VIDEO: Dr Dennis Jensen MP On The Failures Of The JSF

Dr Dennis Jensen MP articulates his objections to Australia’s purchase of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter:

Jensen concludes with an irish proverb

If you buy what you don’t need, you might have to sell what you do need.

What do you think? Is this a valuable investment in our security, or will it be a white elephant that will cost taxpayers through the nose and leave us vulnerable?

A Dud Deal & A Bullying Rudd Threat

A. Essery

EXCLUSIVE:

by Allan Essery

I have written often on the inequaties of defence services superannuation and the shabby manner in which this government has treated ex-service personnel, but the latest in arrogant insensitive rudenessand bullying from Rudd takes the cake.

During a July meeting with Rudd to discuss his offer in regard to the indexation of deference superannuation ex-senior RAAF Officer Peter Crissand ex-senior Army Officer David Jamison rejected an offer from Rudd that was neither fair, transparent nor anywhere near being satisfactory.

When Peter Criss informed Rudd that he was representing some 57,000 ex-servicement and women and they would have to be told what a  shoddy deal they had been offered, Rudd's response was anger when he told them that, ''Don't bag us, otherwise we will pull up the drawbridge and you will get nothing.''


Listern to Peter Criss yourself and make up your own mind as to what sort of person the ex-service people are dealing with.

Listen here

Alan Essery is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.

A Fair Go? Certainly, I Need Your Vote.

A. Essery

In a move that is dripping with nauseating self-interest and cheap vote buying, Kevin Rudd and his Defence Minister in waiting, Mike Kelly, have announced they will unveil ''proposed'' changes that may bring some fairness to a contractual obligation that this Labor government has been dodging since it came to office in 2007.

Prior to coming to government in 2007 one of Kevin Rudd's election promises was to correct the matter of ex-defence personnel being ripped off by governments whose refusal to face up to their contractual obligations resulted in ex-service superannuation pensioners receiving less than old age pensioners.  On becoming Prime Minister, Rudd dismissed his promise and instead initiated yet another in a long line of reviews and the Labor government then distorted the outcome to renege on his election promise to the defence community.

Since that time the ex-service superannuants were promised by the now Defence Minister In Waiting, Mike Kelly, that when the matter came up for a vote in parliament he would vote in favour of the bill. Mike Kelly is an ex-serviceman himself and was familiar with the injustice of the unfair indexation, but he betrayed the ex-service superannuants and voted against the bill. Kelly turned against his former comrades-in-arms and became as untrustworthy as the rest of the Rudd/Gillard government.

Finance Minister, Penny Wong came out with a ridiculous cost to the commonwealth of $6.2 billion to honour its contractual obligation to ex-service superannuants. We had the Minister for Veteran's Affairs, Warren Snowden, proclaiming that he wouldn't support a correction because he didn't believe the arguments being put up by the Alliance of Defence Forces Organisations. Then there was the Treasurer who said the amount of superannuation paid to ex-service personnel was ''very generous' and in any case the government couldn't afford the cost. Of course he failed to mention that he and his politician mates had just received what could only be described as an obscene increase in the remuneration and superannuation that far outweighed their worth and their contribution to the people of Australia.

Let us not forget the Queen of Deception & Misinformation, Julia Gillard who only a couple of months ago visited a girls school in Queensland and in reply to a question from a student told those present that it would cost ''billions and billions of dollars'' and in any case these people already receive very generous pensions, much more than old age pensioners. Those statements were purely and simply deceptively incorrect. 

Gillard forgot to mention that her Finance Minister, Penny Wong, had recently made an admission that the cost of bringing some fairness to defence superannuation indexation was really only around $370 million. Not only was that figure a dramatic departure from $6.2 billion, but it now included the cost of providing fair indexation to retired commonwealth public servants as well and now Rudd is saying it will only cost $290 million. Another late estimate is a ludicrous $34 million over four years. (?)

Readers may think that those ex-service personnel affected by unfair indexation would be grateful to Rudd and his government. Why should they be grateful? The Labor party has been lying, deceiving, obfuscating and misleading the defence family and the public over this matter since 2007 and now miraculously, on the eve of an election, Rudd has dropped their previous refusals and says he will pay up in part only—maybe.  

