Approx Reading Time-11Centrelink’s Christian Porter is gonna give it the old college try… where the college is the pocket Nazi fratboy dorm from Animal House.


The Antisocial Services Minister this week made quite the puckered anus-face at the very idea that anybody would even question the rolling atrocities committed by his hard, pipe-hittin’ shakedown crew as they chased millions of dollars in debts that weren’t actually owed by tens of thousands of punters.

These poor bastards’ only mistake was to be standing in the wrong spot when the government blundered its way into an unholy, disorganised robot-war on the nation’s huddled masses, including one lucky autistic man who was pursued by Porter’s dopplegangstas at Dunn and Bradstreet for three thousand “imagination dollars”.

He was lucky because his mother is the head of Autism Awareness Australia, and told The Guardian that finding out that her son was being “heavied” by debt collectors was “a huge wake-up call”.

He was double lucky because the government only imagined him to be three grand in the hole. One woman in Tasmania was monstered for $69,000 – a much, much larger sum than she’d never been paid in the first place.

“I think that this is about as reasonable a process as you could possibly derive,” squealed Porter as the nipple clamps came on.

And they came on hard – no thanks (not at first anyway) to the mainstream media, which mostly fell for the government line that they had come up with an exciting new way to claw back four billion dollars in overpayments. The troll-honking coverage from the champions of the overdog in the Murdoch press was everything you’d expect. After all, the Sith Lord’s obedient minions know that somebody’s gotta pay for News Corps’ big ass tax refunds, and it’s not gonna be News Corp.

Unfortunately for Rupe and the government he owns, serving up mouldy arse-cakes and calling them profiteroles doesn’t work the way it used to. As so often happens now, the story first grew on social media, with standout contributions from Asher Wolf, New Matilda’s Ben Eltham and a gallant little hashtag called #notmydebt. It spread from there.

There were obvious points of failure, now well-documented. The data matching program was engineered to shit lipids as output because of the bad assumptions written into the code. The Tax Office computers were perfectly capable of mistaking one employer for a dozen or more. And the Mygov website was a torture porn dungeon built atop an accursed graveyard, in a city of the damned, which sank its foundations into a Hell Dimension.

It was an entirely avoidable shitshow, a beached and bloated fail-whale which exploded at the first touch of the blubber knife, throwing enormous chunks of rotting douchewaffle high into the outer atmosphere.

Standout moments?

The gubbermint insisting they were kicking arse, because 80% of 169,000 completed reviews “resulted in an individual paying back the money.”

Does that mean there were 33,800 errors in that batch?

Did 33,800 people suffer the stress of being falsely accused of cheating the system?

Were 33,800 people aggressively pursued by private debt collection agencies with a clear profit motive to maximise the return on every demand for payment, even if the demands were utter bullshit?

Well then yes, that is awesome, isn’t it.

And as for the 80% who did pay back whatever they were told, how many did so because they couldn’t face a fight with the Commonwealth? How many didn’t even understand the process? How many were simply mugged?

Pro tip. You can stop holding your breath while you wait to find out.

Canberra needs that money. I mean, who knows when Sussan Ley will next pop up to the Gold Coast for work and impulse-buy a $795,000 beachfront apartment?

That was undoubtedly the highlight of a great fucking week right there*, learning the Health Minister pinged taxpayers nearly four grand to fly to Queensland with her husband, to “meet with stakeholders” or some bullshit. And while she was at the coast she decided to drop more than three-quarters of a million dollars on an apartment.

Her office described the purchase as neither “planned nor anticipated” and the trip itself as, like, totally legit.

Fair enough. I’m forever coming home and finding unexpected fucking Bentleys in my back pocket, and luxury apartments mixed up with the milk and bread. I mean, sometimes you just don’t know when you’re going drop some Godzilla bucks on a water view, do you?

I do wonder though, what that autistic gentleman who got smashed with the bullshit debt for three grand would make of it…


This was the first edition of Alien Side Boob. A private, subscription only column delivered to your email twice a week. That’s what happens in a vicious capitalist system like ours. If you like it and want more, gimme some sugar. One buck a week. Two columns. Just for you.


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