What is that incites normal everyday citizens to protest? To rally as a grass roots organisation and March across the nation saying:
“Let disgust be your compass”.
After all it is estimated that only 15% of Australians have ever protested. Has the Abbott Government been so poor so harmful as to merit a grass roots uprising.
Last Sunday I spoke with Tim Jones who together with Craig Andrew Batty is a co-founder of “March in March”. Tim is a Newcastle resident who recently joined the Labor Party because he identified with its policies but is normally just a political spectator. He is by no means active in the party. He says the leadership group of 4 women and 3 male organisers are bi-partisan and he isn’t aware of the party affiliation, if any, of any of them. He goes out of his way to point out that the group is unaffiliated with any political organisation. It is important for people to recognise that the march is essentially a protest about how we are being governed.
So what drives the cohort is a simply relied on determination and a shared sense of a ‘self-evident’ need for decency to be a major factor in all human decisions.
Initially they talked among themselves and set up a Facebook page (a twitter account followed) which rapidly grew and the “March in March” idea was born. In the style of true grass roots activism people jumped on board volunteering to do their bit. A protest had begun. Like minded ordinary people joined the chorus of objection against the Abbott led Government. The group were not professional organisers but collectively had skills in areas that would bring things together. And indeed they have with some TV commercials going to air this week.
“It’s what you do when you become so disillusioned” Tim Jones said.
In all, a series of 30 Marches across the nation will take place with the final one on Monday March 17 at Parliament House Canberra. It’s a sitting day on which they plan to deliver a statement of no confidence in the Abbott Government.
A Statement of No Confidence in the Abbott Government:
From The People of Australia
The people express their profound dissatisfaction with actions of the Liberal National Party Coalition Government and the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, during their term in office. This document asserts that many decisions made within this Government’s term in office have already resulted in, and will continue to result in, great damage to Australia’s economy, to our social structure, to the deterioration of our country’s international public image and to further devastation of our natural environment and our Heritage listed sites.
The people protest at a great number of policies and decisions being implemented by the Liberal National Party Coalition Government which are in denial of the best interests and image of our nation and an affront to the common good.
This document affirms the public dissatisfaction with policies that are incompatible with our international moral and legal responsibilities and to our way of life as a compassionate and caring people.
The social democracy that represents the very fabric of Australian ideology requires that the Government govern for the common good of all its people.
We believe that decisions have been made in our name which are unfair, lacking in integrity, costly and divisive.
We, the people of Australia, call upon the Government to recognise this Statement of No Confidence.
“The common good”. Tim Jones kept repeating it like an Abbott jab to the head.
The common good – now that’s something I have written about at length and it should be at the very heart of any political philosophy. But was Abbott really so poor as to warrant a grass roots Australia wide protest. After all Governments win Government and are entitled to govern.
I put this to Tim Jones who said; “Let me give you a few words” (Tim also happens to be a linguist). “Try decency, fairness, lies, equality, unaccountability, equity, corruption, secrecy, deception and unethical governance. The Prime Minister is set upon dividing the Nation and the people are fed up”.
I had to admit that whilst the government was on the nose, they had, after all won the election. An odd one at that. After three years of a combination of Abbott negativity and Labor’s repetitive leadership speculation the public was sick of it and wanted change. Even if it were only for change’s sake. The oddity was that the public overwhelmingly supported Labor Party policies. And of course the LNP was generously supported by the world’s most corrupt and unethical media baron in Rupert Murdoch.
But it was the aftermath of the election that had upset people like Tim. The sheer bloody mindedness, the sense of entitlement and born to rule mentality. The hypocrisy of claiming a mandate. The long list of broken promises that in hindsight have reduced his election campaign to a series of deliberate untruths.
All the inquiries headed by known conservative sympathisers. the blatant robbing of the poor to financially advance the rich and privileged. The downgrading and respect for science. The insincerity of appointing himself as minister for women and Aboriginals. His attack on equality of opportunity in education.
As Tim said to me:
When you boil it down it’s the way he is trying to re shape Australia and us with his own political philosophy. Every decision, every appointment has his personal ideology written all over it. And its all aided and abetted by a compliant right wing press. Nothing has the authenticity of government for the common good.
Tim went on to talk about leadership, character and values. It was an area in which I take a deep interest because I have often stated that our Prime Minister is the most perverted liar to ever grace the halls of Parliament. And I don’t say that lightly. I am not generally in the habit of calling people liars. Tony Abbott has never transformed from negative opposition leader to respected statesman. He cannot do so because his personality traits are so deeply ingrained. And as Tim said:
Good thinking Australians are being silenced.
Well if we are to believe the polls the Abbott led Government is the least popular newly elected government ever. And that also applies for Abbott as well. Six months into a first term, governments are usually enjoying a honeymoon period. Not so Abbott who seems unfazed by it all as he governs with the negative psychology of opposition. On top of that his daily language is both simplistically embarrassing, arrogant and internationally offensive. One wonders what destructive policy direction he will take one day to the next.
The following is lifted from my piece titled ‘’The Inequity of Inequality’’ I may be in danger of repeating myself but sometimes the truth needs some force behind it.
Thus far on the evidence available it is clear that the Prime Minister is taking us on a journey of inevitable inequality. Every action, every decision seems to be designed to advantage wealth and privilege. And he is doing so aided and abetted by big business, the IPA, mining corporations and lobbyists plus the influence of one of the most corrupt and malevolently obnoxious media barons that ever walked this earth. Abbott’s government is willing to supress information if it suits their aims and one has to wonder what other information they are supressing. Explicit lying by the Prime Minister and his Ministers is so common and frequent that it has invaded our normal vernacular to the point where the average punter is no longer able to distinguish between it and truth.We are experiencing a new form of government. Something approaching extremism. Well it’s certainly not Liberalism. That’s a word Abbott rarely uses.
It remains to be seen how effective these marches will be but one thing is for sure. At this time in our history this citizen’s protest is seriously merited. I endorse Tim Jones and his citizens Marches. And I do so wholeheartedly.
Here is a list of Abbott’s broken promises (refer to this topic).
“In terms of social activism. The word wait should never mean never”.
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