The blockers

Dear readers,

While I am not in the habit of forwarding other peoples posts, or letters, this email from the activist group “GetUp” highlights why Australian politics is so dirty.

The Politicians highlighted within this article and video, are some of the many people within politics in Australia who make our society so undemocratic. They need to go, so that Australian politics can become democratic again, and finally work for the needs of the people – not vested interests.

Here is the post and video – if you haven’t already seen it.



From GetUp

You may not know Federal MP George Christensen, but he’s got a habit of calling younames – “gutless green grubs”, “eco-terrorists” and, just last week, “bastards”.1, 2, 3

And you’re not the only one. He’s made headlines for calling women stupid, joking about gay people suffering from AIDS and for telling people to “jump on the first plane and head back to where you come from”.4, 5, 6

Not one to stop at hate-mongering, Mr Christensen is a fervent champion of the Adani coal mine, which, if built, will wreak irreversible damage on our Reef. And George has used his time in parliament to attack climate science as “fiction” and viciously block climate legislation.7, 8

But the worst part? George doesn’t work alone. Mr Christensen is part of a minority group of far-right MPs who wield enormous, disproportionate influence over our politics.

Well-connected in the mining industry and beloved by the big end of town, this group of Abbott-era crusaders works relentlessly to drag our politics to the right. Prime Minister Turnbull lacks the the power to stop their influence, but if we act together, we can make a difference.

That’s why, this election, GetUp members are going after them, in an ambitious plan to pare back their undue, dangerous influence. So Greg, without further adieu, click here to meet ‘The Blockers’…

This campaign isn’t personal, despite the personalities involved. These MPs systematically undermine progress on those most urgent issues our movement fights for: respect for our multicultural communities, protection of Australia’s stunning environment, public funding for our local schools and hospitals.

Over 5,200 GetUp members have already kicked in an average donation of less than $40, to a $190,000 war chest to fund this ambitious election effort. The war chest is powering hyper-local campaigns in target electorates, thousands of phone calls to undecided voters, direct mail outs, digital, radio and print ads and over one million election day how-to-vote cards.

This is what a grassroots political revolution looks like – paid for by people, not corporate billionaires.

GetUp members are throwing everything they’ve got at unseating these hard-right ideologues – and the polling streaming in shows our national movement is turning the tide against them.

This election time, we’re doing the impossible – and it’s all thanks to people like you.

With 16 days to go, let’s give it all we’ve got.

Paul, for the GetUp team

PS – GetUp’s how-to-vote cards have the power to change the election outcome for these blockers – but not without volunteers to hand them out to undecided voters on election day. Do you have a few hours spare on July 2? Click here to sign up to volunteer at your local booth.

[1,2] ‘Nationals MP George Christensen calls Green activists ‘terrorists”, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2014
[3] ‘Election 2016: Coalition MP George Christensen referred to AFP over turtle ‘bribery’ allegation’, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 June 2016
[4,5] ‘Abbott defends candidate critical of Jews, gays, women’, ABC News, 10 August 2010
[6] ‘Non-Australian protesters face deportation if charged’, ABC News, 18 September 2012
[7] ‘LNP backbencher George Christensen likens climate change to science fiction film plot’, ABC News, 9 July 2014
[8] ‘George Christensen: How do they vote?’, They Vote For You






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What is a LIBERAL

Rather than a blog post, I have created this acronym for what might be a:


L – Little
I – Infants
B – Bellowing
E – Endlessly
R – Rancid
A – Arrogant
L – Lies

Is this the picture!

What is a LIBERAL


Bye for now




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Political corruption in Australia

Good evening readers,

I have written about political corruption in Australia before, this time I wanted to comment on an aspect of corruption in Australian politics that sadly seems to be becoming more common!

Cake or Pie?

Australia is in the grips of a two month electoral campaign, with elections being held on 2nd July 2016. The usual lies and deceit are continuously arising – it brings a sour taste to my mouth!

Today (12th June 2016), through a media release (and also reported on the ABC), I have read that the two major political parties (the old, or dinosaur parties) in Australia, the Australian Labor Party, and the Liberal Party, have done a preference deal that would see some competitors preferenced last in the upcoming election.

The reason for this deal is to reduce political competition, and to try to maintain absolute power in government.

What is a preferential system

This section has just been updated to correct an error – my apologies. 13th June 2016.

taken from:

A House of Representatives candidate is elected if they gain more than 50 per cent of the formal vote.

First, all of the number ‘1’ votes are counted for each candidate. If a candidate gets more than half the total first preference votes, that candidate will be elected.

If no candidate has more than half of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded. This candidate’s votes are transferred to the other candidates according to the second preferences of voters on the ballot papers for the excluded candidate. If still no candidate has more than half the votes, the candidate who now has the fewest votes is excluded and the votes are transferred according to the next preference shown. This process continues until one candidate has more than half the total number of formal votes and is elected.

A distribution of preferences takes place in every division, even where a candidate already has an absolute majority of first preference votes. The result of this full distribution of preferences is used to calculate the two-party-preferred (TPP) statistics for divisions that have the Australian Labor Party and Coalition representatives as the final two candidates.

In divisions that do not have the Australian Labor Party and Coalition representatives as the final two candidates, a scrutiny for information is conducted to determine the TPP result. A scrutiny for information, in such cases, is a notional distribution of preferences to find the result of preference flows to the Australian Labor Party and Coalition candidates.

If you are interested in how votes in the senate are determined, which is different again, you can review the following document:

The corruption!

Unfortunately of late, this process is being used to block potential candidates from achieving a majority through preferences. The two major parties are doing deals to place potential rivals lower on the preference list, in order to block their ability to receive usable preferences.


Pathetically, even though Labor and Liberal hate each other, they would prefer to see each other in power, rather than have a real opponent (an independent or minor party) in that seat. It shows quite clearly how corrupt these two major parties have become.

To extrapolate, Labor would prefer to see a Liberal candidate in power, rather than a Greens candidate with more closely aligned policies. It shows you how pathetic they really are!