If it was not so close to an election and Rudd was seen to be genuinely applying a remedy to a too long open sore then there may be some gratitude, but this was a sickening move to take the defence family for fools and buy the votes of a large voting bloc that had signalled its intention of launching an anti-Labor campaign during the lead up to an election. 

To add further insult, Rudd's proposal only applies to those over 65 years of age and that means that not all ex-service superannuants will benefit. However, this is only a proposal that may or may not take effect after the election – if Labor wins. 

Personally, I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for the Labor party to make good on this latest ''promise''. After all, Rudd and his crowd have a dismal record when it comes to keeping promises. I would rather take my chances with the infinitely more honest Tony Abbott who signed a pledge to correct this failure a long time ago and well before there was any talk of a pending election.

Alan Essery is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.

Minister for Veterans Affairs Dudds Diggers Again

Allan Essery says:

Not only did the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Warren Snowden, fail to answer a direct question asked of him during Question Time but the out-pouring of obfuscation, misleading claims and outright lies was an insult to those ex-service superannuants and worse, still disabled ex-servicemen and women.  In short Snowden doesn't believe that ex-service superannuants should be indexed fairly because, at $27,000 a year, they get too much.

I wonder if Mr Snowden, who will retire on a superannuation pension that would make most Australians cry, has ever seen the following poem that says it all. (author unknown but appreciated)


Images

He was getting old and paunchy

And his hair was falling fast,

And he sat around the RSL,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his mates;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his mates listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Joe has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Digger died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life. 

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Digger died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Digger
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some fool who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which they live,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that they give.

While the ordinary Digger,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Digger
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Digger,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Digger,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Diggers part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honour
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A DIGGER DIED TODAY." 

Alan Essery is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.

What next? Order of the Rainbow Fart?

A. Essery

Does The Homosexual/Lesbian Minority Now Dictate The Terms In The ADF?

During the recent headlines about questionable conduct of ADF personnel I made comment that since the mid to late 60's the three defence forces have seen a deterioration of standards, discipline and general conduct brought about by pressure from minority activists, political correctness, and blatant stupidity by politicians and senior command of what is now known collectively as the Australian Defence Forces.

Long held conventions that bind a fighting force together are discipline and respect for Commissioned, Non-Commissioned Officers, and each other. Understanding those principles is paramount.  Without respect discipline declines, members lose direction and morale is damaged.

This raises the thorny question about homosexual/lesbian personnel and the manner in which they are afforded preferential treatment to the exclusion of other members. Chief of the Defence Forces, General David Hurley, leaves us in no doubt that attitudes toward diversity within the ADF must change with the times.  He goes as far as saying, ''Marching in uniform (at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras) evokes a great sense of pride in the history of the Australian Military. It also carries significant responsibility to honour the uniform and all that it represents.''

No Sir, General Hurley, it does not!  For many, especially older ex-service members, it evokes offence, embarrassment and revulsion. Not because homosexuals and lesbians are now allowed in the defence forces, but because they are overtly preferred to the detriment of other personnel and their beliefs. In pursuit of PC the pendulum of has swung too far.

That does not indicate “attracting preference”, you might say?  Well, let us look at a homosexual/lesbian activist, political organisation that not only operates within the ADF but also is actually sanctioned and encouraged by the upper levels of ADF command. I refer to the Australian Defence Gay and Lesbian Information Service (DEFGLIS). It is for all intents and purposes a branch of the ADF headed by, Squadron Leader Vince Chong, an avowed homosexual.

Let us not ignore that under defence services laws, personnel are prohibited from marching in uniform in political demonstrations. In fact, it is considered an action prejudicial to the good order and conduct of the defence forces for participation in such demonstrations, even if dressed in civilian clothes.  However, if you are a homosexual/lesbian then service law is cast aside as such conduct is sanctioned by senior command.

It is alleged that a former member of the ADF — an officer who served in Iraq — stated: “Defence hierarchy are supporting homosexual political activism, the gay marriage agenda and sexual perversion by awarding Vince Chong for his leadership of DEFGLIS. And, they are backing a political campaign to remove rights from Christian organisations.''

