Friday, 13 July 2012

Newman's DCMs

Bruce Flegg trying to look intelligent

Last week my brother-in-law got a DCM*.

He is one of thousands of conscientious hard-working Queensland public servants shafted by the makeshift mafia currently masquerading as a government. Thirty-something years of loyalty and service counts for nix when you have an arrogant and power-drunk mob in George St.

This, despite a clear undertaking given before the election that permanent public service positions were secure.

See this quote from the LNP’s election manifesto - “An LNP Government will also commit to no forced redundancies.”

This mob has been in power for a little over a hundred days, but has already gone completely feral. 

The most recent out-of-control behaviour (just last week) was the spectacle of the LNPs state treasurer (ex-Copper Barry O'Sullivan) barging into GoPrint and demanding access to financial records. This character is not an elected member of government. His sole qualification is his cosy relationship with Bruce Flegg, Minister for Public Works. The exercise was repeated at GoPlant.

The managers involved would have been within their rights to call the police to evict him from the premises. That would have been interesting, given O’Sullivan’s background as an ex-Copper.

I wonder why he's an ex-Copper. Could it have something to do with penchant for abusive and intimidating behaviour? Since when in a Westminster democracy has it been kosher for a party apparatchik to browbeat senior public servants at the behest of a minister?

This same apparatchik previously achieved notoriety by abusing, in the crudest terms, a dumped LNP candidate prior to the election.

Napoleon Newman disowned Flegg on the floor of parliament, but that looks like about as far as it will go. Whatever happened to the new wave of transparency and accountability promised prior to the election?

The rationale given for O’Sullivan’s intrusion at GoPlant is that he has experience in employing people with disabilities, as does GoPlant. What is particularly objectionable about this is Bruce Flegg hiding behind a group of employees with disabilities in an attempt to rationalise unacceptable behaviour.

Just ask Fran Vicary, CEO Queenslanders with Disability Network, what she thinks of the new government’s treatment of Queenslanders with disabilities. From what I remember of Fran (whom I knew as a student in the seventies) the LNP needs to be very afraid. This person is a fearless and effective advocate.

I can’t say I’m surprised by what’s going down. This behaviour is in the DNA of conservative governments once they’re in power. There’s a characteristic pattern which involves demonising a target group (refugees, Vietnam Veterans, public servants – take your pick), and blaming them for gross mismanagement.

As a Vietnam Veteran, I well remember the treatment received post-service from a succession of Coalition governments who dropped us like hot potatoes, conveniently forgetting that they’d conscripted us in the first place.

There’s a streak of Goebbels in all of this – tell a lie often enough, and people will believe it. The big lie in this case is that the ALP is to blame for the current chaos. Funny that – last time I looked, the LNP is in power.

The latest – from the floor of the LNP convention - is a motion to forbid teachers from relaying scientific fact about climate change. It looks like we’re heading back to the days of Rona Joyner and sundry lunatics who were running around loose in the days of Bjelke-Petersen.
And Queenslanders remember where that ended up….. 
* Don’t come Monday.


Anonymous said...

Demonising Vietnam Veterans and Public Servants? Please give examples and then indicate where the Comminist Party, sorry the Labor Party do things differently.

1735099 said...

Let's start with Vietnam Veterans, shall we?
In December 1975 I lined up in Brisbane to vote in the federal election called after Whitlam's dismissal. My father (a returned airman from WW2) was voting with me.
When a Liberal booth worker shoved a how-to-vote card under my nose, my Dad (never backward in coming forward) said "He's a Vietnam veteran mate - wouldn't vote for your mob in a month of Sundays".
The booth worker, resplendent in his Liberal t-shirt said "Really - well he wasn't fighting for me - and Vietnam wasn't a real war".
This was indicative of the Coalition's view of Vietnam veterans. They were in power from 1975 until 1983. They had plenty of opportunity to redress the shameful treatment doled out to us, but never took advantage of it.
The Welcome Home march took place under a Labor government, a supreme irony apparently lost on many Coalition supporters.
We became relevant again after sixteen years of blind indifference from the party that conscripted us to fight the mythical red menace.
Then in 2003 I was offered a medal (the National Service medal) by a Coalition government for the privilege of being conscripted. This was designed to garner support for the invasion (based on a lie) of Iraq. That irony was also lost on Coalition supporters. I rejected it, of course. I had been shamefully used by the Coalition in 1970, and wasn't going to be used again.
As for public servants - you obviously haven't been listening to the rhetoric. See -
And by the way, if you believe the current government is Comminist (sic) you have no idea of Communism. It figures, I guess, given that your understanding of the ideology doesn’t include the basics – such as how to spell it.

Anonymous said...

