Home' LOTL : November 2004 Contents Well, I suppose that lesbian mothers are unlikely to get
kicked off the single parent pension in the immediate
future -- though perhaps some quid pro quo will be introduced,
like having to attend some reactionary fundamentalist Sunday
school to qualify.
The only real highlight of the sorry affair was how lovely
Natasha is now replete with her burgeoning womb. Too bad
about her party.
Did the majority of Australians vote for conser vative social
policies with an economic package attached, or the other way
around? The consensus is that the election was won on the basis
of interest rates, and that this took priority over dispatching the
prime minister who sent us to war on shaky intelligence, who
deliberately slandered asylum seekers for electoral advantage and
who will align this country further still with the agenda of the
The realisation that many Australians are presumed to vote
on the basis of economic self-interest has been instructive for me
in clarifying what it is that I aspire to for my family. To begin
with, I like where I live. Gentle readers, I hope that I won't
shock you if I confess that I rent, and that that situation doesn't
look like resolving itself in the near future. I live in an area that
reelected its Labor left member Anthony Albanese, but where a
substantial percentage of the vote went to that last refuge of the
idealists, The Greens. So I'd rather stay right here around like-
minded people than migrate to the mortgage belt.
Like any parent, I want my daughter to have every
opportunity. I want her to breathe clean air, grow a strong
healthy body and have an active, curious and unfettered mind. I
also want to raise a child for whom the term 'getting ahead'
necessarily poses the question, ahead of whom? At what cost?
Not a pious do-gooder, but an agent of social change who will
take seriously the responsibilities that we bear in return for the
privileges of our comparative affluence. Someone who will
recognise that government is about providing the str uctures
BAD, BETTER, BEST: NICOLA ROXON, NATASHA STOTT-DESPOJA AND MEM FOX
IT'S ALL OVER. CAN THERE POSSIBLY BE A
SILVER LINING ATTACHED TO THE OMINOUS
BLACK CLOUD NOW HOVERING OVER
AUSTRALIA FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS,
ASKS BRIDGET HAIRE.
that support the ideal of equity for its citizens (and liberal
policies toward those fleeing discrimination and persecution).
Right now my little woman of the future is busy changing the
nappies on an assortment of teddies, rabbits and other creatures
without regard for colour or brand. Is that a good sign?
OK, you don't have to be a shrink to know that what a
mother wishes for her child contains her own dreams, mislaid,
postponed or abandoned. Frankly, Howard's reelection has
made me feel guilty for my own political inertia. Hell, Lucy and
I didn't even go letterboxing for this one! And clearly the anti-
war marches did diddle-squat for turning the tide of opinion
where it counts.
Both the major parties ditched the lesbian and gay niche-
market without hesitating for a second. Clearly as a voting force,
residing predominantly in our beloved inner-city ghettos, our
rights aren't worth pissing off Middle America -- oops --
Australia. That's not such a surprise, though it was handled
particularly objectionably by Nicola Roxon.
What I fear more than the actual refusal to grant same-sex
couples the right to marry -- or even to consider that the
marriage laws, as written, could include that possibility -- is the
way that political discourse is shifting towards it becoming
socially acceptable to say that you are just thinking of yourself.
Both major parties are guilty of this, as we have witnessed in this
last campaign so focused on economic minutiae. That might
manifest now as voting for the party that will deliver short-term
jobs at the expense of old-growth forests.
Next thing you know, we'll be debating Asian immigration
again and revamping the old White Australia policy disguised
as pragmatic border protection. And bugger the homeless and
the dispossessed cluttering up our streets and reducing
There's an old anarchist saying: "It doesn't matter who you
vote for, the government always gets in". But at least we could
opt for a government that leans towards Mem Fox rather than
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