Posts Tagged ‘Community’

Close knit, so lovely and quiet?

October 5, 2018

IMG_0109tulips

One can almost have a printed version ready. Each time a murder is committed in a suburban street we read ‘This is a very quiet street.’ ‘People are nice.’ ‘They keep to themselves.’ ‘This is a close knit community.’ ‘She sometimes said hello.’ ‘He/she was really nice.’

The above comments are often made by neighbours next door or living opposite. Today, another sad death in a suburban street was in the news. Police are suspicious. There was a lot of blood. Fortunately, a baby was found unharmed. Here are some comments made by people living in the same street.

“It’s terrible. She was such a nice woman, kept to herself, but was pleasant,” said one man who lives across the road. Another man, who was walking his dog this morning, said he couldn’t believe it when he turned on the news.” This area is really quiet — people just keep to themselves — but to hear that a mother was killed and her baby survived, well that’s just awful,” he said.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-05/mothers-body-found-in-bellambi-baby-unharmed/10341004

Of course, neighbourly friendships and keeping an eye out for each other is what good working communities are about.  One often sees this portrayed in advertisements. Advertisements  show the opposite of reality which makes them so attractive  to the consumer. Neighbourly men casually chatting over the paling fence discussing a juicy funeral protection insurance with happy smiling wives hugging her children is one example. But, that happy image. Does that hold true? Why are we so keen on those paling fences?

We are being urged to keep closer contact with our family and friends. Campaigns are set up to make people aware of how important human contact is. Saying ‘how are you going’ is the aim of those campaigns. I am not sure that we have a society that is so close knit. Privacy seems to be very liked. We might wave a hand across the road, but how often do we visit our neighbours, hang over the fence and chat?

“She was a nice woman, kept to herself, but was pleasant.”  A very sad statement by the man living opposite.

Is it all that’s it cracked up to be?

January 23, 2018
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Birds always understand

 

With all the activities of the last few months, time has arrived for reflection and ponderings. I leave it to the readers to judge the veracity of my claims. What are those claims? Well, amongst many that I hold, one dearest to my heart has always been that many hold Australia high up the ladder when it comes to the level of social benefits. We often read that our system of welfare is being exploited by loafers and bludgers. Single mums are deliberately having babies so they can siphon financial support which they squander on drugs, clothes, and make-up. Refugees, especially those from bombed out sandy regions near the Euphrates and Tigris river systems are also on the list of exploiting Australia’s wonderful social, almost paradisiacal systems. ( the best in the world) They invade Australia, take our women, jobs, and wear funny clothes.

I don’t hold that view. In fact we believe the opposite to be closer to the truth. The proof is in our social benefits expenditure. Just peruse this site;

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-03/kevin-andrews–makes-unfounded-welfare-claim/5215798

It might be a couple of years old but if anything, it has gotten worse. Or, look at this!

https://www.crikey.com.au/2014/05/30/australias-overly-generous-welfare-in-context/

Statistically, Australia lags  behind  most OECD countries in welfare spending, so why do we persist in calling Australia a social paradise?

From AIM; “There is  a ruthless and selfish ruling oligarchy in this country that has a badly inflated and misplaced positive view of itself that continues to inflict injustice on Australia’s poor and disadvantaged in general and even on the working and much of the middle class. For example wealth inequality has returned to the levels of over 100 years ago.”

Our expenditure equals that of the US in about 19.5 % of GDP spending on social welfare. In the US many also hold the view that too much is spent on welfare while clearly that is not the case. The difference that I believe, is that many of the inhabitants of most OECD countries hold a view that pensions, unemployment money, sickness benefits and more are a ‘right’ and not a ‘hand-out’  as is often suggested here. Just the term ‘dole’ or ‘dole-bludger’ is diminishing and belittling. It seems to suggest a beggar with cap in hand. A term that would certainly not be allowed to be used in many countries. A well governed country holds the view that the old, the sick and the unfortunate need to be cared for. Enough revenue (taxation) has to be raised to pay for it.

We had some experience with the creaking social welfare. It was suggested that with continuing health issues and advancing years Helvi would be entitled to ‘aged care’. We had a lengthy interview from a Commonwealth officer and a plan was put into action where she could be provided with some subsidized services.

