joe.toscano's blog

Divided Nation and Little People

The story goes something like this. Voters are flocking to Divided Nation (the political party registered as Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party) because they stand up for the little people. Well if you're one of the 33% of Australians who receive a social security benefit or if you're a part time poorly paid worker, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is a little different. Divided Nation sided with the government in three out of four recent Senate votes.

Blood Lust

The Murdoch media’s pursuit of Don Nardella, the former Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, for the $100,000 he legally claimed through a loophole in the expenses parliamentarians are able to claim for living outside their electorate, highlights the utter hypocrisy of Murdoch’s media empire in Australia.

Backfired

The Western Australia Liberal Party’s attempts to hold onto power by entering into a preference deal with Divided Nation has back fired badly, both for the Liberal Party and Divided Nation. Hanson’s party has been able to ride on the coattails of increasing levels of dissatisfaction with a political process that for far too long has put corporate interests before public interests.

Groper Lite

A few days ago we saw the leopard paint over its spots with water soluble paint. President Donald Groper, the most powerful man on earth after Vladimir Putin, made a coach’s speech to the American congress. An inclusive speech he claimed things were on the right track and before you know it, America would be great again. I assume he was talking about North America (excluding Canada), not central or South America. A man who knows all about fake news should get his facts right. He’s not President of America, he’s President of the United States of America.

Howard's Broad Church Self-Immolates

When you hear John Howard lament about the Liberal Party losing its way, you know things aren’t right in Tallarook. If there’s one thing you can say about the Prime Minister who lost his seat, it’s he has the uncanny ability to read the Liberal Party’s political tea leaves. What he’s seen lately makes him apprehensive, if not ill.

Trevor Grant

On Wednesday I heard the news that Trevor Grant had died. The last time I saw Trevor was at the West Papuan Rent Collective Christmas gathering. He was pale, very weak and obviously dying but he had made the effort to be with friends. He was honoured on the day for his financial generosity to the West Papuan Independence Movement. That day he donated $5,000 to the West Papuan Independence Movement to educate West Papuans. Dr. Jacob Rumbiak announced the education bursary for educating young West Papuans outside their homeland would be called The Trevor Grant Scholarship Fund.

Poor Alan Tudge

Poor Alan Tudge, the Federal Minister for Human Services, appears to have put his foot in it. Concerned about the tone of an article in the Fairfax media by a social security recipient who claimed she had been harassed about a debt she never owed to social security, he took it on himself to pass on personal details about the woman who wrote the article to the Fairfax media group so they could address what he considered to be inaccuracies in her article.

Wow! A Trade Surplus

For the first time since 1975 Australia has achieved a trade surplus. What that means in plain English is that the country exported more than it imported. WOW!! What at first glance seems to be a financial windfall for essential infrastructure, is illusory. The trade surplus was achieved as a result of increasing prices for coal and iron ore as a result of China embarking on a program of shutting down their local coal industry to decrease very serious pollution problems in the country. China is currently embarking on the largest expansion of green energy production the world has ever seen.

Thanks Julia

Now into its 4th year the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse has kicked the door open on the question most Australians have not been willing to acknowledge, let alone deal with. Day after day the Royal Commissioners are confronted with harrowing tales of sexual predators being allowed by religious groups of all dominations to continue to abuse children, in some cases for decades.

All Guns Blazing

The Turnbull led government has had a significant impact on the Fair Work Commission’s decision to significantly reduce penalty rates in the hospitality and retail sector. Penalty rates for Australian workers working on days and times other Australians traditionally have off, is one way some of Australia’s most poorly paid workers are able to make ends meet. Removing penalty rates is a direct attack on some of the poorest and least organised workers in this country.

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