delusion and denial

With this attitude Labor is gone for good! As is any chance Belinda Neal may harbour about a return to politics. This performance boggles the mind. A must watch. GC.Ed@L.
 

Toby’s Sunday light

Toby

Toby Jug to lead Labor victory

In what seems certain disaster for the Australian Labor Party in September, or earlier, media strategist John McTernan is said to have pulled a rabbit from his hat when he summoned Toby Jug to Canberra for a high level meeting.

Arriving at Canberra station with his fold-up, environment-friendly bicycle, Toby was met and whisked away in a government hearse (undercover ops.) chauffeured by Tim Mathieson wearing a truckies blue singlet on loan from Chesty Bond and imitation tattoos by Musclebound Enterprises Ltd.

The meeting was one-on-one between McTernan and Toby and talks remained confidential for 12 days. Yesterday, in a surprise rally announced on social media, GetUp estimated a crowd of 3.6 million crammed the grounds outside Parliament House to hear Toby. GC.Ed@L.

 “I am not now, and never have been, a member of the Communist Party” The crowd roared approvingly for seventeen minutes before breaking into, “for Toby's a jolly good fellow.”

With these dramatic words, Toby Jug announced his intention to lead the ALP and become Australia’s next Prime Minister.

“I realise that in the current make-up of the Labor Party, this may be regarded as a handicap, but I urge fellow members to ignore this as they did for Julia Gillard and concentrate on anything else that comes to mind.

“It is also a fact that I am not now, and never have been, a member of a trade union; but I submit there are many members of the Parliamentary Party who are in the same position. Well, if not many, then some, surely. Aren’t there? There must be.

“Furthermore, I have never been caught misusing a credit card or have even visited Madame Lash’s well-run, clean, and great value for money social establishment at Kings Cross. In fact, I never heard of it.”

“What never?” was the question from an ABC reporter unused to the rules of interviewing a left-leaning politician.

“Well, hardly ever,” Toby smiled.

He continued, “I want to be a Prime Minister for all Australians, not just global warming fanatics. For all Australians, not just illegal immigrants, not just pink batt importers and tradies, not only Carbon tax extremists, not only elderly Socialists—for ALL Australians. “Bravo, Bravo Toby, vote Toby” roared the mob.

“In doing so, I do not wish to convey the slightest disapproval of these wonderful people I just mentioned who have reduced—I’m sorry, who have made this country what it is. But there are other Australians living here too besides them—people who milk cows or whatever it is they do to them, people who build things out of metal and stuff, people who ride in trains and buses every day for some reason I forget. For all Australians without fear or favour or at least with as little fear or favour as cannot be avoided. Like mining rights and things like all those poor, suffering boat people.

I want to build a great nation—a nation where newspapers will be polite and not poke their noses into things that do not concern them. Where radio broadcasters will not insult anyone, or chat about bad news—no more bad news, only happy stories. A nation where people will not be offended by anything that anybody says to them, or if they are, are entitled to cash compensation for their injured feelings. A nation where no one is discriminated against for anything—a nation where a bloody drongo is entitled to promotion like every other Australian. We already have that ethos in the public service; it is time to bring it into private enterprise. A nation where there is work for everyone, everyone who fancies that sort of thing I mean.

“Toby, Toby,Toby" the chant began.

“Those of us who are descended from our forefathers, and foremothers of course—and fore grandparents, naturally—all wish as I do to live in an Australia where the climate has stopped changing, where there are no more smokestacks, where romantic windmills dot our great land, where the oceans have stopped rising, where droughts are ancient history, and where ancient history is all behind us. That includes recent history too. We have too much of history. Talk of history will be an offence.

“I believe I am the man to unite not just the party but all Australians. As Mr McTernan told me, I am not burdened by any fancy education, not burdened by scruples, not burdened by visions, I am a man who likes women who like me, so I am no misogynist, I have many friends among the gays and I have attended their marriages when I have something suitable to wear, so I am not a homophobe.

“Finally, I am not now and never have been an admirer of Eddie Obeid, so I am a perfect choice to lead the Party and Australia into the future, which inevitably will come. In the unwritten pages of future history will be the footprint of an unseen hand.

