Week 29 provided some interesting conversations with passers-by, with breaks between, giving time to think.
The first thought that came to mind was the apparent inability of government to deal with two really major issues for Australia – Climate Change and Closing the Gap.
Living in the NT, where 30% of our population is of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, and to do so at a time when recent, unprecedented bush fires have brought to prominence the ignored skills of our First Nations people in managing fire and land, the two issues are easily linked.
But they are also ones where governments cannot see easy answers, so they dump the issues in the ‘too hard’ basket and ignore the fact that time is their enemy.
Do you remember Tony Abbott’s reference to ‘lifestyle choices’ in relation to the WA government threatening to reduce or remove services from remote communities?
We are daily damaging the lives of those in remote communities by failing both to support their right to their culture and to include them in discussions on how best to achieve that end.
To state the bleeding obvious, those whom we elect to provide us with our laws and security, seem blind to all but those issues which relate to increasing wealth – and not necessarily for everyone!
The extent of animal life lost in the bush fires was horrendous, and valiant efforts were made, by those who care, to nurse back to life as many as possible of those victims of the fires which were badly burnt.
These included many koalas, whose habitat was also decimated by the fires.
But the embers had not yet cooled, when that habitat was further denuded for profit!
Untampered with, the environment provides many people – and other life forms – a quality of life which money cannot buy, yet governments are hell-bent on supporting those who are happy to destroy the environment in the search for a profit.
COVID-19 has, indirectly, been a friend to conservatives, as dealing with the pandemic, making it a headline issue, allows the Coalition government the ideal opportunity to ignore everything else, and, secretly, plan greater levels of support for fossil fuels.
I have read The Lord of the Rings many times and, as with CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, have felt the good vs evil theme underlying many aspects of the works.
Certainly, the picture of Scott Morrison, fondling a piece of coal, is etched in my mind with Morrison’s features replaced by those of Gollum, as portrayed in the film of JRR Tolkien’s famous book!
As a progressive, I welcome necessary change with open arms. I was 3 when WWII began, was briefly evacuated, with my family, away from London during the Battle of Britain, enjoyed a complete revision of the education system under Clement Attlee and escaped the UK before the Iron Lady’s disastrous reign of terror, so the changes I have seen and experienced at first hand in my time to date have been both awesome and troubling.
Awesome, in terms of the almost exponential rate of developments in technology.
Troubling, because of the extent to which conservative forces have driven a wedge between those who have much more than enough, and those who can barely support life! And in the process tried to destroy the trades unions.
Unions, like corporations and governments, have their heroes and their villains. But improvement in working conditions, across the board, was achieved through union actions, and those improvements are being steadily removed by conservative governments at the urging of employers.
Some countries manage to find a far better balance and achieve lower levels of inequality than exists in Australia, without losing a democratic process.
There is really, IMHO, no doubt that the love of money is the root of all evil.
And many of those who measure themselves by the level of their wealth, heap scorn and disdain on those who have, by neither inheritance nor good fortune, been able to match them.
Clive Palmer is placed firmly in our sights, when we think of people whose undivided self-interest ignores the needs of others – and we are lumbered with the current Coalition government, courtesy of Palmer’s ill-gotten wealth!
Now he reminds me of AA Milne’s Kenneth Grahame’s **Toad of Toad Hall – and when that was written, cane toads were not Australian residents!
Two more year’s of misgovernment by Morrison and his cohort is a daunting prospect, but, short of a revolution (YES PLEASE! I’ll be in that!), we do have an opportunity to plan for the downfall of those whose only source of pleasure and security is derived from the economy.
I have seen many tweets recently from John Hewson – a small ‘l’ liberal and a decent man – and, but for the GST, we might have been enjoying a much more satisfactory approach to government than was engineered by Howard and Costello, once Paul Keating departed the scene.
We have an election in the NT on Saturday 22 August, 2020, and many have already voted.
Whoever wins, I shall continue my weekly Wednesday vigil outside the NT Parliament House, because Climate Change is not just a local issue, it is not even just a national issue – it is a global issue, and ignoring it will create a far worse burden for our great-grandchildren than will the COVID-19 debt!
And as for our First Nations – there are growing signs of progress, but we all need to be more aware of the need to properly recognise their right to genuine recognition in whatever forms they seek.
I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
** Correction courtesy of a reader.
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