Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Action needed now

Hey all,

I’m going to make a few posts here, firstly to give you an idea of how I feel which is hopefully how some of what you feel. I am assuming that you too are disillusioned otherwise you wouldn’t be on this site at all.

Firstly, I want action, I want blood. By blood I mean change for the better. And I want it now. I don’t want to wait another 30 years until someone notices that John Howard actually passed away in 2002 and has been reactivated by some Liberal scientist. Maybe, as Dr Who, who is back on air again!

I have had a gutful of our political system as it in no way represents what it is advertised to be. Our politicians call it democracy but that it certainly is not. To me democracy is an illusion, an ideal that just doesn’t work when human beings get involved. In other words, exactly the same as every other political system, it fails when humans start taking the positions of authority etc. Just like the book Animal Farm the few quickly become "more equal" than the rest. Power corrupts and once it does you need a war to take that power off those that have it. A war does not have to be guns and fighting as we have recently seen in a couple of ex Russian spin off countries. The people just stood together and said "ENOUGH".

Democracy is defined as something along the lines of "Government for the people, by the people." If you think about that you can see that is not possible unless every person agrees with both the aims and actions of a government. In Australia we are essentially 50% Labor, 50% non Labor most of the time. That goes up and down a bit to vary which party is actually in power at any given time. Whichever party is in power though effectively the other 50% are being governed by a government they don’t want. So let’s admit it. Democracy does not exist. Nor will it ever.

What we have settled for is a government where representatives of all the smaller areas of Australia supposedly represent the aims and needs of the people who elected them. The reality is that elections are simply about deciding who gets to hold the purse and make the laws. Once a government is elected they claim a mandate for every twisted little vision their aged leader may have had since boyhood. Yes, we have a school yard setting as our government as that is how it is played and that is how the players act. And bullies dominate as ever, for the short term.

Yes, we can ring talk back shows, write to papers, blog away madly and talk our families ears off but none of that changes anything. What change has happened as a result of a talk back campaign? Zippo except for those that the host is paid to produce. Similarly with papers and TV, including the ABC.

We need something different to bring about change. We can’t change the political parties that are there as they have control. Why would they change? Think people, think.

Yes, I am angry. Angry at the abuse of our reluctance to call a spade just that. Angry at the level of abuse we see from our PM, our Premiers and every other level of Government, including Public Servants. Angry at the lack of choice our voting system gives us. Angry at the unequal treatment of people in our society. Angry at the greed of the rich and the apathy of the bulk of Australians. Oh how I wish I was still one of the apathetic, I was much happier then , although ignorant. But something stirred me, made me look and I don’t like what I see. Many have seen this before me and many before them also so I’m no wheel inventor, except to myself. But now I can’t look away. I’m buggered! I care.

Are you angry too? Are you wanting change? Do you want to be treated like a human being and not a "client", a vote or taxpayer only? Do you want the Public Service/service that you should have? Rhetorical questions all of them, of course you do. And you can do something about it if you want to. It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick but the alternative is more of what we have, only more and more of it.

I’ll leave off this post here as it’s intended just to introduce how I feel and sound out how you feel. I’ll put a couple more posts as well, separately in which I say what I think is wrong, where the priorities for me are and another suggesting actions for you to tear apart, change, develop. Yes, I want to stir you up, get your ideas out, get something going.

Just so long as you start doing something and not just sitting there wishing things would change or get better. Don’t think for one second that things would be different if Howard had lost to Latham. There’s no real difference between Labor and Liberal/Nationals today. I live in Brisbane and have the indignity of being shown contempt by a Federal coalition government, a Labor State government and the Brisbane City Council which has a Liberal Lord Mayor but a majority of Labor councillors. All three possibilities and they all produce the same results. Promises, lies, avoidance, endless studies with much the same result. Nothing happens.

http://www.powerup.org.au

I'm surprised http://www.powerup.org.au hasn't been linked to yet.

RE: What can we do?

Pegasus, I agree with you 100%. My family have tried so hard to take the Government to task and it is impossible because pretty much nobody will publicly support people who challenge the Government. The Government are bullies, everybody is scared of bullies and nobody wants to get involved, all I ever hear from people is "You won’t win" and they show me their back. The thing is that we don’t want to win, it’s not a competition, we just want to be treated fairly as it should be our right.