Mission accomplished, Toby unfolded his bicycle and rode off through the adoring mass.

An election will sort this out

Simply put, Gillard is indestructible

Conservatives are positioning in case Labor makes this very adjustment – a switch to explicitly marketing Gillard as Churchillian in her toughness.

These potentially transformative traits were once attached to John Howard, proving that if you cannot make voters like you, you can make some of them respect you.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/simply-put-gillard-is-indestructible-20130330-2gzsb.html#ixzz2P3rOcykQ

Truth or propaganda?

Labor seeking new friends on Facebook

For years, politicians and political parties have searched for ways
to avoid the so-called "gatekeepers" in the media and present their
messages directly to voters in the form they want. Labor's success with
the debt graph shows how the digital revolution is now making it
possible.

Halfway through Barack Obama's first term his
communications director taunted members of the Washington Press Corps
that eventually they could be rendered obsolete through the president's
use of social media. He was only half joking.

Read more:http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/labor-seeking-new-friends-on-facebook/story-e6frezz0-1226609131146

One political whopper and various lies on the side

ROB Oakeshott needs a new diary – April Fool’s Day is not until Monday. Yet, there he was on Wednesday telling such a whopper he must have thought everyone was already on their Easter break.

“I will not support bad law,” he wrote in the Financial Review.

Read more:http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/one_political_whopper_and_various_lies_on_the_side/

Learn The Foundations of Liberty and Free-Market Economics

Most universities teach a biased version of political economy that promotes big government and failed Keynesian policies. In response, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (with the support of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation) is pleased to offer a new course that tells the rest of the story.

The new course “Foundations of Liberty and Free-Market Economics” will introduce students to free-market ideas, and the people behind those ideas. 

Run between April and October in Sydney, the course will include 10 interactive 2-hour evening seminars that will involve guest lecturers, student-led discussion, stimulating debate, and structured material that will ensure you get the most out of your time. The seminar will be followed by further discussion over beer and free pizza. Between seminars, students will be given recommended reading and YouTube videos, and have the opportunity to ask questions from our panel of academic advisors and the ATA staff.

Guest lecturers and academic advisors include Professor Sinclair Davidson (RMIT), Dr Stephen Kirchner (CIS), Professor Jason Potts (RMIT), Tom Switzer (USyd), John Humphreys (UQ), and more to be announced shortly.

This course will cover a lot of material and provide students with the intellectual ammunition needed to take on the left, but it will also be an opportunity for networking, enjoyment and building friends within the Australian pro-freedom community. 

The 2013 program is only available in Sydney, however in 2014 shall be rolled out in other major cities. The cost of the full program is $750. However, full scholarships will be awarded to 12 deserving applicants. Applications close on 5pm AEST Monday the 12th of April and the first seminar is on Thursday the 18th of April. There will be a winter break during university exams and the mid-year holidays.

Build new friendships. Gain valuable career and intellectual skills. Challenge the status quo. CLICK HERE to apply today. 


MUST READ: A Health Warning For Liberals

Medicine is pressured by a radical socialist transformation

Medicine is pressured by a radical socialist transformation. Some of this is top down. Much of it is bottom up, writes Dr Grant N Ross

For
2 years I was the Melbourne University Liberal Club’s token doctor.
Turning up late, or never, I would always be out of kilter with JSM,
political theories and fights of the day and somewhat under the
impression that Kroger was a kind of cheese. 
Luckily,
being a stereotype got me over the line.

I
would like to redeem my standing by attempting to write about the
direction of health under Labor and the alternative policy direction
the Liberal Party should choose when in Government.

I
feel that there is a need f
or a Liberal establishment to take note of
the direction of health under Roxon and Plibersek and to hear the
story I am about to tell about the pressures within medicine that
will come to change the way doctors do politics for the next 20
years. All is not well, and I want to tell you why.

As
we speak, Medicine is pressured by a radical socialist
transformation. 
Some
of this is top down. Much of it is bottom up.

