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Quiet Australians

By 2353NM  

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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14 comments

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  1. Baby Jewels

    They do nothing else well, but the Regressives are very good at the con-job.

  2. Josephus

    The danger is that feeling betrayed can lead to fascism. Oh, we are already part way there?
    The Greens get c 10% of the vote, yet only a few seats in Parliament. Voters need proportional representation if democracy means anything.
    Labor needs to slacken its ties to the conservative Unions and modernise. But it won’t. It is in bed with the gas and coal companies and accepts donations from big business.

  3. Wayne Turner

    Quiet Australians = Empty Slogan. The non-thinkers of the public,who struggle to put two words together aka idiots.

    Labor has to combat the biased MSM,which includes the ABC. Plus,an ignorant electorate.

  4. Matters Not

    Re:

    need proportional representation if democracy means anything.

    Would be a start. But why shouldn’t we be moving from a representative democracy towards a participatory one? Seemed to work with marriage equality so why not build on that foundation?

    Why – we could even make use of the available technology just as we do with so many other aspects of daily life. Instead of ticking a box or two every three or four years and then being effectively disenfranchised (and disempowered) we could actually become a living, breathing, vibrant democracy. Or is that taking the concept of democracy back to an unrealistic ideal?

  5. David Bruce

    I would like to see political parties treated the same way the lnp treat unions. Nothing in our Australian Constitution recognizes political parties and I don’t remember a referendum where we were asked to authorize them! The two party system we have is a divide and rule tactic which is failing our democratic system of government: of the people, by the people, for the people. As MN says, we could do better!

    ScuMo is doing a good job in waking people up to the failures of our current system, so I will continue to encourage him to piss people off…

  6. Josephus

    Matters not , that worked in Ancient Greece, but here? Switzerland has its referenda but is far smaller in size and population. Also, if all is decided by popular vote you can get Brexit or Hitler too, because wisdom is not universal and because wealthy and powerful people play to prejudice using the media.

  7. Kerri

    I think Morrison’s “quiet Australians” are like his god! A figment of his imagination and a tool to justify whatever he wants to do!
    It is very easy to claim the high moral ground when you claim to represent someone whose existence you cannot prove!
    There are no “quiet Australians” and it is long overdue that we smash this myth forever.
    The press need to interrogate Morrison to prove how he knows what these non-existent people really want!
    His claim to be listening to the “quiet Australians” is like many a preacher’s claim to have been told by god!
    A self serving, bully pulpit fiction.

  8. Matters Not

    Josephus, yep there would be problems – no doubt. Even in Ancient Greece it didn’t involve the whole population just a minority BUT there wasn’t the technology that’s available today. Then – you had to be physically present to have your vote counted. Not so (today) if we use the available technology. And yes we could get a Brexit or even a Hitler with a popular vote (not sure Hitler was elected BTW) and wisdom is not universal plus wealthy and powerful people play to prejudice using the media.

    Seems to me you are making a great case against democracy – against giving real power to the people. But pray tell, don’t we have a mountain of problems (and unresponsiveness) under the current arrangements when we are effectively ruled by philosopher kings such as Dutton, Taylor and Morrison (to continue the Greek analogy)? You know the current rulers who display such wisdom?

    If we believe in democracy, then let’s make it real. If not, then we should carry on as we are. And that’s working so well isn’t it? But maybe not.

    As for the marriage equality vote, the people said yes even though Dutton and Morrison (our current wise leaders) said no. Who do you think got that decision right?

  9. Regional Elder

    “. 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, ….. “

    In one sense, being a Sydney based political leader should be seen as a realpolitique asset for Albanese, in his quest to become PM. After all, when the next election comes around in 2022, for 25 years of the 31 since 1991 when Keating assumes leadership, our Prime Ministers will have originated from Sydney, all Liberal Sydney dwellers of course for those 25 years, the exception being Keating. Over his 11 years, John Howard of course played a major role in relocating the centre of Australian politics from Canberra to Sydney. For the political power base of both major parties now lies in Sydney. For the Liberals, this might seem obvious enough, not just in the PM incumbents we have had, but in the significant ministerial portfolios held in the various governments since the 1990s, and the fact that the Liberals primary media advocacy support Murdoch’s NewsCorps, the ABC, and the right wing shock jocks led by Alan Jones, who give voice to Liberal policy and practice. All are essentially Sydney-dominant institutions.