It appears to be no problem that Squadron Leader Chong has allegedly written to politicians promoting DEFGLIS with a political agenda that would see religious organisations prohibited from determining who can, and who cannot teach in their church-sponsored schools.

It is further alleged that when an Officer who opposed what Chong was doing, made a public statement that he, a practicing Catholic, would not allow his child to be taught and influenced by a homosexual/lesbian teacher. He was called in by his Commanding Officer for a chat.  This heterosexual, married Catholic Officer was told that his views concerning those who may teach his children offended the homosexual/lesbian community. He was told that his comment was inappropriate. He was also told that he must withdraw his comment and cease political activity if he wanted a military career.

To the Officer’s credit his reply was: ''In contrast, I must also accept that Vince Chong and his buddies, as the new golden boys of the ADF, are not required to be silent on their political, religious and sexual beliefs. Instead, they can campaign politically and denigrate my religious beliefs while in uniform. Furthermore, I must accept that Defence will support their agenda and reward their leadership.''

There are those of us, including myself, who are offended, embarrassed and ashamed of the politically correct direction that the defence forces are taking.  We are offended that the senior command of the ADF has chosen to follow a progressive, socialist, and political path of openly supporting and condoning the political activities of a select group to the detriment, exclusion and denigration of all other personnel and their fervent beliefs. 

Alan Essery is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.

Gillard’s porkies to schoolgirls

A. Essery

Allan Essery exposes a pack of fibs told by the Prime Minister to an assembly of Queensland schoolgirls. GC.Ed.@L.

On the 9th of May this year the Prime Minister, Julie Gillard, visited the St John Forest College for young ladies at Braken Ridge in Queensland.  During that visit she addressed students and took questions.  A 14 year old student asked the Prime Minister when she intended to meet with the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations to discuss defence superannuation as she had promised two months earlier.

Prime Minister:  ''We, aah, we have a system of pensions for former defence force personnel and they are pensions that are more generous, as they well should be, so those pensions are very generous. For me I think it is very important to continue the generous pensions system, you know, when I say generous I mean in comparison to the old age pension. I don't want to suggest, you know, compared to lots of in the work force it's generous, it's an amount, you know, in excess of the old age pension so I want to see us having a really good system to, aah, support our retired personnel.''

Rebuttal: Defence superannuation is a defined benefit for a superannuation scheme as opposed to a welfare scheme which the old age pension is.


How generous is defence superannuation?  Well firstly, 90 per cent of those 57,000 odd ex-service personnel eligible for the Defence Forces Retirement Benefit Scheme superannuation get less than $30,000 per year.   The couple rate for the aged pension is $31,000 plus.  So we see that the Prime Minister's claim that it is so much more generous than the old aged pension falls apart at the first test. Porkie number one.

Prime Minister: ''There has been a debate about what the indexation of pensions should be. Aah, it is different from the indexation for the aged pension but, the aged pension is of a far lower value in its, aah, broad entitlement whereas, aah, the pensions and benefits are at the far higher value.''

Rebuttal: Apart from being a classic example of Polliespeak, the Prime Minister fails to mention that the government in 1975 agreed to apply the same method of indexation to defence superannuation, commonwealth public service superannuation, and the aged pension to guarantee that the purchasing power of each scheme would be retained.

Let us not lose sight of the fact that defence and public service superannuation was and still is a workers entitlement, just like all other workers while the aged pension is a welfare benefit.

In 1997 the government bumped the aged pension from 25 per cent of the average wage to 27.5 per cent.  The only problem was that they forgot the defence and Commonwealth Public Service superannuants who were left out in the cold because the government claimed that defence and public service personnel were getting too much.

The result of this was that 90 per cent of defence and Commonwealth Public Service superannuants have lost 40 per cent over the almost 20 years in comparison to the average wage.  Porkie number 2 – a fib by omission.

Prime Minister: ''OK, I do understand that that debate will continue, aah, and I think in that debate it's important we get the comparisons right and we also get the costings right. Some of the proposals will change after comparisons that will cost, you know, billions and billions of dollars and people need to think about where in the government funding those and where they think it should be put.''

Rebuttal: Billions and billions of dollars????  Absolute rubbish, and an outright untruth.

