Wednesday 14 May 2014

Where have all the good guys gone?

I want to talk briefly how saddened I am by the new budget. The impact personally will be marginal (excluding the Superannuation and retirement impact, which seems like it isn't happening as it's still a long way off). I am one of the lucky ones. However, I am truly saddened by the implication it says about us as a nation.

We used to be the good guys. We were the race that did the right thing, even if there was no personal benefit. We were the people you could depend on, to selflessly chip in. Part of the Anzac spirit was that we were "naturally egalitarian". The tall poppy syndrome is due in part to our preference for the underdog or 'battler'.

This budget reflects none of these. We as a nation, for economic reasons, are turning our backs on the less fortunate, both at home and abroad. We are no longer extending the helping hand. We are no longer looking after our frail and weak.

I understand books have to be balanced, and money has to come from somewhere, but I think it is a sad day indeed when the people of this nation aren't the priority.

I have no solutions (though there are protest marches in both Sydney and Melbourne this weekend), but implore you to please think deeply about whether we have a moral obligation to help others.

While I won't go into all the specifics, obviously Medicare, Bulk Billing and Foreign Aid, Disability and Aged funding cuts are the main issues what have distressed me, I do have to question one, as it seems so impractical and ill conceived. The huge amount of money put aside to fund sending Chaplains into schools; couldn't that have just gone to the schools (or to the CSIRO, as let's face it, praying to cure cancer can happen anyway)? The ethics teachers volunteer their time - they aren't paid. I presume currently the scripture teachers are the same. Couldn't the chaplains do the same? Don't you choose (and pay) for your child to go to a religious school? One reason for that is there are a lot of different religions. You pay for your child to go to the school that supports your religion. Will the chaplain be my religion or do I have to change my beliefs to fit with the variation of religion you set up at the school? Has any thought been put into the practicality of this funding? This will not even be pleasing the religious - if you are Catholic and the funding goes to a Church of England chaplain, that won't work for you. Nor will the converse. One religion doesn't fit all. Even Christianity varies greatly.

We were once a better people. I loved Australians for their sense of justice and what is right. It made us better than other people in the world. We've lost that moral superiority. I hope it will be found once more.

As a foot note - please note, while you don't have to share my opinion I will delete any comments that are abusive towards me or other commenters. I will also delete comments that are abusive towards individuals of the Liberal Party. So play nice.

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  1. I totally agree with this post. Things have certainly changed since we arrived here in January 2000 - and not in a good way.
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

  2. If I wrote my true feelings about the school chaplains you would have to delete it. I think I should write my own post about these issues.

    1. I did ask Mr Abbott is he believed one faith fits all but he didn't reply...look forward to reading your post!!

  3. Totally agree with you. Its like the government is forcing the public to be counselled with a religion chosen by the PM! As you say, parents have chosen to NOT send their children to a religious school for a reason. Here's a scenario they might have not thought of (or maybe the PM has...). What if a student has become pregnant, the chaplain HAS TO counsel according to Catholic guidelines, all without any regard to the families' beliefs. It befuddles me.

  4. Gee, now he's mucking around our religious beliefs. The choices for parents in religious education and schools for children is hard and expensive enough as it is. Now we get a chaplain whether we like it or not. Gah.

  5. Those were very similar reactions to the ones I had. We seem to be losing the plot a bit. Just so you know though... I work at a Catholic school with a chaplain and (speaking from what I've seen) chaplains would never counsel a student who'd become pregnant. As far as I know they don't do any official 'counselling'. That's really up to a qualified psychologist or guidance counsellor.

  6. Very well handled post.
    I count myself lucky that as I am only a permenant resident I do not have to vote. I couldn't bring myself to vote for any of them, except perhaps the pirate party.
    So the government funds chaplains but the parents have to supply tissues and paper towels??
    On a lighter note I really hope my video shop has veep, that is one show I would love to see!!

  7. I'm quite disgusted at just how completely this budget is ditching the people who can least look after themselves.
    Lovely to see that Mr. Hockey has just spent $50,000 on one single dinner to impress a group of foreign diplomats!

  8. I am saddened too at how the budget hits vulnerable people. What a kick in the guts for the elderly, who have paid their dues to the government already. I'd like to question the chaplain policy too. Maybe mental health/social workers would be a better option.

  9. We will be effected by this budget, but in all honesty, I am sticking my head in the sand. It scares me to think of how much worst off we could become.

  10. It is a very sad day when Australia has lost its values over a budget emergency we are not actually having. I am holding out hope that none of these crazy ideas make it through the Senate and that order can be restored.
    One of the saddest things I ever saw was a homeless man of around 30 in San Francisco. He was begging to afford his chemotherapy. He was grey, terribly thin and looked like he was on his death bed in the street - surrounded by wealth in a first world country. The memory has always haunted me. (It was one of the last sights I saw before I taxied to the airport to come home.) A man forgotten by his government.
    These budget changes affect me in many ways and my children even more so. I am feeling a sense of panic at the thought of the future my children are inheriting from these proposals.
    I may just have witnessed Australia's future at the time.

  11. I would think having doctors more accessible to those in need is more important than sending chaplains to schools. Like you said if you want your kids to go to a religious school you send them to one. Im just hoping some of the changes put forward are blocked in the senate.

  12. Great post...I would love to know where they have gone too. Our political situation has been a joke to the world for years. I will be affected by the budget but its the retirement age that gets my goat the most...maybe those who get age pensions should only be those who have paid get out what you put in, fair system I reckon :)