My Dad thought I wasn't capable of speaking for myself so being a painted on Labor voter, spoke for me. Your father's son obviously had no pride in his involvement as a "digger" or he'd have known that while the Libs sent him overseas the majority of dissenters were Labor or Union oriented just like Dad. Blinded by Dad's un-erring faith in socialism the son gave up all hope of making a decision based on what he saw, heard or felt and is unchangeable in his belief that what Dad says is totally correct and there is no need to question Dad's beliefs. The Liberal Govt. of the day is not to blame for the one slight you may have suffered at the hands of someone obviously aggrieved by your Dad's obtuse remark. You do not say what comment you made, probably too embarrassed by your father to stand up for yourself or if you believed differently to him, to correct him. Just like your choice to go into the army in the first place.....not enough get up and go to refuse on idealogical or religious grounds. Put away the hanky before you dehydrate.
How do you figure giving you a medal would garner support for another incursion into a foreign deluded egotistical fool. They didn't hand out soap boxes with the medal did they?
Public servants need their numbers reduced. Any one who has worked in Govt. departments will tell you long as it isn't the person you ask the question of.
Spelling communist is easier when using a pen...there are fewer typos than when using a key board. In case you didn't notice U and I are adjacent to each other on a key board.

1735099 said...

"My Dad thought I wasn't capable of speaking for myself"
As I recollect I told this character to do something anatomically impossible.
"gave up all hope of making a decision based on what he saw, heard or felt"
It is precisely because of what I saw, heard and felt in Vietnam that I hold these opinions. See -
"Just like your choice to go into the army in the first place"
The only choice I had was two years in the army or three in jail. I was not a conscientious objector - I simply rejected the "red menace" crap. History has proved me correct.
"How do you figure giving you a medal would garner support for another incursion into a foreign country."
It's about the very simple expedient (used over and over again by Coalition governments) of using support for the diggers to create political momentum. The problem about this strategy is that when the voters don't support the war (as was the case by 1970 in Vietnam) the soldiers also wear the opprobrium. I’m surprised I have to spell it out for you. It’s about using the military as a political wedge. The Coalition wrote the book on this. Abbott is doing it now with his macho rhetoric about using matelots to “turn back the boats”.
“Any one who has worked in Govt. departments will tell you that”
I’ve worked in both government service and private industry. Currently I run a small business. The hardest I’ve ever worked was as a teacher in government schools. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about.
You also can’t spell – “idealogical” – and it has nothing to do with your keyboard.
I’ll give you some advice for free. Run your comments through a spell check.
By the way – gratuitous abuse – “you deluded egotistical fool” simply indicates your incapacity to debate.

Anonymous said...

I am not here to debate Whit, merely to point out that you have some ideas obviously gleaned from your youth or upbringing that have carried over into the rest of your existence, and reading, that appear out of step with the majority of your mates from your military years. You did not have the courage to follow your convictions then, and now have a very bitter outlook. There may have been no "red menace" but how many thousands of Vietnamese left their homeland on that premise? Issuing medals for service to conscripts is hardly like to garner political momentum in order to gain acceptance for sending troops into a war zone, popular or unpopular. It wouldn't even gain extra votes from the recipients, take for instance your situation.
I too have spent forty or so years in public service and not in one service alone....there is a lot of flotsam out there, believe me. Not all are dedicated and hardworking. You can't tell me that you have not seen teachers that teach because that path was the one offering least resistance. You got me on ideological mate but who needs a spellchecker when I have a dedicated ex teacher to do it for me and then announce it for the other five readers of this blog. You can apply the other meaning to "gratuitous" if you like. It is my pleasure to offer something free of charge.

1735099 said...

The fact that I didn't follow my values back in 1970 is precisely why I always do now in the light of that experience. It's called the getting of wisdom. Never again will I compromise my belief system.
John Howard used the SAS to fight a khaki election over the Tampa in 2001, and the Coalition has cynically used bigotry against refugees ever since.
Contrast that with the bipartisan approach which worked very effectivelly with Vietnamese refugees.
To justify mass sackings of public servants on the basis that a small percentage are slackers is a joke. In my experience there are time-servers in both the private and public spheres.
The only difference these days is that it's more difficult to hide these individuals in government agencies.
I doubt that there are only five readers, by the way. My blog stats indicate and increasing regular readership exceeding hundreds of hits weekly, and steadily increasing.

Anonymous said...

"In my experience there are time-servers in both the private and public spheres."
Goes without saying, but then we were talking about public sector, paid with taxes on the majority, not by profits of the private sector. Mass sackings can only indicate that my imperfect observations have been replicated by people able to take action.
The SAS have been used in more ways than even you can imagine and also AFP paramilitary groups. To get the job done properly you use the best performers for the role required.
The coalition has been active in bringing to light the failure of the Labor led Government to properly address the influx of "refugees" by boat. Hardly a bigoted targeting of refugees in general. Have you applied yet to Homestay to have a couple of asylum seekers accommodated at your villa on the hill? I didn't think so, neither has Julia. She like you is happy to see someone else doing what she espouses as the right thing to do.
"My blog stats indicate and increasing regular readership"
Didn't use the grammarchecker mate. I'll bet you didn't subtract the number of hits you created by constantly checking the number of visitors to your site.

