Monday, March 11, 2013

A Question of Leadership

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

(From The Hollow Men, by TS Eliot)

I went to dream group the other night, came out of the session and found that we in Victoria had a new state Premier.

Was I dreaming?

Being honest, I wasn't that surprised, though I thought he'd last a few more days before resigning. Things were imploding all over the place - the state is in a bit of a mess in some sectors for a while nor - our Premier, though universally known as a nice guy, wasn't handling things - and there were rumours of corruption and broken ranks within the state Liberal Party.

Will I miss Big Ted? Nup, though I bear him no ill will - unlike Tony Abbott who I wish would do a Harry Holt and disappear off a beach on one of his regular swims of Manly Beach. (Here Sharky, Sharky, Sharky...)

Could we dream away Tony Abbott at dream group?  I wish.

Just looking at politics in Australia on a state and federal level, never before have I been so underwhelmed or so frightened. Completely and utterly disheartened by the whole process in Australian politics at the moment. Nothing can be taken for granted, the factions are ruling the roosts, the right wing loonies are coming out of the woodwork and things that we have held dear are being dismantled and sold off to corporations to mismanage.

I'm just wanting a reasonable, rational, respected leader to take the range.

Where is a bloody statesman when you need one?

We haven't had a statesman leading the country for a long time. Rudd was up there, but not to the caliber of other men we've had leading the country - I look at Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, even I hate to say it, Bob Hawke. Men who commanded some sort of respect and admiration. Men who's word you trusted in representing the country.

People who commanded a modicum of respect. Even if you didn't like them that much.

For the "leaders" of today, where is this je ne sais quoi that defines a leader. Where has this gone?

Who the fuck are these hollow men and women leading the country?

Is it too much to ask that we get a leader that we vote for to stay in office - none of this factional bollox which is making the place feel like it's as stable as a jenga tower.

Is it about time that we changed our constitution to have an elected president rather than a party leader who is interchangeable depending on what party faction is in power?

Is about time that we overhaul our voting standards so that compulsory voting (or at least the compulsory requirement to turn up to a polling booth on voting day) be seen as redundant so those who don't give a shit don't have to turn up - leave voting to those who care.

Isn't it about time we start calling into question all of the band aid fixes that going on at the moment, having no concern for the future - I'm talking about the under funding and decimation of our education houses and health facilities.

For crap's sake, we're going to need tradespeople in the future - killing off TAFE is killing off trades. We're an aging population - why aren't we training more doctors and nurses, building more hospitals, rather than ramping them down.

Why aren't we, as a nation, calling these so-called representatives into account?

Maybe Aristotle was right - Aristocracy is the way to go - the rule of the few for the benefit of all.

We need health and education (and public transport, and decent environmental policies around sustainability and regeneration)

And we need to see this coming out of our governments, State and Federal. We need to see this now.

Not some media juggernaut.

   This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.