How and why

While there have been independents and smaller parties, like The Greens, Fred Nile, Australia First etc., for some time, their ability to achieve a majority vote has been small, and therefore their chances of attaining a position in Australia’s parliament has been small.

However, the general population are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the two major parties, and more people are voting for independents and smaller parties that better represents their values.

Unfortunately for the Labor Party or the Liberal party, the more seats they lose, the more seats that independents, The Greens or other minor parties achieve. This results in more alternative policies and opinions than the Labor Party or the Liberal Party – what we would call a democracy!

This is the very reason why they are trying to block other political representatives using the preference system.

A democratic system forces those in parliament to form coalitions, and debate policies in parliament. This can inhibit them from implementing their particular agendas, and block bad or ruthless policies.

However by corrupting the preferential voting system, as they continue to do, they can control who sits in parliament. This makes it more likely that they will get policies passed that suit their own agendas.

Such is democracy in Australia!

Two corrupt parties

So what does that mean for Australia.

The more the major parties use this kind of technique, the more it reduces our ability to democratically elect the representative of our choice. The political system becomes corrupt and controlled by those with the most power – or money!

This is not the first time that this sort of preference deal has occurred; it happens every election, and it won’t be the last.

The two “old”, or “dinosaur” parties have had power in Australia for a very long time. They have implemented their own form of democracy [almost] to the exclusion of all others for more than a century.

Our system, which purports to be a democratic system, is being manipulated by those in power, to maintain power – this is the corruption.

Realistically, the preferential system is flawed. It has the potential to be corrupted by those who feel threatened by opposition. This is becoming increasingly obvious.

As Hitler once did, our major political powers are [trying to] eliminate their competitors. They are backed by money, largely from the corporate world. By eliminating competitors they have a greater chance of implementing their own political agendas – unopposed.


As they say – Absolute power corrupts absolutely!


Is this democracy?

I would say NO!!!

What are your thoughts?




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We’re moving – part 2

Good morning world!

We're moving - from: http://www.picgifs.comA little while ago I wrote that we were planning to move:

Well, the time of sale is now right on our doorstep; we finally decided on an agent a bit over a week ago.

Today was the first day of the official advertising programme, and our house was listed on the web. Whoohoo!

We had a stylist assist us last Friday, designing our interior. As a result of that guidance, we worked feverishly over the weekend for a photo shoot on Monday.

Two days to empty the house (literally), and transform it into a comfortable and livable home. It was miraculous considering what the house looked like beforehand. Apparently we even surprised the agent, who didn’t think we could make it.

It has been a really crazy week – and it has really been a terrible drain on us, me in particular.I am also looking for other places to live at the same time as repairing this one, and getting it ready for sale.

A bit of history

My grandparents bought the home in 1954, and as my grandfather was a war serviceman (though he never left Australia – the war ended just before he was set to leave), he was entitled to a war service home as he served in the army in Australia.

It is a difficult time for my family, going through the sale process, as this has been my family’s home for three generations.

Our family was the first to ever live in this home; it was an area made available to the war service after the army moved out.

My grandparents (who bought the home) => My mother and uncle were raised in it => I (and my siblings) grew up in and around it => my family, and now my son have grown in it – my boy is still 4, but growing.

From my family:
two children, five grand children, one great grand child (and another four who visited from Melbourne), have lived in, and grown up in this home.

The house has changed little over the years, it remains basically as it was then. A humble, but functional home.

I thought that I would post a few (and perhaps the last ever) pictures that were taken as part of the advertising plan by Bresic Whitney (

Sadly, in this day and age in Sydney, most old houses are knocked down, and replaced with newer, more modern homes. It is both good and bad. This house is still standing after 62 years. The foundations are still solid, and there has been little movement over the years.

Few new houses would last so long!

Unfortunately, with modern life, the old houses don’t suit the lifestyle of new families and they are knocked down for newer, better (in some ways) homes.

But that means that the history – the memories – are knocked down with them. In this case, a whole generation of memories are gone with the bulldozer.

Much of my life has been spent in and around this home – my families home – so it is very sad, and very difficult to move. Once we move, it will only be a short time before the house is demolished, and land is flattened for a new development, and a new family to create new memories.


On the positive, it will also be a new start for my family, in a new home that we choose, that will suit our purposes.

So in that regard, it is also like a renewal for my new family.

I feel a bit sad at the moment, knowing that I will be moving soon; knowing that I will be leaving behind a home (that will be smashed up) that I grew up in for 45 years.

bye for now,

PS: there will be more updates, as we will be having an article written about my family in the local newspaper next week. Stay tuned!

In case you are interested in how our home is described on the web, this is it!


Our advertisement



With a 23m frontage & 657 sqm allotment, this cottage has development potential (subject to council approvals). In the meantime, it’s a ready rental prospect or neat home for a young family.

  • Easement free, big future possibilities
  • Potential duplex site (subject to council)
  • A corner block & highpoint of the area
  • District views & natural sunlight all round
  • Scope to capitalise on the views to city
  • Updated gas kitchen, tidy bath, garage
  • Near trains, express city bus, Macq Uni
  • Near top schools & 1 traffic light to city
  • Short stroll to Coxs/Blenheim Rd shops
  • First time property offered in over 60 years

Get to know North Ryde

Residents value this area for its family-friendly ambience and leafy environment. Yet it’s still within easy reach of the CBD, major shopping centres, and the M2. A true village feel. An array of quality public and private schools. Arguably the best-kept secret of the Ryde area.

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Visit Australia – and the dying Great Barrier Reef

I wanted to post this to my blog to highlight the deception of our current Liberal Government.

While some in the world would be aware of what our current Government is doing to our environment, it may not be widely known in the rest of the world.

In Australia our environment is becoming so degraded, that significant tourist destinations are at great threat.

Concerningly, our current Liberal Government is so deceptive, that even when our Great Barrier Reef is heading towards destruction, details of its demise is removed from literature, so that wider reporting doesn’t present the grim picture.

