Category Archives: Politics

Welfare recipients get the bad end of the stick

Published Sydney Morning Herald, 13 May 2011

Each year we spend billions of dollars on helping people in need. Then they and their lobby groups and the politicians who claim to speak on their behalves complain that it’s not enough. We call it a Budget.

This year’s Budget includes money to help people suffering from a disability back into work, money to help families on above average wages manage the cost of a family and money for people who live in remote areas to live better. Are they glad of it? Apparently not. There’s either too little, the targeting is too judgmental or they still don’t ‘feel’ rich.

It’s hard to imagine our society without its unwieldy welfare component these days. As a tax payer it’s easy to feel indignant. But really it’s welfare recipients who get the bad end of the stick.

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Battle of the binge-thinkers

Published in the The Sun-Herald, 30 April 2011

Julia Gillard and her partner attended the Royal Wedding on Friday at Westminster Abbey. With an eclectic guest list of celebrities beyond La Gillardine’s usual social circle, I’m betting she made a lot of pleasant small talk. Here are three things she probably didn’t say:

“I’m a republican.”

“I’m an aetheist.”

“I don’t believe in marriage.”

I presume she judged the context inappropriate. But if she had said what we all know she thinks about religion, weddings and an Australian republic, should the Queen have politely agreed?

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