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Reality cheque.

The proportion of people in Australia on welfare is the lowest it has been in 17 years. Out of 30 OECD countries Australia ranks 25th for spending on social security. Australia spending on disability support and pensions is well below the OECD average and total welfare spending is less than two-thirds of most European countries.

Government's response: Radical overhaul.

Slackers and Slouch Hats

As a general rule I don't like to dignify Murdoch's brown shirts at the Daily Telegraphy by commenting on the vicious hatred that spews from the pages of this septic rag, but I take great exception at today's front page. Four generations of my family have served in the Australian military and I don't take kindly to them, or anyone else who has defended this nation, being used by gutless bigots in an attempt to disguise their cruelty as patriotism.

To the Honourable Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition:

Dear Mr Shorten,

You will have no doubt seen the most recent opinion polls which show the Abbott government is quite unpopular at the moment. They show that people are angry at being ripped off by a budget that amounts to little more than the pillaging of public assets by corporate lobbyists and donors.

USA Children in Prison

In the USA there are 100,000 children in adult prisons. Children as young as 8 are being tried as adults at the discresion of prosecuting attorneys meaning children are targeted on the basis of race and socio-economic status.

The US Supreme Court has decided that children do not have the same level of responsibility as adults in criminal cases. This has not stopped some states sentencing children as young as 13 to life without parole.

Anniversary of the Rana Plaza

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Sohel Rana, the plaza's owner, ignored warnings from safety inspectors that the building was about to collapse and forced around 5,000 garment workers to return to work. The collapse of the Rana Plaza resulted in 1,129 deaths and over 2,500 injured.

How to get away with murder

The government won't be telling us how an asylum seeker under their care was murdered and scores of others beaten and terrorised. They won't be telling us why the Federal police are refusing to cooperate with the PNG police investigation. They won't be telling us why the organisation responsible for the brutal treatment of detainees is now also also the organisation responsible for monitoring their welfare. They won't be telling us why those detainees will now be denied access to legal advice and representation.

Economic migrants

Tony Abbott arrived in Australia from the UK as an assisted migrant in 1960 yet it was not until 21 years latter that he finally applied for citizenship. At that time Abbott was applying for a Rhodes scholarship, which stipulates that the applicant must be an Australian citizen.

Joe Hockey's contribution

It's not often you'll hear me say this but the Government have been pretty clever this week. You see while we've all been distracted by George Brandis defending bigotry, Scott Morrison dismissing more evidence of torture and Abbott wanting to bring back knighthoods, no one noticed Joe Hockey's contribution.

Australia and the British Empire, a history lesson.

During the First World War over 10% of the Australian population enlisted to defend the British Empire. More than 60,000 Australians were killed and another 137,000 were wounded, one of the worst casualty rates of any of the British Empire forces. The war cost Australia £188,480,000, about $20 billion in today's money.

Sued for incompetence?

The Federal Environment minister is pushing legislation through parliament to protect himself from potential legal action for failing to ignore environmental advice before approving mining projects. As if suing this inept jerk is going to repair the Barrier Reef!

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