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John Passant

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May 2011



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

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Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

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Now it is teenage mums; how low can Labor go?

A few weeks ago it was Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard attacking the unemployed and those on disability pensions. Now it is teenage mothers. How low can Labor go?

First let’s look at the proposals. According to Susanna Dunkerley in The West:

Teenage parents will have their welfare payments cut if they don’t return to school to finish year 12 when their baby turns one.

Young mums and dads will also have to attend Centrelink meetings six months after their baby is born to help them prepare for a return to school.

This is targeting young women with babies to pander to the bigots of the world who proclaim they are only doing it for ‘the benefits’. The benefits!

At the moment the parenting allowance – a pittance of $625 per fortnight maximum – continues until the child turns six, the age by which kids have to be enrolled in school. Now Gillard is going to cut young Mums off the parenting allowance after 12 months unless they go back to school or get a job.

Is there a massive spending program on child care, support, education and training to go with this attack? Has Labor developed an Australia wide education program for young mothers?  Of course not.

Get back into work or study and bugger the consequences for the kids and you.

There are 11,000 teenagers on parenting allowance. Ten communities, with about 4000 teenage parents, will begin a trial of the new system.

This attack will force young parents to look for child care for babies as young as 12 months old. Not too many child care facilities take kids younger than 2 years old. Unregulated care will become an option.

Forcing young mothers into the child care market will drive up demand and costs for already scarce child care places. 

According to the government they will meet almost 100 percent of the child care costs. They just won’t address availability and access.

Will these draconian requirements fit with the demands of the children, the fact that many young mums left school willingly because it didn’t suit them or that most young parents want to work or study but need flexibility to address the needs of their children? Of course not.

What impact will this have on aboriginal women?

Shame, Labor, shame. 

It is not as if there isn’t plenty of money about. A report in the Australian Financial Review on 27 April said that the top 4 mining companies made $23 billion of the $31 billion in profits for the top 50 companies reported in 2011. 

Today National Australia Bank announced a half yearly cash profit of $2.66 billion, a 21 percent increase over last year.  Yesterday Westpac revealed its interim profit was $3.1 billion and ANZ announced underlying earnings of $2.8 billion on Tuesday.

Australia is actually a low tax country. Taxing the profits of miners and banks and other big companies would save us all this fake angst and scapegoating of the poor and powerless. Labor won’t tax the rich because it rules for them.

The unemployed. Disability pensioners. Young mums. Refugees. Aborigines. All are in Labor’s scapegoating sights. Is it Pauline Hanson or Alf Garnett who is running Labor?



Comment from Catching up
Time May 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I think you will find that Centerlink has had many similar, voluntary programmes for at least ten years. One of Mr. Howard’s better ideas.

I believe that the programmes have been very successful for those who had the sense to take up the offers. Many have gone on to have professional careers, which leads to better lives for themselves and their babies.

There is a hard core that is not interested in bettering themselves. These girls would not be allow to ignore their education it they did not have babies, why should they be allow to throw away their lives.

A little commonsense would be welcome from those attacking the decision.

If they attend school or tafe, the hours away from their babies is not great. Not as long as many women who work full-time. There are also long holiday breaks through the year.

The benefits to the young mothers are numerous.

There is no way this policy can be seen as attacking young mothers. They would have to get a job when the child turns six.

This is ensuring that they have the education and skills to find work where they can earn a decent income.

It wouls be cruel not to ensure they have all the options available to live a worthwhile life.

Comment from Calligula
Time May 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Is it any wonder that decisions like this come from our (delete our) governments.
The amoral puppetmasters care for nothing other than further separating the oligarchy from the peasantry. The creature at the end of their strings pretends to herself that she’s a pragmatist but in reality is that object a wonderfully prescient lady identified decades ago.
Indeed Ms.Gillard displays all the attributes of the archetypal ‘female eunuch’.
She looks intent, not only with signing off the final solution to the hopes and aspirations of the prole class but will stamp and seal that document of betrayal over the young bodies of her latest victims of her own gender.

