Friday, July 31, 2009

That teen who nicked a tram and rhetorical questions only commonsense can answer

I wonder if he's working as a tram driver yet, that teen who nicked the tram a few years back?
The tram head honchos did promise him a job when he hit his majority, age 18.
It eventually came out in the media he had a more-than-slight obsession that saw him try to nick other trams, a train and the odd bus.
I'd love to think he was finally in charge of the trams he loved...well, not exactly in charge but at least driving one without asking passengers if they'd prefer a different route or over-shooting stops lol.
Found another news article HERE with more details.
But then again this just highlights the fact that so many kids are not being diagnosed or getting the help they need.
Stories in the media of mentally ill people not getting the medical attention they need until they hit the gaol cells where they get as much attention as they need but they wouldn't be there in the first place if they'd got the care on the frigging outside, before they'd hurt themselves/others/caused damage,etc.
Is it just me or does that make sense?
Why is it that to attend a special education school (in Vic at least) kids must have an IQ of 70 or below but when kids with higher IQs and learning problems hit the mainstream schools the Ed Dept moved the goal-posts a few years back to make it harder for kids to meet the criteria for funding for classroom assistance?
Why is it that there's not enough funding in the city for early intervention programs and sweet Fanny Adams in the rural/regional areas where there are just as many kids with learning/developmental difficulties?
Why is it that even under private healthcare the mentally ill are only entitled to 2 weeks hospital admission before the fund starts to cut back on the payments?
Under public healthcare the turn around from admission to discharge would make your head spin.
How many mental health issues do you figure are solved/addressed in those time frames?
Yep, fuck all and nothing, not even band-aid solutions.
So, we take a snapshot of Aboriginal literacy and numeracy (Feral Beast's current research subject) and apply it across the board - you have white/black/purple/brindle kids who fall through the cracks and have little or no literacy/reasoning skills due to learning/developmental difficulties.
They go on to
  • remain on welfare.
  • be employed in low-paid work.
  • have poor self-image.
  • have poor social skills.
  • remain in the lowest 10% of wage earning.
  • set an example for their children to follow.
  • be at high risk of alcohol/drug abuse.
  • be at high risk of breaking the law.
  • be at high risk of spending time in gaol.
  • have poor eating habits leading to health issues.
  • more likely to die before their children due to health issues complicated by lifestyle choices.
  • more likely to contract preventable diseases due to poor education/awareness of vaccination programs/preventable measures.
  • be at high risk of ABI requiring on-going full-time care due to poor anger management and/or being involved on a regular basis in alcohol/drug fuelled fights.
  • more likely to contribute to property/community damage.
  • high risk of being involved in injury/death of another person.

The above costs the tax payer, each individual personally effected and the following generations forever because the attitude is "if mum/dad didn't read/write/complete school why should I?".
All for the sake of spending a bit extra on kids, ffs.


  1. A friend in public transport told me that tram and train enthusiasts don't generally make good employees as drivers. Maybe a shame, but I doubt he would get a job as a tram driver. He might get on as a bus driver though. Mental health is an area where Australia really falls down. Some early spending can make huge differences.......ah, guess you said that.

  2. Yeah, I could agree with that, Andrew, like how a hobby should never become a person's job as it loses its attraction as a diversion from the mundane.
    Obsession would get in the way of everyday routines.

  3. Don't get me started on not spendign enough on education.
    Incidentally, I'd really like to read Feral Beast's paper when he's finished with it.

  4. Why, Why, Why?
    Because commonsense is in short supply in government departments. Mostly they just seem to act on the idea that "if we ignore the problem, maybe it will go away."
    Of course they couldn't be more wrong.