The Australian 'GOLD CARD'. The ongoing Gold Card saga plods its weary way through the morass of political discrimination.
The first requirement for this elusive 'Gold Card is that, you were born in Australia, or if you migrated to Australia and served in the armed services and faced the enemy in the defence or in the interests of Australia; in or overseas.
You dont have to be wounded in action or become the holder of a distinctive decoration, you may be a non combatant in a designated war zone, and of course you must be an Australian citizen at the time of qualification and at the time of the receipt of the award and more than 72 years of age.
I am a ex British serviceman who served in the British Navy for nearly four years during WW2, Korea and middle east conflicts.
Based in Sydney Australia during WW2, the last nine months was spent at sea in the Pacific serving with Australians and the United States forces until the surrender of Japan.
At the end of hostilities, a vast number of British servicemen stayed on in Australia, some illegally I am told, most of whom became Australian citizens, some for nearly sixty years.
Myself, well I being a career Navy man, I was unable to return to Australia until 25 years later.
My main concern is for those British men who have given their all for this country and consider their home to be Australia, Some of these old guys really need this entitlement as much or in some cases more than some of the healthy looking true blue Dinky di Aussies, maybe its more important that an OZ vet gets a new set of gnashers and a face lift due to the sun than an even older ex Brit guy needing a knee replacement. An Australian friend told me he arrived in New Guinea just as the war ended and had to wait several years to see his first Japanese, A tourist in Sydney, good old Al gets the gold card for that overseas holiday, however, most of those vets who served in New Guinea deserve a heap of respect and much more than a bloody Gold card.
I am uncertain as to when this Gold Card was first awarded, however, to my knowledge; it was certanly not around even when I returned to Australia in Aug 1971 and it could not have been one of the many incentives to persuade me to return here. I did not have to rely on charity on my arrival here, my family and I had enough funds to purchase a residence, also a steady income from England, in fact 60% of our income is sourced from the U/K. I have never drawn any Dole payments.
FAQ " Why do other commonwealth citizens ie British not recieve the gold card" ? "answer, I believe its just the rules you know".
In other words it is blatant discrimination, there can be no possible excuse. The costing would be minimal compared to some of the present governments grants to arts weirdo's and other bludging work shy organizations, unnecessary overseas aid and the constant wasteful updating of those outdated Collins Class Submarines, Or the money could be well spent updating the salaries and pensions of some of our more notable Chicken Hawks who escaped overseas during the time Australia was at war, like Malcolm Frazer who became PM by default, our present PM little John, and of course Billy Bunter- Alex Downer Our Foriegn Minister.
The likes of those blokes will have a Gold Card in every pocket.
More to come in my next post. VEST DAILY GAGGLE.
Posted by Vest at 7:33:00 PM 18 comments Links to this post
Friday, 16 September 2005
The Gold Coloured Medallion. Could this be a step closer the medical benefits'Gold Card'
Will the presentation of this Medallion soften the hearts of Canberra Bean Counters ?
Last month I was informed by the Dept of Veteran Affairs that I among many others would be presented with a special medallion which commemorates the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2 in the Pacific, this medallion was to be presented to me by my Federal member of parliament Jill Hall, whom I remember as a helpful and industrious person.
The presentation was low key(Save me the detail) . I took notice that about 30% of the recipients were expat Brits who served in the Pacific during WW2, I was photographed together with Jill Hall (MP), I then received a small box containing a gold coloured medallion, it was enscribed - WORLD WAR 2 SERVICE TO AUSTRALIA. inside of the box a message on a small card states: It is presented in 2005 by the Australion govt on behalf of the Australian people to those who served this nation and her allies during the war from 1939 to 1945.
I also received a folded 6x8inch commemoration form With the Australian coat of arms etc, with printed signatures of our Prime Minister John Winston Howard who signed himself John Howard and vet affairs MP De-Anne Kelly, then finaly Jill Halls signature with a real pen, bless her, Well done Jill Hall.
The statement on the certificate reads thus:
In 2005 we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2.
Australia has a long tradition of commemorating our wartime history and honouring
the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women during those times.
Our veterans and their families have given much to protect the Australian way of life
in times of conflict and helped build our community in times of peace.
We thank you sincerely for your contribution to our nation.
Well well well!! How would anyone interpret this message other than an admission that us Brits who also did more than our bit, should receive the gold card.
Incidently, apart from the official invitation to attend for the presentation, My NAME WAS NOT EVEN PRINTED ON THE DOCUMENT OR INSCRIBED ON THE MEDALLION.
Posted by Vest at 9:05:00 AM 6 comments Links to this post.
More to Come soon.
THE SAGA OF THE UNNATAINABLE GOLD ENDS HERE WITHOUT A WHIMPER OR RESPONSE FROM ANY GOVT BODY.