I have included an article published on:
that lists some of the facts about our Great Barrier Reef.

While this particular video attached to that article is “tongue in cheek”, the message is not, and it shows the length to which our current Liberal Government will go to, to hide the truth about Australia’s environmental crimes.



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We’re moving…

We're moving - from: http://www.picgifs.comAs you would know if you read this blog, I haven’t written anything much of late. While I have wanted to, there just hasn’t been any time.

What is going on!

we are moving!

Having lived in and around this family home for most of my life, my family has decided to move on.

It has been a difficult few years. We started down the renovation path several years ago. We approached builders and architects in an effort to build a home that was functional and usable for both business and family life.

I even started to replace the cladding in preparation of the big build – but it just wasn’t meant to be!

This home was build in post war Sydney – in the early 1950s. It is old, tired, and run down. The work involved in repairing, let alone remodeling this home was just too costly.

In fact sadly if we had continued to remodel and repair the home, it would actually add NO value to the property at all.

Such is life in Sydney, where the median home price is $1 million dollars!

While I could rant about the cost of housing in Sydney, a favourite rant of mine, it is a fact of life in Sydney – and one that we have to live with – or move out!

Since we made this decision about three weeks ago now, I have spent much of every day researching locations, interviewing real estate agents (some of whom I wouldn’t want to let them sell a packet of chips), and visiting open houses.

I will be very glad when it is all over.

It is tiring, and a bit worrying. Apparently we need to sell now, as winter is the best time to sell (you get the highest price), but it is a bad time to buy, as prices are also higher.

While we are not sure just how it will all work out, we will hopefully have our house sold in about two months, and hopefully moving into somewhere else either at the same time, or soon after.

Well it is again 11pm, and I am TIRED!

So off to bed for me,

Bye for now!




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Private Health Insurace – a ministers response

Good evening all,

I wanted to follow up from a previous post regarding private health insurance in Australia.

Following that post, I wrote to my local Federal MP, The Honorable John Alexander MP, questioning the operation of Private Health Insurance, and clauses contained within, that exclude conditions or place restrictions on them.

Just a couple of days ago, I received a reply from his office. The reply was of course quite typical in our capitalist economy, and it essentially said look elsewhere for a better, or cheaper, deal.

Because we all know that competition is the best answer to all of our problems!

As usual, there was the typical avoidance of the issue at hand, which was the exclusion of conditions and/or restrictions – which was the main reason for writing in the first place.


taken from:

As the letter is interesting, I have decided to post the entire transcript below.

Response by:
Electorate Officer Simone Stark, for The Honorable John Alexander MP.



Stark, Simone (J. Alexander, MP) to me
29 Mar
Dear Greg,
Thank you for contacting John Alexander MP, John has asked me to respond on his behalf.
John appreciates your feedback and continued support.

Private Health Insurance (PHI) premium increases take effect from 1 April 2016.

The approved industry average premium increase is 5.59 per cent, however this figure is an average across all Private Health Insurers with some increases falling below this figure and some above it.

Table B lists the average premium increase for each Private Health Insurer, with some as low as 4 per cent.

We encourage consumers who are not happy with their insurer’s premium increase to shop around for the best deal they can get.

Every year, health funds increase their premiums so they can cope with the rising costs of claims and still provide their customers with the best services that they can.

This year the Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, asked all insurers to revise their applications for a premium increase to offer lower increases to consumers. Due to this, overall premium increases are $125 million less than what they would have been if the Minister had not asked insurers to revise their applications.

We understand that consumers are not happy about large PHI premium increases, and this is something we are committed on addressing through our forthcoming PHI reform package

Please be assured that John continues to recognise the importance of maintaining a dialogue with the electorate on all matters.

If you have any additional questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Kind regards,

Simone Stark

Electorate Officer
John Alexander OAM MP | Federal Member for Bennelong
44-46 Oxford Street, Epping NSW 2121
Electorate Office | P: (02) 9869 4288 F: (02) 9869 4833



A typical response from a government minister? What do you think?

Bye for now,




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Turnbull obsolete and backwards to 1945

A bizarre tax reform by our Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull thinks - badly

Malcolm Turnbull’s thought bubble

Having thought that we had got rid of our last dinosaur Prime Minister – Tony Abbott, our New’ish Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, now wants to turn back the clock to 1945?

In a modern era, where economies have changed since World War II, our Prime Minister wants to turn back the clock, and change components of our modern, although dysfunctional, tax system back to the time of world war II!

How peculiar that in modern times, a Prime Minister in the year 2016 can only look to a war period long past for his brilliant policy ideas!

Good grief, I would have thought that modern times required modern tax policies, but instead we have post war tax policies – that are well and truly obsolete.

Is this an indication of where the Liberal Party thinkers come from – the obsolete past?

Bye for now,




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Our future – correlations with Hitler


Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future. [Adolf Hitler]

How interesting that in this day and age, Hitler’s statements of the 1930s would seem to appear accurate of current times.

What am I referring to?

In recent years, the world has been in a constant battle with terrorist groups. These terrorist groups bomb towns and cities with surprise attacks. They create havoc in communities and normal life by using terror; they sabotage whatever they can to increase the terror of an event, and no doubt (at least try to) assassinate world leaders.

While trying to find some answers for a puzzle where Hitler was the subject (unsuccessfully I might add), stumbled across information that seemed to demonstrate parallels of today – some concerning – and it was worth writing about.

While there are significant numbers of quotes by Hitler, I have selected just a few for today’s piece. These quotes seem to correlate with actions, behaviour and atrocities of today.

I am not a scholar of Hitler, nor do I proclaim in depth knowledge of his personality – other than that he was a dictator, a ruthless leader, and one who played a major hand in the death of 50 million people – including genocide.

So, why am I drawing parallels to Hitler.

Often as a society, we use certain behaviour (or speech) to influence, and/or manipulate our community. We see this in every politician in the world; sometimes we call it propaganda, sometimes we call it lies.

