Time to make a stand
To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled—because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher.
Tired of being treated with contempt, we have run out of patience and forbearance.
We have been waiting for someone, anyone to make a stand on the pensions. It didn’t happen.
Getup elite weren't interested. They are too young and Green. They think they will be forever young. Politicians are too well cared for, they even get paid to go to work. That just leaves the elderly and they are too proud and too embarrassed. So that leaves nobody to make a stand.
It’s a difficult area to understand. That’s why politicians get away with constantly making changes. They don’t understand it either. You can hear them every day struggling trying to explain it and passing it on the others – who also don’t understand it. The best explanation they can come up with is that it’s not sustainable. However, their perks always are.
How can a politician (or CEO) who has a secure and excessive income, in retirement, ever possibly understand the single greatest challenge for most retirees – living on an income that often doesn’t cover basic needs?
As it is, Australia is no country for old men, or women. The 2014 Global Health Watch measures of the quality of life of older people, found Australia had the lowest ranking in the region, (61st), for income security which measures older people’s access to money. It had the highest old age poverty rate (35.5 per cent), and below average pension coverage and welfare rates. Afghanistan, which ranks last in overall wellbeing, was around 20 points ahead of Australia in income security.
From an article by Inga Ting in the Sydney Morning Herald, September 10, 2015: ‘The Global AgeWatch Index 2015, compiled by HelpAge International, ranks countries according to the social and economic well-being of people over 60 by looking at 13 indicators in four domains: income security, health status, capability and enabling environment.
Australia ranks 94th, ahead of only South Korea and Venezuela, for the worst rate of old-age poverty and 94th again for relative welfare, which compares the standards of living of older and younger people in the community. Only China and South Korea fared worse on relative welfare.”
Overall Australia ranks just above Sri Lanka.
In Australia there is an unstoppable shift from the state to the individual to fend for themselves.
But despite being more than three weeks into the race for The Lodge, there’s been barely a peep from our leaders on the issues impacting pensioners.
There is still weeks to go until polling day?
Time is running out for this election. Every major party has decided to rob pensioners blind or even rob blind pensioners.
However, if we fail this time we have lost forever. We will not live long enough to see any change for the better. But we will see changes for the worst.
It’s no use trying to talk sense to Turnbull, Morrison and Co or Di Natale. They are hoeing a different row now.
(Despite what he might think Malcolm Turnbull did not have a tough upbringing either. His father was not a "battler" — he was a highly successful hotel broker. They may have lived in a flat at one time — but it was in Vaucluse, a ritzy part of Sydney's eastern suburbs. And he was educated at Sydney Grammar — one of Australia's most prestigious and expensive private schools. His mother left him a trust fund. His father, sadly, died when he was 27, whereupon Turnbull inherited millions, along with a very profitable real estate portfolio. Mr Harbourside mansion' returns for exclusive fundraiser)
The LNP in all its guises is a lost cause: Same with the Greens. Nick Xenophon is no better. When the Greens decided to dance with the devil they lost all credibility.
I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Senator Richard Di Natale had no idea what he was voting on when he voted with the coalition when this Pension Bill came before the Senate in June 2015. See the correspondence with him here.
I wrote once to Senator Richard Di Natale’s and his office sent a standard letter which was riddled with misinformation. They had voted with the Coalition against pensioners without even understanding what they were voting on.
Read the second letter which details the errors of their first letter here. I thought maybe they needed a good explanation, so it’s a long letter. Read their reply…. That’s right it went unanswered as is their wont. The Liberal Democratic Party with David Leyonhjelm is in a world of its own. He thinks the country can run without anyone paying taxes except perhaps enough for his perks.
The other cross-bench Senators are a good possibility.
There is still a small chance that Labor will make some concessions. The office of Jenny Macklin had the decency to call me. Others have written to them too Pension asset test.
I wrote to many politicians but didn’t even receive the courtesy of an answer from most of them, except in some cases to say they were too busy. In this ‘age of communication’ communication has never been worse.
I sent a simple question to my local politician, Karen Andrews MP in a safe LNP seat, after I received a glossy brochure informing me of the benefits of the pension changes, but no reply there either.
Now Labor has decide to go with the flow; most likely because there is no outcry from anybody. They very recently dropped the school kid’s bonus and it should have been dropped when the mining tax was abolished because it was linked to that. The pension on the other hand is not tied to any recent tax but has been collected and squandered for a long time ……..
This petition is not just for pensioners either. This is for young people too: How would you feel if your Superannuation was gone like the pension funds are gone?
Labor has been spooked by the coalition’s taunts that they are running up debt even though it is the LNP running up the debt. But they have the Murdock press. The ABC is like a victim trapped in an abusive relationship – with the government
Labor was quick to point out that the proposed changes to negative gearing would be grandfathered Labor recognises that Australians make financial decisions in good faith on the tax arrangements in place at the time.
