Time to take stock

November 9, 2016
Signe Westerberg HeadshotsFAV  (78 of 102)I’ve decided that it’s time to turn on some classy music, sit back, thank the gods/goddesses I’m not in the US and look at what we all witnessed today. It’s probably more than what we witnessed tonight but what we’ve been watching for many months now.
Like many I dismissed Donald Trump as the lunatic I think he really is, without taking time to consider that the system is simply failing the people, the workers and the children. Sadly the same is happening here. Those in most need are the ones the middle to right of politics ignores the loudest, they are yelled at, called leaners, reduced to beggars if they cannot support their children satisfactorily. Made feel less. All the while we are the ones who sit back throwing verbal stones of disgust at what our own government is doing to refugees in Nauru and on Manus. I wanted to throw things at the television today when Pauline Hanson began singing the praise of the hate and disunity that has engulfed the US, you know the land of the free, home of the brave etc etc and today it moved closer imo to Nazi Germany than the supposed land of hope and freedom. Not unlike Germany of the day, to be in politics in the US it takes money, lots of it, Hitler was a wealthy man, who like many wanted more and more and those who are left to pay the price and while I’m not suggesting the US is about to install gas chambers, no one who voted for Hitler in the beginning would have dreamt he would eventually do this in order to fulfil his personal desires, not only for wealth but for sovereignty, ideology and hate.
So the question is what can I learn from this travesty? What are the lessons we need to learn and what can we do to ensure that our people aren’t left one day facing the same uncertainty and fear that must be touching many of the people of the US tonight. I know this sounds melodramatic and perhaps a little over the top but we have politicians who could more easily than you think, walk the same line, tread the same path and in doing so lead us to the same sorts of  distress and uncertainty.
I read lots today, one thing that resonated with me was a discussion on FaceBook regarding the types of politicians and the direction our own politics is heading. this of course for me is standard reading to a point, I’m what one couldn’t deny politically active perhaps even obsessed. I have stood a number of times to represent my community and I have to admit in the back of my mind I’ve been concerned that perhaps I didn’t’ come from the right situation, not educated enough, certainly not rich enough and it occurs to me, maybe the ordinary, working class person like me is exactly what we need in politics… we’re losing the politicians that were the beginning of the Labor party, the workers, those who knew and understood the needs of their fellow workers, what it was like to struggle at times to make ends meet and let’s face it neither Clinton nor Trump would have a clue, not Turnbull, Abbott and the list goes on and on. Privilege begets privilege and we need more people representing us that actually live the same lives as we do, they know what unemployment feels like, what it’s like to have a sick kid and know that taking the time off work won’t bode well for our employments situation. The fear that removing Medicare and free health is not an inconvenience but a tragedy, a genuine worry. I think we can to a point dismiss those who might fit the bill but sit on the back benches of parliament doing as the party machine says, not willing to stir the pot, expect and demand more.  I’m proud to say my local group is truly representative of today’s community, we have people from all walks of life, people just like you and me who live day to day trying to ensure the future for their families is better than theirs. Many of us are genuinely concerned for the future we are leaving our kids and grandkids and we are working towards making that better. ( all the while being labelled the loony )  The good news is we’re going keep going, we are going to continue to raise the bar in politics, we unlike the old parties have a structure that is guided by the membership not those in ‘power’ so we’re always being held to account. I’m sure we will have many conversations over the coming days, weeks, months as we watch the US become whatever it is destined to become with such a huge change in leadership. It is however the lessons we learn that will separate us.
To digress before I go, today I attended a council advisory meeting at the Library that encourages us as a community to engage in the changes, proposed in the DCP (Development control plan) for the CBD and I encourage everyone to have a look at that and the proposed plan for the Georges River … it’s important, and we really need to speak up, after all the costs of the proposed developments have to be paid for and while Liverpool Council’s  architect attempted to assure me we have pegged rates, the reality is that if our rates are redirected to remedy situations or developments we do so by taking them from somewhere else like services and upkeep.
Back to my music, reading and preparing the submissions to council I need done. If of course your opinion about today’s post or any differs from mine, let me know, better still comment, share your views, your feelings on today’s outcome etc.
Sign off

Hatefullness and Anger

August 24, 2011

A few weeks ago I posed a question with regards to greed; it prompted some pretty interesting comments, most of which actually confirming what I had said and asked.

Today I pose another, why are some people so hateful and angry? I feel the trend amongst Conservatives is sadly one of hate and anger… be it about the carbon tax, environmental growth, caring for our ill, lesser-abled and our elderly… pretty much anything that is forward thinking and compassionate. By some people I’m referring to a section of our community (obviously not all Conservative voters) who are so hateful and so angry in everything they say and do. To make things even worse  they don’t check their facts; they are prepared to quote all kinds of rumour and all manner of nonsense without even checking.

 Last night at a forum Cllr Lucas  stated that he  wished the Greens  (I guess all of us) were buried  in a big hole although in this instance felt there wasn’t’ a hole deep enough. (Selling our assets for  mining  big holes is a topic for another time) Cllr Lucas also is angry at the Chinese; I’m certainly not sure why he singled them out but the disparaging comments and profanity certainly left no doubt.  It strikes me that he is not alone in his outspoken anger albeit uninformed and often incorrect. Is the community itself guilty of not bothering to check, for relying on biased targeted media. Another individual sited all manner of incorrect information that was clearly a mix of everything he had heard, read or seen but  together he fashioned one question/comment that made absolutely no sense, his comment covered numerous topics although clumped together in what he suggested was the carbon tax although much of it was unrelated, even to the carbon tax.

I’ve pondered this overnight and realised this morning that some time ago an independent nationwide survey was conducted into the sadness, depression of our community/country that encompassed us under the Howard regime and was endemic of a society oppressed by fear, hatefulness and sadness. Another more targeted study related to the inner Sydney Suburbs came to the same conclusion. Are we again under threat of this sad state of affairs, does not the Liberal Party and their negative advertising/media push this agenda? Do they know this and what is their purpose?

I’m the first one in for a debate, I acknowledge that all people will not agree on all things at all times, and that’s’ ok its actually great, debate is good; sharing of ideas, passions and a willingness to work towards a common goal are good things. But is this fear destroying who we are, as Australians we have been known for our friendliness, our sense of humour, our passion for life and our willingness to embrace all cultures equally, but now in the media, in blog sites, in advertising, we are being overcome by fear tactics, the sky is falling rhetoric, nastiness, hate mongering, aggressive and unreasonable behaviour, is it rubbing off on us and should we be actively aware and striving to avoid/ perhaps even overcome the negativity?

In my opinion (as is this whole blog) we have much to be grateful for, much to be proud of and a future worth looking after, for all of us, not just the rich, not just the poor but for everyone, we have much to share, should we work together to achieve this or is it all about the Me and Mine? I look forward to your comments. So over to you…