It isn’t just politicians who do this, but anyone who wants to exert influence over opinion about a certain situation.

So back to the current world terrorism situation.

As we all know, at the moment, Europe in particular is experiencing the biggest influx of refugees since World War II. While this is understandable considering that Syria is being bombed (and Iraq and Afghanistan have been bombed or are terrorised by terrorists), it has raised cultural tensions within communities and nations.

Hate breeds hate

In Australia, various extremist groups, such as the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia, have risen their hands to claim that ‘refugees’ are a scourge on Australia.

In Europe, I understand that there are similar Nationalist groups appearing, condemning refugees, and blaming them for all manner of problems.


In Mein Kampf (essentially Hitler’s diary/autobiography), Hitler blamed the Jews for all of Germany’s then woes. Fraudulent books such as “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (proven in 1921 to be a fraud) were used to justify Hitler’s false beliefs (and those of his followers) that the Jews were a scourge on the world and needed to be exterminated. Distortions in his own mind fuelled his beliefs, and everything he saw in his current and past life, flamed his delusions that the Jews were a scourge on the world.

What is concerning about this, is that all around the world, there are groups suggesting that the current refugee crisis, is the cause of all of the world’s ills.

Just the other day we had our current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, inflaming the refugee situation, suggesting that terrorists are entering Europe with refugees, and by inference, that refugees could be terrorists. It didn’t help that Belgium had just been bombed by terrorists.

Fortunately, in response to Turnbull’s statement, we had the more intelligent Belgium Chancellor telling the world that, by playing the “hate” card, we are playing right into the hands of the very terrorists who are bombing us.

ISIL (or whatever we are calling them these days) is trying hard to tell hardline Islamists around the world (or those who are easily manipulated – primarily our youth), that the world hates Muslims, and that they should take up arms against the west – along with other propaganda.

Perhaps by hating Muslims, we actually play into their hands?

With regards to Turnbull’s statements, this is not the first time that the “race” card has been played by the Liberal Party (or the Labor Party for that matter). Former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott, created the “turn back the boats” policy, which saw refugees heading to Australia by boat, sent back to sea.

This policy was widely criticized by other Nations as unethical and a breach of the Refugee Convention – of which Australia is a signatory.

However this anti-refugee sentiment is not constrained to Australia. Our media has reported that US Presidential hopefuls have suggested that Muslims are the cause of America’s problems (along with Latin Americans – and likely other migrants), and that they should be kept out of the US.

This level of “hate” was exactly what Hitler used to demonise the Jews – ultimately leading to their genocide!

I am not suggesting that current political leaders are indicating that we should exterminate Muslims, or refugees for that matter, but playing the “hate” card is a very dangerous game.

As Hitler said: “Hate is more lasting than dislike”

The lies of today

In Australia in the early 2000s, our then Prime Minister (again a Liberal), told the people that refugees had thrown babies overboard, in order for them to demand to be sent to Australia. During that election, slogans implying that Australia had a refugee problem were a focus of the two major parties (Liberal and Labor).

From memory, the Liberal Party drummed up racist overtones, and won the election, partly on the back of the refugee crisis.

Perhaps Australia’s involvement in the illegal war in Iraq and Afghanistan, over the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMDs) that didn’t exist, contributed to the refugee crisis? A matter that seems to have escaped the Liberal Party and the Labor Party.

Sadly, sometime after the election, the babies overboard saga, was found to be a lie. What a surprise!

Hitler also wrote: “The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”

WMDs were also a lie

We can also look at international affairs here to show how dangerous and believable big lies are. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars (nearly two decades ago) were started due to a belief that Iraq had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD). My understanding is that no WMDs have ever been found.

Sadly it would seem that the lie of WMDs justified wars that, on the outset, appeared more about vested interests in those countries than anything else.

So big lies also start wars!

Back to Australia:

In the latter years of the last Labor government (roughly 2007 – 2013), the Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott, continued to repeat a series of mantras, or election slogans.

These were (not exact words):

  • The Carbon Tax was hurting families
  • The mining tax was killing jobs
  • Australia had an economic crisis (even though Australia was considered to have one of the best economies in the world in relation to debt to GDP – by most world economists!)

Repeating these slogans almost every day (in some form or another), eventually persuaded the majority of voters, to vote Liberal, electing Tony Abbott to lead the country as Prime Minister!

After being elected as PM, Tony’s party erased the Carbon Tax and ended the mining tax. The economy has not improved, in fact it now appears to be much worse. Rising unemployment, and decreasing exports have been just two problems that are worsening – this is partly due to the collapse of the resources sector – a foreseeable collapse, not addressed by either Liberal nor Labor.

Carbon Tax

For interest sake, calculations that I undertook on my expenses at the time, showed an increase of around $150 per year as a result of the Carbon Tax (I even included an extra percent or so to cover estimated increases in all other goods and services).

Interestingly, when the Labor party introduced the Carbon Tax, they gave every tax payer, a tax reduction of around $2,500 (from memory). This was because the tax-free threshold was raised, which meant that every tax-payer paid significantly less tax. Pensioners, and those on welfare, were also give increases to cover the extra costs associated with the Carbon Tax.

I wonder why the Liberal Party didn’t mention these facts when they kept telling the public that the Carbon Tax was hurting families? I suppose it didn’t suit their interests?

Another quote from Hitler: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

And finally:

In the 1930s Hitler manipulated sentiments over the fire at the Reichstag, to pass an act (the Enabling Act), that allowed his cabinet full legislative powers to deviate from the constitution. Once he had this, he was able to suppress political opposition and intimidate the them into disbanding. Ultimately only the Nazi party was left.

This is somewhat concerning as, in Australia at least, the Liberal Party has consistently used its powers to try to suppress Labor (the second major political party, and principal opposition to the Liberal Party), by attacking unions and past Labor policies.

Currently (I believe it may still be the case), to be a member of Labor, you must be a member of a union. The Liberal Party (and the media – who are the lap dog of the Liberal Party), have consistently demonised unions and their activities.

