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The desire to reform welfare could become Tony Abbotts’ “Gimpchoices”

destiny-wheelchair

While i don’t want to dismiss the angst I see in the commentary on the Welfare review lets keep a couple of things in perspective here, firstly no matter how much the government may want to do any of the things that make up the sum of all of the fears expressed here they do not have the senate and those with the balance of power there are not going to be able to pass the  enabling legislation  to change very much of the status quo.

Secondly one thing that the review is right about is that the current welfare  system is very complicated and confusing both for those who now rely on it for their sustenance and for those who have to administer it.  Further to that there is the popular myth that getting on to the DSP is in any sense easy or that it is subject to a great deal of fraud. Frankly if this government were to find savings with better administration and simpler process without hurting any of the vulnerable I don’t think anyone would object. Given   the senate we have now I do expect some changes in the way that the department is run are very likely  to eventuate rather than this government doing to the disabled what Gillard did to single mothers .

On the matter of encouraging work, well its fine in principle but I find it difficult to believe that there is even enough unpaid volunteer work to viably engage  very many of the disabled especially when you consider the extra support that many of the disabled would need to be able to work at all. So if you are starting form a purely economic point of view it may well be that the cost of forcing or coercing  the “unwilling” disabled to “work” is far greater than the value of the work that they may be able to do. Further to this there has been no consideration of the contributions that so many disabled people make to their families and communities. Things like the child care and good old domestic duties that they do for their families and the contributions that they already make to their communities  with their involvement in a great deal of volunteering. Of course much of this is totally invisible to the general public who sadly think that  shows like “Housos ” is reality TV rather than greatly exaggerated satire. There certainly has to have  been  some fraud because  no system of welfare  can be immune to it. But there are enough checks and balances that make it less common than some would have us believe.

Taking that all on board I can’t help but think that this whole thing is a very big ambit claim because the government must know that they will not get the sort of changes that are mooted here through the senate so I think that their end game here  has to be to seek simpler and less expensive ways to administer the welfare system  while minimizing the possibility of having to run a gauntlet angry   starving cripples on the way to the next election,  because if they don’t tread lightly here  then the desire to reform welfare could become Tony Abbotts’  “Gimpchoices”  that sees their much needed tenure in the lodge cut short .

Cheers Comrades

Even a gimpy dog can have its day

Even a gimpy dog can have its day

Fly away Home

Mohamed Haneef arrives at Brisbane Airport to board a Thai Airways flight to India. Pic: Reuters
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews yesterday gave the go-ahead for Dr Haneef to return to India but refused to reinstate his visa.Dr Haneef has vowed to continue to fight to have his visa reinstated in the hope he may one day even return to live and work in Australia, his lawyer says.

Peter Russo said Dr Haneef was “fairly happy” with the outcome and would push ahead with a Federal Court appeal against the cancellation of his work visa, with a hearing due in Brisbane on August 8.

Smiling and giving a thumbs up sign, Dr Haneef was ushered into Brisbane international airport by immigration officials but did not speak to the media.

Accompanied by his relative Imran Siddiqui, Dr Haneef was booked on a Thai Airways flight to Bangalore via Bangkok.

Mr Russo said Dr Haneef was not being deported and was leaving Australia voluntarily as he was homesick and pining for his family in Bangalore.

“He’s fairly happy, he had a choice of either staying until the (visa appeal) hearing has concluded or go back to his wife and child on a voluntary basis – he chose to go back voluntarily,” Mr Russo told reporters at Brisbane airport as he waited to fly out with Dr Haneef.

(the Australian)

Although the likes of that serial whiner Bob Brown will see the Haneef case as an example of the evil of our anti-Terror legislation, I personally see that the events that we have witnessed over the last few weeks show that opposing Jihadist terror is never going to be easy. So much of such cases can turn upon the proper handling of what may be very small pieces of evidence, which must be perfectly documented and perfectly annotated in any court process. When mistakes are made a case will inevitable be weakened. Certainly in the Haneef case this was the reason that the Prosecution collapsed.

The Law is however a beast that learns from such mistakes and we can only hope that in future if it is decided to prosecute some one for terrorism associations that the case is more substantial and more accurately presented. As for the Good doctor himself, assuming he is not involved in any sort of Jihadist plot, I hope that he realises that the powers that be in this country have to take very seriously indeed his clear relationships with not one but two of the terrorists caught after the latest attempts to cause death an destruction in the UK.

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