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megpie71

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Thursday, May 28th, 2015 11:18 am
Our PM, back in February, decided to take the decisive step of cancelling the welfare payments of people fighting as part of a terrorist group overseas. This was loudly proclaimed as an aggressive action against terrorism in the papers. At the time, I'd thought it just a little bit of an over-reaction, because quite frankly the most likely benefit for these foreign fighters to be on was Newstart, and that one dries up like spit on a hot stove the moment you go outside Australia (pensioners can generally leave the country without their pension being summarily cancelled; benefit recipients can't). So I figured it was a lot of "sound and fury signifying nothing" (and the "a tale told by an idiot" line from that quote was probably accurate too).

Turns out there's been a question asked in the Senate Estimates Committee today of the Attorney-General's department about exactly how many foreign fighters had their welfare payments cancelled on security grounds. The answer was given in round numbers. Well, one very round number - zero.

"In an answer to a Senate Estimates hearing, the Attorney-General's department confirmed it had been asked to consider four possible cases but that, as at February 24, 2015, "it was established that no individual was in receipt of any welfare benefit payments and it was therefore unnecessary to use the welfare cancellation on security grounds provisions"."


So either the News Corporation article which kicked off the whole foofawraw was mistaken, or misleading, or both. Which to me would indicate a necessity to stop making policy on the hop based on articles in News Corporation media sources (but then, I'm not an Australian federal government minister, so what the hell would I know?).

In other "hey, what a surprise" news, the inquiry into the Lindt Cafe siege last year has been finding that the gunman wasn't a huge terrorist threat (the nearest he came to being an actual "Islamic terrorist" was writing to the federal Attorney-General's department enquiring whether a letter to the leader of the Islamic State would be considered an illegal communication) but rather a rather sad figure who desperately wanted to achieve some form of significance (to the point of trying to join the Rebels bikie gang - they rejected him because he was "weird"), and who appeared to have most of the signs of being the type of person who fitted the "assassin/stalker" mould. He was paranoid, delusional, and had an overblown sense of his own importance, and the siege happened at a time in his life where he wasn't able to successfully pretend any longer to himself that he was someone special.

Or in other words, he more or less exactly fits the profile of the kind of over-entitled nincompoop who picks up a gun and starts shooting people in the service of their own ego. Which I actually mentioned back on December 16 and 17 last year.

So I'm having a nice quiet day of smug satisfaction at my own perspicacity. Given the rest of the day involves my jerk-brain telling me I'm useless, hopeless and won't achieve anything (to the point where I'm having to take photos of the housework as I'm doing it to prove the wretched thing wrong) it's nice for the external world to give me a bit of validation.