The Liberal Party also used their parliamentary powers, to create a Royal Commission (investigative tribunal) to investigate union corruption. The results of which appears to show limited circumstances of corruption by a small number of individuals.

This Royal Commission was designed to drum up negative sentiment towards unions (by inference Labor), and make the incorrect correlation that a harsh building watchdog, the ABCC (Australian Building Corruption Commission) was again required in Australia. The ABCC is a very harsh and brutal legal body, with extreme powers that fall outside a generally accepted legal framework, essentially designed to destroy building unions in particular – unfortunately this is a discussion beyond the scope of this post.

The Liberal Party have also increasingly reduced the powers of unions, which have directly reduced union support, and indirectly reduced Labor’s support. If you break the unions, you break Labor!

During its current government, the Liberal Party have also used their parliamentary powers to attack Labor’s past policies, again with a Royal Commission, trying to demonise what Labor has done in the past. These are just a few of examples, but many others exist.

While corruption is bad in all circumstances, the Royal Commissions that the Liberal Party created, were specifically designed to create a media show; to destabilise Labor, and its supporters – largely unions.

If you destroy your opposition, you have unopposed power!

To add further to these concerns, the Liberal Party have just introduced changes to the electoral act, which changes the voting system – perhaps in the Liberal Party’s favour.

As if we weren’t convinced of their goals, they have now challenged the senate (our house of review) to pass legislation put before them, or else parliament will be disbanded and an election will be held (a double dissolution election).

The election would result in some of those currently in the Senate unable to regain their seats due to the changes that the Liberal Party have introduced.

To be fair, voting rules were changed in agreement with The Greens, which could in effect lose them seats as well!

Hmmm… Isn’t this exactly what Hitler (and every other despot) did?

Destroy your opposition in order to have unfettered power! Exactly what Hitler did!


Democracy can easily be manipulated. Public opinion can be swayed, and propaganda can cause unforeseen consequences – sometimes even war!

Bye for now,




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Private Health Insurance – a Government Funded Fraud

Good morning readers,

Health insurance – maybe not what it is made out to be – what a surprise!

A number of years ago, then Liberal Government, Led by PM John Howard, introduced policies that forced people to invest in private health insurance.

Financial penalties were created for those who chose not to join, and levies (in the form of increased Medicare Levies) were imposed on those who joined later than age 30.

At the time, it seemed fairly obvious to me that the Liberal Government were attempting to privatise the health system, and destroy our (largely) publicly funded system. A system that was one of the best in the world, and one that many countries envied.

It didn’t help that we had a few ministers suggesting that every Australian should have private health insurance. What appeared to be a clear indication of their intent!

The Government also decided to start funding private health insurance, by providing rebates to those who had, or took up, private health insurance.

Unfortunately this Liberal Government has also started to de-fund our public health system, to the tune of billions of dollars per year in cuts.

As time has gone by, private health insurance has become more lucrative – for investors that is. Premiums have continued to go up each year (above inflation), and the Government of the day has continued to prop up the industry by a rate of 30% of almost all premiums.

One could construe from this that, 30% of all dividends given to shareholders are from taxpayers! But perhaps that is too cynical.

Interestingly there have been some recent cases brought to the media, where insurance companies have denied claims, through deceptive clauses and complex examination of cases. Of course this was done through medicos appointed by the insurance company, and allegedly pressured to present examination reports in the insurance company’s favour.

The media have also found that there was generally harsh or deceptive treatment of claimants, so that the claimants would simply walk away – because it was just too difficult to fight. One media report can be seen below, but significant numbers of others have been noted.

CommInsure, run by the Commonwealth Bank in Australia, was the main insurer focused on in this instance; but there are other insurers (and those who use CommInsure as an underwriter to their own policies).

This should come as no surprise, as insurers (and banks) are there to make money for shareholders – aren’t they? So denying as many claims as possible is in their best interest.

What is interesting about this, is that a review of my own Health Insurance Policy, provided by Defence Health, indicated quite clearly, that

…pre-existing conditions are not covered. That …a medico appointed by the insurer, may be used to examine all cases… The clauses also state that even if the condition wasn’t obvious previously… it could still be construed as pre-existing.


If I just reflect on my own situation, considering that I have significant pre-existing health problems, what do you think the chances are that my current insurer will suggest that some future claim is due to a pre-existing medical condition.

Sounds highly likely to me, particularly considering the media exposure of the CommInsure cases.

Reading between the lines of these clauses, and reading the cases presented by the media, it would appear that almost anything could be construed as pre-existing.

Unfortunately these insurers have been allowed to decide what they do or don’t cover.

If they aren’t going to cover all of the medical claims that are being presented to them, then what exactly is the point in having private health insurance.

Isn’t Private Health Insurance there to insure against ill health, regardless of the reasons?

Not only is private health insurance becoming ridiculously expensive, we now find that we may not be covered by them in many circumstances.


Combinded images from:

So what is the point in being a part of this:

Government Funded Fraud!


Be wary of your insurer, check out your insurance policy in advance, you might be sadly surprised to find out that you aren’t actually covered for anything at all!


Food for thought,

Bye for now,




Click to add Your thoughts?


#healthinsurance #comminsure #defencehealth #auspol

Posted in Health, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Good morning readers,

Well I was lying in bed with a bit of a fever, and just could not settle my mind or body – it didn’t help that I was hot and then cold – continually, or had a bad headache – oh stop whinging!

So what better way to settle one’s mind than being creative with a blog post!

I thought that I would write a little piece on reflection.

No… not what I see in the mirror each morning!

Combined images from: and

What I am talking about is thinking about our actions, our thoughts, or our feelings.

The other day I was reading and commenting on a post by a fellow blogger, who’s had it tough in recent years. The post I am referring to is about moderating comments on her blog.

I wanted to comment on her blog, because I wanted to reflect on my own thoughts and feelings; and not just on her post.

