Sunday, April 15, 2018

Politicians and Problems

Below is an essay recently given to me by a friend in his late 70s which covers several issues in Australian politics. I showed in 1985 that old people tend to have very conservative and even "obsolete" opinions and that applies below.   Much of what the writer says would be regarded as politically incorrect by current standards.  But it is good to have a diversity of views to help form one's thinking. I offer the essay for consideration

It is a perverse occupation that of a politician. On one hand, for appearances, lest they be accused of greed, they ascribe to themselves less income than their soul mates in the higher reaches of commerce; while on the other hand, on account of their endeavours for the nation, they aspire to be venerated by their good works in the future rages of history. Inevitably the politics game is a bit of a trade-off because, no matter what course of new action they finally agree upon, it necessitates expense from the national treasury for the implementation thereof. Individual politicians usually receive little credit no matter almost what measures are passed because the general mass of the population unfailingly have hands always out for whatever benefit they think might accrue for themselves irrespective of how that may affect the nation.

During press appearances politicians are more closely scrutinized than witnesses in a murder trial. While anxious to have the opportunity of media interviews to promote their careers and community respect, they are also in abject terror during such interviews knowing full well that the slightest slip of the tongue can easily result in them being cast immediately to the backbench in shame and denigration. Aside from the traditional acerbic viciousness always hurled from one political party to any others, each member of any one of those pernicious groups is jostling every other member within for their own recognition and hopeful advancement. They are masters of obfuscation, excuses and delaying tactics related to unfilled promises. Routinely politicians are suspected of self-serving intrigue and thought of as considering themselves as one above the common man. There is a sickening repetitiveness about it all.

One aspect of parliamentary procedure in both Australia and Britain is the commendable effort that goes into Hansard where the exact record of every speech on the floor of the House, the votes and the conclusions of the myriad committees are recorded. This is all very well for any back reference that is required and a jolly feast for the media, but, owing to it's precise comprehensive nature is not exactly an easy medium for ordinary citizens to avail themselves of the goings on even with today's speed of home computers and the internet. Thus it is that ordinary citizens are generally unappreciative of the efforts that their individual MP might have been making on their behalf.

 The sad result of this ignorance therefore is that prior to an election each voter will be inclined more towards whatever party they think is going to give them the best deal rather than credit their MP with any efforts he may have made on their behalf. It would be unrealistic to expect citizens to limit their hopes for their own welfare, but maybe we could improve the present system. Aside from dividing the nation, this identification with the party rather than the individual member has allowed art inferior practice to continue way past it's use by date. It detracts from what could be a more intimate, responsible, understanding relationship between the voter and their electorate's current representative. Any system whereby this could be achieved would reduce the stress on the MP and minimize party directives in any electorate that might be contrary to the wishes of the electors there.

Every MP it seems has an electoral office and the staff to man it. Perhaps that staff, to keep their local constituents fully informed, could print simple lists of that member's proposals and successful bills in the electoral office window to give credit where credit was due. In future instead of party directives this rapport with each MP through their local office and the aspirations of those potential MP's listed as election contenders provided by the Electoral Commission, would reduce the endless, nasty, almost unbelievable accusations generated by parties against each other and the stress for us all. Electors would thus participate more honestly with the system; animosity would be reduced; the pace. increased for improvement of the nation and democracy enhanced.

Aside from the traditional struggles between political parties and the intense competition between members for advancement within a party, there is one other major roadblock that seriously retards our nation's cohesion. That is the unfortunate retention since Federation of the states and all their incumbent legislation. The states were indeed needed at that time before the telegraph when communication across the distances was by horse. Nowadays any law that is introduced in the federal government has to accommodate the pre-existing laws made in all the various states. Aside from all the state administrative personnel required to maintain or enforce ancient regulations, the drafting of any such new federal legislation has thus to be so carefully vetted by so many legal eagles that the drafting procedure costs and the time required are a source of frightful extra expense.

Australians have delayed so long about making reforms that a perverse unfortunate loyalty to particular states has developed which now makes this needed economic change more difficult. However once this vital change has been made every vote in the new federal arena will be no longer be unnecessarily pressured or hindered and their MP will have a free conscience vote entirely dependent on the long term merits of the proposed legislation. In due course even without any need to outlaw political parties (which is best avoided to prevent a senseless hullabaloo), it will become apparent, even to Australians who take surprisingly little interest in politics, that the rigid party systems inherited from the English were really counter-productive and obsolete years ago. Who knows, aside from the more economical management of the nation's affairs, maybe just the savings of that measure alone could be more than sufficient to wipe away the debts of all the states.