1735099 said...

The problem with your analysis is that work performance is ignored when these sackings are made. The real issue (as pointed out in my original post) is the abject deception of a Premier who simply lied when he told public servants prior to the election that they had nothing to fear.
What part of "no forced redundancies" doesn't he understand?
The job of the SAS is not to operate as a political arm of the Coalition. I suggest you watch "Leaky Boats" to ascertain how the commander at the time felt about his orders.
I have been working with Sudanese refugees in my parish for years. What are you doing?
My blog is set up so it doesn't count my own visits.

Anonymous said...

The problem with your observation of which public servants will be removed is that selection criteria has not been detailed and you have made an assumption in this regard. I have been the subject of this downsizing B.S. and been forced to reapply for my position three times. On each occasion decisions were made on experience and expertise. I can only hope current personnel are treated in this way or the public are the ones who will suffer.
Well I guess we better not get into abject deceptions in order to gain power to do what they like....polies are mighty prone to doing that, eg Federal Govt., Victorian Govt., NSW...etc etc.
The job of the SAS is to do whatever the Govt. (no matter which party persuasion) instructs it to do, unflinchingly, in the same way it is expected of the rest of the services, but with higher degree of professionalism.
"I have been working with Sudanese refugees in my parish for years"....How many are you prepared to have move in with you?
Me....I have been dealing with Iraqi, Iranian, Vietnamese and other immigrants of different nationalities for 40 years in different areas and in different roles. My roles also took in nationalities from Europe and other parts of Asia and Aussies including Aboriginal Australians. Unfortunately most of my contact has stemmed from anti-social or criminal behaviour. My misgivings have been formed in the same way yours have but obviously on the other side of the spectrum. Hence my unflinching cynicism.

1735099 said...

"that selection criteria has not been detailed and you have made an assumption in this regard"
I've made no assumptions - I’ve spoken to people who have been sacked. There was no process - complete work units were wiped. It had absolutely nothing to do with work performance, and everything to do with dodgy right wing ideology.
The job of the SAS is to defend the country. Watch -
to see what the SAS commander thought of his orders to raid the Tampa.
"How many are you prepared to have move in with you?"
This meme reminds me of my father asking those who supported my deployment to Vietnam when their sons were going to volunteer.

Anonymous said...

"complete work units were wiped. It had absolutely nothing to do with work performance, and everything to do with dodgy right wing ideology."
I guess that if you found work units put in place by a DODGY LEFT WING group and found that the business could continue without said unit, and therefore without having to borrow money to pay the wages incurred by said unit, it would be good business sense to close down said unit.....makes sense to me. It is called restructuring/downsizing. I have yet to see the Labor Governments of State or Federal levels exercise fiscal restraint. I have seen changes to public service positions that increase personnel and give no more service than that previously offered.
"This meme reminds me of my father asking those who supported my deployment to Vietnam when their sons were going to volunteer." Doesn't answer the question Prime Minister Whit. Just another falling back to a time you would rather commit to memory and label "painful".

1735099 said...

You were making an argument that these people were sacked because they weren't performing. When that didn't wash you shifted the goalposts to blame it on the previous government.
The LNP in Queensland have followed a simple three step process to thoroughly screw over the voters of this state -
1. Make a heap of promises you have no intention of keeping.
2. Once elected, invite Peter Costello to come up with a report carefully crafted to reach a specific conclusion irrespective of the truth.
3. Use this subterfuge to sack as many public servants as possible in the shortest time to create a narrative that you hope will stick.
At no point is there any consideration of the interests of Queenslanders, especially those in the regions who stand to lose the services that were barely adequate to start with.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say at any stage that these people were sacked because they weren't performing. Better read it again.....I indicated that there is an over abundance of public servants and that there are those in the service that use it as a gravy train. I indicated that these should be selected for employment elsewhere. I also understand that a business that has sections within sections that have operations that either duplicate or have functions that can be done without, at no losss to the business, said sections probably should be the subject of a restructuring process and if that means wrapping it up then so be it. It seems to me that Labor has a habit of creating public service jobs with no increase to the public they serve. They change names of business entities and sections within those businesses at huge cost to the public purse and it all seems to be just to say we changed that and doesn't it sound wonderful.....nothing changes within the business framework and the people paying the wages are no better served. It would appear it got out of hand in sunny Qld and needs reining in. The goal posts are not shifted just widened....targets in the same place but bigger.
"At no point is there any consideration of the interests of Queenslanders, especially those in the regions who stand to lose the services that were barely adequate to start with" It's called centralisation.....overseen from the city and only consider those with 20 km of the office. If you tell someone from the city that the trip home will take you 4 hours after you leave their office they are incredulous.

A Pinch of Common Sense

Courtesy I found this posted in Facebook a few weeks ago, when the faux outrage about mandated vaccination first began to ...