A Political Beginning

Wednesday, 4 February 2004
I was a young Labor member in my late teens, volunteering at elections and spruiking the word amongst all I knew. But like many, after the twin GST disasters – the tax and the Good Ship Tampa – derailed the party in 2001 and the Crean years descended, I began voting Socialist Alliance or Greens, and lost all hope that I would ever see a party I supported in power again.

My main political beliefs now could be summed up as follows (in no particular order of importance to me):

• Government investment in infrastructure and regulation of industry;

• Deficit is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it creates jobs;

• Universal, free healthcare and education;

• Equal rights for same sex couples;

• An Australian republic, and get the damn Union Jack OFF our flag;

• Absolute separation of church and state;

• Refugees are not queue jumpers, usually they are coming from places where there’s no queue to jump; they should be out in the community and their kids should be going to school and playing in the park;

• Troops out of Iraq NOW;

• Say sorry…and work out a treaty;

• Social security payments should be above the poverty line;

• Change the national anthem to “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead.

(Okay, okay the last one is a joke…mostly).

But I’m not a left wing nut. I’m widely read, and I have studied tertiary economics, politics and industrial relations, so I do know of which I speak. On top of which, I know many people who have battled mental and physical illness, unemployment, and lack of opportunity; people who are deeply in love, have been for years, and will never be legally recognised as a couple; people who are poor and hopeless, in the original sense of the word, through no fault of their own. I have seen for too long and too often the suffering caused by the Howard government.

Things have to change. Please cow Mark Latham can be elected and change them.
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