an Aussie Catholic Kid which means that burned deep into his ethical morality are basic Christian values such as “Love you neighbour as yourself” and “Treat others the way that you want to be treated”. There is no place in this Christian ethic for the double standards posed by economic rationalist philosophies and practices so beloved by Tony. This moral conflict appears to have resulted in an emotional roller coaster ride for Tony that has had him making some very bizarre statements that appear to be sending very subtle mixed signals to the electorate and consequently raise the interesting question as to just what is going on in Tony’s mind.
Telling the electorate that he sometimes was not exactly truthful was not a successful ploy because the News Corp cover-up became the story rather than what Tony said. Perhaps that is why Tony went back to his old standby electorate frightener, Breaching.
Fire up Excel and input the DSS and Centrelink Breaching/Compliance Measures statistics for the last 25 years. When you hit the ‘AutoSum’ button you soon realize that roughly 25% of voters have been breached at some point in their lives! A similar percentage of voters aided and supported the victims of Breaching/Compliance Measures.
Question: Why did Tony try, successfully I might add, to put the wind up almost 50% of voters? It was hardly an election winning message to send to the millions of voters who had been breached. Even if it does appeal to callous hearted right wing voters they are vastly out-numbered by the victims of breaching! After thinking it over, Malcolm T’ must have had some serious concerns when Tony raised the “Industrial Manslaughter” issue over the deaths of the four ceiling insulation installers. Any doubts that Tony may be trying to the unthinkable, i.e. toss the election win overboard, probably vaporized when Tony went one step further and called for a judicial inquiry.
Question: Why would these actions upset Malcolm?
Answer: Because of the Howard Government’s illegal enforcement of Breaching Quotas. Fire up the previously mentioned Excel spreadsheet of breaching figures and use the graph wizard to graph this activity each financial year. Around the turn the turn of the Century, there is a huge spike in the breaching stats caused by the breaching quotas. Those quotas triggered a massive humanitarian disaster that literally overwhelmed ACOSS and other community welfare agencies.
The situation was so bad that community agencies funded the Independent Pearce Inquiry in an effort to put pressure on the Howard Government to drop the breaching quota campaign.
Missing from Centrelink reports is the appalling death toll caused by the breaching quotas.
(See the Centrelink quote 5 paragraphs down to understand why they were omitted.)
When Tony pointed the finger at Peter Garrett, Tony well and truly had 3 fingers pointing back at himself because he was the Employment Minister when the Howard Government was machine gunning the welfare lifeboat with breaching quotas. To use Tony’s logic, if Peter Garrett should be charged because of the 4 insulation installer deaths, then every Howard Government minister in on the breaching quotas triggered deaths should also be charged with these fatalities.
By calling for an independent judicial inquiry, Tony was setting up both himself and the Liberal Party for if any such inquiry were, to be given information about “the other deaths”, i.e. the breaching quotas triggered deaths, the fat would be in the fire! Hardly a good move in an election year!
Question: What breaching quota triggered deaths? There is absolutely nothing in Centrelink’s annual reports about post-breaching fatalities. Here’s why:
The quote below is a free gift to the members of the Breached Generation who may be considered a class action. It sheds light on why there is absolutely no mention of breaching fatalities in Centrelink’s annual reports.
“Centrelink collects compliance data on behalf of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). Centrelink does not collect ‘Post Breaching Terminal Outcome Statistics’ and is therefore unable to assist with your request for this information”.
Centrelink has avoided the embarrassing problem of breaching fatalities by the simple expedient of not “collecting”, i.e. not counting, these fatalities. It is a classic case of “See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Report no Evil”. At first glance this comment, made by a senior public servant of similar rank to GODIN GRECH, appears to give John Howard and his Cabinet ministers the good old proverbial “Plausible Deniability” cop-out. However, there is no Plausible Deniability.
Over the last 7 years, federal politicians across the political spectrum have been bombarded with questions about the breaching quota triggered deaths. The response by the Liberal Party has been most interesting:
- Submission 287 to the Anti-Terrorism Inquiry Bill #2, officially listed as “Not yet available”, is actually classified as confidential. That classification is backed up by a Parliamentary Privilege suppression order that prohibits the copying and distribution of documents relating to those deaths, especially the refusal of the federal police to investigate quota fatalities.
- At the same time, the committee inquiring into the Work Choices legislation received an almost identical copy of Submission 287 that essentially differed only in pointing out bad legislation was responsible for the appalling breaching triggered death and Work Choices legislation was just as bad. This submission, titled “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, was initially ‘tossed overboard’. When the committee was asked to explain their action in writing, the deaths of welfare recipients were written off as” irrelevant”.
