The Royal Commission Saga

Yay – Labor wants a Royal Commission into banking.  I haven’t blogged about it mostly because I’m still elbow deep in assessments but mostly because the cynical part of me thinks … why now?  Of-course the logical answer to that is because it is politically expedient for Labor to now position itself as the champion of those of us who lost everything to fraud perpetrated by banks.  Too bad they didn’t call for a broad Royal Commission into the bank fraud when the ASIC report recommended it.  Apologies for calling foul on that one … but they had the opportunity a few inquiries ago and didn’t think it was necessary – the only thing that has actually changed is that now the media is finally on the bandwagon and Labor can see an opportunity to milk it for all its worth.

Yes, the cynicism runs high in this one … full to the scuppers I am Smile with tongue out

Also please pardon my cynicism that I still consider the installation of one Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP as Prime Minister of Australia as a coup d’état for the banks – what with him being a former banker and all that ….

I really want to believe that this wasn’t an abuse of our democratic system but fear that in the face of overwhelming evidence that the banks have been playing fast and loose with Australia’s legal system that only a true believer in banks could possibly think ASIC is up to the job.

Speaking of ASIC … I love the reporting on that body’s track record – it’s about time some skeletons were cleared out of that particular closet.

So, still not sure whether Labor is fair dinkum on the Royal Commission or if this is simply a stunt; or if the RC will be a broad enough one to make a difference.  Naturally I’m hoping this is one area where Labor is actually being honest.

By the way; I’m totally unimpressed by the Australian Bankers Association’s threat re RC.  I’m sorry but that is what it is – ‘we’re starting a campaign against the RC similar to the mining industry’s campaign against the mining tax’ (paraphrased obviously) and ‘they can’t afford to lose seats’.

Dear Mr Münchenberg – it’s time to pay the piper; stop bullying us.  Bank culture is greed above all and since you reside above the law I guess you think this stuff doesn’t matter.  Banks do not value their social license to operate – banks dream up endless scams to separate customers from their assets.  As far as I can tell the only contribution banks have made to the Australian economy is to put a whole lot of people on welfare after you’ve destroyed their livelihoods.*

But enough of that,  time to get my happy bubble on and say ‘yay, we’re going to have a Royal Commission into banks’ because I can’t see Liberals winning the next election unless the banksters have their hands on our votes …

That’s about all I want to say about this right now, when there’s a bit more to know I’ll no doubt post about it.  Have a great day Open-mouthed smile

And today’s song to cheer you up (or maybe not … depends on who you think might be left crying after this is done Smile with tongue out)

Love

Lady Rosie xxx

*In the interests of fairness I do have to say that there are some great programs the banks pay for like NAB supporting SetUP and AddsUP (low interest loans).  But their good deeds should not give them a pass on destroying people’s lives because of their culture of greed; and lack of supervision of bank managers who play fast and loose with customer’s information.

Submission done, assignment time

Another Senate Inquiry* needs submissions and yup, mine is in , although it hasn’t been published yet.  Sadly I did not write an eloquent and well researched tome on why the government should tighten punishment for white collar criminals Sad smile because, to be honest, I don’t think they’ll act on this one either.  The thrust of my submission was that since victims of fraud perpetrated by bank employees cannot get anyone to either investigate their case or call it fraud the question of penalties doesn’t arise.  I went so far as to call bullshit on the Inquiry.  No doubt this does not further my cause but I am tired of the government not doing anything about this train wreck of a financial system …. le sigh Crying face

Anyway, who has time for that extraordinary waste of time when there are exciting assessments to work on?  It’s week three of the semester and I am knee deep in research for three of my assignments already.  So far I’m pretty keen on all the topics – and two of them intersect with my raison de le faire – as I am researching I find more damning information on bank fraud.  One question specifically deals with ASIC … jumping for joy anyone?  Don't tell anyone smile  No longer is my sideline something I have to put off during the semester as study has to take priority – oh no, this semester I get to indulge to my heart’s content.

I think we call this bliss? Smile with tongue out

Today I’m working on my Conveyancing assignment – and as always I tend to delve far too deep into a topic hahaha (yes, I am tragic Winking smile).  Anyway, my research led me astray somewhat (again Surprised smile) and I found myself reading Ninan v Judge Newnes & Judge Murphy.  The reason I started reading the case is because Justice Newnes heard our Stay of Execution and Appeal.  He is also the reason I kept fighting.  I would sit at the back of the court room during our hearings and he would look me straight in the eye and say that we would lose everything because the law couldn’t help us – but he suggested I sue the bank for damages.

I’m pretty sure judges are not in the habit of drumming up business for the courts (since the courts are already overstretched as is), and it turns out that the evidence against the bank was right there in the bank’s affidavit.   As you know we did end up suing the bank and we settled out of court.  And I’m still working on exposing the dodgy system that lets banks get away with fraud.

So I started reading Ninan and my other legal interest was peaked – Ninan was self-representing and from the judgment I gather that he is what  Rooke CJ has termed as an OPCA  (Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument) Litigant** – I could be wrong because I didn’t get to read the actual arguments put forward but this quote kind of put me on notice that perhaps he’d been coached by some “experts” Sad smile

8 The applicant supported the application for leave with an affidavit sworn by him on 27 February 2015. It is entitled ‘Killing justice in Australia by the Registrars & the Judges’, not perhaps the most promising start to an exercise in persuasion.