The Top Down 

 From
the top down, there have been a series of reforms that:


  • Create
    a greater role for government in health


  • Are
    mostly anti-doctor


  • Occurred
    without significant consultation with the medical profession


  • Involved
    the creation of enormous layers of bureaucracy to centrally manage
    an existing private industry


  • Prioritised
    special interests and unions rather than the front line service
    deliveries

Such
reforms include the creation of many different councils to
micromanage various health care aims instead of directly funding
practitioners; and by doing so orchestrate a transfer of power away
from practitioners and patients towards bureaucrats and their
interests.

A
quick list of the agencies and bureaucracies created by federal Labor
include the following:

  • Australian
    commission on safety and quality of healthcare

  • National
    Health performance authority

  • Independent
    Hospital Pricing Authority

  • The
    Administrator and funding body

  • Medicare
    Locals

  • Australian
    Medical Locals Network

  • Australian
    national preventative health agency

  • Local
    Hospital Networks

  • Health
    Workforce Australia

  • Aged
    Care Reform Implementation Council

  • Mental
    Health Commission

  • Aged
    Care Financing Authority

There
are three cardinal reforms by Labor that have made things worse in
health; national registration, Prescribing and Medicare Locals.

National
Registration

Since
2010 we have had the imposition of a massive tax on doctors by way of
a National Registration reform by Nicola Roxon.
Previously, doctors were registered to a state body but are now
registered to the Australian Health Practitioners Registration
Agency; a centralised national authority.

AHPRA,
formed by Labor to ‘facilitate’ national registration, imposes a
$680 ‘Doctor Tax’ on doctors every year; much higher than
previously imposed. The agency’s role, it seems, is to run a police
check once a year, keep names on a register and then deal with a
doctor if they do something wrong by threatening or taking away the
legal right to practice Medicine.

Whilst
most doctors agree on the need for professional regulation, nobody
accepted the AHPRA model being imposed in the face of a functioning
previous system.

There
is an overwhelming sentiment among the medical community that the
AHPRA reforms are decidedly anti-doctor. Firstly, they removed
semi-autonomy from the previous state based QUANGOs. Secondly, the
AHPRA came about against the wishes of the AMA and the medical
profession at large. Thirdly, doctors have to pay extraordinarily
higher registration fees. Fourthly, AHPRA lumps doctors together with
other health professionals in an overt breach of professional
autonomy:


Ahpra

Footnote I – The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law came into effect in 2010. Whilst it was a COAG agreement, AHPRA was a cornerstone commitment of Labor and driven largely by their political agenda and under mostly government influence.

What
is most worrying is that the registration reforms are a direct step
towards the complete Federal take over of health; via monopolising
the licensing of ALL health professionals in the country to one
federally controlled agency. This should be interpreted as a step
towards government socialisation of the entire health workforce. 

Nobody
is quite sure what will happen in the future with AHPRA. I would look
at it as a dysfunctional way of registering doctors and a target for
reform under a Liberal government.

Prescribing
under Labor

The
Labor reforms have particularly offended the medical profession by
allowing nurses and other non-doctors to prescribe medications.
Prescribing has long been the privilege of the physician, a deeply
difficult and precise business and the Government have legislated for
non doctors to prescribe dangerous medications.

Doctors
still do not agree with this. Below is an example of a lethal
medication that should not be given to people in a range of
circumstances ranging from addiction to intra cranial conditions that
is available from a nurse with no medical training. 

DHA

Footnote II – http://www.ahpra.gov.au accessed 6/11/2012
  
Whilst
nobody would wish the loss of political capital by enabling more
practitioners to prescribe, a government should make a principled
stand on prescribing and give that right exclusivity to those who
lead the health system; doctors. Put simply, do not politicize
opiates; morphine is a drug, not an entitlement. We are all better
off without this gray zone.

General
Practice and the Medicare Locals

Medicare
Locals are essentially the creation of large bureaucracies all across
Australia to control the delivery of General Practice services.
Marking the greatest shift of power away from the functioning private
sector to yet more bureaucrats, these organizations claim to
‘coordinate resources’, ‘identify gaps in access’ and other
nebulous imperatives.

They
are really about creating a centralized bureaucracy, more removed
from front line services, to control the allocation of General
Practice visits. Most of these agencies will be run by non-doctors
with political agendas. This
WILL
redirect front line funding.