On the 21st October last, Finance Minister Penny Wong wrote to the National President of the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers Association and also to David Jamison, the National President of the Defence Welfare Association admitting that across the board estimates to correct the indexation of defence and public service superannuation would cost only $322 million before clawback.  Clawback?  The government would take back a sizeable chunk of the $322m because defence and public service personnel must pay tax on their superannuation regardless of age. Porkie number 3.

Also, the Prime Minister failed to mention that there is a futures fund currently holding $75b that is supposed to take care of defence, commonwealth public service, and welfare pensions from 2020.  Porkie 4 – a fib by omission

It is bad enough that the Prime Minister tells untruths to adults, but when she applies the same toward schoolgirls her conduct shifts beyond the pale.

Alan is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.

The Whole Thing Is A Fraud


A. Essery

Australia’s Defence White Paper is not anywhere close to what the government wants us to believe writes Allan Essery.

GC.Ed.@L.

When Labor took over government in 2007 Kevin Rudd promised to continue the Howard government policies of long-term defence investment.  Rudd even went so far as to guarantee an increase in defence spending to a level of 3 per cent of GDP.  Another broken promise, or did he just bite off more than he could chew because he didn’t understand the question, let alone fathom an answer?

To give the Howard government its due, they recognized that the Australian Defence Forces were in a decaying state and started a process of correction.  The now well-recognised mismanagement since 2007 has meant that many of the gains made in the Howard years have been lost and more will be lost because of Labor’s incompetence.

What is wrong with Australia’s defence policy?  Stephen Smith, Minister of Defence, that is what is wrong.  Although initially viewed as someone with great potential he has turned out to be not only a complete failure, he has actually done untold damage to the relationship between the ADF and the government.

In his book and during a video interview a well respected ex-army General, John Cantwell, blasted the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, saying that he obviously didn’t like the ADF, didn’t have any respect for Australian servicemen and women or the job they were doing and didn’t trust its senior officers.

The criticisms of Smith are damning and could be summed up as him being an unacceptable liability.  When criticized by the US for Australia’s pitiful defence spending Smith laughably tried to equate Australia’s defence spending with that of the US.  That confirmed that he didn’t understand defence and believed that responsibility began one rung down the ladder from him.

So, what of the latest ‘White Paper’ on defence?  Well, it talks about our strategic outlook in a less than completely honest way and fails to explain how it is to be funded.   Alan Kohler has highlighted Labor’s pathetic view of defence funding in an article when he said, “the defence budget and finance runs to 17 paragraphs and 676 words out of 148 pages of waffle.”

What is it about the latest ‘White Paper’ that is wrong?  Sam Roggeveen of the Lowy Institute says, “Because we cannot afford all the insurance we would like in the form of weapons systems, we have to take on slightly more risk and, to some extent, we compensate by substituting diplomacy.” Is it dishonest?  Yes, because the government is trying to create the illusion that with this latest promise of additional funding it is now prepared to procure more military hardware while all the time it is leaning further toward diplomacy and a depleted defence capability.

Despite its promise to maintain defence spending the Labor government last year cut defence spending to the lowest in 75 years at around 1.56 per cent of GDP.  The defence establishment was appalled.  This year we see the government promising to return to a level of 2 per cent of the GDP.  That is an increase in defence spending of about $7 billon per year. 

A return to 2 per cent of GDP is presently the stuff of fairy tales.  Ask yourself where the money is going to come from.  The Labor Government has already lumbered us with debt exceeding $230 billion and counting, then we must add to that $24 billion defence spending plus $7 billion additional funding for defence, around $43 billion and counting for the NBN, $6.5 billion for the Gonski reforms, another $5 billion and counting for NDIS, a great big hole in the budget of around $17 billion and $6.5 billion for asylum seeker welfare and processing and God knows what else we will find in their upcoming budget release.  All of this without a penny in the bank!

To be fair I suppose, I should acknowledge that the opposition has also said that it will return defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP.

The worrying thing about Labor’s defence thinking is a denial that the situation in our region, and in fact the world, is confused and dangerous.  The government is either completely incapable of, or wilfully refuses to, publicly acknowledge that our defence capability is in terminal decline and unless we acquire a government that is prepared and capable of delivering on the defence front then Australia will continue to be at risk in what has become a government “strategy & funding-free zone”.

