Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Hate speech" to be unsympathetic to illegal immigrants?

The article below refers to "boat people"  -- mainly Afghans and Pakistanis who fly from Pakistan to Indonesia aboard  commercial airliners and then undertake a rather risky trip to Australia aboard Indonesian fishing boats.  They are clearly not refugees but rather illegal immigrants.  The Australiian government, however, refers to them as "asylum seekers" -- but they are basically frauds relying on a Leftist government's sympathy for lawbreakers.

THE Jewish community should not be misled by compassion from the Holocaust into supporting Muslim boat people, the owner of The Australian Jewish News has argued in an article condemned by some as hate speech.

In the latest edition, under the headline "Curb the compassion", Robert Magid said Jews tended to want to appear more compassionate than others because of their history of suffering oppression and persecution, but "the Jews who fled the Holocaust fled certain death. I doubt there is a single boat person in that situation."

Mr Magid said "unscrupulous" illegal immigrants pushed genuine asylum seekers down the queue and that immigration in other countries had led to ghettos and calls for Islamic law. He suggested that hiding among Muslim boat people who had destroyed their documents would be an ideal way for al-Qaeda to smuggle a terrorist network into Australia.

The backlash came quickly. An open letter on Facebook by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society had attracted nearly 400 signatures last night, while liberal and conservative religious leaders united against Mr Magid.

Leading Orthodox Rabbi Ralph Genende wrote that although he was scared of Islamic extremism, there were no limits to compassion, and most fears about Muslim immigration were unfounded.

Jewish author Arnold Zable said: "Refugees and asylum seekers are only doing what we would do in their shoes, what Jews did in the immediate post-war era as they sought a way to a better life, and what Jews have done for centuries - including the massive emigration in the wake of the 1880s pogroms in Russia."

Last night, Mr Magid said he stood by every word. "I think the majority of people agree with me but they are not willing to come out and say what I am prepared to say. It is a very cogent statement." He said he was neither xenophobic nor racist.


Julia caves in on "asylum seekers"

Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants asylum seekers to be processed on Nauru and Manus Island with the government to introduce legislation to parliament tomorrow.

Family reunion for boat arrivals will also be scrapped as a matter of urgency and all 22 recommendations from the Houston panel report adopted in principle by the government.

Ms Gillard said she wouldn’t claim a “victory” in the asylum debate.

The panel’s recommendation dealt a blow to the government’s Malaysia people swap, deeming the deal not yet up to protection and security standards needed.

After more than a year of clinging to the deal and refusing to adopt Nauru without the people swap, Ms Gillard said she would move immediately to reinstate the Howard government processing centres in Nauru and Manus Island.  “I will compromise in order to enact the recommendations of this report,” Ms Gillard said.

The government has accepted recommendations that more work be done on its Malaysia deal.


Patients reject eHealth

Or does it reject them?  I tried to register but the system bombed in the middle of the very lengthy process concerned

Only 5029 people have joined the federal government's controversial $466 million eHealth system since it was launched on July 1.

Figures obtained from the Department of Health and Ageing show that each individual to take up the personally controlled electronic health record system has so far cost the government $92,662.

Patients can volunteer to join the system, which stores all their health information, including test results and prescriptions, in a national database. It is the first time patients will be able to access their medical details.

The Coalition's eHealth spokesman, Andrew Southcott, compared the slow adoption to the government's problems with the Building the Education Revolution program and pink batts installation.

"The government's own target and benchmark was 500,000 sign-ups in the first year," he said.

"At the current rate, if they maintain this pace they will get approximately 60,000 so well short of the 500,000 and they are anticipating 6.8 million within four years.

"The low take-up shows that doctors and patients don't see it as being of much value at this point in time. This is the government that brought us school halls [BER refurbishment] and pink batts and lost control of our borders."

Dr Southcott said the Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, was avoiding talking about the scheme.

"The government doesn't want to be associated with another disaster," he said. "They championed it before the last election but they don't really seem to have a lot of enthusiasm for it now."

A spokesman for Ms Plibersek said the service's introduction was a "marathon, not a sprint".

"That's the sensible way to deliver this significant reform," he said.

The Department of Health and Ageing said the implementation of eHealth was always going to be a staged process. "We are delighted that without any fanfare or publicity that so many Australians have already registered, and a constant daily growth in registrations, the vast majority online," a spokeswoman said.