 

I also note McKechnie J has a sense of humour.   But despite thinking this is funny I also think it’s tragic.   I don’t know what Ninan’s story is, even if I read every judgment I know that I still won’t know the truth.  The problem with judgments is that the story doesn’t always get told.  What happened to us and what the court thinks happened are two different things – once your lawyer puts a story forward that’s the only story that matters.  The fact s/he may stuff up (on purpose or idiocy ) doesn’t make a difference – there’s no coming back from such epic failures and you can’t even sue the lawyer for negligence … go figure.***

Was there a legitimate legal claim Ninan missed because he diddn’t know the nuances of the law?  Was he led on a wild goose chase by someone who fervently believes the Freeman of the Land arguments?  What were the issues with the valuation? (this is how my rabbit hole adventure started – a legitimate line of research for my assignment).  Was there collusion between the banks and the valuers in the same fashion as the CBA/Bankwest customer take-down scenario?  As I write this I don’t know anything because I haven’t read everything there is to know

So many questions, so few answers.  But this is the reason I keep going – there are far too many people fighting the banks who have no clue as to how to get to the truth and how to fight back.  The disclaimer here is obviously that I also know that sometimes shit happens and life hands you lemons (the legitimate loan becomes unaffordable because your life circumstances change – not that there was bank fraud involved at the outset).  And yes, I know sometimes people lie to their banks about their income – I had someone confess that’s what they did well before our life went south and I got up close and personal with the bank in court.  (I doubt anyone would be so candid with me now, it’s human nature to paint yourself in the best light isn’t it?).

It’d be nice if some of the important information was available without the prohibitive costs attached … and it’s not like paying a professional fee guarantees professional service (apologies for my hard-earned cynicism Eye rolling smile).

Anyway, time to get back to the books … those essays still haven’t learned to write themselves – must be first class slackers if you ask me Smile with tongue out

But first let there be music ….

Take care out there

Love

Lady Rosie

 

* Penalties for white collar crime

** see Meads v Meads (2012) ABQB 571

***see Evil and dumb: attack on Victoria’s lawyers and Advocates Immunity

Best laid plans and all that

Once upon a time I used to have a totally different set of priorities … making sure the cow was milked early, the animals were fed and had enough water, that the right vegies were planted at the right time.  Life had a rhythm decreed by nature and bookish things had to wait until all the real work was done.

These days I barely go out the door to look at my miniscule garden, I pay someone to mow the lawn and my participation in gardening has pretty much evolved into a survival of the fittest policy.  No time for delicate hothouse flowers here. Nerd smile Sometimes I remember to go out and water the pot plants that don’t get the benefit of the automatic reticulation … sometimes. Surprised smile

I promised myself that over the summer break I’d get into some sort of gardening routine, and definitely absolutely I was going to unpack those last few boxes (still packed from our move to Perth, we’ve moved again since and it’s getting somewhat embarrassing because, you know, I’m pretty sure some of the things I’ve been looking for are in those very boxes).

In a couple of weeks the new university year kicks off … and I’ve not done any of the mundane houseworky type thingies at all.  Instead I’ve read interesting case law (along the lines of Meads v Meads), been a social butterfly and generally tried to get rid of some bad habits (and not develop other bad habits – and that’s the thing isn’t it? Smile with tongue out)  I also managed to do two more units in the summer semester so now it’s 15 down and 9 to go …

Since I’ve gone back to studying I’ve managed to figure out where my weaknesses lie, sometimes I can see I’m doing something that is counterproductive which means I can do something about it.  While I’ve got my study routine relatively organised despite having to fit in with hubby’s changing roster I’m still not happy with my exam preparation and this semester that is likely to trip me up. Sad smile

You see, my son is getting married in June (OMG he was a baby just yesterday I don't know smile) and when I was asked about suitable dates I did mention that mid July would be pretty good because it should be outside of the critical exam period.  But as with all best laid plans they couldn’t get the church then and the only close enough date … turns out to be the Saturday smack bam in the middle of exams  eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkk.

Not only am I dealing with the shock that despite my tender years (and his) my baby is getting married, but now two major stresses are happening right alongside each other.  This will take a fair bit of organisation to avert a major meltdown.  Despite managing exams well in and of themselves there’s always that concern that the next exam might be the one that derails the plans … it’s happened to other students and it can happen to me.  And despite my nearest and dearest reassuring me that I’ve got this because I study hard – I have heard of top students failing subjects despite feeling confident they had it … never say never.  (but as the good book says – Don’t Panic Winking smile)

Maybe I should have taken up yoga over the summer break …

Oh well, it’s too late now, summer’s nearly over and I’m heading into my final year … here’s to motivation staying high, the brain not succumbing to brain fog and staying on top of all the little things that add up to be the.big.thing Winking smile.  Yes it’s the final countdown to part 1 of the big plan … and here I always thought I had no patience whatsoever Smile with tongue out

Here’s to making some sweet lemonade from all those lemons life keeps hurling at us Smile with tongue out

Love

Lady Rosie

That time when the past comes back …

and bites you in the bum.  Yup, it’s been a fun couple of weeks again, just as well I accepted that some things were just never going to be easy again eh? Smile with tongue out  I follow one particular astrologer despite no longer buying into all of the New Age philosophies; this guy seems to know exactly what crapola is about to descend on me.  This does not make me trust the universe (trust is something I still have an awful relationship with … although I confess to practicing saying “trust me I’m a lawyer” in a trustworthy fashion Winking smile Surprised smile Just kidding).  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago this astrologer wrote that I would be in for a tough time emotionally from an unexpected quarter.  That’s what I read into the forecast and I thought puleeze, no way, there’s nothing happening, it’s January, nothing ever happens in January, the place is pretty much shut down until second week in February as everybody tries to get back into their slave mode.