However there is no talk of grandfathering by any party for those on the aged pension. Surely, Grandfathering goes better with the pension than with negative gearing which includes people who will get the benefits from it for up to half a lifetime into the future. Pensioners don’t have half a lifetime left.
Malcolm Turnbull will have to find other budget cuts after the election if coalition MPs succeed in heading off superannuation changes for the rich Liberal donors. These will come from the poor pensioners again.
Our biggest opportunity is in key marginal seats. There is a potentially powerful advantage in older men and women facing an impoverished retirement in some marginal seats.
If politicians refuse to make any changes then the only option is to swamp them with independents. That is still democracy at work. At present, we don’t have democracy at all. The candidates are preselected for us by the major parties. They are selected on their pliability not their integrity. They have been imbued with the propaganda long before we get to see them.
Also, forget about this idea that if they are elected they have a ‘mandate’. Cleverly, although the pension legislation has been passed it doesn’t take effect until after the election and then they can claim they have a mandate. Retirees affected by the government's proposed 2017 overhaul of the age pension assets limits are beginning to realise with dismay what it could mean for them.
There is only ever the possibility of one of the two major parties forming government and no they don’t have a mandate for every policy the put forth.
Based on the mandate theory the government can do whatever they wish as long as they are in government even if they got there with a big lie or a series of big lies.
(Abbott: No cuts to health, No cuts to education, No cuts or changes to pensions, No Medicare local closures, No unexpected adverse changes to superannuation, All $100m-plus infrastructure projects to have cost-benefit analysis, Provide mothers with 26 weeks paid parental leave, No cuts to ABC or SBS, I want to see car-making survive in this country, not just survive but flourish, Taxes will always be lower under a Coalition Government...)
Only one of two parties will be elected, in our time, so if one party had a policy that everyone must kill their dogs at New Year and the other one had a policy that it should be cats at Easter one of them would still get in, but everyone would be hoping common sense would prevail.
It’s time to stop hoping now.
But you know there is a saying.
“When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others.”
It is the same when you are stupid.
The reality is politicians vote ‘yes’ to legislation they don’t even comprehend: Kelly O’Dwyer, Julie Bishop, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, and too many more to mention, plus there has been the loss of 14 ministers in one term. How could they know what they are talking about?
Even if they have no idea what they are doing most of the time, it’s our responsibility to teach them a lesson. Their interest is in their own political future. We have the power to change the vaudeville of preening self-important politicians in the capital and their political futures. That power in our hands right now.
Howard Zinn said: “If the gods had intended for people to vote, they would have given us candidates.”
Of course plenty of articles, showing contempt for pensioners, have been written by biased commentators. One thing you can be absolutely sure of, not one of the writers will ever be dependent on the pension. They are all way too affluent for that. But even more ominous they want the money shifted somewhere else that will benefit them.
They look down of people who have worked all their lives and now continue to struggle to survive. That’s their world view and that’s human nature and there’s nothing we can do about that.
Another claim being bandied about is that the older generation has more assets that the younger generation. Well, the biggest asset the younger generation has is time. They have thirty-five more years to accumulate wealth. The older generation doesn’t have that asset. I bet they wish they had. They are not going to take those assets with them.
We know everyone’s sick of shiny brochures from politicians, so we need to get pensioners to communicate the message to other pensioners.
Let them know that their job is to REPRESENT our views, NOT overrule them. Morrison in particular is arrogant, disrespectful, and contemptuous of the majority of the people who employ him.
Ever since Age Pensions were combined with Centrelink...they have continued to label Age Pensions as Welfare.
It is a Marketing Ploy to convince the Younger Generation that Pensioners are Bludgers.
All the Jargon used to convince some people that other people are unworthy through Name Calling and Labelling! Wedge politics. Now according to Turnbull and Morison Labor is shooting business people, the very people that are going to lead us to the Promised Land in fifty years’ time.
Tax cuts for “Jobs and growth”. Its fairies at the bottom of the garden stuff and it’s hard to prove that there are no fairies at the bottom of the garden. That’s what fairies are like. If you leave food for them and it’s gone that doesn’t prove the fairies ate it and if it isn’t gone maybe they just didn’t like it. By the time we find out there are no fairies it will be too late to invite them to the party.
The crucial demographic
There are nine marginal seats held by the Coalition that have significantly more women in their middle to late 50s than the national average. This could be a crucial demographic for the Coalition with polls showing the July 2 election will be close.
In the Tasmanian seat of Lyons, 7.7 per cent of the electorate is aged between 55 and 59 compared to a national average of 6 per cent. Lyons is held by the Liberal Party by 1.2 per cent.
The bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro in NSW is held by the Liberal Party on a margin of 2.9 per cent after the recent boundary redistribution. Its population of 55 to 59 year olds makes-up 7.4 per cent of the electorate.
Labor needs to know that there could be up to 5,000,000 potential votes to be garnered. They all need to know that we will not take it anymore.
Website to check out http://cpsa.org.au/