A domestic service with assistance to house-cleaning was suggested. The other,  a transport service also falling under ‘Community Service.’ It all sounded very good. However, the Government seems to have sub-contracted those services out to private institutions. Many have religious names such as Anglo-Care, Presbytery care, Community Transport (volunteer). The suggested services were all full and had no open positions for home cleaning. The above services are subsidized but payment is still requested. So far we have been unable to get much traction on the home-cleaning front and the social event of a river cruise is put on a poll basis. Names are pulled out of a hat because the demand is bigger than they can accommodate. I wonder why a bigger bus is not used or a bigger boat. In any case, I had not been assessed on receiving ‘Community Aged Care.’ Only Helvi might be allowed on this river cruise. It all sounds so strange. I am Helvi’s husband (for over 55 years)! I was subsequently assessed as well from a kind lady spending another afternoon tapping away on her laptop. I too am now entitled to house cleaning and a river cruise. A second suggestion is a trip to the War Museum in Canberra.

We can’t wait to look at cannons, guns and roses.

 

 

 

The illustrious career of Rex (bucket)Jackson

March 12, 2013

The illustrious career of Rex (Bucket) Jackson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I8QiBsnhSk

With the latest finger pointing at Obeid and his antics in front of Icac I wonder if some of you still remember Rex Jackson. There is a world of difference between the two!

Rex (bucket) Jackson was really the epitome of a charming effervescent man. He was also  minister for Youth and Community services, of Corrective services and a little later minister for Transport in the NSW Labor Government during the mid seventies and early eighties after which he suffered his spectacular fall from grace.

His love of dogs is what is supposed to have led him to his downfall.  He was a regular fixture at Dapto dogs and Wentworth Park.  It must have been unfairly tempting when he started to make nice little earnings from allowing prisoners out before their time was up for a bit of handy cash. He wasn’t minister for Corrective services for nothing!  One of the things he fought hard for was rehabilitation for prisoners. What could be more re-habilitating than giving prisoners a chance to start afresh, letting them out of prison before the sentence was fully served? Of course, a bit of cash in return would be appreciated. There were monthly waves of prisoners being led out on parole which gave rise to suspicion all wasn’t on the level!

Who can forget the video footage of Rex in a car casually accepting a bundle of notes which later on included him having a boot-full of cash at the back of his car?

He was born at Wagga Wagga, the son of a railway fettler. He knew poverty but despite or because of this he grew up an irascible optimist and larrikin with more than a streak of compassion and strong sense of reform for the needy and the underdog when running the tough portfolio of Youth and Community services.  In other words, he was a good bloke, a decent man with strong words for those opposing him. That’s how he got the tag “Bucket Jackson.” He lost both his parents when in his teens as was then separated from his siblings. He was taken up by a family and soon he started work at week-ends at their shop selling lollies and ice cream.

His career included having won 16 out of 17 boxing matches as a professional light welterweight with one fight ending in a draw. At twenty six he won the seat of Bulli against 14 other candidates. When minister he fought to improve condition in jails and was successful in raising the budget for his department from 44 million to 78 million dollars within two years. He was acutely aware of the plight of deserted wives and fought hard to improve their lot and felt that child support was of a ‘Dickensian. ‘age

It was his dogs gambling addiction and hopeless debts that got him in the end. It was the sentencing judge who ‘looked at the quality of the man’ and sentenced him seven and a half years, showing some compassion. This was appealed against by the Crown and Rex was given an increased sentence of ten years with non parole of five years. He felt condition at jail were atrocious! Good behaviour got him out after serving three years and three months.

While incarcerated he was sharing time and space with some of those sent to jail when he was still minister of Corrective services. It would not have escaped Rex Jackson the irony of life and its unpredictable crooked path that sometimes ends up being followed. No more racing of dogs inside.

Rex Jackson

But, and this really summed up the humility and innate quality of the man. After doing his time in jail, he reared up and started a take away hamburger kiosk at the top of Stanwell Park, a popular spot for hang-gliding.

There can be no doubt that his dog gambling days were not his best but when looked at all the good things he achieved, the balance of the ledger would have to be very strong in his favour. You could never talk of Jackson and Obeid in the same breath. Could you?

Rex Jackson died on New Year’s Eve 2011.

http://newsstore.smh.com.au/apps/viewDocument.ac?page=1&sy=smh&kw=%22rex+jackson%22&pb=all_ffx&dt=selectRange&dr=entire&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=200&rm=200&sp=adv&clsPage=1&docID=news930710_0267_9300#