But not only was my Dispute Resolution unit tougher emotionally than I thought it would be; I’d read all the required stuff* and knew a lot of bad feelings about our case would come up,  (I thought I was prepared); worse though, the week before I left for Darwin an aspect of our case reared its ugly head again and I had to decide whether I was going to deal with it or let it go.  Needless to say, by the time I finally walked into the moot court for the first day of the unit, with my head about to explode with my ‘maybe it would have been good to sleep last night’ headache, I was wondering if the coping mechanisms I’ve learned to ensure that I can deal with things professionally would actually hold up.

As far as learning goes I am pleased to report that I managed to learn stuff that wasn’t even in the curriculum Winking smile.  For instance I learned that when I’m dying a thousand deaths inside none of that has to affect what I do; I don’t have to react from my emotions – this one thing – for me this is the biggest.  I always wondered if I’d be able to stay in a room where every single one of my buttons gets pushed and all I want to do is find a quiet dark little corner and cry my eyes out.  You can’t imagine how awesome it feels to finally not be a slave to that particular survival instinct Smile with tongue out.

I also learned that professionals don’t always act professionally and their feelings get in the way, their buttons get pushed and then they might do something that is totally inappropriate.**  This is invaluable knowledge, knowing this means that I can stop worrying that I will be the only lawyer to have feelings that might one day get in the way – that coupled with the fact that my coping mechanisms did work makes me confident that as long as I remember that the little things will always trip me up I’m sure I’ll be able to stay professional.

There was this awkward moment where it was suggested that I have no clue about what it might possibly be like to lose your business, your home, your life’s savings …..

……

hear those crickets chirping?  Me not know that?  Me not understand the pain and suffering caused when a corporate bully plays hardball and your counsel is not helping you?  Dear friend, you have no idea how many demons I fought in that moment to remain seated and not get up and deck the person making that allegation – demons 0 Rosie 10000.   I also fought the urge to get up and shout that of all the people in that room I was probably the only one who had first-hand experience of the fallout from a bad outcome to negotiation and a bad court ruling. *** Every day I learn of new victims of the banksters, who have lost everything, I still hear of suicides because strong men can’t deal with the bullying anymore.  I know too well the demons individuals caught up in litigation fight every day just to stay alive, having to trust a system that isn’t worthy of the trust.  Hoping for an intervention that never comes, a Royal Commission that never quite gets called.

The comment was said in the context of a company that would be wound up if the negotiation failed so the person who shall remain nameless also said I had no idea about the impact on the employees.  These comments were so tragically  off the mark.   I’m about to head out to work where for a couple of hours I meet people from all walks of life who are in a dark place.   There is an assumption in Australia that only the pathetic end up on welfare, that only real idiots end up in financial strife and lose their homes because they can’t find a job.  I hate to burst their happy bubbles but I see far more highly educated people who find themselves on the scrapheap because of the downturn in mining than I do any stereotypical unemployed person.  As a matter of fact, the bulk of the people I see are not unemployed but underemployed.    It doesn’t help that our income is still derived from the mining industry and we always wonder if we’re next on the scrapheap.  I’ve learned to never say never.

Anyway, I’ve experienced a massive learning curve and now I can put one of my biggest concerns to rest – I can do this after all.  And there are a lot of options for developing professional skills where  I will be able to fill in any gaps well before I am left in charge of another individual’s life.  And that is worth knowing.

Apologies for ending this with my usual fighting song … but I’m still pretty pissed off with some stranger telling me I don’t understand – I’ll get over it; hopefully sooner rather than later.  And of-course I still have essays to write, and then a new semester to start, and then before I know it it’ll be Christmas again Smile with tongue out

Hope you have a great day,

Cheers

Lady Rosie

 

 

*actually I read the whole text book but a notice was put up after I finished that we only needed to read some of the chapters … bugger

Edit ** a fair bit of time was spent on this during one lecture – so maybe this is a biggie with a few people and not just me?  I hope it’s not just me bahahahaha Smile with tongue out

*** although I do make allowance for the fact that perhaps the speaker got emotional because they too have suffered this great loss and their own demons came up and bit them on the bum … I have to allow for that possibility because it seemed a very, very visceral comment.  I know a lot of us walking wounded do sign up to do law degrees – apparently we’re gluttons for punishment.

The Law, robust or impotent?

I’m back at study and this week the nature of the Rule of Law is sort of doing my head in – for so many reasons.  One of my units is what I refer to the art of war; it’s International Humanitarian Law but we’re dealing with the legal rules pertaining to war – that’s where the art comes in for me.

