The Public Service

Mustafa Erem  asks : Where the good old public service is fair – equal grade, equal pay – SMH 7 Oct.   If you are old enough to remember, Mustafa Erem you would recall the days when heads of Departments were not the minions of their Ministers; when those Heads of Departments could give honest, unbiased, independent advice to their Ministers because they were not bought and paid for by Ministers – they were independent; when there were grades and proper pay for grades; if you attained a grade you got the pay. The Public Service was respected and young, bright people leaving school tried for jobs in the Public Service. There’s just something about the Public Service of the past, Mustafa, something with credibility, honesty – something to be looked up to… something to be proud of.

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DISCRIMINATION THEN AND NOW

Typically Alex Blackwell (Peter FitzSimons – what they said 23 Sept) thinks every movement started and stopped with her generation.   Try telling that to those in the 60s who had to fight for bank/building society loans; tell that to counter staff who suggested that I get a signature from a son for a store account, I was helping him through University (my reply was NO followed by a letter to the Managing Director of the firm); tell that to a person in the 60s applying for a new position only to be told when giving the name of MY school , “that position was filled”; tell that to a person refused a housing loan because of responsibilities (two sons)…and no discrimination laws then to help.
Alex Blackwell just stop and think: Who did the preparatory work so that you could even think of pressing your case for proper pay and inclusion? Who did the hard yards so that you may write the drivel expressed in your FitzSimon column? Who wrote letters ad infinitum to rectify a situation? Who helped change the position of women needing a guarantor?
It didn’t happen overnight – it happened a couple of generations ago and was the result of work by the agitators then – not now.

ABOVE THE LAW

“The world has been stood on its head here in Canberra” SMH 14 Sept. about the continuing saga of Liberal Party members thinking that the law of the land does not apply to them and Michaela Cash doing her impersonation of the “wicked witch” in the SMH 4 Sept)
Once the electorate thought that, with all the wealth of Australia behind them (commercial and big business) we could trust the Libs but that the ALP were a nasty lot with no real background and beholden to those “dreadful” unions, but we are finding out that with so many in the State and Federal ranks indulging in funny business our faith has been blasted.
Scandals about donations, big contracts being awarded mysteriously under the pretence of “commercial in confidence” and unsolicited tenders which have not been advertised but strangely went to wealthy backers…
Makes you wonder what the world is coming to… and who to trust certainly not people of good background and unimpeachable friends.

Pauline and living off the taxpayer

So our Pauline Hanson – she who is without stain of sin – is demanding to know the salaries of various members of the ABC and to have cuts made to their services.
OK Pauline but in the interests of openness and honesty how about you tell us your salary during the period between the first time in Parliament and the latest effort; during that period how much did you extract from the taxpayers of Australia? How much is your staff including Chief-of-staff being paid to find loopholes in various regulations and is it worth it?
I would remind you Pauline, that members of the ABC keep us entertained and informed and they are very open to comment and criticism – what do you do for your money?.
And finally, did you claim reimbursement for the burqha (?) you wore into Parliament recently?

WATER WORRIES AS DRY SUMMER LOOMS

What a dramatic picture of a bushfire/firefighter Sun Herald 13 Aug.  Which leads to questioning what we will require in the way of water resources with a very hot dry summer ahead.
And of course – has anyone heard anything about our expensive de-sal plant on Botany Bay?  Is it working?  Is it being regularly turned on to keep it active for the troubles ahead?
Will anyone tell us?

Confidentiality!

The question of the day – to continue the hundreds of years old tradition of the Seal of the Confession in the Catholic Church? What next when this matter is settled to the satisfaction of some anti-everything-religious members of Parliament? The sacred trust between lawyer and client? the confidentiality between doctors and patients? or God forbid! – the right to keep confidential the matter between journalists and sources. It will be interesting to see what eventuates in these matters – we have seen in the past the right of journalists to keep confidential their sources and no doubt we will “progress” in the other matters.

Principles and politicians

I am a little late in offering my congratulations to Senator Brandis but – better late than never.
I am not a fan of Sen Brandis usually – I am not a Coalition voter but Sen Brandis showed how a politician should behave and what we, the voters are looking for in our elected representatives.
He spoke from the heart, with emotion and well deserved the standing applause he received.
What a pity Malcolm and colleagues could not put their vote-counting aside for just a moment of principle but sat there looking shame-faced while so many of the House stood and clapped to make it obvious to the burqha wearer Hanson that we Australians do not agree with her stunt and her truly awful ideas.
Good on you Sen Brandis.  If there were more like you perhaps politicians would be more respected.