We have been advised that the politicians now believe that our Campaign has lost its momentum, simply because they have not responded to any of our letters or emails and particularly as major media outlets have not taken up our story, at least to date.
How wrong they are! However,we must keep our powder dry and conserve our energy until Parliament returns. It is then the intention to saturate Parliament House with letters and emails, coordinated to arrive on the same day, just to remind the Politicians that the fight goes on.
Our main focus should be on those members of the ALP, the Greens and the Independents who hold marginal seats. A list of these Members will be published in due course, as part of our “Raids” Campaign – details in the next SITREP.
The groundswell of discontent, anger and frustration has not abated at all and the number of emails and telephone calls continues to increase daily. Our distribution lists now number in the thousands. People have offered accommodation, donations for a fighting fund and all other types of assistance for our Campaign.
While there will times of less activity, we must always remind each other that we are here for the long haul, right up to the polling booths, if necessary!
We continue to be humbled by those who have little financial ability, to offer whatever they can. Only yesterday, we received a heart wrenching call from an ex-serviceman who was struggling to survive on his $19,000 p.a. superannuation payment. After paying his normal cost of living and maintenance for his two children, he is in a desperate situation.
His personal predicament is a timely reminder why we have undertaken this course of action.
Although we should acknowledge the support of the LNP Coalition (a list of those Senators who supported the Fair Indexation Bill in the Senate will be published in due course) we must continue to remind them, if they are elected, that we will hold them to their commitment to introduce a Fair Indexation for DFRB/DFRDB recipients.
To win the war for “A FAIR GO” for all members of the Defence community (serving members, ex-serving members and their families)
Execution – General Outline
As Parliament is in recess, we should take the opportunity to prepare ourselves for their return.
- For those who have not yet sent a registered letter to your local Federal Member and to your State Senators, please prepare those letters now.
- For those who have sent letters and, like me, have not had the courtesy of receiving a reply, please prepare a follow up letter, demanding an answer to your previous letter.
- Please continue the “AIR WAVES WAR” by contacting your local radio stations as some of these are giving us good coverage. Click on the link HERE regarding the coverage by Radio 2CC in Canberra with Mike Kelly, MP, Member for Eden-Monaro. (Tess Lawrence kindly arranged this interview)
- Parliament re-assembles on 16TH August, 2011.
- Please post your registered letters, both initial and follow up letters, so that they arrive on 17th August, 2011 or as close as possible to that date.
It is critical that we inundate Parliament House with thousands of letters within a short period of time.
- Please continue to “trickle feed” letters to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to remind them that we have not gone away.
We will only win this war if we stay united and we have the resolve to maintain our momentum. A few of us will not succeed - we need you and your friends, as only “PEOPLE POWER” will win the day. DO NOT SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING, thinking that everyone else is doing something.
Remember that this is just the tip of the iceberg and to right this National disgrace, we must never forget these related issues still need resolution….
- TPI Pensions
- Commutation of DFRB/DFRDB
- Taxation of DFRB/DFRDB superannuation payments
- Treatment of surviving spouses of DFRB/DFRDB recipients
- Restoration Keating’s “stolen” 1.8% of the DFRB/DFRDB superannuation payments from October 1986 – November 1989
In all future communications with your friends and with the media, we encourage you to place the following catch cry at the end of your letters and emails – we want this to go viral. This will clearly demonstrate that we are united and we are determined to win!
“I WILL MARCH TO CANBERRA WITH THE DIGGERS…WILL YOU JOIN ME?”
This is what Tess Lawrence from the Independent Australia has had to say in support of our Campaign for“A FAIR GO.”
TESS LAWRENCE, says:
Journalist Advocate, Independent Australia
“Dear NEIL WEEKES, when the ROYAL BRITISH LEGION heard of allegations that the NEWS OF THE WORLD had hacked into phones belonging to the grieving families of British Soldiers Killed In Action, this organisation, that like yourselves, cares for and represents both veteran and serving Defence personnel, acted immediately, severing their relationship with the NEWS OF THE WORLD – and did so BEFORE the NEWS OF THE WORLD was euthanised.
The ROYAL BRITISH LEGION, as you would all know, is synonymous with the wonderful POPPY Remembrance Day activities and fundraising, a wonderful idea that we love and embrace in Australia as well.
The ROYAL BRITISH LEGION’s leadership – and other Defence personnel, were fearless in expressing their condemnation and disgust and immediately put up a public wall of protest, support and protection around the grieving families whose privacy had been so grossly invaded in a war of indecency perpetrated by their own ‘side’ and not by crazed mullahs of terrorism. But by fundamentalist prurient media mullahs none-the-less.
Britain’s politicians sat bolt upright at the action taken by the RBL and without doubt the RBL’s actions ‘ inspired ‘ across the board political condemnation of the conduct of phone hackings into military grieving families, and other grieving families and citizens and organisations.
Let us not kid ourselves for the reasons for such late political expediency. It was to preserve political stability – and to damage control increasing disaffection within the British Defence Force Family – and amongst the general public – with the continuing loss of life of British soldiers in what many see as unwinnable wars engineered on the basis of lies and deception by a coalition of Governments, including our own.