Alan is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.

Disabled Veterans prove you just can’t trust them!

A. Essery

Allan’s continuous support for veterans casts a dark shadow
of shame upon this Labor government. Considering
savage budget cuts to the Australian Defence Forces and the disgraceful
treatment of war veterans It is obvious to all that the Gillard regime harbours a deep resentment toward
our armed forces.

With punitive actions as such described herein Australia will soon find that there are insufficient enlistments to protect the nation. GC.Ed@L.

During Julia Gillard’s recent week long crusade into the supposed Labor heartland of Western Sydney she was confronted by a group of Veteran’s representatives wanting to know why a fair go in regard to the indexation of their superannuation was being dismissed by her Government.  She ignored them, refused to talk to them in public and breezed past them as if they were lepers.  Later and probably after being told by her advisors that her ignorance could have undesirable results at the ballot box, she promised to meet with them personally.

Another broken promise,  another insult.  She didn’t turn up!!!  Instead she sent along one of her ‘senior advisors’ to say that she was just too busy.  The advisor advised that there would be no decision made on the matter of ex-service superannuation because the associated costs had not yet been finalised.  Not finalised??  This recalcitrant Government has had five years to get the funding organised and they are still using it as an excuse.  They just don’t intend to honour their contracted debt to Veterans.

Now, to add further insult to injury, this miserable Government is ignoring the injustice of their surreptitiously passing legislation denying disabled Veterans the right to have their pensions indexed in the same way as Aged and Disability Pensioners who are on Centrelink pensions.

Let us understand that we are not talking about the army of supposedly disabled who are quite able to work but wont and are sucking our welfare system dry, we are talking about disabled Veterans who went to war for this country and were disabled to the point that they could not and can not do a fair days work for a fair days pay as a result of their incapacities.

I will not bore you with numbers and percentages, but simply say that any parity that existed between Veterans disability payments and those payments made to welfare recipients was lost in 2009.   As a consequence of the review by Dr Jeffrey Harmer into ‘The Reform Of More Secure And Sustainable Pensions’ or ‘The Harmer Review’ Veteran’s disability pensions were deliberately excluded from the review.  This omission occurred despite assurances from the then Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Alan Griffith, Treasurer Wayne Swan and the ‘Minister For Everything Else’ including Disability Reform Jenny Macklin that Veteran’s disability pensions would be included in the Harmer Report.

An oversight you may say. No, it was no oversight, it was the intention of a specific clause inserted into the Veteran’s Entitlement Act Amendment Bill by the Government to circumvent the parity established by the 2007 legislation and so prevented the increases recommended by the Harmer Report from flowing through to disabled Veterans.

The Government adopted Harmer’s recommendations that to maintain the relationship with wage levels pensions needed to be increased by 2.7% of the MTAWE.  Department of Veterans Affairs disability pensions remained, and continue, to be based upon the original 25% of MTAWE and the recommendation to increase Veteran’s disability pensions annually by 2.7% above the MTAWE was deliberately ignored.

This is and remains a blatant and deliberate act of discrimination against disabled Veteran’s.

Every year the increase of 2.7% that Veterans have been denied amounts to a loss of approximately $3,300 to those TPI or Special Rate disability pensioners and approximately $1,200 to the all of the General Rate Pensioners, while all other Veteran’s disability pensions also suffer on a pro-rata basis.

While the Government cries poor and claims that it cannot afford to pay ex-servicemen and women at their contracted pension rate they do make sure that they themselves are adequately looked after from the ‘Golden Pig Trough’ of the public purse. 

A change of government in September will see Labor politicians retire on exceedingly generous packages that they gave to themselves;  Gillard $177,520 p.a. or a lump sum of $5.33m, Swan $168,106 p.a. or a lump sum of $5.04m, Conroy $152,189 or a lump sum $4.57m, Smith $154,530 or a lump sum $4.64m and so on while ex-service personnel struggle by on pensions up to as much as $27,000 p.a. with lump sums up to $810,000.

The bottom line is that those who put on the uniform of this country’s armed services and went to war only to be disabled in one form or another have then been ignored, disrespected and shabbily treated by a dishonourable excuse for a Government.

Alan is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.