Sorry, Mr Morrison, I don’t want to be one of your quiet Australians. The problem with being quiet is that I would give the impression I implicitly support whatever you, Dutton and the other Ministers do in my name, solely because I didn’t say what I think, feel, believe or observe. The other issue is that if I do finally speak up about something that really does concern me — by definition I’m not quiet anymore and as you have demonstrated to others, you will do whatever you can to belittle and harass me back into silence.
We teach our kids to question and push boundaries — why should the Prime Minister believe that we should happily lose these skills when we ‘grow up’? If I’m a quiet Australian I accept the status quo. I don’t look for ways to improve myself, ways to improve conditions for people around me; don’t look for ways to create new, different and better ways to do things. I certainly don’t look for ways to reduce carbon emissions, make a donation or provide physical assistance to support those that need a hand, become a member of the SES, Red Cross or St John Ambulance or any of the multitude of organisations that assist all of us through the seemingly increasing number of natural disasters and other adverse events that occur in Australia or around the world.
The reason the ‘quiet Australians’ don’t do any of this is because Morrison’s Government claims they will provide all that is necessary, so by not speaking up the ‘quiet Australians’ are explicitly relying on the Morrison Government to identify and support all that they believe in, then implement it. Given that at times we all have differences of opinion with those that are nearest and dearest to us — what chance does Morrison have of identifying and addressing the wants and needs of 25 million of us? It’s all very 1984ish really — isn’t it?
It is scary that some in the ALP want to become more like the Morrison’s LNP. In short, if the options are similar it comes down (in this case) to the Prime Minister coming from Sydney’s ‘shire’ or the inner west. Either way, if the choice is Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum, why would you change anything? While neither of the major parties can immediately satisfy all the requirements of 25 million, for the current opposition to move to the other side of the Parliament, they need to promote difference, not same/same or steady as she goes.
The consensus is that Australian politics has become more conservative in the recent past. In evidence, the Greens are seen to be more progressive that the ALP and consistently receive around 10% of the vote. Years ago, the ALP ‘owned’ that progressive vote. Yes, getting along with business and the influential is important, but there is nothing wrong with selling an alternative message on equity, fairness and environmental action while you are there. It’s also fair to suggest that it isn’t only workers that would support progressive policy and business owners that support conservative policy and practice.
The ALP doesn’t need to slavishly copy the LNP, pass everything the LNP dishes up in the Parliament while rolling over like a Labrador and asking for a tummy scratch or avoiding the argument completely. For the ALP to win an election and retain its heritage it can’t be seen to be the Tweedle Dee even dumber to Morrison’s Tweedle Dum, rather they need to have the skills to understand what progressive people would prefer, document policies to create an alternative vision for Australia, convince Australians on the benefits of the program combined with the marketing to instil the message across Australia. They need to start to demonstrate to us that they are not more of Morrison’s ‘quiet Australians’ now — not 6 weeks out from the next election. Given the record of the A(bbott), T(urnbull), M(orrison) Government they have plenty of material to work with.
The alternative is that those that identify as Morrison’s ‘quiet Australians’ will realise too late that they have been taken for a ride — just like Howard’s ‘battlers’ worked out far too late when WorkChoices was introduced — then back an alternative regardless of actual capacity to fix the issues. The current chasing of ‘the middle ground’ can only mean we all experience greater disappointment and disillusionment into the future.
What do you think?
This article was originally published on The Political Sword
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