One of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around with all of this learnin’ how to do ye olde lawyerin’ is figuring out exactly what the lines are, where they might possibly lie and how to reconcile my personal moral compass with the duty to do the best for my client.  Exactly how far can you twist the facts so that your client who has broken the law looks like they are the poor.hard.done.by victim of that menace of society falsely claiming victimhood?  (some lawyers defending banks certainly seem to have the gift imho).  Some of the banking cases I’ve studied read more like tales from Uncommon Law by A P Herbert – and the results are unjust.

Then again, the first thing you have to wrap your head around when you study law is that you go to court to get the law, you don’t go there to get justice.  I’m guessing I’m looking forward to doing Professional Responsibility hahaha Smile with tongue out that should clear up a lot of the blurred lines imho.

The reason the title of the post is what it is is because the law is something that isn’t part of our natural behaviour.  I’m guessing this is why we have to have treaties, covenants and domestic legislation* – although there are far too many individuals who can tell themselves that it is their job to obscure the arguments so much that suddenly torture is no longer against the rules (see also Getting Away with Torture) and it is seen as wise for lawyers to advise their clients to keep putting up obtuse arguments to ensure the victim gives up on account of not being able to afford the legal fight anymore (see Westpac Letters and Idoport).

What bothers me about the  examples is that none seems to show the best of the law – rather they  tend to highlight the gutter instincts of people who want to be the best at fighting (read lawyering).  Although my feelings about dubious lawyers and their apparently loose morals and flexible adherence to the law have mellowed significantly, I still find it difficult to not judge lawyers who think bending the rules beyond recognition is the way it should be done.

From all you read from respected members of the legal profession you (at least I did) get the impression that The Law is something sacred, that it is not to be Tarnished, that everything is Above Board and Within the Law (all capitals intended).

But when the Westpac Letters saga erupted the discussion wasn’t that here is a law firm advising their client how to get away with a major breach of the law, that because their employees could face jail time the strategy should be to string out court cases as long as possible.  Rather the biggest discussion was about client confidentiality and that no-one could discuss these egregious acts because well, no-one was supposed to know it happened!  So let’s pretend that this was good advice from the law firm (it was, it’s a formula that has been followed by all the financial giants since) and that there is no other issue arising.

I tend to harp on about the Westpac Letters a lot – because to me the discussion surrounding the letters highlights that a theoretical high ground is just that – theoretical.  I don’t think every lawyer is sleazy, far from it actually, but I have to allow for the fact that there are those who either arsed their way through their degree and managed to convince someone they were good enough to employ OR they don’t care which way they play the game as long as their hip pocket wins.

Once upon a time I had normal hobbies like cake decorating, gardening and reading (fiction, you know, the fun stuff Winking smile) – now my ‘hobbies’ are pseudo law, ethics and morals of practitioners, the political scene and just when we can demand that our politicians wear their sponsors’ badges so we know why they behave the way they do …  I guess it beats other vices I could enjoy, but only marginally Smile with tongue out.

I guess the biggest challenge for me doing this particular unit is keeping sane in an insane world.  A world where a cricketer using the sleaziest pickup line known to womankind (sorry, made my skin crawl … my bad Smile with tongue out) becomes international news and a major focal point because this was sexual harassment in the workplace; but we can’t discuss criminal acts of corporations aided and abetted by their lawyers because well, it’s only lawyers doing their jobs!

As I wrap my head around the Rule of Law, and that while the law should apply equally to all but in reality how much money you have seems to be a much better indicator of how a case will end, it saddens me to conclude that as we have become flexible in our attitudes, we have become complacent in our acceptance of “the way things are”; we simply accept things as they are and forget how they should/could be.

Not enough people are demanding that the law goes back to being impartial, that perhaps giving rich people lighter sentences because they couldn’t survive real jail time is just giving said rich people every reason to not abide by the rules.

The law is supposed to protect people from those who would take advantage of them, from those who would harm them – I’m still disturbed by the sheer audacity of some of the legal profession who play with human lives as though the issue was a moot question, a theoretical exercise.  I’m disturbed by lawyers who know they are destroying a human being but do it anyway because they have a client to serve, because they are just doing their job.  (Is it okay to say I hate that excuse?  What about your job as a human being?  Sorry, there’s my bloody high horse again … le sigh Sad smile)

It’s like the gun ownership debates we’ve had around the globe – it’s funny how some people think that just because you’ve made something illegal that all problems will be solved.  I wonder how many people really believe in their heart of hearts that criminals will wake up tomorrow and simply start following the law of the land?  I wonder if holding that belief is a notifiable mental disorder? Surprised smile

Anyway, enough of my rants; here’s some more links to illustrate why I’m feeling down today …

Budding lawyer ‘too privileged’ for jail

Coward punch offender gets off with slap on the wrist – and magistrate takes swipe at ‘one punch’ campaigns

I have to conclude that the law doesn’t mean anything to anybody who really wants to do what they want to do – it’s really only as good as the highest high ground anyone is willing to stand on.

