I’ve been trying to keep my head down and ignore the last futile groans of the election campaigns here in Australia. We vote on Saturday, for the benefit of my international readers. I can’t help approach these elections with a sense of impending doom. It certainly doesn’t look good. It seems almost certain (although I hate to say this, let alone write it) that Australia will be voting in a backward and conservative government that seems to be anti everything: anti-refugees, anti-equality, anti-environment, anti-education (I literally cried reading this). I hear around me people smugly commenting how they simply can’t wait for the arrival of this new conservative government, which will ‘fix’ the economy when our economy is one of the best in the world, and will ‘fix’ the problem of government spending ‘waste’, as if people are a commodity and as if a country as rich and privileged as Australia can really complain about waste of tax-payer money when other countries are barely surviving in this mad, fucked up world.
The overwhelming sense of unearned privilege, the complacent bubble that Australia seems to have encased itself in, the lack of self-introspection and concern for our position and responsibilities in the world, and the lack of appreciation of what we actually have, and how grateful we should be for it – it all makes me sick. I’m thinking about it now, and I feel like the bile is rising up in my throat. No, this is not me being dramatic, it’s me truly feeling like this country is heading in a stupid direction; and it’s my generation and the one after mine that will end up paying for it while rich, white, middle-aged men pat themselves on the back for saving a few dollars.
Yeah, governments come and go in waves. But in the mean time, we allow certain things to be eroded when we fall into the latest conservative wave. I’m here in Australia because my parents were smart enough to realise that Australia is a better place to raise their children than where I was born. I don’t take that for granted any more than I take my education for granted. It’s time every one of us looked around us and saw just how much we have, and how much we can give, and much we can stop complaining about government spending and fixating about the fetish that is surplus. And did the decent thing and not vote in a reactionary and backward government. I know, it’s a lost cause now. So back to putting my head down and ignoring the world until this is all over.