The entire system of dealing with complaints is corrupt, it is a process and a set of procedures that they use to ensure that everything is just whitewashed and shoved under the carpet - but not before they ruin the reputations of the complainants! The Ombudsman uses the same process. When I complained to the Office of the Ombudsman and Police Integrity Commission about the manner that the Ombudsman handled our complaint as he took the word of those responsible, refused to see me, and when I sent documents clearly showing that the Department was not telling the truth and asked for a Review. The Ombudsman himself wrote back and said that since he believed that I was not going to accept any view that did not accord with my own that he saw no reason to give me the explanations sought in my review and that the matter was closed and that further correspondence from me would be filed without acknowledgment! I made formal allegations to The Committee of the Office of the Ombudsman and Police Integrity Commission of a conspiracy to cover up corruption by the Government and the Ombudsman’s office. The Committee of the Office of the Ombudsman and Police Integrity Commission advised me that under the Ombudsman’s Act 31B(2) the Committee is prohibited from investigating "particular conduct". Particular conduct is not defined in the Act but when I rang they told me that they were prohibited from investigating the allegations of the kind that I was making which is misconduct, corruption and a conspiracy to cover up.

We have been to 4 Solicitors. They don’t seem to want to get involved. Its like there is something there stopping them, but they wont say what it is. The Solicitor that we have at the moment seems only prepared to address the FOI part of the complaint, they keep passing over my requests to address my allegations of misconduct. I have to push to get anything done and it is costing us a fortune. I was told once by a person at Whistleblowers Australia and by a Minister not to bother going to a Solicitor, as they will just take our money. There is something that we are not being told!. The Government wont address it because I am alleging malice and the Government has a Policy that if allegations of malice are involved they don’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. One Minister even told me that she would only see me on the condition that she would not even consider that there was any malice involved. I went to see her in the hope that when she saw how much we had that she would help my children and family but we have heard nothing from her. We only ever hear silence.


Anyway I could go on all day with what is being and has been done to my family. Any suggestions on what we can do would be greatly appreciated. Oh and by the way ICAC did exactly the same thing, they just took the word of those responsible and closed the matter. Correspondence from us is filed without acknowledgment, even if it includes new evidence that is alarming and excessive and proves that the Department is not telling the truth.


In society we find all-sorts, its how we identify these people and deal with issues and complaints that make the difference and we are failing terribly in that area. Too many of them lunch together.

Nice to meet you

Hey Jolanda,

Good to meet you. Sorry to hear some of your battle with " them ". I know a fair bit about that myself as I had a situation where the relevant ombudsman simply refused to see me at all, as did the relevant commissioner. Just no acknowledgement or even pretence of doing the right thing. Just, "Tell him to go away." That was actually an employment matter. So I can at least sympathise with you about responsible (ho ho) people refusing to undertake their prescribed duties.

It was actually that incident that made me look and lose my apathy as it became obvious I was no lone ranger.

As for whistle blowing. Been there a little also. Immediately dubbed, "another disgruntled emplyee," when I was nothing of the sort. But it works and ruined my working life. Any time you read that description you can bet it is usually a good, well meaning employee who has been driven over the edge by the failures of senior administrators.

You have though identified two things which have been floating around in my mind as part of my agenda, being less lawyers, less lawyer involvement in everything, and a law which punishes those that fail to meet the duties of their positions, administered by a public, not official, team/committee. An additional part of such a law would also increase standard penalties for those in authority who abuse that trust, such as teachers, politicians, police etc.

Thank you for responding as it takes a few of us to start shouting our anger to get things going and hopefully that will lead to a constructive plan/strategy which everyone can help with.

RE: Discrimination

Pegasus. You know what I think is missing? It's legislation that says that discrimination on the grounds of "malice" and "prejudice" is against the Law. The way it is now, it's not against the law to discriminate because of malice or prejudice - thats why they are protected.

Discriminating against gifted children is also not against the law - I was told that by the Anti-Discrimination Board and they would not investigate my complaint.

Malice should be the key factor - not age, sex, disaiblity etc. They have it worded to protect themselves.

Hey Jolanda

Hey Jolanda, probably you and I alone could name so many missing qualities and areas that our society fails in. I know I've thought about it all for so long and finally decided I'd try and help others do something. We are both currently involved in issues where we are being bullied by our Public Service and it's difficult to understand why. To me that is malice although they probably are just rolling on their merry way and wouldn't know me from Adam or Eve.

I agree with your comments about the extra legal coverage required at the moment. Our legal system sucks, let's be blunt, there is no equality, it's money that wins every time.