LEAST OF ALL I EXPECTED SOME RESPONSE FROM THE PERSONS WHO MAY HAVE BENEFITTED BY THE OFFER OF THE VETERANS (AUS)MEDICAL BENEFITS GOLD CARD
So it seems you only have your selves to blame, that, my platitudes have fallen on the deaf ears of the cheats in Canberra.
Oct 4, I received a letter from people who described themseles as an offshoot of the (RSL)Returned Servicemans League. I was offered tickets for the chance to win a posh house in Queensland(Fat Chance) at $5-00 a pop. The benefits from this lottery going to Australian ex Servicemen, like legacy etc. As a British ex service man who fought for Australia during WW2, and not a gold card recipient, I wrote in reply to their letter telling them where to stuff their begging letter, why in heavens name should I be considered unworthy of recognition, yet be expected to pay the beer and poker machine expenses of some of the fit and healthy and some younger gold card recipients I know, who frequent my local clubs and pubs. Don't they get enough?
My main request is for the more senior members of ex Brit/Aus war vets to be afforded medical assistance (Gold card standard) when in dire need, not as a god given right.
Posted by Vest at 10:28:00 PM 5 comments Links to this post Wednesday, 9 November 2005
WINDING UP THE GOLD CARD SAGA.
A Study of my web stats indicates only about 2% of visitors commented on the previous posts relating to the Gold Card. Not interested, only for oldies and we will never get it attitude possibly by oldies, too proud are you? what a shame, well a lot of you will boot the bucket earlier than you anticipate due to your complacency,and the Govt will double dip due to your earlier departure, the futility of it all will bring gleeful joy to the yellow toothed Uber Rodents in Canberra.
At last I received a letter from De-anne Kelly MP Minister of Veteran Affairs; via my Federal MP Jill Hall; thanks Jill for your efforts to help,you have done your best for us. but it is a losing fight for the aged British Vets, the numbers of those in dire need would be around the lower hundreds.
I shall not consider myself as one of those unfortunates, I being only 80 and only suffering from asbestos related pleurosy.
Mind you our Fed Govt is doing a great job and has managed to spend about $65 million bucks from the several billion surplus on more important ventures like:$12 million to upgrade and expand Aus war memorials, another $11million to build Anzac Hall, $7million for refurbishing of some war memorials, and to encourage 'Pride in Aus Military History' another $15million, other small cosmetic issues add up to around $12.5million.
In addition; we have an outpouring of funds to various countries supposedly in need, who in turn would stab you in the back if the need arose, for example our neighbour Indonesia has been deluged with millions of our hard earned bucks, to enable them to combat bird flu, while us OZZIES have not the faintest hope of getting the vaccine for ourselves.
Meanwhile 'Billy Bunter' aka Foriegn Minister Alex Downer; our famous fat draft dodging hero and chicken hawke wimp is overseas wringing his podgy hands; attempting to appease the Singapore Govt PM; to not hang a Viet born Aussie convicted of serious drug offences. most people are certain the guy will swing within a few days, getting off 'aint gonna happen' as this would set a precedent and seriously stuff up the Singapore Govts draconian drug laws.
Australia has at least three major drug dramas unfolding within Indonesia at the present time, with the possibility of a dozen Australian guys having their guts blown apart by machine gun fire if found guilty; there is little chance of them going free.wanna bet.
It all boils down to one thing , the Feds are spending millions in tax payers money; preferably on the deceased rather than a small minority among the living.
These proposed memorials will again depict names of the glorious past heroes in order of rank and importance; followed in goldleaf bold letters by the incongruous names of the the minister or ministers who performed the act of unveiling, usually a high ranking(Does that mean smelly) politician. There is a plethora of these BUSH arse licking non combatant draft dodging fat cat chicken hawke wimps in Canberra, who can provide hidden back up clauses in the Fed Legislation to prevent non true blue ozzies from pushing the beer swilling golden ozzies Snouts from the benefits trough.
So you sinister ministers in Canberra, yours is a triumph of stupidity and arrogance over commonsense and dignity and at this moment in time I shall present to each a credibility award, that of, 13%lower than that of a Backyard Car Sales Person.
The sooner politicians the world over have their brains replaced with Cauliflowers and religeous orders are abolished globally, we will be then be controlled by the truth and love we all need; instead of the present lies distortions and greed.
De-anne Kelly Minister for Veteran Affairs. So sweet of you to eventually reply.
I am aware of your slogan 'Putting people of Dawson first' doesn't that include you yourself, surely a state based MP would fix that problem, leaving you more time to get stuck into you cushy Canberra pidgeon hole. BTW fancy you of all people having
a branch head with the name of Ian Kelly, surely not two Relo's with similar names.
