Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Democracy for sale.

I don't think most people fully comprehend the amount of influence a few people have over the rest of our lives in Australia. I think the way it is done is rather clever in some ways. We all know how corporations have historically lobbied politicians & political parties in a variety of ways. This still happens but there is more than one way to skin a cat for want of a better analogy. Often there is a noticeable correlation between political donations and government policy. This happens no matter which of the two viable choices in Australia are in power, to varying degrees.

Very wealthy Australians have a huge hand in the corporate sector in Australia. Corporations have a structure that involves an executive & a board of directors. Most big decisions are made at board level. Boards are generally controlled by majority shareholders. Majority shareholders in listed corporations have control of over 50% of the total shares. This, in reality, means corporations are anything but democratic. 1 person generally has the final say on most serious decisions.

Australian politics is currently under attack by stealth. The IPA which has been labelled a political think tank. I don't recall a good policy coming from within their ranks. They currently have at least 18 federal politicians. The biggest donors to the IPA are famous (or infamous) people like Rinehart and Murdoch. This I imagine makes their influence on policy all powerful. Ordinary Aussies have one vote at a federal election in either house every 3 years. These wealthy plutocrats currently control at least18 votes on every piece of legislation 100% of the time. This is incredibly undemocratic. Even without mentioning Murdoch isn't Australian.
Something really needs to be done to change this before a handful of people can dictate everything without any means of a challenge from the many. To be able to rally the support of enough people they first need to understand how they are being misrepresented. A difficult task when you consider how much control these wealthy Australians wield, particularly of our media.

We are frequently seeing evidence of politicians being rewarded post-politics with board gigs, high paying jobs & sometimes gratuitous payments with no requirement at all. This can be seen from both major parties at every level of politics in Australia often without any need for research. Imagine what investigation would reveal?

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Barnaby the scandal

To me, this has always been about the misuse of government funds. Until the Prime Minister's office got involved this was probably little more than an inappropriate office affair. When the decision was made to try and hide the relationship by separating the couple during work it all went awry.

It is alleged that the former Chief of Staff for Barnaby raised the relationship in a high-level meeting between the PMO and Barnaby's office. This is when Turnbull became aware of the relationship. Although it is claimed by many in the know it was common knowledge as early as November 2016.
Either way, the result of the meeting was a decision that in my opinion was a point of no return.

They made the decision to try and hide the relationship. They decided to move Ms Campion out of Barnaby's office. A high paying media advisor role was created in Canavan's office. He has claimed there was a need for the role and that there was an interview. Although the reality is there were no other candidates. No advertising for the role. Canavan claims Barnaby wasn't involved but the stink of it is he must have been. He must have agreed to the separation at work. There is no way Canavan would poach staff from the bosses office. So Ms Campion gets a $110,000 pay increase in the move to Canavan's office to approximately $190,000 a year. People in Canberra have said this role didn't have the desired effect. The couple were spending as much time together now as they ever had.

When Canavan stood down over the s44 issue the role was no longer there. Soon another role was created in Damian Drum's office. A media adviser role in an office that already had a junior staffer in a role of media adviser. The office had little to no requirement for Ms Campion. If it did she would have been replaced as within a fortnight she went on indefinite stress leave. It was said in Senate estimates she never set foot in Drum's office. This job was signed off by the Prime Minister. The role became redundant shortly after when Damien Drum was promoted. Perhaps the redundancy was the plan all along?

I'm not suggesting this doesn't happen all the time in parliament house but I am suggesting it is a criminal misuse of Commonwealth revenue. Paying people who aren't doing a job pretending that they are. I have no idea how many people have done this but I do know it is wrong. I asked the AFP to investigate it I felt so strongly but all I got was a generic response. I later learnt that I wasn't the only person to make the same complaint.

When you consider how hard lined the AFP investigation was for Peter Slipper's case one wonders how they could sit idly by as these roles were created? Most of the people who follow Australian politics have noticed many anomalies like this since Sept 2013.

I hope that this issue is investigated and prosecuted by somebody independent and if there are other similar cases they to should suffer the same fate.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

My motive for running.