Anyway, that’s enough of all this sad bellybutton gazing – and yes, still being bad with my choice of song for today … ya gotta laugh or you might never stop crying Winking smile

*okay, confess to trying a touch of sarcasm here … sorry ‘bout that Winking smile

It’s New Year’s Eve

So tomorrow it’ll be 2016 … and not much has changed in my world; everybody still seems to be doing the same old thing, the same old way and letting stuff kind of stew.  Back when I first started my website I was sure that if enough people knew about the injustice within banking law that things would change.  But just like every other injustice (too many to mention – I mean seriously – we humans aren’t very good at this looking out for each other lark are we?)  it’s too easy to maintain the status quo.

So over the next few hours a pretty large number of the world’s population will be making lots of unrealistic promises to themselves.  Stuff like “in 2016 I will get a great job”, “in 2016 I will lose weight”; “get fit”, “be nicer to mum”, “be the top right elbow model” and on it goes.  Some people do achieve their goals but apparently most don’t – and that’s supposedly because they don’t plan the how.  (I’m running on assumptions – my bad Winking smile)

I used to do that – every year I’d lie to myself – every new year would have this promise of hope; and every year life would grind me down (if I was silly enough to let it Smile with tongue out).

I can’t remember when I gave up making New Year’s resolutions … might have been last year or a couple of years ago.  I’ve been too busy living, studying and trying to be a decent human being to really take notice.

But what I do notice to the very core of my being is that there are far too many places in the world where the ritual of making promises to oneself to get greater fulfilment from life and less contentment from food or the bottom of a bottle seems a bit frivolous.

Here’s a few New Year’s resolutions I would like to see some world leaders make to ensure that all of the world’s population can climb to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs instead of being stuck at trying to get physical needs met (you know, the old drinking water, food and shelter biz).

How about world leaders resolve to not destroy other countries – a world-wide cease fire lasting just a month would be a bloody miracle.  How bloody hard is it for countries to not threaten each other, to mind their own business and just give all the war mongering a rest?  (I know that this naiveté is at odds with my cynicism but hey, someone has to say it).

It goes without saying that since world leaders are no longer engaged in a futile “mine’s bigger than yours” battle of the egos that the ruling elite of each country vows to ensure that each citizen in their care has their human rights upheld (disclaimer here – countries that have adopted their own version of human rights where women are not human and other humans are effectively dismissed as being human should really adopt the majority view … but that’s not for other countries to enforce – not that any of them are trying atm anyway Smile with tongue out)

Nope – I’d better stop now – it’s too depressing.  But on a bright note I think this is a step in the right direction – my ‘peace, love and all that’ inner hippy might just be on the road to recovery.  You never know where this will lead Winking smile

So putting aside world leaders, I can think of a couple of New Year’s resolutions bankers could make – like putting customers ahead of shareholders (there will still be plenty of profits – and you never know – in Australia that Royal Commission might just be on its way after all – stranger things have happened at sea).  I’d like to see good faith returned to banking and banking litigation – so if you could all resolve to propagate that within your organisations … that’d be great Winking smile.

I could keep ranting – but there’s not much point, those who really do have to change won’t.

As for me; well yes, I could do with making some changes in my life, but I don’t think putting all of my hope on poor old 2016 is going to do anything other than give me another way to let myself down.  All things considered I am kind of the queen of change … I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, hell, I’m not even the same person I was 10 months ago.  Change is good, I’m just not going to buy into the “New Year, New You” philosophy … Billy loves me just the way I am Smile with tongue out

Have a safe journey into 2016 and I’ll see you when we get there

… oh, and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Love

Lady Rosie

Update on websites

Sorry about the lack of posts – the deathly lurgy that has been felling people for weeks struck the household and I’m only just now getting to the stage where I think it wasn’t the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse after all. Eye rolling smile

Being sick when I actually had time to give in to it and do sweet bugger all gave me a lot of time to reflect on different things.   For example,  I’ve come to the conclusion that websites that I cannot update without maybe getting my life torn apart again are probably not worth the money I pay for them each year to keep.  So I have decided to not renew the hosting on ihatethenab.com and ihatethenab.info.  The .com will go offline tomorow and the .info will disappear into the abyss where old websites go to die in January.  I have taken copies of the webpages and links to other sites and will create a page on here for posterity if anyone feels the urge to take a trip down memory lane.  It’s awesome to visit if you like lashings of desperation, unfounded hope and a dollop of anger wrapped up in a purple haze of indignation.

When I first started my website I wrote all of the HTML and had a really basic one because, erm, I’m not actually a web designer.  My lack of talent in creating websites was not enough to stop me from publishing the website anyway – this was explosive stuff.  I thought my story was unique (my lawyer at that time told me so), I thought the ‘system’ would support me – I was totally and utterly wrong.

I thought the law was one thing and over time discovered it was an entirely different beast.  I thought my website would make a difference.  I thought politicians would be interested and care that there was a problem with the system and close loopholes.

In hindsight I’m embarrassed by both my naiveté and faith in the system; I’m ashamed that I wasn’t smart enough to really understand that Australia has the same level of corruption as the most corrupt country on the planet (we’re always told corruption is rife overseas – but everybody in Australia is squeaky clean Smile with tongue out ).  Still, desperate times call for desperate measures …

I’ve changed my mind a lot about different players in the scenario that played out in what now seems like someone else’s life (amazing what polishing a happy bubble on a daily basis can do for you eh?).  In some ways I have moved on but in some I remain stuck.