    And for Labor, those two ‘deviant ‘ city of origin Prime Ministers, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, were each actively undermined by the right wing of the NSW Labor Party. Remember Mark Arbib ? And, for six years, Labor’s Prime Ministerial aspirant, Melbourne-based Bill Shorten, was strongly undermined by the Sydney-based main stream media outlets in close dovetail with Abbott, then Turnbull and now more recently Morrison.

    From conservative Sydney establishment’s point of view on either side of politics, Shorten’s leadership demise in May this year, thus re-establishes a comfortable even reassuring status quo. Prime Ministerial aspirants will again properly originate from Sydney. For some voters in Queensland, now the home of wall-to-wall Murdoch propaganda and misinformation and the state where Clive Palmer prefers to make his millions, there will be a grudging acceptance of Albanese as alternative Prime Minister. For these Australians, what lies south of the Murray are indeed strange lands and cultures, very different from their own, of whom Bill Shorten came to be seen as representative of this foreign-ness. In Victoria at the 2019 election, some 21 of the 38 House of Rep seats were won by Labor, with a Greens candidate winning one of the 17 remaining. In contrast, Queensland’s 30 House of Reps seats, just 6 came in for Labor.

    Following the Royal Commission into unions set up by the unscrupulous Tony Abbott where Shorten was the prime target, Shorten’s style and manner were systemically derided, and over the six years, he never really recovered from this. In the weeks prior to the election, Clive Palmer’s $60 million advertising blitz against Labor and Shorten in particular, did the rest. …… particularly in Palmer’s state of Queensland.

    This commentary is not intended in any way to throw scorn on Albanese in his present position as alternative Prime Minister. Right now, he is the best available person for the job, and his Sydney location actually enhances his chances of success. However, the task ahead of him is more than formidable. For he needs to find ways through Labor, to better unite the country, cities and the regions, the world views dominant in different states of this nation, and the growing inequality between citizens, while concurrently the forces of power behind Morrison’s Prime Ministership, continue to consolidate. What will be thrown at Albanese in the next two years will be very heavy political and personal denigration from those same forces. Let’s hope he has the personal strength, the political will, and the support of his Party to be able to withstand this, and to transcend it.

  10. Alan Crabtree

    Many years ago around 2000 I thought that computers and the internet could lead to a new form of democracy whereby we could vote online on issues of major import. Now that we have Getup I see it as being a way forward. I also feel that in little time the Greens will inherit the earth, figuratively speaking, unless you don’t get my drift.

  11. New England Cocky

    “It’s all very 1984ish really — isn’t it?”

    Too much so, even to the extent that a political skeptic could reasonably conclude that we are seeing the Liarbral nat$ misgovernment heading down the road to a Stalinist like dictatorship, where only the donors to the party machine are considered important enough to receive any government services.

    Then there is the “contribution to Australian democracy” being made by Benito Duddo, Scummo’s answer for xenophobia among the LIarbrla faithful.

    Yep!! Too many similarities to 20th century European politics, the attempt by the ‘ruling classes’ and foreign multinational corporations to take control of and exploit national resources for their own profit without regard for Australian voters.

  12. Kaye Lee

    I have a lot of regard for Mark Butler. He really does know what he is talking about. But on Q&A last night, he bought into the McCormack drivel that now is not the time to talk about climate change. They seem to think that if we talk about how we have wilfully exacerbated the risk of drought and bushfires, that it somehow stops our emergency response or that it is in some way disrespectful to people who have been impacted.

    WHAT ROT! That is pure politics..

  13. johno

    Fully agree Kaye, utter bullshit.

  14. johno

    This really is bizzare, it’s like ‘he who must not be named’ in Harry Potter.

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