Many of us wander aimlessly through life, oblivious to what is actually going on in our head. Why we act in a certain way, or why or behaviour can be so bad; why we are victims, or rescuers.

Some of us occasionally stop and think! Why did I do that? Could I have handled that better? Or more importantly, why did that person arouse such feelings in me?

And no, I am not talking about that sort of feeling!


I am thinking more about how we respond to other people’s behaviour or feelings.

The way we feel about someone’s behaviour, often results in us behaving in a particular way – in response. Sometimes this is a conditioned response!

A common statement by people who abuse others is “She made me do it”, or “he made me angry”…

… you’ve heard them all …

Let’s just create a fictional circumstance. Two men are in an argument and a brawl ensues. At the completion of the brawl, with two bloody and broken men, one guy says to bystanders “he was asking for it”.

Who was the cause of this situation? The first person who punched, or the person who punched last? Perhaps the first person to start yelling?

or perhaps…. both of them?

Certainly I would find it unbelievable if anyone would actually want to get beaten; which would make the statement of “he was asking for it” somewhat questionable.

But… what caused the person to hit the other. His anger? Rage? Perhaps he was just having a bad day?

Do YOU reflect on why you react, write, or respond in certain ways?

When you last got angry with your partner, did you reflect on the conversation/argument?

Did you blame the other person, as so often happens?

Did you consider that maybe you were both… wrong … or did you just say “yeah he says that all the time. I’m sick of his shit!”. Or something similar.

What was it that caused those emotions to arise?

You see, no single person has the power to control us.

In other words, when someone says “she made me angry”, can we actually say that this is the case?

Is it possible for the other person to make us say something, make us act in a particular way? Did someone get into your head and waggle your tongue for your? Perhaps they grabbed hold of your arm for you and swung it at themselves?

No! It is not possible. In fact it sounds a bit ludicrous don’t you think?

So why did you act in that way. What feelings arose in you that caused you to respond in that way?


We are in control of every action, reaction or behaviour that we exhibit. Our behaviour is a definitive response to the way we feel.

When we get angry, it is because we choose to!

I am not suggesting that this is a conscious response, though it might be.

We may have learned it by watching our parents, reacting to bullies in the playground, or cultured it. Maybe it has been nurtured due to unfortunate circumstances.

Whatever the case, it is still OUR action. We own it. No-one has made us act in that way, it is our choice, even if it isn’t a conscious choice!

However, we can change the way we act, react or behave.

One of the ways that we can do this is by reflecting. It isn’t easy, and it takes courage and honesty.

In order to look deep into yourself and question your actions, you are going to have to be motivated. More importantly you have to take ownership of your actions or behaviour.

I said those nasty things.

I punched that guy.

I got angry when that person made a mistake.

I” own it! “I” did it! It was MY reaction!


Can you do that?


There is little point in owning your behaviour, if you have no willingness to then review what caused the situation in the first place. You must reflect on it.

You see, while owning your behaviour is critical in changing it, if you cannot review your behaviour, then there is little point!

This review of your behaviour is called reflection!


Ah… No, not that type of reflection!

But for those who just love taking selfies…
…perhaps that in itself needs some reflection🙂

If you review what the causes of your behaviour are, you then have a chance of changing it.Sometimes we need professional help!

But, as mentioned, that requires honesty, motivation and the willingness to change.

One warning!

Beware of falling into the trap of blaming the other person. This is an escape from taking responsibility for your own actions! It is definitely NOT reflecting!

Even if the other person was silly, it is your choice to react the way that you do – and that is what you are reflecting on!

Well it is now 02:20 (that is AM), and I need to reflect on why I just had to do this right NOW!!!

I will probably be too awake to try to go back to sleep. Another blog anyone?…

I hope you enjoyed it!

Bye for now,




Click to add Your thoughts?


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Woolworths treats staff like shit!

Good afternoon readers,

I thought I would share this story about how Woolworths Australia seems to be treating its staff.

Woolworths treats its employees like shit!A friend of mine, who works for Woolworths in NSW, has just told me that when they recently returned from holidays, that Woolworths’ senior staff had allegedly disposed of all of the employees lockers – even though personal equipment of some employees was still in it!!!

Management allegedly DIDN’T GIVE A SHIT about the personal items inside!!!

My friend lost their brand new work boots and prescription reading glasses.

Apparently the boots that were in the lockers, were also essential safety equipment!!!

It would be interesting to see what would happen should an accident occur and this friend didn’t have their safety boots on?

That would be a litigation nightmare seeing that Woolworths’ themselves had unlawfully disposed of them!

Bring it on – you arrogant fools!
(as you can see, I’m a bit pissed off too)

What’s more, when this friend approached senior staff members, they allegedly shrugged their shoulders and then demanded receipts for the personal items that were in the lockers.

If this doesn’t clearly express the contempt with which senior staff of Woolworths treats employees, nothing will!

What sort of an arse-hole company does that to their staff. One that is losing money? Woolworths has just made record losses, and is closing a hardware chain – that was always set for failure anyway.


One could construe that this is also a WHS (Workplace Health and Safety) issue now!!! Safety boots are worn for a reason, and if management has thrown them out and the staff becomes injured… Seems like a litigation case in waiting.

Personally, I would have demanded immediate replacement, or not returned to work on WHS grounds. I would then contact Fair Work Australia, who have tight controls over what employers and employees can do. I would then immediately phone the union and sit on my hands until the safety equipment has returned.

You see, both employer and employee have WHS obligations, and that is that safety equipment must be worn when required. If management have deliberately thrown out personal protective equipment (PPE), then they are potentially liable for any accidents that occur.


No wonder the company is in limbo, losing money, losing patronage.

Hmmm… Considering that Woolworths is in such a bad financial state, treating good reliable staff with such contempt is hardly conducive to satisfied and productive workers.

What happens when you treat your workers like this? Your workers aren’t likely to be nice in return – apparently it is something that Woolworths just can’t seem to understand!

Moronic Dimwits!

This sort of contempt seems to be becoming more common in corporate Australia – unfortunately!