The Australian Medical Association's national president Steve Hambleton said the sign-up figures were evidence the government should have made inclusion in the eHealth system automatic and let patients choose to "opt out".

Dr Hambleton said the medical profession supported a one-stop source of medical information, but a critical mass of people was needed for it to function properly.

"There is no health information on the system yet anyway and GPs, for example, still haven't got software in their computers that lets them talk to the system."

Of the 5029 registered so far 89 per cent of them had registered online while the remainder registered by phone, in writing or in person at a Medicare shopfront.


Male nurse 'humiliated' by Qantas policy

A nurse was made to feel as if he had a sign that read "kiddie fiddler" over his head after he was moved away from a young girl on a Qantas flight, he said.  Daniel McCluskie said he had a similar experience to a firefighter on a Virgin Australia flight when he was made to switch seats with a woman because he was sitting next to an unaccompanied child.

Qantas has defended its policy, saying it is consistent with that of other airlines around the world and reflects parents' concerns.

Mr McCluskie, 31, is a senior nurse at the local health district in Wagga Wagga and was flying from the city to Sydney in June when he said he was humiliated by the cabin crew.  He was seated in the second last row of the flight next to a girl he estimated to be 10 years old.

After the safety demonstration, a flight attendant asked a woman on the opposite side of the aisle to swap seats with Mr McCluskie.

After the plane was in the air and the meals had been served, Mr McCluskie said he went to the back of the aircraft to ask why he had been moved and was told it was the policy of Qantas not to have men sit next to unaccompanied children.

"There were people that looked during the actual move, people looked at me or looked around because there was a bit of a ruckus at the back of the plane," he said.  "And then the man in front of me throughout the flight kept looking at me and obviously my sense of paranoia was heightened, if you want to call it that, because of what had occurred.

"After the plane had taken off, the air hostess thanked the woman that had moved but not me, which kind of hurt me or pissed me off a bit more because it appeared I was in the wrong, because it seemed I had this sign I couldn't see above my head that said 'child molester' or 'kiddie fiddler' whereas she did the gracious thing and moved to protect the greater good of the child."

Mr McCluskie said he has working-with-children checks almost yearly and told the flight staff he found his treatment and the policy insulting and discriminatory.  He asked to speak to a manager when the plane landed in Sydney and was told there was no one available on the weekend who could talk to him.  Instead he was given a customer care card to fill out with his feedback.

Mr McCluskie said he did not hear back from Qantas and followed up his complaint with an email more than a week ago but still did not hear back from the airline.

It was not until he tweeted about it last Wednesday – two days before the news broke of Virgin's treatment of one its male customers – that he got a response.  "They got back with a semi-sympathetic apology, if that," he said.

"I was just told it was the policy and it was what people who send unaccompanied minors on flights want and it's not their fault, which I disagreed with at the time ...  "I think it absolutely sucks; it's totally and utterly discriminatory in my mind. It's a complete and utter generalisation ...

"You don't know who the person is and it's highly unlikely [that a child will be harmed on a flight]. If a child is going to be harmed or hurt it's probably going to be by someone closer to them than a stranger on a flight.  "I was absolutely fuming. I couldn't have been angrier at Qantas."

Mr McCluskie said he would like to see the policy either scrapped completely, have parents fly with their children if they were really concerned or have Qantas chaperones fly with children and look after them.  "I hate to say this but it is a sign of that reverse discrimination that occasionally exists out there," he said.

Virgin Australia announced a review of its policy on Friday after a backlash to the story of fireman Johnny McGirr, who was asked to move seats away from two children on a Brisbane to Sydney flight in April.

A Qantas spokesman confirmed the policy, but said it was rare that a passenger was asked to swap seats after boarding the plane.

"Qantas's policy is consistent with other airlines around the world and is designed to minimise risk," he said.  [What risk? Are males automatically risky]  "The policy reflects parents' concerns and the need to maximise the child's safety and well-being. 

"In most instances unaccompanied children are allocated seats prior to boarding and there are no issues.  "On the rare occasion where a male passenger is seated next to an unaccompanied child, airlines need to take care when moving passengers to ensure this is done discreetly and respectfully."

