Sunday, November 18, 2007

What does Howard have in mind?

Prime Minister John Howard, a past master at using fear and prejudice in order to get re-elected (eg, see the Children Overboard affair and MV Tampa lies from previous election campaigns), is now playing the drugs card, not for the first time.

I have some questions: if convicted drug users are to receive no welfare in cash, just vouchers for food and rent, doesn't that mean that people who have already served their time are to be punished twice? And does it mean that people who have paid their debt to society, and their children, are to have no cash for clothing, entertainment, medicine, education, leisure activities, books, newspapers, the Internet, recorded music and so on? Simply because of a drugs conviction. How can this be fair that being convicted of a victimless crime is treated more harshly -- after release -- than being convicted of robbing, raping and murdering?

Does it not also mean that only the most disadvantaged of former prisoners, namely those who are unemployed or on disability pensions etc, are the ones to be further disadvantaged, while the more successful ones (some of whom might not be on welfare because they are drug dealers who have returned to drug dealing) are not? The news reports certainly sound that way.

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