Sunday, August 28, 2005

Where are the protesters of yesteryear?

The latenight – but now slightly revised - rant below was partially prompted by a newsclip of Australian Prime Minister John Howard being heckled by protesters as he entered a State Liberal Party convention.

Howard is now Australia’s longest continuously serving Prime Minister. & it’s gone to his head. He’s starting to think he’s God & will live & rule forever. But the country has become so complacent, &, in the main, though I hate to use the word, middle-class, & there is no-one in the opposition Labor party who can challenge him because they’re trying to claim the same ground, but the Liberals seem much better managers of it. Christ knows what it will take to fuel the social, socialist anger that should be there.

& the protesters? Not that many of them these days though the causes should be sufficient to bring at least half the nation’s population out on to the streets if the nation had a soul. Industrial relations, where the government is trying to bring in individual labour contracts that mean paid holidays, job security, sick leave, even meal breaks, can be done away with; the treatment of asylum seekers; the treatment of the indigenous population; the sale of the remaining 51% of the national telco that the government owns (which has just pumped half of its last year profit of $4 billion into the country’s coffers) & which will then adhere to the current mantra of fuck social conscience, follow profits. The government is tightening its grip on universities. Now it’s diminish the quality of your education, sell your degrees to the paying students, & if you don’t do that, then the government will tell you what you are allowed to teach.

Then there’s Iraq, where the government is blindly following the burning Bush. Even the just-retired Head of the Armed Forces is saying that Australia should withdraw before the end of next year instead of this crap about being there “as long as it takes”.

So much to protest about, & so few protesters, especially when you consider that the ones heckling Howard covered all the above. But I did find some joy in seeing them, & found much humour in one of the signs being displayed.
Think outside
the Pentagon

1 comment:

Michael Parker said...

I enjoyed reading this post Mark. It's good to see that there are like-minded people in Australia as there are in America. Our opposition party, the Democrats, are more than quite useless right now.