Enjoy your Idyllic life down on the farm-- until the yellow hordes consume our country, I hope you take notice that a fith column of thousands are here already ( mostly in your state) preparing for the final assault. I would also like to inform you due to that drop of Vitriol at the end of your letter you will not be receiving a xmas card from me in the future, and it please's me to know That I am not of your Banana bending ilk Biologically or by species.
As for the Wretched Medallion which was returned to me uninscribed, by express post, thereby wasting another $7-50 of taxpayer dosh, it has been finaly laid to rest as like the gold card, ignominously slung to the bottom of my sock(sox) Drawer.
Feel free to comment, VEST DAILY GAGGLE>
Posted by Vest at 1:58:00 PM 16 comments Links to this post Friday, 21 October 2005
IF YOU WERE INVITED BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVT TO DEFEND AUSTRALIA
Like most of us vets did during WW2 and then choose to migrate and remain in Australia as Citizens for up to SIXTY YEARS. You will be technically referred to as 'Lower Grade Australians.'
If you put your life on the line in the defence of Australia in times of war, as did friends relatives and other colleagues of mine and who died as a result, also the other men who survived the horrors of war and chose to stay or migrate to Australia at the first opportunity and become Australians by choice, you must pass a stringent test, and on graduation you will be invited to sing, "We are-you-are-wer'e all Australians" etc.
But wait!! That is only until when you apply for The Elusive Veterans Medical benefits 'GOLD CARD'. At this point you will be informed, "Well!! you are not really Australians are you".
This degrading Gold Card fiasco is a blight on the democratic principles of the Australian Federal Govt, This type of discrimination is similar to that shown by Mr Schickelgruber ( The one balled vegetarian fascist's) anti semetic policy, and should be redressed in Federal Parliament at the earliest opportunity.
Our decendants and those of (Dare I say it) other Australian 'Caste's , will reap the benefits from our efforts to make Australia safe and a great place to live.
Vest, Octogenarian. Daily Gaggle. Proud to be Australian.
Posted by Vest at 6:48:00 PM 12 comments Links to this post Thursday, 13 October 2005
Dear Mr Prime Minister Of Australia, The Hon John Howard MP.
I am left wondering, under what circumstances and by whose whimsical conception WHY ? the hard attitudes of consecutive bigoted Federal Governments of the People of Australia, have decreed that, the Magnitude of the Sacrifice and Achievements by the men of the British Royal Navy in the Pacific Theatre of war 1944-1945, by whose actions gave enormous benefit to our country Australia and its people, should be ignominously considered contentious and unequal to Australians 'Born and Bred.
Sir, If such system of measurement exists, it would be purely hypothetical and genetically passed on by successive leaders who have an axe to grind, and who better to dislike than the Boss or Mother Country, from whence we came to do our bit.
To those 'True Blue Australians' who served with us on British ships and those who crewed borrowed British ships I say well done,you deserve your Medical benefits 'GOLD CARD'.
I would also like to thank the Royal Australian Navy for their role in delivering the Mail to the Fighting Ships.
Finally Sir, it is hoped that you will find a new measure, and that, you Sir will find it large enough to enable your Government to pour a little of its comfort towards our members, if only those; who are mostly over 80 years old, and who may be in dire need, or will what's left of the strength and determination of the Brits that survived, be enough to give them the will to make it through without the Gold Card. Vest not Forget.
Posted by Vest at 6:47:00 AM 5 comments Links to this post Monday, 10 October 2005
THE BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET 1944 - 1946, Known as the FORGOTTEN FLEET.
FLEET STRENGTH AT THE TIME OF THE JAPANESE SURRENDER
BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET AND BRITISH EAST INDIES FLEET
Battleships, 40,000 ton 4. / 2, one French
Fleet Aicraft Carriers 5.
Escort Aircraft Carriers 12. / 16
Heavy & light Cruisers .
6 to 8,000 Tons 10, 2 NZ,1 Canadaian. / 13, 1 Dutch
Destroyers 40, 6 on loan to RAN. / 45, 1 dutch 2 French
The above ships formed the fighting force, except the 6 RAN destroyers on N A S Duties escorting Supply Ships and 'Bringing up the Mail' The "GOLD CARD MEN'
Frigates & Sloops 31./ 59, 5 R Indian Navy
Submarines 29. /14
Minesweepers 33./ 31, 15 R INDIAN NAVY
Landing ships - 21.
Maintenance/Repair ships 15. /21.
Fleet Oil Tankers 22.
Hospital Ships 6.
Ammunition & Store Ships 43.
TOTALS 245 Ships in all. 222 Ships in all.
RN AIR STATIONS 3 BPF/ 8 EAST Indies
Posted by Vest at 9:26:00 AM 13 comments Links to this post