Rather than try and add more laws and clauses though what I'd rather see is simply less laws and less lawyers and a self regulating society. I know I'm dreaming but that's where my aims are at the moment. I'd rather think on a broad scale for now as, like I wrote above, there are so many issues we'd be bogged down forever just documenting them, let alone develop strategies to fix or combat the problems.

Any time you feel the weight of the law, or a bureaucracy against you it is overwhelming and you can't understand why they do it. They just do I think, because it's too hard to do the right thing in organisations where cutting corners and pleasing the big guys is the main function. I've frequently been told that when I think there's a conspiracy against me the most likely reality is simply incompetence and laziness. It just feels so personal at our end.

As you state, there is always malice in our situations. I have as much to them as they have to me at the moment, but it is unequal as they have the taxpayer dollars and I've got zip.

Best Jolanda and keep writing.

Re: Money Talks

Hi Pegasus. You know that the Government maintains the public service at a level that is under-funded, incompetent and lazy so that when somebody makes a complaint they can always just blame the Public Servants, the funding or the resources and nobody is required to take responsibility and actually investigate to see whether there was anything else happening behind the scenes, like neglect or malice. Everybody is supposed to understand the difficulties they face and just put it down to problems in the system.

I sincerely believe that whilst nobody has brought an issue to the attention of the authorities then nothing can be done, but once a matter has been brought to their attention, to ignore it and cover it up when they are being advised that people are being targeted and/or are suffering, is criminal.

What is happening to my children stems from bias, malice and retaliation in the first instance, and then the need to maintain the tale/story and cover up is what follows. The evidence I have to support this is excessive and alarming. What they have done and continue to do is truly unforgivable.

You're right, its all about money. In one instance in relation to a Freedom of Information (FOI) part of my families complaint the Department made formal agreements at the Administrative Decisions Tribunal to provide me with documents that were part of an FOI Application that they were avoiding providing.

A year after the agreement after many letters etc they write to tell me that they are sorry that they overlooked the matter and that didn’t have the documents and that they had already provided everything. These are documents that by law they are supposed to keep. I have had to go to a solicitor to get help. This exercise has already cost me over $10,000.00. The Department still won't provide the documents and now they have said that in order to give me the documents it would take them 140 hours to put it together.

Then they said that the FOI Act provides where agency is confronted with a potentially very large administrative exercise the can refuse an application under Section 25(1) (a1). So they make you write hundreds of letters and take the matter all over the place, they ignore you, and then they say because there is so much, they can refuse to provide it. Then they ruin your reputation by saying that you are just a trouble-maker. It is not right, they have a bankroll and we too have ZIP. We earn too much to get legal aid and nowhere near enough to be able to fight the system without totally destroying our lives and they count on that.

FOI?

Hey Jolanda, I was in the Commonwealth PS when the FOI stuff came in. It was quickly dubbed "Freedom from Information" as we were trained immediately on what to exclude rather than the opposite. Trained in cynical practice is what we were.

Living in Queensland is indeed a confirmation of that title. Premier Beattie simply takes everything he wants to hide into cabinet thus ensuring secrecy for 30 years. That cabinet room is pretty full by now, no room for people I would think.

What he does then is selectively release parts of documents that are advantageous politically and keep the other bits in hiding. It's a simple tactic and yet another one of my targets when we take back our government.

To me, if a document is offensive to anybody or any organisation, they should be given a copy when it is produced. If that were the case there would be less written secrets and more open administration. That is how I was trained as an interviewer. Only write what is able to be supported by facts or evidence. No secret phone calls to referees to get the dirt which is used but not mentioned.

It is Freedom from Information and you are up against their other fallback position, being "it's not economical to pursue ". They make it such a huge task that you can't afford it, but of course they know your limits before they can do that.

It's a farce Jolanda and my only suggestion is to somehow accept defeat on that front and try to help turn things around here. Channel that anger into a productive and positive force here by putting forward your ideas of how we can effect change. If you sit down and think about what you've been through without emotion (good luck on that) you will see that there are opportunities to exploit the process and give us aims here on this site.

As I have written before, it's generally not a conspiracy, it's incompetence which people automatically want to cover up in case they get into "trouble". The stupid part of that is if people admit error when it is discovered it is usually forgiven and life goes on. Once you start the cover up scene though it just gets deeper by the day.

Rest easy in that your conscience is clear and try to look ahead with hope for your children's future otherwise this issue will chew you up, not them.

RE: Freedom from Information.

Pegasus, it is not incompetence in my family's case. It is neglect, bias and malice and it continues..

