Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gillard's Betrayal

On a Friday night last year I had finished dinner with a mate in the city and was on the tram home. I checked my email and the below was in my inbox:
Hi Paul,

I would have liked to organise to meet you in person but unfortunately that was not the way it has worked out.

I am a 31 year old gambling addict. I have recently attended rehab and joined the GA fellowship - For me this process has been great but too late. I was an intelligent, hard working and enthusiastic person, I was even a top student at law school before gambling possessed my life.

Whilst, I have stopped gambling the debt that follows me and the stupidity of my last few years have become to much to bear - I can not solve my pressing debt and would rather not face the consequences or rather face them in a way that maybe people will realise how bad this gambling problem is - not as a martyr but as a wake-up call. I only owe two hundred thousand which would probably have been my salary by now had I followed my other path - but there will be no miracle loan to bail me out and save me and too many people calling to demand payment.

On that note I think the Psychologists and Psychiatrists have it wrong in always advising family and friends not to bail out gamblers - it usually only leads us to a much worse place - rather a conditional bail out where the world is told of the persons addiction, all the debtors made aware and someone takes over their financial management makes a lot more sense than forcing 'us' to turn to sharks and other dangerous and very expensive forms of financing.

And now with the internet and the forthcoming explosion of online casino's and pokie options what a sad state we are in for.

Why am I writing to you - There are many suggestions I have for your organisation(s) and for gambling reform and anti-gambling help and marketing - I have been working on this for a long time and also on a essay detailing my life and ruin - it is no surprise that gambling has the highest suicide rate of all the addictions and I love that you have made it your life's work to bring some order and sanity to the gambling in this country. In any case I have made arrangements for my 'work' to be sent to you in due course and you are free to use it however you see fit.

I would have loved to dedicate my life to your anti-gambling endeavours but I wish you the best of luck in stopping people from becoming me.
As soon as I read this I called a mate who is a senior administrator in Victorian gambling rehabilitation. He counselled me that this was likely a suicide note. I emailed my phone number to "Author" and called another mate who was skilled at talking people through extreme crises. He made contact and talked "Author" through the weekend. On Monday, we put Author in touch with a financial counsellor employed in bringing back those who have lost everything. I wrote to Author for a few months afterwards and Author was still working things out.

The Prime Minister has not simply betrayed Andrew Wilkie. 

She has betrayed the people who began "playing" these machines and because of their dangerous nature developed a gambling addiction.

Ms Gillard, due to her selfish ambition for power, has betrayed Australians who still believe that helping our mates is what makes us Australians.

1 comment:

Daviidv said...

Paul, this is sickening to read, that this person has been taken to such a sad and desperate point in their life. That before, as it seems, they were going to take their own life to escape the horror of their pokies addiction and debts, they wanted to make sure their death would not be in vain, his/her final hope it would make some difference to the outcome for other Australians. You should be very proud the author reached out to you due to your tireless effort to make things better. That you saved a tragic waste of life is a miracle-what if the email had not been sent or read - more blood on the hands of the pokies industry, blood they refuse to accept as their responsibility. I hope this miracle spurs on your determination and multiplies your supporters a thousand fold. Richard.