That conversation is going on in Australia right now.
If harnessed and united, as we are now witnessing, the formidable political power of the entire veteran and serving Defence Force Family, said to number about 3 million Australians – has the potential, as an electoral block, to not only bring down this Government – but to exercise great influence in the outcome of the next Federal election.
Potentially, you could secure more electoral influence than the Greens. At the least, you could hinder and supplant their political growth.
It is a mistake for Defence Minister Stephen Smith to treat you all with such graceless contempt. At the time of writing, Ian McManus and others in your Team were still awaiting a date for the meeting requested with your Defence Minister.
Stephen Smith is the man who has the political authority to dispatch you to your death, but who so far lacks the moral fibre to meet with you in person.
It is politically dangerous for him to attempt to humiliate you and for him to try and deflect the increasing level of dissent within the Defence Force Family to minions who have already failed you.
Even to the outsider, the high profile resignations, mistreatment of whistleblowers, sex abuse and other scandals, including materials and multiple redeployments and endless firewalls of bureaucratic nightmares for Veterans and Pensioners and serving personnel, smacks of a lack of coherent and cohesive leadership and management.
I understand that our 28th Digger killed in Afghanistan, Sgt Todd Langley, was on his fifth tour of duty - and was the eighth Commando Killed In Action.
We hear so much about statistics from politicians and the Department of Defence – but we hear little concern for the human beings behind those statistics.
The Government, not the Taliban or Al-Qaeda must bear full responsibility for your deaths. This year alone, an Australian Digger is being Killed In Action in Afghanistan at the rate of one a month. It is the Government that despatches you to Afghanistan; not the Taliban.
It is the Government that mistreats and financially abuses Widows and Elders of past and current Defence personnel. So all of you who go off to War, do so in the knowledge that should you be killed or wounded, your Government cares so little for your family – or you on your home turf.
This is heavy duty baggage for you to take onto the battlefield with you. And for your families to bear back home.
It is the Government that continues to promulgate elder abuse and the continuing abuse of TPIs and other disabled veterans and family members, and those in horrible physical and mental pain.
Successive Governments want to bury you alive.
As more of we ‘ ordinary ‘ Australians learn more about how our Widows and Veterans- past and present – have been treated by this and other Governments, they are lending their support and encouragement.
Many of you are keen to march with your families, friends and supporters, on Canberra in protest; in wheelchairs, in cars, on motorcycles, on foot, by plane, train and bus; good use of that annual pension rail ticket!
For those Vietnam Vets whose countrymen and women once walked in protest against that War, comes a chance for people, myself included, to walk FOR you in support.
It is unlikely that this Gillard Labor Government will see out its full term.
The dissent within the Labor Party, and the “greed and corruption ” and ” self-interest ” of the Labor Party, written about so courageously here by former NSW Labor politician, Ian McManus, is a view shared by many within the Labor Party and amongst its increasing number of former supporters, who sadly, lack his moral fortitude.
Keep up your magnificent work Team Fair Go. Look at how far you’ve taken your cause in a couple of weeks. And so much more is going on behind the scenes. And your advocacy work is burgeoning.
Use all the paper ammo and the wealth of experience you’ve collected in these long decades of a war of a different kind on your own home turf. For years, you’ve been treated like Drongos and mere cannon fodder by Governments who are supposed to protect and take care of you, on behalf of the rest of us and behalf of Australia.
It is your Democratic right to speak with your fellow Australians about your predicament.
It is your Democratic right for your leaders to speak with your Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, in the hour of this crisis, and as we await the body of Sgt Todd Langley to land on Australian soil.
Others in the Defence Force Family share the blistering pain of Sgt Langley’s immediate family – knowing full well on another day, that nightmare pain could visit them.
The most important paper ammo you’ve got is your Vote. And you surely have Justice and the right to a Fair Go on your side.
Losing is not an option. The KIA roll of the Navy, Air Force and Army is sodden with the
blood of thousands of Todd Langleys. Each paid the ultimate sacrifice. Some long forgotten, along with those who once grieved for them.
LEST WE FORGET, THE DEAD OR THE LIVING.”
NEIL WEEKES says:
You may not agree with everything that Tess has said. She presents some very valid points and there is no doubting her sincerity and her support for “A FAIR GO” for all members of our Defence community (serving and ex-serving).
All our politicians and large numbers of our Defence community, as well as the general public, are watching and reading the articles posted by Tess Lawrence, (Journalist/Advocate for Independent Australia), especially the comments being added to her first article (SEE IT HERE). PLEASE DO NOT BE PUT OFF FOR THE NEED TO REGISTER, it only takes a moment and you only have to do it once.
It is critical that we continue to add our comments as this editorial is becoming an important historical and political document. If we discontinue adding our comments, it will give the impression, particularly to the politicians, that we have all gone home and gone to bed and that they no longer need to worry about us. The storm in the tea cup is gone. Well surprise, surprise politicians, we are still here and WE WILL BE HERE UNTIL WE WIN.