Government money laundering

By January 14, 2017Australian Politics

It was Noam Chomsky who stated “that’s the standard technique of privatisation: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, then you hand it over to private capital”. You may remember that during the election, the government were screaming about the ‘mediscare’ campaign prosecuted by the Labor Party. All the government were going to do, initially, was to privatise some of the IT functions of assorted government agencies. In the heat of the election campaign, this was dumped and Malcolm Turnbull was recorded as saying:

“I am making a solemn commitment, and unequivocal commitment, that every element of Medicare’s services will continue to be delivered by the government. Full stop.”

But this was stated before the election, so it means nothing, as the Liberal National Coalition have a proud tradition of lying their way into office, with Tony Abbott being the worst liar among all recent party leaders. Indicators are that Medicare is being prepared for privatisation on the quiet, much as Noam Chomsky stated. Of this, I have personal knowledge. I had to take documents into the Centrelink office in Canberra three times and this was just to register banking details (they do not send cheques any more). Each time they assured me that all would be in hand. I hope that the last assurance was true. But my example pales into insignificance compared to that experienced by one person when they tried to register for sickness benefits after major surgery, because they were unable to work during recovery, and had no sick leave. The saga begins:

  1. Tried to register online several times – all failed
  2. Online system recommended going to a Centrelink office
  3. Visited Centrelink office with appropriate identity documents which were copied and ‘registered’. Then advised to try to register online again ‘in a couple of days’
  4. Tried to register online several times – all failed
  5. Online system recommended going to Centrelink office
  6. Visited Centrelink office with appropriate documents.
  7. First staff member advised that identity documents need to be registered.
  8. Explained that they were already registered. Staff member finds documents on the ‘system’.
  9. Advised to register online.
  10. Explained that the reason for visit that online registration had failed
  11. Told to use computer in Centrelink office
  12. Attempted to register online with staff member in attendance – failed
  13. IT person from Centrelink attempts registration – fails
  14. IT person contacts Helpdesk in Canberra and is taken through the registration process – fails
  15. Advised that there are glitches with the system
  16. Asked to see Manager of Centrelink office
  17. Manager advises trying again at home as there are teething problems with system
  18. Manager explains that staff are frustrated with new system, but are unable to do anything about it
  19. Discussion with manager re history of registration problems, suggesting that she is responsible for making complaints about system failures.
  20. Another staff member is recruited to assist with online registration – fails
  21. Given PAPER registration documents which are completed and CHECKED by Centrelink staff on completion
  22. Three weeks later, letter arrives from Centrelink advising that the forms have not been completed properly and that documentation is required
  23. Letter advises attempting to register online
  24. Relative abandons attempt to receive sickness benefits and relies on family during six month recuperation.

This is a prime example of Chomsky’s explanation of the method of facilitating privatisation. Medicare has had its funding cut dramatically, such that the quality of the service it used to provide to those in need decreases. The government then complains about the organisation and suggests that service could be improved if it is done by private industry. Given the problems suffered by those in need, they acquiesce in the hope that service will improve. So the government hands the service over to one or more companies and pays them with your money to provide the service. These companies then can make significant profits. This is what Chomsky was on about. However, there is one part of the puzzle which Chomsky neglects, and that it is such companies that make donations to the political parties concerned. This is money laundering. In any other context it would be examined by a federal Commission Against Corruption, but we don’t have one of those, because guess who doesn’t want one?



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