We have won the first fight and the enemy (oops, the politicians) have retreated into their dugouts inside Parliament House.
The siege now commences….
As stated previously, this will be a long hard slog and it will be a test of our endurance, our resolve and unity of purpose, if we are to win this war.
I know that we are all hurting in one way or another, but this fight is not just about one group. We must win this fight to make it easier to win those that MUST follow. We cannot achieve any of our goals for any particular group of Veterans, or ex service members, if we fight against each other
Politicians do not understand that we have that unique quality that bound us together, especially when times were tough: - MATESHIP. This is the one remaining characteristic that nobody or nothing can take from us. This has never been more clearly demonstrated by the hundreds of positive responses to this Campaign for “A FAIR GO”. All of us are hurting in some way or another and this anger, frustration and discontent, is well-founded, but it must be fired directly at the politicians – NOT AT FELLOW VETERANS!
Despite every attempt by Ian McManus (previous ALP State member NSW) to arrange a meeting between a delegation from the DFWA and the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations, with the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith MP, his requests continue to go unanswered. However, he has been approached to have one on one meetings with Senator Lundy and with Minister Warren Snowden, MP (DVA). This is an attempt to trivialise our concerns and to divide the members of our delegation. Interestingly, it was also a very successful delaying tactic as Parliament is now in recess for the next six weeks.
During the recent meeting of the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council, I raised the issue of Indexation of DFRB/DFRDB superannuation pensions with the Minister for Veteran Affairs, stating the same facts that
I have used in all my previous correspondence.
Minister Snowdon made it very clear that the Government would not support our Campaign for “A FAIR GO.”
Consequently, the battle lines have been clearly drawn in the sand.
All our earnest meetings with politicians and members of Government Departments will achieve little. Politically and publicly shaming such people into action, just might achieve our objective.
So what MUST WE DO?......
- Continue to bombard the politicians with your letters of protest. Ensure these letters are only sent by registered mail. E MAILS ACHIEVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
- If you have not received a response to your initial letter within four weeks, send another letter, by registered mail (it doesn’t cost much), demanding a personal response (not a formed letter), and remind the politician very firmly that they are only servants of the people. Remember, no abusive or inflammatory language please. We must maintain our professionalism and dignity.
- Every time a politician visits your area, attend their press gatherings, or their public meetings. Make sure that you get to have your questions heard. We must be their constant shadow and always let them know we are in attendance.
- We must humanise this Campaign. We implore those who are in serious financial strife to contact either the DFWA (David Jamison or Les Bienkiewicz), or the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (Ted Chitham) or me.
5. What we need to do is to provide factual information that there are many DFRB/DFRDB recipients, or their surviving spouses, who are doing it tough on their miserly superannuation pension.” We will protect your name, but without personal experience stories, there will be many, including the media, who will continue to disbelieve our plight.
6. DO NOT invite politicians to attend our Commemorative activities. If they do attend, do not acknowledge them in any speeches. If they approach any Veteran groups, politely turn your back and refuse to engage in any conversation with them.
7. We must create a “ Name and Shame file”. Initially, I will provide a list of all those Senators who voted against the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Amendment (Fair Indexation) Bill 2010 in the Senate on the 16th June. It is requested that you provide the names of all those politicians who have failed to respond to your letters, so these can be added to this file.
8. Maintain the “Airwave War” by continuing to bombard your local radio stations. These give immediate access to millions of Australians, most of whom have no knowledge or understanding of our fight for “A FAIR GO.” Remember to speak in simple language, do not use military jargon, as the general public will have no idea what you are talking about. Tell them of your personal hardships.
To date, we are having some great success with interviews on Australia All Over (MACCA), Talking Back the Night, on Gold FM (Christian Argenti on the Gold Coast which was broadcast to 40 regional centres throughout Australia), and I know that there are others.
Please let me know if you have spoken on radio, including the name of the Radio station and the date, so that these details can be included in a future SITREP. (We need to monitor our successes, and keep you informed).
WE MUST REMAIN POSITIVE & PROACTIVE IN ALL OUR ACTIONS, ESPECIALLY IN OUR CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE MEDIA. NEGATIVITY WILL ONLY LEAD TO DESPAIR AND DISINTEGRATION.
Slowly but surely, we are obtaining exposure in the major media outlets, including The Australian, the Brisbane Courier Mail, Sydney Daily Telegraph, Northern Services Courier and others. Hopefully, there will be a major article in this weekend’s Sunday Mail. Again, if you have had a story printed in your local newspaper, please send a copy to me, including the name of the paper and the date.
Remember that, although you and I will continue to fight for “A FAIR GO”, WE WILL NEVER WIN THIS WAR BY OURSELVES. Only ‘people power’ can achieve this. Consequently, please encourage your friends to write letters to their local politicians and to contact their local radio stations.
The siege has now commenced.
We must freeze the politicians out. We must continue to isolate them from the general community and especially from the Defence community. We must make sure they know their future is being threatened.
For latest information, please log onto the following links.
The last link opens up into an electronic copy of the Defence magazine. The front cover will appear first. To log in, you will need to register (top right corner) type in name, email address and create a password (just a couple of seconds). You will then be able to see the article on “Groundswell of Raw Anger.”
WE WILL NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER - WE WILL STAY THE FIGHT!
Thank you one and all, for your outstanding support so far.
Evil will only succeed when good men and women do nothing.
Finally, I know that we were all devastated to hear that another one of our mates, Sergeant Todd Langley, has been killed in action in Afghanistan and at least one other solider, has been seriously wounded in action. While I know that all our sympathies go out to Todd’s family, his Unit mates and his many friends, this is little comfort.
LEST WE FORGET
Sadly, this clearly demonstrates why we must WIN THIS FIGHT, because there is no guarantee that our present, or future warriors, will not have to fight in their own country in the future, for exactly the same reasons we are fighting now.
Please distribute this SITREP to all your friends. (Oh! my distribution list continues to grow at an alarming rate, thank Goodness, because that indicates that more and more people are joining the fight)