I'm running to give minorities like the cystic fibrosis community, a voice in parliament. The elderly, disabled, sick, the unemployed and anyone else who is being fobbed off by the mainstream. What difference can one person make? I think we can do a lot if we have representation inside our parliament.

I don't think ill Australians should have to line up in an orderly fashion to receive best practice medicines. I don't think, waiting for PBAC & pharmaceutical companies to have the same arguments over every new medication is acceptable. What is the alternative? I think we find ways to fund what society needs as a government. Look for new revenue ideas that take the stress out of funding. It can be done. I have an idea that would generate $330 billion a year and it wouldn't hurt any Australian taxpayers. That would enable us to fund plenty of things society really needs & service the huge govt debt the nation has accrued over the last decade. I haven't gone public with my idea as I worry what a conservative government would use the money for.

I want people to be able to approach me with their concerns and to try and find practical solutions to problems. If people in the community are being unfairly treated I want to give them a voice. I am not running for parliament to make friends or waste time. I want to make a positive impact on the standard of debate.

If we get one good candidate in parliament & they do a good job it could grow as a result. Perhaps we could shake up the major parties who keep serving up the same candidates year after year? There is only one way to find out.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Letter to the ombudsman. Template #notmydebt

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have been issued with a debt by the Commonwealth government  DHS/Social Security. I believe the debt is bogus. I have gone through the appeals process and they refuse to overturn the debt or provide evidence to support the debt being real or my fault. I would like the Commonwealth Ombudsman to investigate my case. The debt will cause me (and my family) great hardship and we do not think the debt is legitimate. Please find the relevant correspondence attached. 

Make changes where required. Add the information you have letters, debt notice, your appeal etc

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Media, politics & social media.

On insiders, this morning, Ed Husic and Barrie Cassidy questioned the value of social media. Social media actually broke the Barnaby Joyce scandal. Social media was all over it before the By-election in New England. The media knew of the relationship but covered it up. How do we know this? We know because they had photo's and have made admissions like Phil Coorey did this morning. The media have made this about the relationship. Social media wants the crime dealt with.
If Twitter & Facebook weren't dangerous forums for politicians and mainstream media owners the NBN would never have been sabotaged. If you think that a high-speed internet service isn't going to change the media delivery around the world you simply aren't watching.

The political class are rightfully scared of the power & speed social media has. Take my own stats as an example. The reach of my Tweets over the last 28 days was 2.4 million. Of those 6,000 checked my profile. Of those 160 followed. People on social media socialise. They have friends they talk with, they discuss issues that interest them. All of a sudden the mainstream media have lost control of the conversation. It is the loss of control that scares our politicians and the owners of our media.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

My s44(i-v) submission

I was totally unaware of the inquiry into s44(i-v) I would like to make a submission on the matter as I feel it is a very important issue.

My opinion is the events that have occurred in relation to s44(i-v) compliance not only vindicate those who wrote the Australian Constitution, they also highlight the lack of oversight some of our laws have. The behaviour of our parliament regarding compliance has been ad-hoc at best.

I was a candidate in the 2016 federal election for the Senate in Victoria. As a political candidate, I looked over s44(i-v) Seeing how many have failed to exercise the same care when making their declaration is upsetting on a couple of fronts.
The first being ineligible candidates that are elected take up positions that are not rightfully theirs. They also are able to game the system & remain in our parliament unchallenged unless caught in the window that disputed returns currently allows. I know of several MPs & Senators who are ineligible yet still collect the pay knowing they are not compliant.
Depending on rulings & interpretation up to 70 could be ineligible. Then there are the MPs & Senators using family trusts and offshore tax havens. How can anyone know definitively that they are not winning contracts subsidies and grants as their investments are more clandestine than most?

My suggestion would be to keep the laws as they were written. They are doing their job. The oversight is what needs to be addressed. I am of the opinion every candidate should go through an audit to prove they are compliant with s44(i-v). If you cannot show you comply you should not be signing a declaration.

                                          Thank you regards, Mark Dickenson