To my dear member of parliament,

I am very concerned by your government’s move to drug testing for welfare recipients. In 2003 when I graduated from university, I was on Newstart allowance for six months while I looked for work and I found dealing with Centrelink alienating and dehumanising. The attitude of the system toward welfare recipients already feels so harsh. I wasn’t on any drugs but the addition of testing would have increased my sense of disillusionment with a state which treated me with suspicion and heavy-handedness.

I can’t believe this measure comes the same week Tony Abbott admits to being too drunk to vote in a crucial bill. It feels to me that your government risks seeming hypocritical. I’m not convinced this measure is actually concerned with helping people with addiction problems – if this is your real concern, increase funding for addiction services.

Yours sincerely, Nathan Hobby.

I didn’t remind my MP of the fact that he was caught drink-driving without a licence two years ago. I don’t know why this testing measure bothers me so much, but it seems just a little fascist and also yet another move of a government which despises the underclass. There are no jobs for people to be getting at the moment. There are actually so many activities / classes of people who receive subsidies or concessions from the government – as someone tweeted, why aren’t the negative gearers being tested for drugs?