Maybe there could be a solution to the inexorably increasing costs of hospitals. We could be  doing a bit more about euthanasia because obviously the More we treat our citizens the sooner they will be back in hospital costing us again. It would be cheaper at least for the nation if the frail were earlier to expire gracefully in the funeral parlour. Scientists and doctors rejoice at the discovery of new life enhancing discoveries and positively glow with the thought that they are doing the rest of us a wonderful benefit. Thus medical science seems the surest forms of employment into the future. However the Hippocratic Oath requires that this caring fraternity do no harm, but that does not include any damage to a pensioner's dwindling resources or the economy of the nation.

Most readers Would consider all that to be negative thinking, but, sadly, realism does not seem to feature in today's politically correct world. For example just recently the ABC radio expects us all to rejoice on hearing them announcing that the $500 normal monthly costs for medicine for HIV sufferers has been put on to Medicare. HIV sufferers, as far as 1 know (which is not much), are persons (deviating from the Lord's design) who, wish to insert their penis into the rectum of other persons. It is no big surprise that this has generated life threatening disease and indicates that such persons, aside from being undesirable, must be short of intelligence or just born defective. As society does not really need any more such  persons it would be beneficial if they did not create any more humans who might be similarly confused about their sexual orientation. This of courst means that these costs to Medicare should really be reversed and we (normal folk) should instead be outraged that this decision has ever been made.

There are similar concerns generated by those covered by the ridiculous liquorice-all-sorts appellation of LBGTI. It is totally incongruous that we are all supposed to enjoy the Sydney Mardi Gras parades as these sad individuals gaily cavort in the street with abandon in their undies. Although this taboo subject was ashamedly under the carpet in years gone by, this massive effort now to call attention to their particular ailment is really childishly pathetic and revolting to many. We all understand that the object of.this charade in these enlightened times is for the general public to have sympathy for the plight of these unfortunates; that we should try not to laugh at their condition or to condemn their practices.

Anyway there is not much modern medicine today can do for mental difficulties and physical surgery does not seem much chop, so these folk do deserve some sympathy. The excess attention this group has achieved however distracted the federal government from other more pertinent work and has cost the nation dearly in the long drawn out, nearly unnecessary national plebiscite on same sex marriage. The expense of that issue was not really warranted because government services and Centrelink were already for years recognizing at least the financial side of such sexual arrangements. While it was regrettable otherwise useful government time was lost dithering over the plebiscite, the only remaining citizens who were displeased by the whole performance were cynics like the writer, a few rusty clerics and the odd wedding cake decorator

In bringing up the topic of marriage, however Australians seem to miss the truly significant unattended reforms that are essential for the viability of our future and that is just not for the transgender persons. To try to avoid strange or defective humans being created in the first place the bestowing of a marriage certificate ought to be subject to the most stringent, compulsory physical genetic examination of both partners prior to any coitus. Although confused about their own sexual orientation transgenders do have a strong reputation for having very caring natures, so there ought to be some consideration given to whether births, adoption and surrogacy for them should be denied. There should be no more newborns likely to claim on former Prime Minister Julia Gillard's unaffordable National Disability Insurance Scheme for any physical or mental defect. With our advanced knowledge of genetics prevention is not only better than cure, because cure is still often impossible and defectives remain an unnecessary tragedy after their parents have died. Let us have less problems and "Advance Australia Fair".

Why cannot a business advertise for the staff it most needs?

Optus wanted a salesmen to operate in a high-income, mostly white suburb.  It rightly thought that the salesman would be more successful, the more he was like the people he would be selling to.  But saying that was a big no-no, apparently

A job ad calling for applicants who are 'Anglo Saxon' and live near 'Neutral Bay' on Sydney's affluent North Shore has outraged politicians, lawyers and the public.

The advert for a retail consultant with telecommunications giant Optus, which has now been taken down - appeared on Seek on Thursday afternoon.

Lawyers, politicians and community leaders condemned the ad on Friday, with some commenting on its legality.

The median price for rent in Neutral Bay is $1,100 per week and it costs $2.2 million to buy in the exclusive suburb.

Optus labelled the job advert as 'completely unacceptable' and expressed its commitment to 'diversity and inclusion' in a post to social media.

'A job advert posted on a website today is a clear breach of Optus values and our commitment to equal opportunity employment,' the company stated.

'We've removed the advert and are investigating how this occurred and offer an unreserved apology.' '

Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane described the post as illegal in a post to twitter on Friday. 'Under the Racial Discrimination Act, it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of race in employment,' he said.

Social media users reacted with anger on twitter and Facebook, with some describing the ad as 'racist', while others threatened to switch phone companies.  

Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said he was pleased Optus 'removed the hurtful and outrageous ad', which  he said 'clearly violates the Australian values of fair go, equal opportunity and inclusivity'.

'People should be employed based on their skills, merit and CV, not because of their background, culture or skin colour,' he said.