We have just had a Senate inquiry called to investigate white collar crime in Australia – focus is on the banking sector.  The media is finally reporting on the various bank crimes against customers on a regular basis – only some are still towing the banksters line of ‘nothing to see here’.  One bright spark wrote an article claiming CBA was cleared of fraud – they weren’t (might add link in later but I’m almost due to run off to work this morning).

Finally the calls for a Royal Commission into banking have become more strident – and the people calling for it are not just bank customers who have been right royally screwed either.

There is light at the end of the tunnel …  although I’m not holding my breath.  Back in 1992 Paul McLean ended the preface of his book Bankers and Bastards with this call to arms:

This is a declaration of war – a war to change a financial system that is working against people but pretends it is working for them.  We intend this to be only part of a full frontal attack on banking as we know it.

Stirring words but we all know they went nowhere – our politicians remain unmoved and government on the whole is a recalcitrant beast unwilling to protect the people it serves.  I’m hopeful that when we do get that Royal Commission the monkey will finally be off my back.  See, I still have a shiny happy bubble Smile with tongue out

Oh well, we’ll see if anything comes of this now shall we?

Meanwhile, take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Love

Lady Rosie

Learning how to write

It seems an odd title I know, since I do know how to write.  And I like to think that as far as grammar goes I keep the mistakes to reasonable levels; although some pedants might argue my use of the word ‘reasonable’ when it comes to something as important as grammar. Smile with tongue out  Still, I suppose at least I know my failings and I do try to improve on these skills.  Especially now that getting HDs is somewhat dependent on my ability to not only string together logical arguments but also have perfect grammar and AGLC.

I also have a nasty habit of abusing the English language … sigh Crying face so I’m outing myself here Surprised smile.  Any of you who have ever received an email from me will know exactly what I’m talking about.   And then there’s my very bad habit of failing to give context to statements.  Sadly I am often misunderstood and I cannot blame anyone but me for that.  I do a really bad job of explaining things.  In short, I am a sloppy writer/communicator … and it’s a problem.

The problem isn’t quite so bad when I get email responses answering some of my question but then noting the writer has no idea what “that” refers to.  (and here you have another prime example of sloppy writing … Winking smile).  It’s not even hugely problematic when people choose to argue with me in some online forum and taking offence at my statement – when we’re on exactly the same page but I have expressed my thoughts differently.  Not sure if that one counts as ‘sloppy’ or being obtuse – but either way it does point out that there is a major problem with my communication style.

Some things are easy to communicate.  For example not many people have been told I love them – if I’ve told you there’s no doubt that I do love you (so far I have not simply stopped loving anyone – which seems unusual even to me but there you go Smile with tongue out).  However, I have been told I’m somewhat flirtatious and have been hit on by men who are sure I’m interested in them (so do I change how I interact with people in the future to avoid any embarrassing incidents or just chalk it up to experience?)  … Oh look, another flaw in my thinking Surprised smile  … maybe there is no such thing as ‘easy communication’ but only ‘sloppy communication skills’?  eeeeeekkkkkkk now it’s getting messy to boot.

And all I really wanted to say is that I need to improve how I write – so that when I do exams my answer is so clear the marker is in no doubt what I mean to say; when I write assignments there is no confusion as to which Act applies to what and so on.

It’s hard to say which particular writing offence is my worst … sometimes in an effort to be brief I leave out important details that really do change the proposition.  Sometimes I discuss a couple of ideas and then fail to differentiate as to which “that” I refer to in drawing some conclusion.  Then sometimes when I draw conclusions I can be fairly accused of drawing a long bow … although in my defence I like to think that when something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck it is, in all probability, a duck!  Although try telling that to a duck that thinks it’s an eagle Sad smile.

But why would I worry about that when my writing skills seem to be reasonable and I do better than merely okay in my studies?  Would you believe that I worry about stuffing up my client’s chances if I don’t get things articulated in just the right way?  What if I end up working for, say a mining company, and something I’ve written can be interpreted in a totally different light and that in turn leads to a whole lot of people being financially damaged by my mistake?  It could happen – never say never in the legal game – the improbable is not impossible; and sometimes a whole lot rides on the difference between using the word OR and AND, such tiny little words that pack a whole lot of punch Surprised smile.

Don’t think that’s a far-fetched idea either – think about how much litigation revolves around the interpretation of some part of some Act that isn’t quite clear.  I remember sitting in court listening for some three hours while a barrister explained his argument that the interpretation of the Act by his learned colleague was absolutely flawed and therefore the whole case depended on the court seeing that his interpretation was the only one that mattered.

It was a loooooong three hours (was it really three hours or did it really just feel that long? Confused smile) – I remember even the judges yawning, and fidgeting, and finally when the barrister complained that his submission had been limited to a mere 20 pages one of the judges remarked “yes, and I note that you managed to find the smallest font still visible to the naked eye to make the most of the 20 pages”.*  I love a judge with a sense of humour Smile with tongue out.

I guess the poor judges might have been saved the tedium had the original drafters of that particular Act paid a bit more attention to the language they used.

Then again, some argumentative jerks have been known to argue not because the other person was wrong but because they expressed their position awkwardly.  Again outing myself as I once won an argument with someone near and dear to me wholly on account of being able to argue the way he’d expressed himself – he was right, I knew he was right, but what he’d said could be interpreted in another way.  So I argued … and when he finally threw his hands in the air and called an end to the argument I owned up and told him which bit of his statement had made him ‘wrong’ despite being right.