Whilst
most left leaning elitists and pundits would label a move against
Medicare Locals as ‘protectionism’ for doctors, it should be a
Liberal priority for several reasons.

Fee
for service, rather than centralized allocation, is the most
efficient form of funding for primary care. Doctors alone deliver the
vast majority of primary care via their minute to minute labor.
Direct funding is clearly superior.

Secondly,
reinforcing private practice builds trust within the medical
profession and empowers doctors to deliver good care for their
patients.

Thirdly,
it builds on the only model that can safely deliver cost effective
health care in a flexible and dynamic way. There is pragmatism within
the medical profession that is unrivaled in history. Pragmatism
requires individual liberty. It is the antithesis of bureaucracy.

Doctors
should be allowed to govern how they arrange their practice and the
market is the best way to ensure that each patient finds the doctor
they prefer. We all know that we would prefer to choose our doctor
when we need them; not when the government tells us.

I
have written about three big players in the health reform agenda of
the last 5 years. National Registration and the step towards
socialist health system, widening of prescribing rights and finally
the complete government takeover of General Practice. These are just
a few example of the top down socialist pressures on health that I
have noticed. 
Alas,
they are not the most worrying change ahead of us.

Luckily
for us, Peter Dutton, Shadow Minister for Health, has already
demonstrated his capacity for reform by pledging to scrap the
Medicare Locals and GP super clinics.

Dutton
is an ex policemen, successful businessman, ex-Minister in the Howard
Government and assistant treasurer to the great Peter Costello. He is
clearly a man who understands health and has a distinct policy vision
to restore the health system to a position of strength, rather than
interference and bureaucratization. I believe he will be warmly
welcomed by the medical community and be one of the best advocates
for the restoration of a sensible health system.

The Bottom Up 

Dutton

I
have spoken about some of the top down pressures in a socialist
direction on the health system. I would like to talk briefly about
some of the pressures from the bottom up, that only a doctor can see,
that are still pertinent to the Liberal agenda.

If
the fantasia reforms of the Roxon/Plibersek era are anything to lose
sleep over, they are nothing on the bottom up forces plaguing
medicine at a much more sinister level.

Since
my entry into medicine as a first year student in 2006, the values
underpinning medicine have been rampantly veering towards the left.
The pressures mounting from the bottom, aka medical school
environments, are horrendously aligned with ALP and Greens stigmata.
For those who thought that foaming at the mouth socialism and
bureaucratic elitism were limited to the confines of the Arts
departments, you are wrong.

The
Medical schools themselves have pursued a long march style reform
into the medical degree; especially in the selection of candidates.
Traditionally, school leavers were selected based on ENTER/ATAR score
and the Undergraduate Medical Admissions Tests. No test is perfect,
but the principle was that admission was based on objective academic
capacity; with a view to selecting bright school leavers (whether
advantaged or otherwise).

This
principle cemented medicine as being about academic capacity,
something worth its salt in any market, rather than ‘social
equity’. This is the right way for things to be.

Nowadays,
courses almost universally select via interview. You can dress up how
‘official’ and ‘standardized’ your interviews are, but they
remain the quintessence of subjective selection. That is the purpose
of interviews. They are effectively a mechanism to allow people to
form a personal opinion on a candidate. And exercise bias. 

Adelaideu

On
a background of the inherent socialist tendencies of education at
both secondary and tertiary level, the reforms to selection have
outright enabled the medical schools to pursue a political agenda
that aims to expand the role of government in healthcare, involve
medicine into a nexus of government social equality agendas and
further the promotion of minority special interests to any particular
degree. This is the definition of long-marching.


Wollong

The
results of these efforts are now coming to fruition. Medicine is
becoming overtaken by special interest group after special interest
group, all vying to dictate the rules of medical practice and
employment, values and principles in an ever growing mountain of
elitist control. The effects of this can be seen via organizations
such as the Australian Medical Students Association, the Post
Graduate Medical Council of Victoria and even the Medical Journal of
Australia and the Australian Medical Association; a nexus of
bureaucratic woe:

Amsa

Footnote III – http://www.amsa.org.au

These
organizations are replete with bureaucratic choke holds and
indecisive post modern ‘collaboration tactics. The result,
obviously, is what we have seen under Kevin Rudd: Power from the
people to their overlords in an ever growing unholy alliance of
bureaucrats, red tape and pathetic backyard politicians who would
rather do anything to promote themselves rather than a good idea. It
promotes ‘sellout politics’ and betrays the individuals who
together make medicine what it is and what gives individuals the
right to be free in this country. 
So
long as this framework persists, doctors will be worse off and
patients will be worse off. 