If I accept defeat like you say, then I am turning my back on my children and allowing them to continue to be neglected, bullied and treated unfairly whilst I turn a blind eye. I would have to ignore my children's complaints and pleas for help and I would have to watch my children become withdrawn, unhappy, depressed and maybe even attempt to take their own lives. I cant help but wonder whether you have children?

I don't understand why you insist that it is just incompetence. I cant understand why you would give them the benefit of the doubt before me especially when I have explained that I have documents that prove what I am alleging. Especially when I want to present my documents and case openly and they wont come to the party.

What is the point of having a People's parliament if they would use the same process and procedures that the current parties use?

I do appreciate your reply, but I have to continue on my journey and keep on insisting that the Department honour their obligations and responsibilities.

RE: Human Rights

You know until “Human Rights

Why?

Dear Jolanda,

I have no intent of defending "them" or giving "them" the benefit of the doubt. As I don't know the full circumstances of your situation I obviously cannot pass judgement as I don't have the facts. You do.

Do I have children. Yes, 4 from age 33 to 10. They are the only reason I am alive. You see I have suffered depression for more years than I care to mention and have myself trodden the path you fear for your children. It is my children that made me turn back. Not them actually stopping me, rather my thoughts of how that would affect them. That is why I live.

I speak from experience of pursuing issues until it made me resort to that. So all I am suggesting to you is that there is a limit to what you might achieve without harming your own health or exhausting your financial resources.

That is all the reason I am trying to respond to you. To try and help you understand that in some situations it is not helpful to continue at your own cost. You see, "they" have unlimited resources, unlimited indifference and can continue the type of treatment you have so far suffered indefinitely. Are you prepared for that?

From the opposite view, is it likely that you will achieve what you want? Seriously, does it look like things may suddenly change and you get satisfaction and a change of attitude? If so then do persist.

I care Jolanda, but I don't want others going through what I have for no result other than a reduced lifestyle, less resources and ongoing depression and anxiety. It is not fun.

These days I would rather try and turn away from such personal issues as one person. It is also why I see this site as offering a more realistic opportunity to achieve something as a group. One person against "them" is a lose-lose situation, much to all our regret, but that is how it is until change is effected. I can't achieve that on my own.

RE: Protection

Dear Pegasus, I understand where you are coming from and I will say that my family have borrowed $20,000 and we will, when the money is finished, sit outside the Department of Education until they do the right thing. We are not prepared to borrow any more money to deal with this issue - we cant afford it. But we cannot let it go as my children continue to be targeted and bullied as recently as this year and it isn't going to stop. If they were going to stop they have had ample opportunities to stop. My kids are concerned about their UAI mark and their future as they are academic students and they dont deserve to be denied opportunities that they not only need, but that they deserved.

I havent been asking for satisfaction or a change in attitude. I dont even care if they get away with it - I have been asking for protection for my children who continue to be targeted and treated unfairly. You see if they were targeting me it wouldn't matter I could deal with that but they are targeting my children and they dont deserve it and they are the ones that are suffering as they are such good children, they are kind, sensitive, and emotionally intense and they are trying to destroy them in order to cover up misconduct.

Recently after my daughter came to me in despair in relation to another test mark which was found to be wrong. I made an appointment with the Counsellor and formerly asked for my daughters answers to her tests be photocopies upon completion, that they be verified by my daughter and the teacher and signed and they be retained so as to verify her answers and results when the tests came back. That was over 3 weeks ago. I have heard nothing back. The Principal went on holidays. Thats another thing, everytime you bring up an issue the key player goes on Holidays.........

They wont even protect her as this would mean acknowledging the situation and they are denying it by "not accepting" my complaints. My children deserve protection as they are innocent victims of misconduct and corruption.

Empathy

Hey Jolanda, I do both sympathise and empathise with you. I wish I could help. But of course I cannot. Protecting our children is always first priority for me too and I can see why you want to continue protecting them. I would too, in any circumstances, as they are my children and I believe in them.

Please accept my best wishes for you and your children and I so hope you gain the protection they deserve.

I won't continue with our conversation though Jolanda as it is not why I am here on this site. I am here to try and contribute to the stated project, not convince anyone of anything or the like.

We all have our crosses to bear and this isn't the time and place to be delving into those issues too much.

I apologise for any offence you may have taken to my words but it was all intended to help. Regretably it appears I did not.

Stated Project

Pegasus, thank you for responding.

Maybe you can explain something to me. I thought the “stated project