I mention this now not because any of Australia's politicians displays signs of smoking opium; they don't! By all accounts, opium smoking is a peaceful occupation reducing the desire to argue. Instead, I am presently bogged down in aspects of the history of the Chinese in Australia with especial reference to New England. The things that I am learning about!
Meantime, a number of things have been happening in Australia at political and policy level that warrant a mention.
To this point, I have not mentioned the potential imminent execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the ringleaders of the “Bali Nine” drug smuggling gang. I have not done so because I haven't been sure just what to say that might have any meaning. The continued delays have become cruel, high farce. If the result is a cancellation of the death sentence, then that will not matter. If the execution does proceed, it matters very much indeed.
The affair has reinforced Australian opposition to the death penalty. That's not a bad thing from my perspective. It has damaged the reputation of the Australian Federal Police, although the AFP has said that it will have more to say on this should the executions proceed. The fall-out in in terms of the relations between the two countries is difficult to predict, but is likely to be complicated. Overall, the worst part is the misery inflicted on all the parties. .
By the way, the inclusion of the opium photo and comment above is not connected with this case, just with my interest in New England history.
I have yet to read to McClure Report on the the review of Australia’s welfare system, A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes, released on 25 February 2015. The Department summarises the review in this way::
The review’s purpose has been to identify how to make Australia’s welfare system fairer, more effective, coherent and sustainable and encourage people to work.
Every five years, the Australian Government produces an Intergenerational Report that assesses the long-term sustainability of current Government policies and how changes to Australia’s population size and age profile may impact on economic growth, workforce and public finances over the next 40 years.
The Government is required to produce an Intergenerational Report at least every five years. The first three Intergenerational Reports were produced in 2002, 2007 and 2010.
The Intergenerational Report contains analysis of the key drivers of economic growth – population, participation and productivity – and examines what projected changes in these areas mean for our standard of living and public policy settings.
It is a projection into the future, giving us an estimate of the challenges we face as a nation and where opportunities could come from.
It's difficult to know just what the latest stay in the executions means. I see the Jakarta Globe has called for the end of the death penalty in an editorial.