I might note: this style of contempt shown towards staff, appears to be quite typical of Woolworths – I hear lots of stories.

It is another reason why I will continue to boycott Woolworths and deal with another company like Aldi, Coles and IGA. Not that they don’t have their own issues too!

If you treat your staff like shit, I can only hope you fail!

Up yours Woolworths! You deserve everything you get in return!

Share this if you think Woolworths should be held to account for this abuse of workers rights.

By for now,


#Woolworths #FuckWoolworths #WoolworthsMustFall

Posted in Business, Wages/Conditions | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Climate and religion

Hello readers,

I thought that I would have an online chuckle about a letter that I have just written on climate change. The newspaper in question is the local rag – The Weekly Times (TWT).

Quite frankly, based on the quality of news within, it isn’t even good enough to wipe my arse on! But that is a bit coarse isn’t it🙂 ho hum.

While some of you might not agree with my statements, and some might disagree with my questioning of religion, there is something to think about in this post… Well in my distorted view of the world anyway🙂

Like so many people in the world, the editor of TWT, seems to be steadfast in his belief that climate change isn’t occurring. He appears to cherry pick information that confirms his opinion, but refuses to acknowledge other facts that refute his claims… So be it. And he keeps publishing his BS in his newspaper – arrogantly – even though it often doesn’t make any sense. I guess that is his right – or is it! Oh this is very annoyingly philosophical, so early in the argument :)

Recently he appeared to claim that because we had massive rainfall in NSW (Australia), that climate change wasn’t occurring. However he failed to recognise, that at the same time we had record heat waves in other states – and not for the first time!

The next week we had some religious nutter telling us that ‘we need to leave it in God’s hands’, or some such rubbish.

What continues to astound me, is that in the face of continuing presentation of evidence, these people just stick their head in the sand and whinge, while other parts of the world burn, flood or are cyclone torn! Bizarre!

After this idiotic letter by the raving religious fanatic, I felt compelled to respond. The following is my letter to the editor of TWT, with just a few notes – names removed for privacy.

Of course the editor of TWT might not publish it – he often doesn’t – I guess it is just too confronting, and contradicts his opinion. Perhaps we’ll leave it up to the bananas – B1 and B2 – to decided…. oh darn – that is just too damned cryptic! 

Read on…


Dear editor [of TWT],

Having read the last two weeks of dribble, from those blind to the understanding that our climate is changing, I must say that I am a little confused.

B1, you recently implied that because of massive rainfall in NSW, that climate change wasn’t occurring? No doubt you will claim this week that climate change isn’t occurring because the US had massive snow falls. [the east coast in particular just had massive snow falls] What is astounding is that you will conveniently ignore the fact that NASA has just found that the earth has warmed by 0.9°C. [considering the world has just decided to keep warming to under 2°C, we are already half way there – very concerning]

Unfortunately at the same time as massive rainfalls were occurring in NSW, we had record breaking heat waves in other states. I guess you just forgot to acknowledge that in your attack on scientists? Or perhaps you are confused with the difference between climate and weather?

Perhaps you can then explain, in scientific terms, how a weather event, such as massive rainfall, proves that climate change doesn’t exist?

Then there was last week’s ludicrous statement from B2, who somehow believes that we should leave it in the hands of “God”, as somehow God will fix it for us.

[We could of course go into a scientific discussion about God, presenting evidence here and there, but that is beyond the scope of this discussion – unfortunately]

I suppose we should reflect on this for just a moment…

The analysis

If God invented man, then God invented scientists! If God invented scientists, then God gave them the skills to rigorously analyse and interpret data, and to come to a conclusion that climate change was occurring; more importantly, that it is man made – largely through self interest, greed and arrogance.

[I haven’t even gone into the possibility that God has encouraged us to educate ourselves and better ourselves for all of mankind. God must have created language, maths, and science… otherwise why would we have it? – perhaps this discussion too, is best left for another time…]

So…… If God has created scientists, and of course given them the skills to determine that climate change is occurring, then aren’t scientists effectively using a skill, given to them by God, for just this purpose? Therefore, effectively, isn’t God telling us that climate change is occurring – caused by man – and that we have to act?


In summary

One conclusion that could be construed from this argument, is that God has told us that we need to act on climate change, because God has given the precious gift of science to man – just for this very purpose.

Perhaps we can then suggest, that it is the arrogance of some of “man”, to continue to deny what God has given man – science – and instead continue to stick their head in the sand and remain arrogantly steadfast – even in the face of evidence?

In conclusion

I would suggest to those who continue to try to cherry pick, and deny climate change, that sticking your head in the sand and repeating a mantra that it doesn’t exist, doesn’t make it go away! Perhaps it is just the “Devil” who makes you believe, and publish, such rubbish, and deny science that, in essence, God gave us!

Good luck with that – let me know how it works for you!

end of letter…


Well on that note, it’s time to go do something constructive at 11pm at night.

bye for now🙂


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A Hardly Normal response!

LemonDear readers,

Following on from the lounge suite saga:

A Harvey Norman representative did contact me via email, essentially indicating that the cables for the lounge suite only had a one year warranty, and that the client would have to pay nearly $50 each for the two cables; then they would have to pay someone to install them, a sum that could amount to around $200.

A repair bill that could amount to up to one tenth the purchase price of the lounge suite. (the cables cost $6 each from eBay I might add – just a “tiny” markup)

As included in the previous blog (link above), under Australian consumer law, products must be fit for purpose, and if there are exclusions within a warranty, it is a requirement for this to be fully disclosed under Australian consumer law.

The client has indicated to me, that they weren’t informed that the cables in their $2000 lounge suite might fail shortly after 12 months, and that a repair of this might cost up to $200.

To be fair to Harvey Norman, the lounge is now just over 2 years old, but according to the client, the cables failed at around 18 months. The client had lost the receipt, and had no way of verifying purchase – and didn’t know that they could – until I took on the case and contacted Harvey Norman in their interest.