 At
the moment, the AMA can be proud of the leadership it has had.
Brendan Nelson went on to become Liberal Party Leader. Rosanna
Capolingua was clearly Liberal, Michael Wooldridge kept General
Practice sustainable and independent. Steve Hambleton, current AMA
leader, stands for sensible restraint and genuinely aims to protect
autonomy for doctors. We have been lucky. But I am not so sure about
our future. Just look at what the ever growing Australian Medical
Association calls for on Climate Change:

Amsa2

Footnote IV – http://www.amsa.org.au/press-release/20120703-amsa-calls-for-leadership-on-climate-change/
  • Australian
    Medical Student Association


    Health-climate-change

    Footnote V – Australian Medical Students 2010 Policy Document Climate Change and Health see website http://www.amsa.org.au
  • The
    Australian Medical Association’s is little better than the student
    body in this regard:
     
Ama

Footnote VI – http://ama.com.au/node/4442

I
think I have made my case. 
If
anybody in the Coalition did have a silver bullet to stop the long
march, they’d immediately be preselected for a golden safe seat. I
am not that man.

However,
if we were to theoretically look at reversing the political bias
pressuring medicine in Australia, I would start with reforms that
target medical selection, medical training, the de-bureaucratisation
of medical registration at the junior level and aim to move the
governance of medical training away from University bureaucrats and
elitist back to grassroots doctor groups.

This
would help. 
There
is an argument for such change on the basis that it restores
efficiency and principles of autonomy to the medical profession and
by extension of that, to patients. It would be one hell of an effort,
but I honestly do not believe it to be beyond an Abbott government to
achieve in some capacity.

The
other issues are perennial for Liberals; especially for those of us
who have campaigned on campus. The fight against bureaucrats, against
elitists and to genuinely reform education in this country in the way
that David Cameron is trying in England. Perhaps some of the above
changes could be caught up in a commission of audit. I would like to
see that. But I don’t know. I am not a politician.

Conclusion

As
a doctor, I naturally bring more of a background of social sciences
and welfare to the Liberal table than I do tax reform and economics.

However, there is a need for a Liberal establishment to take note of
the direction of health reform that the Roxon and Plibersek ministry
has imposed on health and a need to identify them as inefficient,
retrograde, centralist and to be removed as needed. Equally important
is the message I would like to impart about the need to think about
what is needed to prevent the medical establishment being long
marched into foot soldiers for the ALP.

Just
remember, health accounts for 12-17% of spending and employs 11% of
all Australians. That is one hell of a voter base to lose to the
left.

Peter
Dutton has a lot to contribute to health in the next Liberal
Government. Autonomy, efficiency and restraint will serve our country
well. Similarly, I encourage young Liberals in rising positions of
leadership to consider the principles of a sound health system as
they develop their policy directions.

The electorate expect a good
health system and we have no excuse for leaving ourselves weak on
this front from a simple lack of knowledge.

Dr
Grant N Ross MBBS B.Med Sci is a medical practitioner and graduate of
Melbourne University.

 

Footnotes

Footnote
I – The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law came into effect
in 2010. Whilst it was a COAG agreement, AHPRA was a cornerstone
commitment of Labor and driven largely by their political agenda and
under mostly government influence.

Footnote
II –
http://www.ahpra.gov.au/
accessed
6/11/2012

Footnote
III –
http://www.amsa.org.au/
see About AMSA accessed 6/11/2012

Footnote
IV –
http://www.amsa.org.au/press-release/20120703-amsa-calls-for-leadership-on-climate-change/

Footnote
V – Australian Medical Students 2010 Policy Document Climate Change
and Health see website
www.amsa.org.au

Footnote
VI –
http://ama.com.au/node/4442