Deputy head to return to Trinity Grammar after 'unjustified' sacking

"Modern" administrators tried to fire a popular and dedicated teacher who did not share their shallow goals

Trinity Grammar's sacked deputy principal will return to the school next week after an independent review found his dismissal over cutting a student's hair was unjustified.

After weeks of unrest, the Kew private school offered deputy principal Rohan Brown his job back on Wednesday evening- an offer he swiftly accepted. "I want my job back," he told The Age, fighting back tears. "I am so proud of the Trinity community. It is a great profession and I adore the boys and parents."

The review by high-profile silk and former judge Ray Finkelstein, QC, and barrister Renee Enbom found that while deputy principal Rohan Brown's actions may have breached the school's code of conduct and constituted serious misconduct, his dismissal was unwarranted.

This was because principal Michael Davies had decided not to end Mr Brown's contract directly after the controversial hair cut incident and the school council had no authority to dismiss the popular teacher.

The findings will pave the way for a resolution to a chaotic chapter in the school's 115-year history.

School council chairman Robert Utter apologised to Mr Brown and said the school accepted full responsibility for a decision that had ultimately been deemed "wrong". "We would also like to extend sincere apologies to the wider Trinity community, with the original decision creating concern for many," he said in a statement. "The decision itself was not taken lightly at the time. It was based on an understanding of matters, which are now known to be different."

Maurice Blackburn employment law principal Josh Bornstein, who is acting for Mr Brown, said while it was unfortunate his client had been dismissed in the first place, he was pleased he was being reinstated. "Our client has always held the utmost respect for Trinity Grammar and its students, and he is very proud to be a part of the school community," he said. "He has only ever sought a fair process and he welcomes that an independent investigation has now confirmed that he should never have been dismissed from his role."

The review was commissioned by the school in March in the wake of an unprecedented backlash against its decision to sack Mr Brown.

Mr Brown's sacking last month thrust the Anglican school into an administrative crisis, with parents, students and alumni declaring they had no confidence in the school council or principal. There was a chorus of calls for the popular Mr Brown, who had worked at the school for 30 years, to be reinstated.

Student protests broke out in the schoolyard where children unfurled "Bring Back Brownie" banners, while their angry parents packed into town hall meetings and threatened to withhold their fees of up to $32,000 a year.

Some parents even paid for a truck with an electronic billboard to circle the school, airing messages calling for principal Dr Michael Davies and the school council to stand down.

Facing intense criticism from the school community, three school council members, including the chair, stood down last month.

Earlier this week the new school council chair, Robert Utter, opened nominations for an interim school council. He called for people with risk management, accounting and finance, legal, education, fundraising, wellbeing and welfare and infrastructure skills.

The Old Trinity Grammarians' Association criticised Mr Utter's announcement, saying it had undermined the role of the nominations committee, which has its own process for nominating to the school council.

The turmoil began brewing long before Mr Brown chopped a student's hair on photo day in February.

In December,  Old Trinity Grammarians' Association president David Baumgartner raised concerns with the school council chair and headmaster about changes to the school's culture. In a scathing letter, he accused the prestigious private school of being too preoccupied with high ATARS, fundraising and building projects.


Right to speak threatened in Australia

Enjoy speaking your mind and sharing your views while you can. The rights to freedom of speech, conscience, and religious belief look set to disappear very soon from Australia.

And it will certainly happen if the corporate guardians of public morality have their way following the grilling given to Wallabies superstar Israel Folau who is a devout, conservative Christian.

Falou holds some very traditional Christian beliefs about sin, heaven and hell, and homosexuality. He expressed his view that gay people should repent in this life to avoid being sent to hell.

You can agree or disagree with Izzy. But either way, if Australia is a genuinely free country, he should be free to express his genuinely held religious beliefs.

And if we are a genuinely tolerant country, we will let Izzy say what he thinks even though many of us may strongly disagree with what he says. Remember: tolerating views you agree with is easy.

We often confuse tolerance with `respect'. But real tolerance means putting up with the opinions of others that you think are simply wrong - or even abhorrent and repellent.

After all, we clearly expect Izzy to tolerate all the views bluntly expressed by his many critics, including corporate sponsors such as Qantas and ASICS, who accuse him of homophobia, and worse.

Obviously, when he answered the Instagram question, Izzy wasn't representing the views of Rugby Australia, or ASIC, or Qantas. Only a fool would have failed to see they were his personal views.

Yet now there appears to be a concerted push to silence Izzy and force him to keep his religious beliefs to himself. But why should he keep quiet?

Freedom of speech means sometimes people will say things that others find disagreeable. And if we truly value such freedom, we will stop trying to silence those who offend us.

We are gradually, but inexorably, tipping towards a new kind of totalitarianism where any controversial or awkward opinion is silenced, and all dissent is crushed into submission.

Now is the time to stop this dangerous slide towards tyranny and intolerance. If we delay too long, it will be too late for us, and we will all be muzzled for good.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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