Qantas policy states that unaccompanied minors must not be seated next to an adult male customer or in an exit row and in some circumstances, a window seat.

Where possible Qantas aims to seat children near crew areas or next to an empty seat.  "We try to pre-seat children in the most appropriate areas. However, due to late bookings we will sometimes need to move the child to seat them in a more appropriate area," the spokesman said.

In 2010, British Airways changed its policy that men travelling alone could not sit next to unaccompanied children after they were taken to court for contravening the Sex Discrimination Act.

British Airways now seats unaccompanied children in their own area after businessman Mirko Fischer sued the company when flight staff asked him to move away from a child after he had switched seats with his pregnant wife.  BA denied its policy was discriminatory but admitted to sex discrimination in Mr Fisher's case and agreed to pay him £2161 in costs and £750 in damages.


Cushy public servicejobs going in Qld.

Flowers were delivered to the women whose public servant temporary contracts finished, George Street desks were cleared out and many tears were shed.

But sacked public servant "Graham Smith"* had just one question for Premier Campbell Newman: "What impact will our job losses have on your jobs target?"  "The first thing I will be doing on Monday is going down to Centrelink and registering as an unemployed person," Graham said.

"Campbell Newman has his four per cent election promise and with thousands of jobs going today and thousands more going in the coming months, it is important that people are registering as unemployed," he said.

"So I am going to make sure that I am being counted as an unemployed person ... so that the premier knows the impact that this is really having on the economy and the unemployment rate."

"Graham" is bitterly frustrated. His particular skill makes him readily identifiable in the public service.

The temporary research job he took in February was his dream job, and his boss personally wrote to his director-general and pleaded for his job to be continued.  "They didn’t even read it he said," Graham said.

In January this year, then-LNP leader Campbell Newman promised to cut Queensland’s unemployment rate to 4 per cent over six years and create 420,000 jobs.  In May, Queensland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 5.1 per cent to 5.7 per cent in May, according to figures released on June 7.

Around 3000 temporary, casual and contract postitions finished in the Queensland public service.

Mr Newman has already indicated the Queensland public service is employing around 20,000 more public servants than it can afford.

The State Government on Thursday night reduced the retrenchment notice period from six months to four months for permanent public servants.  And on Thursday, brisbanetimes.com.au confirmed that Mr Newman had set up a formal group to look at future public sector job and budget cuts for government departments.

Yesterday, Mr Newman said he did not know how many positions finished on Friday, a point scoffed at by public service union boss Alex Scott.

"Director’s-general are reporting on a fortnightly basis to the director-general of Premiers (Department) about employment levels and what is happening with temporaries," Mr Scott said.  "The politicians needed to only ask one person and they would have had an accurate figure."

Meanwhile, Queensland’s leading business organisation said the types of jobs being shed from the public sector could be absorbed in the private sector.  Queensland’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry president David Goodwin said there was work in the administration, information technology, planning and research areas.  "There is ready made equivalents in the private sector," Mr Goodwin said.

He said many private sector operator believed the public sector had swollen during the last term of the Bligh government.  "We had 28,000 new public servants taken in the last term of the Bligh Government," he said.

Mr Goodwin said he did feel for public servants that lost contracts yesterday.  "Many of them who were on contracts were paid very well for a number of years," he said.  "They were paid well over market rate.  "They have had their good years and my hope is that they have put away for those years when they don’t have that job security."

Mr Goodwin said some individuals might find it hard, but said most people recognised the private sector - the media and banking sectors - were two areas really shedding staff.

"I really do think there is nothing sacred about being a public servant. There is a financial reality that applies to the private sector as well as the public sector."

Centrelink is offering financial help to public servants who have unexpectedly lost their positions.  "These include support services, such as social workers and financial information officers, who can provide free financial information to help people maximise their financial situation," media spokesperson Kevin Room said.


1 comment:

Paul said...

In this day and age, you do get a bit more cautious than you use to about an accusation being made out of the blue. There have certainly been a number of accusations of sexual assault made against male nurses by women in the past (I know of no male-to male accusations). Once in a blue moon there turns out to be some truth in it, but the system is pretty good at self protecting and such characters usually get hounded out early. Your more dodgy nurses sometimes ended up in age-care where I've heard of some nasty occurrences. Overall though, you're more likely to be injured by stupidity than by any form of molestation.