|Separated at birth? Tony Abbott [A] Boris Yeltsin [B].|
From the creative genius behind "Centrelink Fake Debts", comes the new
"Social Services Minister Christian Porter has defended the new approach, saying it was 'entirely focused on helping job seekers overcome drug problems' and not about 'penalising or stigmatising' them.
" 'We want to help people in this situation,' Mr Porter said.
" 'Failure to do so simply leaves people at risk of a cycle of welfare dependency'."According to Dr Nadine Ezard, clinical director for alcohol and drug services at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, drug testing
"It's very expensive. The Government hasn't released how much it will cost but when we look to other experiences, for example in New Zealand back in 2015, they spent around a million dollars on testing just over 8,000 people and only 22 people tested positive."
In the meantime, the ABC's Annabel Crabb stepped "into the intoxicating world" of the Australian Parliament "to hear a startling confession from former PM Tony Abbott": in 2009, the day Parliament voted the Kevin Rudd fiscal stimulus package, Tony, at the time opposition leader, didn't vote because he was drunk, sleeping inside his parliamentary office. His colleagues tried to wake him up, but were unable. Astonishingly, they didn't call the paramedics. Luckily for them, that oversight didn't have tragic consequences: Abbott didn't go into alcoholic coma. Nor did he puke and drown in his own vomit. Miracles do happen.
Abbott's current annual salary as backbencher amounts to $199,040, according to this website,
PM Malcolm Turnbull was disappointed (about Abbott's drunkenness, not about his surviving it). He "can't remember anyone else missing a vote because they were too drunk to get into the chamber."
Presumably, Turnbull was sober when he said that and his recollection is accurate. That, however, tells us nothing about another possibility: drunken parliamentarians going into the chamber to vote.
This is not about penalising or stigmatising parliamentarians. It's all about helping them overcome binge drinking: to pass random breath tests should be mandatory before parliamentarians get paid. We want to help people in that situation.
Whoever said that under capitalism there isn't solidarity towards people in need?
[A] Tony Abbott in 2010. Author: MystifyMe Concert Photography (Troy). Source: Wikimedia. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. My usage of the file in no way suggests its author's endorsement.
[B] Boris Yeltsin in 1999. Author: Presidential Press and Information Office. Source: Wikimedia. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. My usage of the file in no way suggests its author's endorsement.