A cynic could demand her explanation – is this latest ambit intended as the final attack on the conventional family structure? Are those unfortunate young people who bond henceforth required to subsume all choice and freedom of action to some base grade petty bureaucrat.
What a great way to instantly create a complete new tier of sexual exploitation, corruption and malfeasance.

Two matters arise –
1 – Does her supposed ‘labor party’ have any (what would those lizards call it?) ‘mandate’ to convert a socialist/democratic political organization into such an exclusive, destructive and hostile machine?
2 – At this stage in proceedings the laborites have systematically struck down almost every core principle of a modern socialist state and have given every indication that they’ll continue ‘til the job is well and truly finished. If this sort of thing continues in this direction at this pace Australia will have become a totalitarian state before the end of Gillard’s term.

Original document signed –
MR and MRS Calligula –
Who were there with our first-born at 17 YO in 1972
(He was the one the Army killed in 2004)

Comment from Calligula
Time May 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Dear Catching Up –
Options are great, many more of ‘em would be wonderful.
It is when they become stipulations and are punitively enforced – it goes wrong.
A little common sense would indeed be wonderful.
But common sense rarely develops when humankind is treated like herd animals.
First principles apply.

Comment from Calligula
Time May 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

It impresses me more than anything else to see that the likes of Walt and Drools won’t soil themselves by contributing to this particular article.

I mean what COULD they say from their capitalist angle?

[Material moderated.]

Comment from John
Time May 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Calligula, I don’t think what you wrote about Walter and Gradool is appropriate and I have removed it. There are arguments in favour of the position Labor is taking. John Howard put them when he cut the parenting allowance out after the child turned six. The suggestions you made are not worthy of further discussion. I am interested in discussion, not mindless name calling.

Comment from Calligula
Time May 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Was put a bit raw now that I review it this morning.
No apologies though. I’m sick of and angry about exploitation.

Better put this way.
Beattie made changes to ‘sex-workers’ regulations a few years ago.
At about the same time Howard introduced his ‘mutual obligation’ fiasco.
Sorry about ‘fiasco’ but I’ve seen lots of exploitation of the least advantaged resultantly.
At the time there was a furore that young people (note – people, not women note esp young) would be ‘mandatorily’ required to undertake ‘sex work’ when such ‘jobs’ were advertised.
It is not apocryphal that the scenario was ‘tried on for size’ by certain individuals in C/Link and job search providers coming to private arrangements between themselves.
Though I note your article states ‘back to school’ it is still about Gillard and co ratcheting back social justice in numerous unpleasant and unacceptable ways without offering or providing practical alternatives.

I am disappointed that your article above has received so little comment and am disposed to believe that this reflects the increasingly uncaring and selfish attitude of the population; especially those of a conservative bent.

May I suggest if you have a problem with contributors using language and irony to express reasonable anger – ‘ad hominem’ then consider what you, yourself, have previously written to those grains of sand in the oyster of your own serenity.

Comment from Camkwaut
Time May 10, 2011 at 11:02 am

So wait, you are against educating unemployed workers? Hmmm. This aint no pointless work for the dole and while it might not make for nobel laureates, some incentive to break the cycle of welfare poverty via education and/or training cant be all bad.

Comment from John
Time May 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

No camkwaut, and nowhere do I say that. This is about scapegoating a powerless group -teenage mums. Add that target to Aborigines. The unemployed. Disability pensioners. Refugees. All of these attacks are painted in humanitarian terms, much like our wars. They disguise a deeper reality – the need to cut our living standards and social spending as a consequence of the crisis of profitability in developed countries. Far better for governments to try to target our anger on the poor and defenceless than to allow us to focus that anger on the system or the Government while they are transferring wealth to the rich to restore profitability.

This program has nothing to do with educating teenage mums. If it did it would be accompanied by a major spending campaign on education and child care. It is part of a longer term strategy to drive more people back into the workforce to force wages down and stop the possibility of a wages break out. It is unlikely to succeed since most of those Labor are targeting are unskilled, and will remain unskilled unless Labor actually begins a massive skilling and retraining program, something it has no intention of doing.

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