I guess ^that’s the reason why some of my family and friends think I will make a great lawyer … Embarrassed smile

Anyway, I still have to work on my written expression – and that’s the next challenge in my study career – to get on top of sloppy communication skills and ace the language thingy.

Because you know, none of us  want to be misunderstood Winking smile

OR this version wlEmoticon-winkingsmile.png

Take care out there in Banksterland  Winking smile

Oh and if I haven’t told you in a while … you know who ‘you’ are – I love you Flirt female Red heartSend a kissSmile with tongue out

Love

Lady Rosie xxx

 

*please note the disclaimer that this is not word for word what the judge said – I guess I was laughing too hard to really remember everything verbatim Smile with tongue out

Exams and other bruises

It’s the pointy end of the semester, the week where you have no lectures or tutorials (unless you have a super duper awesome lecturer who takes pity on you and gives your class a revision tutorial – especially when these take the form of a pep talk Winking smile).  The time when you’re reading through your study notes and wondering if you’re going to remember enough of this stuff when you’re in exams.

This semester is the first time I’ve come across a take-home exam in this degree and I had two to complete.  When I first saw that in the unit outlines I wasn’t sure if this was a bonus or if it was a trap.  I’ve now come to the conclusion that it is definitely a trap Smile with tongue out.

Here’s the thing, when you rock up in your exam room you know that you have a limited time in which to answer all the questions.  You know you have to at least attempt every question because you might get some of the easy marks in a brief outline of your answer.  With enough planning you can figure out how much time each type of question will take.  You know you can’t go into detail in any answer because, well, you know … time.

One of the things I did to figure out how to plan an essay type question was I printed out 800 words of a sample answer for one of my units and then timed myself to see how many words I could actually write legibly in 40 minutes.  I’d already figured out that 40 minutes would be the maximum time I could allocate to the essay question (going by a previous exam made available by the university).   I managed to write only 649 words in that time … I could have written faster and achieved more but then the marker wouldn’t have been able read it and that would be a bit of a fuck up methinks!

So then I dummy up an answer on a random topic that is examinable – and that’s to figure out how much detail I can put into each point that has to be covered.  Remembering your marks get into the distinction and high distinction level the more depth of knowledge you can show.   Of-course the trick here is to remember the nuances; and always talk about the prickly end of the pineapple.

And this helps me with the pre-exam panic (I don’t have the time to panic while I’m actually in an exam even if I am stunned by the War and Peace length exam question).

Take-home exams are not like this.   I understand that there is this this idea that take-home exams are easy; trust me, they’re not.  Take-home exams come with so many levels of evil that makes a 3 hour equity exam with said War and Peace tome question feel like you’re lying on the beach with some honey bringing you an endless supply of your favourite tipple and nothing better to do than think about what you might fancy for dinner.

Take-home exams suck …. totally.

Remember those 649 words I can write in 40 minutes?  One of my take-homes was a maximum of 4500 words, the other 3500 words … and just because it says ‘maximum’ you’d be an idiot to think that maybe you can get by with 2000.  It doesn’t quite work like that, not if you want to address the main issues and then the curly bits.  So I spent days working on them … for a couple of reasons.

First, I wouldn’t mind keeping my HD and secondly (probably this is really number one) – I didn’t want my lecturers thinking I was a slacker who put in a minimum amount of effort.  Funny how I don’t care what most people think about me but I am seriously committed to working hard so my lecturers know I care enough about my studies to actually, you know … study Smile with tongue out.

And do you know how I feel about my efforts after all of those hours analysing the question and then setting out the best possible answer I could come up with?  Not great … that’s how I feel.  I wonder if I analysed the question enough, wonder if I identified the right points I needed to address.  I worry I didn’t give a good analytical answer.   I second-guess myself just as much as I do after a three hour exam but I’ve spent so much more time on it.

Take-home exams are a trap … give me a tortuous invigilated exam any day of the week – and here I am just hoping that today’s song choice won’t be me after I get my results back … I live in hope after all Rainbow

Oh, and I think I know how to approach this whole bank fraud thingy from an academic perspective now … so it’s all coming together quite nicely thank you Nerd smile

Take care out there in Banksterland peeps Peace

Love

Lady Rosie

The social media trap

I’d call myself a bit of a social media expert … after all, I have a BA in Internet Communications and spend a lot of time in various online groups and see how social networking works (or doesn’t).  Last semester we spent a fair bit of time on defamation law and of-course there was that attempt at suing me for defamation from some turkey who really ought to be sued for defaming me in the first place (among other things) … but hey, I’m kinda busy atm Smile with tongue out and I don’t want to get into this tit for tat litigation thing that a few people have going on.

But there is a fair bit of stuff happening in defamation litigation involving social media atm that has a few of my family and friends concerned, not just for me but for our freedom of speech in general.  I’ve written about SLAPP before (that’s a strategic lawsuit against public participation) and how defamation law is abused to stop people from discussing issues of public concern; especially on social media platforms like Facebook, where a lot of the current crop of litigation seems to stem from.