A lounge suite that costs $2000, should have parts that last a bit longer. If it doesn’t, then a suitable disclaimer and bold print should clearly indicate this. Failure to do so, could be construed as a breach of consumer law!

I stand by my professional opinion, as a repairer of decades, that the cables are not fit for purpose. There is either too much load for them to last long enough, or the design of the lounge suite is inadequate for the cable used. I suggest that they have failed due to either poor design, poor manufacturing, or poor quality.

You be the judge. What do you think of Harvey Norman’s claims. How will this influence your future lounge purchase, or will it?

Do you want a supplier who stands by their product and supports you afterwards, or do you want a supplier to walk away and avoid dealing with, what could be seen as, an early failure?

Would you be happy having to fork out one tenth of the cost of the lounge suite every two years for a repair?

My personal opinion, I wouldn’t buy from a re-seller like Harvey Norman. Prices are elevated to pay for the profit margins of the importer, manufacturer, and the re-seller. Hence why a $400 Chinese lounge suite costs $2000 in Harvey Norman. Then if there are any problems, you have to deal with the re-seller and/or the importer to seek repair. Then if this fails, you are left with a $2000 lemon, or take legal action!

But wait there is the “internet” to spread the word.🙂

well that’s it folks,

bye for now,




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Harvey Norman Lounge failure

Good morning readers,

A Hardly Normal lounge suite saga🙂


I thought I would share a little story about a client’s lounge suite that I had to work on recently.

The lounge suite was bought from Harvey Norman in Tweed Heads in NSW Australia. The lounge suite was imported by “Coral Bay East Coast Pty Ltd” based in Castle Hill, Sydney, Australia, but was manufactured in China. There is no indication of whether Coral Bay is the designer, or if they just remarket a Chinese product.

The problem that I found with this lounge suite, was that the cables that operated the recliner function had failed. This had apparently occurred not much later than the 12 month warranty that Harvey Norman indicated applied to the lounge suite.

I was surprised that the cables had failed. Those of you who have ever worked on a bicycle, would be aware of the type of cables that I am talking about. See the following picture.

Bike Cable

The knob at the end of this cable (as above), associated with the recliner function, had completely come off – on both cables! The outcome of this was that the recliner function no longer worked.

Upon review of this lounge suite, it was quite obvious what the problem was immediately. When you pulled on the trigger to operate the recliner, nothing happened because the head had come completely off the cable.

In my opinion, the cables were not fit for purpose. Either the loading on the cables to operate the recliner function was too great, or the cables were of a poor quality.

Either way, the client was left with a lounge suite that no longer operated.

Harvey Norman was contacted by the owner to tell them of the fault, and their response was to buy two more cables and then pay someone to install them. The cost of this would likely amount to several hundred dollars in total.

I might point out that under Australian Consumer Law:



Since 1 January 2011, the following consumer guarantees on products and services apply.

Products must be of acceptable quality, that is:
•safe, lasting, with no faults
•look acceptable
•do all the things someone would normally expect them to do.

Acceptable quality takes into account what would normally be expected for the type of product and cost.


Under “Australian” consumer law, products are expected to last a reasonable length of time, which can be indicated by the cost and type of item.

Where to now?

According to the ACCC, if you product fails, there are three steps by which you can try to seek rectification of your fault.

Step 1—Contact the seller,
Step 2—Contact the ACCC or another third part (in NSW we also have The Department of Fair Trading for example)
Step 3—Take legal action

…see the pdf form ACCC listed above for a description of the steps…

One would hope that simply contacting the seller, perhaps after seeking help from Fair Trading or the ACCC, the seller would come to some compromise… but not always!

I might point out, that the above document also suggests that you can seek repairs from another person, and request that the seller reimburse you. Though I am not sure how far that would get you.

My thoughts:

Perhaps Harvey Normal and Coral Bay East Coast believe that paying over $2000 for a lounge suite obliges them to provide a product that is expected to be repaired or replaced after 12 months.

Which seems to be the case in this instance.

I believe that the cables have failed due to either poor manufacturing, or a cable that is not suitable for the loads placed upon it. I therefore put it to both Harvey Normal and Coral Bay, that their product is NOT up to a suitable standard to be marketed at that price.

Perhaps a product that lasts less than two years might be more suitable to a price range of perhaps less than $400.

I would personally recommend a close scrutiny of lounges and their warranty if you are considering buying from both Harvey Norman, and its supplier Coral Bay East Coast Pty Ltd.

While the lounge seems reasonable from initial appearances, and short term use, longer term use shows a quality that might appear to be substandard. At the least, there appears to be some parts that are substandard.

The suite in question was similar to the:
Sirocco Corner range, the
Argos Modular range, the
Sophia range, the
Marco range, the
Bourbon range, the
Barnsbury range, the
Kato range, and others.

The lounge suite had a small lever release for the recliner on two chairs (operated with fingers on the side of the chair, the cables attached to this is what failed); it was a light brown fabric lounge with two flip top boxes and  two pairs of cup holders. It was in an L shaped modular format. Under the foot rest (when in recliner mode) the suite was branded with “Coral Bay East Coast Pty Ltd – Castle Hill”.

As many of you live in Australia, and/or buy lounges from Harvey Norman, it would be wise to review their terms and conditions, and their warranties before deciding to spend $2000 plus on a lounge suite that they don’t want to take responsibility for.

As I was reasonably disgusted with Harvey Norman’s response, I have also written a review on You can find it at:

Note: Apparently the review that I posted didn’t comply with product review terms and conditions. Even though my review was acceptable in content, as I was not the purchaser, but writing on behalf of someone else, the review didn’t comply. My client (the purchaser) is going to write a response, which I will place here later.

Well that’s it folks. Hopefully those of you who are looking at buying a lounge suite will consider the issues raised before buying. Particularly before buying from Harvey Norman – or as I like to call them “Hardly Normal”.

Bye for now🙂


PS: I have forwarded this link to Harvey Normal for their comment. We’ll see if they come to the party and repair my client’s lounge suite🙂


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