Sometimes I wonder what actually goes on in people’s heads! The lengths taken to hide, disguise, camouflage, cover-up, masquerade, conceal … you get the picture… literally takes my breath away. In my religious tradition we called on the sins of omission as much as the sins of commission and this is what sent me in a spin when I saw the first election campaign video of the Prime Minister. He talked about the number of lives saved, the number of jobs saved, the ambition of 16 year old students … and all I could think of was the number of lives lost, the deconstruction of the Federation while the States filled in all the gaps of the Commonwealth, the under-employment, the number of businesses that have closed, the streets lined with empty shops, students saying yes to starting their own businesses because the state has failed to provide runways to the new economy for them. I poured myself a Coopers Pale Ale beer and ate a roast lamb sandwich on home made bread and that felt like I was contributing to my local economy more than an act of nationalism! Oh dear another quotation mark has just appeared. I am begging any of you who has a vote in Australia to vote them out – if not for yourself, actually not for yourself, but for the next generation and the next and the next. This can’t go on. We are at the now or never moment as the IPCC told us, once again, this week.
I find it incredulous that there are people who voted for a man that denies climate change, worships a God that bears no resemblance to the founder of the firm and whose default is to blame others. I have seen this close at hand before and I bet you have too. The man who pulls on a cloak to hide all kinds of sins, asking for trust now promising better times ahead; the fellow who seduces with a warm, caring perhaps even fatherly voice, and behind your back when you are out of ear shot is charming and extending his hand in friendship or something more intimate (note – be like Grace and turn away); how about the guy who actually steals from you, he steals your hopes, dreams, future, maybe even some money, and then says it was all for you? If you recognise any of these behaviours, or can touch into what it feels like? Then warn your friends, tell your family – vote them out! These behaviours are playing themselves out on the national stage and we need to make sure all crumbs lead to the ballot box. There are ballot boxes every day for these kind of people – so vote them out of your life too!
The invisible strings that are being pulled while the campaign is being put together come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Did you notice the PM’s voice a little deeper, apparently digitally enhanced by some sound technician. It’s time for you to pull a few invisible strings of your own and start letting people know how you are going to vote. Explain yourself and share your reasons. Invite them to do the same. Let’s build a genuine national conversation about what we want from our government.
Here is what I’m looking for in a government and therefore from my neighbours as they decide who to vote for – I am making my views very visible. This is no time for privacy – the personal is political!!
I want swift generational bold strokes to help the planet so there is a one for my grandchildren to live in. I want places to be supported to address the climate challenges they are experiencing and will experience on their terms. I want to know that refugees will be welcome and protected and those still in the twilight zone to be able to go to university, get medical support and feel sage. I want to know the oceans aren’t an afterthought in the climate justice work. I want a complete overhaul of our defence spending and it diverted to health, education and affordable housing. I want every new Mum to have all that she needs and that every child for the first 1000 days is supported to reach their potential. I want treaties and a voice to parliament. I want a Truth Commission. I want equity in investment aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals. And I think that is enough to get started. I want you to know what was in my mind completely unencumbered by any low grade mask or high grade PPE. Come out and play and let’s do it!
This is not a time to be invisible.
PS I am working with the Ethical Fields crew building a campaign for a Minister for Community Wealth Building. If that interests you head over to the website where there is a White Paper you can download.