“Is it becoming clear yet that the conservative ideology espoused by Abbott and the LNP jeopardises the average Australian family’s way of life?” asks Matt Hurley.
I read yesterday morning with complete disbelief the government has requested the Clean Energy Finance Corporation not fund wind farms. The LNP are beyond wearing their motivations on their sleeves. They’re selling us out. A clean, prosperous future forsaken to wring a bit more dirty money out of the ground.
I was going to write my typical diatribe on the subject which appeals only to those who are already politically aware and attuned, and the rest sitting back thinking “OMG shut up, Hurley.” Instead I’m going on a different tangent.
It may come as a surprise, but I’m not a bitter, miserable, angry bastard who sits back and picks fault with everything. It could be an easy conclusion to come to, but the reality is quite the opposite. I’m a happy guy with a lot to be grateful for. I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful family, many truly outstanding friends and brothers, and a job in construction that whilst lacking in intellectual stimulation is sufficient to provide for my family.
So why do I get so worked up about the sorry state of affairs that is Australia? Why do I care? Why am I constantly railing against the government? Why don’t I just ‘shut up and stop thinking so much’ as I have been told to innumerable times?
Because it is clear to me that many of the things that contribute to my happiness are under attack by our elected conservative government and society’s underlying shift to the right. The things that make me happy are fairly universal; family and friends. I wish to demonstrate what it is about right wing politics that has perturbed me so, and why every little thing they do affects all Australians.
My family is the product of Australia’s brilliant public health system. My wife pregnant with mono-amniotic twins, we were lucky enough to have publicly funded access to an obstetrician who is a world renowned expert in complex multiple births. Upon their safe arrival they were cared for by the friendliest and most caring of pediatricians and midwives, all on the taxpayer funded public health system. Conservatives hate universal health care, they would do away with it in a heart beat, and no one can say they haven’t tried. I owe my family to publicly funded universal healthcare.
The various doctors, nurses and midwives who have assured my family’s good health are all university educated. We have a system in Australia that allows people to pursue a university education based on their abilities; how suitable they are for academic pursuits, not necessarily how much money they have. Guess which way around the conservatives would have it? Yeah, they tried that too.
Conservatives hold nurses in contempt. And ambos. And firefighters. Unions and penalty rates are the antithesis to their ideology. One only need look at the lead up to the Victorian state election to see that. In my immediate family alone, I am proud to count two career firefighters and three who have worked, or still do work as nurses, so the conservative ideology is an attack on a good deal of my family’s livelihood.
Is it becoming clear yet that the conservative ideology espoused by Abbott and the LNP jeopardises the average Australian family’s way of life? I think what people need is a catalyst. Some act of political treachery that hits a bit too close to home.
The major catalyst in my transition from apolitical to keen political observer was Queensland’s anti-association laws. They were billed as anti-bikie laws. Some years ago I began hanging around with a small Melbourne based patched motorcycle club. A widely varied and colourful bunch ranging from scholars to truck drivers, I found them to be people of exceptional character and integrity. They welcomed me with open arms and encouraged me to just be myself. I soon became one of them.
Whilst my club was not on the list of clubs banned in Queensland, I saw Campbell Newman’s VLAD laws as a full frontal attack on something I hold dear: The freedom to associate with whomever I want. Thus began my dissent. It opened my eyes to all manner of betrayals and deceptions being committed in our names.
The silver lining is if it wasn’t for these anti-bikie laws I would probably not have stumbled across another collective of activist motorcycle enthusiasts amongst which I have befriended many great writers, dissidents, and assorted maniacs with a similar passion for what is good and right.
Given that in roughly a years time we might be looking at a federal election, I have the next 12 months to convince my friends that there is something worth your consideration, worth your time, worth changing, worth protecting, worth fighting for.
We always get the government we deserve, and if we only think about politics in the ten minutes waiting in line to get to the ballot box, making stupid decisions like “my family has always voted blah so I’ll just vote blah”, we deserve the government that takes us for fools and betrays our country’s future for a dirty hole in the ground.