- On March 1st 2010, the Senate committee looking at the Home Improvements (Ceiling Insulation) Program returned a submission that pointed out the much larger problem of breaching triggered deaths. Although the committee had rejected and returned the submission, it came with the same old Parliamentary Privilege suppression order, i.e. don’t copy, don’t distribute. It was yet another cover-up of the breaching triggered deaths.
Astute readers will note that all three committees were chaired by members of the Liberal Party.
It’s time to get back to Tony Abbott and his alleged efforts to commit political suicide.
Way back in 2002, Tony and Amanda Vanstone jointly signed off on the 2002 Welfare Reform Discussion Paper. I doubt if Amanda had the necessary smarts needed to spot it but I am quite sure that Tony was smart enough to do so; paragraph 47 of the document made it possible to define breaching as a Reckless Act of Endangerment. Now it just so happens that in every state and territory, “A reckless disregard for human life that results in the death of a person” is a major crime, i.e. Manslaughter, a subject that Tony seemed to have been familiar with given his readiness to point the finger at Peter Garrett.
Question: What was happening here? Was Tony playing Russian Roulette with the fate of the Liberal Party, or was he trying to reconcile his Economic Rationalism with his Catholic upbringing? Was he hoping that numerous respondents to the discussion paper would pick up on the issue of Reckless Endangerment and thus put pressure on the Howard Government to abandon this policy?
To the best of my knowledge, only one respondent picked up on it and he was totally ignored. However, all three of the Senate committees previously mentioned had the Reckless Endangerment issue well and truly ‘brought to their attention’ and all three responded by concealing the issue!
The SOCIOPATH problem.
It is a matter of both official and public record that the Howard Government totally ignored the humanitarian disaster caused by its 13 week ‘sudden-death’ breaching practices and tried to double the breaching period to 26 weeks. Although the attempt failed and resulted in the penalty being reduced to 8 weeks, the simple fact is that the Howard Government tried to double the penalty, full well knowing the potentially fatal consequences. Such a reckless and amoral approach to the treatment of welfare recipients is totally consistent with a sociopathic mentality. To a sociopath there is no such thing as a reckless indifference to human life for they are totally, amorally indifferent to their fellow human beings. However, sociopaths are often highly intelligent and can skilfully blend into their social background exceedingly well. Some sociopaths are also exceedingly adept at manipulating others in order to be ‘at arms length’ should their machinations go astray. The issue of who was the sociopath who conned John Howard and Cabinet into going for the 26 week breaching penalty was an issue that the Senate Committees were forced to confront.
Consider how concerned Malcolm T’ and the other former ministers who knew about the breaching quota deaths must have been when Tony let fly with his “Industrial Manslaughter” comment and then added insult to injury by calling for a judicial inquiry.
Questions: If an independent judicial inquiry had been held in the run up to this year’s federal election, what damage would the issue of the Liberal Party’s breaching quota fatalities do to the party’s chances of winning? Also, how potentially damaging is the issue of the unknown sociopath who conned John Howard into going for the 26 week penalty and the ease with which Cabinet went along with this deadly policy?
Question: Was Tony trying to salve his Catholic Conscience and expurgate himself by trying to indirectly expose this unknown sociopath?
The Peter Principle: Promotion to the level of incompetence.
All of the above could be totally wrong. Perhaps Tony is actually worried about the “Peter Principle”, i.e. is he actually doubting his ability to do the top job? Yes, he makes an excellent Opposition Leader but that does not necessarily make him a good PM. Are pre-election nerves at the though of doing the PM’s job giving him nerves. Living up to John Howard’s standard is a big ask.
If this a problem, Tony should not worry. The first term of the Howard Government was even more blunder riddled than the Rudd Government’s efforts. John Howard’s luck was simply that the public never found, primarily because the Public Service would not tell. (A.K.A. the quota deaths.)
THE BREACHED GENERATION. (Over 3 million breached and the count is rising daily.)
In the end, it does not matter who wins the election.
The sleeper issue that the 43rd Parliament will have to deal with is the legal liability stemming from a raft of illegal breaching activities such as breaching competitions and breaching for profit. With so many people breached, the well documented holocaust consequences represent a potential $200 Billion legal liability for the Crown. Taxing voters to pay for that potential liability is not an option. In the end, Prime Minister Abbott, the champion of Economic Rationalism, will have no option but to king-hit Industry & Commerce with massive taxes that make Kevin Rudd’s Super Tax on mining seem like small change!
Is that the real reason why Tony may be having second thoughts about the top job?
Let justice flow like a stream and righteousness like a river that never runs dry. (The Bible: Amos, Chapter 5, verse 24)
Ron Medlicott (Christian welfare justice activist.)