I don’t want to talk about the legal implications, I’d much rather share my thoughts about my journey through this acceptance of an online persona that leaves a huge digital footprint – Google my name and there’s an awful lot that is about me.  I’ve set up Facebook to not allow browsers to find my comments but I’d bet a few of them still find their way into the public forum.

One of the reasons I was careful in the beginning of starting to use Facebook and other apps is because of the questions raised during my studies (I’d also note here that the reason I got so involved with so many apps out there is because of my studies Eye rolling smile).  I was very careful about not adding people I knew through the blog because they were caught up in banking litigation like I was.  I would be super careful that when I commented on newspaper stories online that I kept the tone just fine and dandy (still managed to get blocked on a few haha Smile with tongue out).  I tried to watch my Ps & Qs.

So why was I careful about who I added as a ‘friend’ on say, Facebook?  Initially it was because I didn’t want to have the expectation that all I post is bank stuff …. I sometimes share bank stories but my Fb wall is supposed to be a social experience for me.  I share funny videos, music videos, quirky things and some downright unPC stuff that tickles my funny bone.   A part of me only wanted people who really were friends in my real Facebook account.  I was so anal about it I had a couple of ‘fake’ accounts just so I could play games like Farm Town and Castleville and ‘friend’ people to my hearts content and they’d never get to know the real me.

The real me was pretty much non-existent following my bank experience so I played with developing a new me online and seeing if that could translate to being a whole new, functioning me offline too.  Sometimes I’d use the fake me’s email accounts to post comments on stories about banks (after real me was banned hehe – oh my, maybe I’m not as sweet and lovely and straight down the line as I like to pretend?  oooops, my bad Embarrassed smile).

But the more I studied, the more I learned about me in the process, I grew back into my own skin.  I still worried that my digital footprint would hurt any future career, especially this blog – everything I write on here is open to scrutiny – people will judge.  Will it cost me a job?  I know family and friends were really worried about supporting me because, you know, they might need to get another loan one day and they wouldn’t want the banks to know they supported me or anything (that’s probably one of the biggest reasons fraud in major corporations can flourish – who feels powerful enough to stand up and be counted?  Can affect your job, finances, standing in the community – say the wrong thing about the wrong company/person and your life can effectively be over – that’s mass censorship based on nothing more than fear – and it’s bloody hard to beat).

There’s this frightening phenomenon at the moment where self-righteous do-gooders feel it is their duty to contact employers of Facebook users who dare to post their personal opinion on refugees in a public forum and demand these people be sacked.  They then brag about how many people they have gotten sacked and feel good about doing this – never mind the fact that the people sacked have mortgages and now their kids will probably be facing poverty because of a smear campaign that is unwarranted.  I’m not sure the particular refugee advocate I am referring to even gets the hypocrisy of her actions, but it’s social media – apparently it’s okay for one person to destroy people’s lives because they can’t agree on something.

So I’ve always been a bit circumspect about what I post and how I word things (I have pretty average, run of the mill opinions and the most controversial thing I’ll say is that I think banksters and those who allow them to strip assets off customers with illegal/dodgy scams need to be thrown in jail and the key accidentally lost).

But recently I’ve developed a bit of a rebellious streak – I’ve accepted that there will always be people who judge me by what I write on any given day (and sometimes I write on a bad day when the world is total crap and my words won’t be measured).  Any potential employer that sees this blog and doesn’t see the personal journey I have had that makes me a bloody good employee will miss out on having a great team player who understands the meaning of ethics and morals.   That’s life.

I’ve started accepting and sending out friend requests on Facebook to all sorts of people who couldn’t  be considered ‘friends’ in any real sense of the world.  I’ve now got a large cohort of bank victims being subjected to my odd sense of humour and my occasional (or maybe not so occasional) foul mouth (is it still a foul mouth when you type excessive expletives?).  If you have a love of the irreverent, the downright odd or just like to look on the bright side of life (and don’t mind reminders that Christmas is coming  313 days before the event) then maybe I’m the Facebook friend for you hahahah Smile with tongue out.

I would note that I fell foul of my own brother once and he unfriended me on Facebook!!!  (yes, that really did need the extra exclamation marks Winking smile).  What was my great offence?  Erm, okay, I posted this

gay marriage

and when he made a derogatory comment I told him it was totally unfair that marriage could only make heteros miserable … oh dear Nyah-Nyah.  It’s all good now but gees, after what happened with the bank we had a pretty difficult relationship anyway – and this is just something I sometimes give (fleeting) consideration to.  Apologies to all deeply emotionally attached people on either side of this particular fence, but I have other things to get worked up about and at the moment I have a pretty short fuse on all things religious.  And yes, I find lawsuits against Christian bakers who refuse to bake a gay wedding cake to be a batty idea ….  The law should not exist to kiss anybody’s booboo better (sh*t it didn’t give a damn about mine and mine wasn’t hurt feelings FFS … oh dear, my happy bubble just got pricked Crying face).

Best sign off and get on with it … and just to end on a happy note (reinflating the happy bubble) enjoy Smile

oh and I found a really funny video but that one made it on my Facebook wall, because, you know, at least it’s (mostly) private so I won’t be judged too harshly hahaha Smile with tongue out

Hang in there and take care out there in Banksterland Winking smile

Love

Lady Rosie