Category Archives: lifestyle

Making Babies for Fun, Profit and the Good of the Country.


Note to readers. This is a touchy subject and contains a trigger point for those affected. Please read it in the spirit it was written. Angry with tongue-in-cheek moments to avoid tension heart attacks.

The making of babies seems to be one of humankind’s greatest pastimes. We all know that and we all get involved, one way or another.

All the great dictators in the world instinctively knew that as well and never really minded how many of their subjects were killed in a war or a famine. In a generation all would be put right again with lots of new little subjects to use as arrow targets or as plague carriers or as disposable energy sources.

With the progress of what is mistakenly called ‘Civilisation’, there was less need for the human energy sources which left a lot more for the war games which were fought in the early and mid 20th century.

Two major movements began in the 1960’s and continue now,

Contraception gave women the chance to regulate the supply of cannon-fodder to the rulers of their Nation and economists discovered the ‘Bottom Line’.

The first enabled women to remain in the workforce for longer and so reduce the need to pay men a wage which would support a family. That wage was then distributed separately between wife AND husband (or between partners of assorted description). This also meant that an individual, in general, became unable to successfully support him/her/itself on a single wage. Of course, once a woman decided to have a baby, it became her problem and she had to plan for her expenses before, during and after the pregnancy. And also allow for all the problems which followed, including her continuing income and her retirement income.

At the same time, the Bottom Line began to take effect and everything a business, one-man-run or multinational, did had to show a profit within six months. No time to plan for the next decade or the next generation. Business became about the NOW! Female staff want to take time off to have children? OK, but don’t expect me to pay for their foibles.

So the birth-rate went down, and continues to do so, immigrants came to be seen as a dangerous addition to the population mix for rather strange reasons. Suddenly there were insufficient new young Australians to keep the economy running as the economists thought it should. Blame began to be shifted around and no one took responsibility. Officially the falling birthrate became a natural event, not a result of anything done by anyone.

Yet in previous ages, the Ruler, King, Dictator made sure his baby supply was protected. Oppressive though a regime may be, the serfs or slaves were always in a position to breed and breed freely; pestilence and plague aside. To do otherwise led to a weakened nation or empire and the downfall of the Ruling coterie.

Fast forward to the 21st century and here in the civilised Western World, there is no support for the nations’ baby machines. (Baby machines? Economic’s attitude towards women. Don’t like that? Learn your place in the machinery of society, say the economists!) The fuel to keep them running has diminished, the rewards for them to aim at are virtually non-existent and the cost of a grease and oil change has become astronomical. Despite the economist’s demands that everything depends on the next bottom line, there is a failure in the system. Economists have never noticed that babies are a generational thing.

The group who benefit from good, well run baby machines are the ruling class, normally the Government and bureaucracy. And they are woefully behind reality. In the past, it was necessary to support the male wage earner who would then support the baby machine. Now it is necessary to support both parts of the partnership. That has not happened.

Hence, here in Australia, our current superannuation system. Based on the old system of male domination the super’ rewards for women is abysmal. This is because the ‘Employer’ is responsible for all Superannuation. So a woman drops out of the work force and becomes unemployed. The unemployed get no superannuation. Even though she is employed in doing the most important job in civilisation. Making babies for the Government and Society’s future prosperity.

Surely it isn’t a case of a woman ceasing to ‘work’ to be pregnant or to be a child-raiser. It is much more a case of a woman changes employers. Her new employer is the nation which will benefit from her efforts. So shouldn’t the nation support her with the financial means to do her new, possibly temporary, job well? Of course there are ‘welfare payments’ already being made. This is a wrong description as these are Social Security payments made on behalf of society as a whole. These payments should also include a payment to the woman’s Superannuation fund so that, at the end of a productive life, a woman can retire in the dignity she deserves.

I dream of the day when an ALP Government is in power and we can talk constructively about this part of our ‘safety net’ which needs to be brought into the 21st century. Yes, taxes may need to be raised or maybe taxes will need to be paid by those who should be paying them! Yet a fair society must include equal Super for women.

A Plague of Irrelevancy in Parliament


For the past decade the Australia political landscape has been littered with hung Parliaments.

From Julia Gillard’s minority Government to the Morrison Shambles, the Independents and so-called ‘Minor Parties’ have held sway. Their votes have been crucial to the Government de jour being able to progress any legislation. They have had an importance far beyond the wildest dreams of those few who voted for them.

The media has hung on every word they have said, looking for early clues as to the way they will vote on any matter which comes before the Parliament. Independents have received far more publicity than any Government or Opposition back-bencher.

So much so that a number of those limelight-deprived seat-warmers have chosen to jump ship and become independents in their own right. Things have become so bad that rather than learning the art of negotiation, as Gillard did to marvellous effect, the current incumbent has chosen to shut the Parliament down. He has discovered the joy of governing by regulation and decree rather than parliamentary process.

Possibly the only truly useful thing our current PM has done is to draw attention, once again, to the fact that those who are elected to our Nation’s governing bodies come to live in a ‘Bubble’. Protected from the slings, arrows and reality of real life, everything is seen through the prism of the Independent votes and how they affect the passage of legislation. The voters themselves are forgotten.

Now we are in an election year, we can expect to see many moves to show how interested the Government is in what the majority of electors want. And we shall see the standard election campaign waffle and weasel words in the mass media. Yet the outcome of this election is likely to be very different.

The conservative wing of politics appears to have lost the confidence of the electorate. The polls are consistently showing a large move away from the right, in all its forms. There are suggestions that there could be a swing of between 20 and 50 seats to the Left.  This will have a dire effect on those right-wing Independents and Minor Parties.

After years of being media darlings due to the way small numbers of voters have played with their preferences, these people (and they ARE people, after all) are about to be consigned to the dustbin of history. They are mostly Senators who gained their seat in a Double Dissolution although there are high profile independent House of Reps members who will go the same way.

Many will be dumped from the Parliament and those Independents who survive will lose the power of their casting vote for the first time. They will become irrelevant to the governance of Australia.

I am wondering how long it will take for the Rupert-Media to wake up to that fact. For how long will that group of journalistic prostitutes continue to interview, quote and grovel to the suddenly unimportant.

On a human level, there will be large amounts of mental anguish among the soon-to-be ex-members. We have seen how the sudden loss of public interest affects many sportspeople at the end of their career.  Drugs, alcohol, societal dysfunction, depression and suicide are common results. Depression in the retired athlete is matched by depression in the defeated politician.  Especially if that politician achieved nothing while in Parliament. If all he or she did was to trade principles for their votes.

Perhaps the first thing an ALP Government will need to do is to increase funding to Beyond Blue to cater for the flood of politicians who have suddenly lost their seat, their purpose and possibly their families.

 

 

KIWI!


This Christmas think of those who cannot enjoy themselves.

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The Dash


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You Need To Know


Building a Bridge – The final lift.


With the second lifting tower in position, the second span of the bridge was lifted into place.

It took about seven hours, beginning before dawn.