richard.obrien's blog

Punishing the Banks

Here are some revelations from the Royal Commission into banking so far:

NAB employees in Western Sydney were paid bribes of up to $2800 to wave through loans they knew were based on fake documents.

Fake payslips, IDs and Medicare cards were allegedly made up to generate loans for the bank’s “Introducer Program”, which generated $24 billion worth of home loans and paid out between $100-$150 million in commissions between 2013 and 2016.

This week in welfare

A former member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal said the government's robo-debt system often calculates debts that are inflated or non-existent.

A 17-year old girl with leukaemia was ordered to visit Centrelink in her wheelchair so staff could “sight her” despite her mother’s protests that she was immunosuppressed.

The girl and her mother have made several attempts in the last 18 months to obtain a Health Care card which would make her chemotherapy drugs more affordable.

A Contentious Debate

Between 1979 and 1996, 104 people were killed and at least 52 were wounded in 13 mass shootings in Australia. Since national gun control laws were introduced in 1996 there have been no mass shootings in Australia.

In 2018 there have been 34 mass shootings in the US, killing 51 people and injuring 106. In 2017 there were 346 mass shootings in the US.

When asked to comment on the debate on gun control in the US, Malcolm Turnbull responded:

“It’s not for me to get involved in a contentious domestic political debate here."

Here's a pledge for you Peter Dutton

“In my view, there is a place for the pledge in a broader rejuvenated civics effort with school-aged children, regardless of their background,”
- Mr Dutton 21/02/2018

Here's a pledge for you Peter Dutton, none of my children will be making any pledge to a government consisting of crooks, liars and shit stains like yourself.

While we're on the subject of pledges, here's one you made on becoming an MP, and also on becoming a minister:

"I, Peter Dutton, do swear that I will well and truly serve the people of Australia."

Happy New Year Malcolm Turnbull!

So the Government has kicked off 2018 with:

A racist Senator and accused war criminal who makes no apology for posting 'Britain First' memes, but demands a grovelling apology for being called a coward for doing so;

Peter Dutton undermining the legal system, spreading fear of non-existent African gangs in Melbourne and encouraging the rise of white supremacist vigilantism;

Dutton is Extremely Concerning

Dutton will never relent with his attacks on all perceived enemies. He will never respond to criticism with anything more than the pleasure and enthusiasm he derives from attracting it. He is a racist, a misogynist and a misanthrope for sure, but worse than that, he is a paranoid control freak, an obsessed hater, a would be dictator.

Newstart Expenses

Stuff that cost more than the Newstart allowance:

In 2016 former prime minister John Howard claimed the equivalent of 21.5 years’ worth of Newstart allowance in expenses

Tony Abbott claimed more than 37 years’ worth

Peter Dutton claimed more than 55 years’ worth

Scott Morrison claimed more than 61 years’ worth

Malcolm Turnbull claimed more than 105 years’ worth

Julie Bishop claimed nearly 113 years’ worth

According to the Federal Budget, the cost of maintaining our 226 Federal MPs in 2015/16 was 36,120 years’ worth of Newstart allowance

Cruelty for Cruelty's Sake

This is the form parents held in detention on Nauru were required to sign if they wanted to be considered for the US swap. It effectively requires them to permanently give up their children.

This isn't protecting our borders, upholding government policy or sending a strong message. It is cruelty for cruelty's sake.

Meanwhile in Melbourne

On Friday I posted a picture of a man who appeared to have been beaten by police at a rally in Melbourne against the treatment of detainees on Manus Island.

At the time my understanding was that the man had intervened when a group of men attacked a speaker at the rally, and was subsequently beaten and arrested by police.

Actually he was beaten and arrested for trying to stop the police taking away another man who intervened when the speaker was attacked.

I didn't know that then.

Match Report: Australia V Prime Minister’s XI

The international cricket season kicked off last Sunday with the annual charity match between the Prime Minister's XI and the Australian XI at Manuka Oval.

This year's match will be used to raise funds for Julie Bishop's application for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Bishop has already been given a seat on the council but insists it needs more cushioning.

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