This afternoon I saw this contribution in the Guardian that I believe misses the point of MarchinMarch.
You can read Simon Copland’s post here.
It fails in a number of areas.
Firstly, the item attempts to generalise who will actually make up the audience and claiming it is “the Australian left” is simply lazy journalism.
Sure, there will be plenty of Lefties involved but if you look back to the WorkChoices protest (which was the last protest I went to), there were folk from many different industries some of which were the antithesis of the Greens, but there was also a healthy turn up of the Greens too. Perhaps the point is too subtle for Simon but folk were there for their lifestyle, their wage cuts, and the protection of their kids futures. The political party was an incidental. It just happened that John Howard didn’t appreciate that hitting the pay packets of Aussies might upset them and made the call that led to him losing even his own seat.
A second point I would like to make is the generalising on why we are marching.
As I pointed out in my previous post, the motivations will be different across the spectrum. Some wish to connect with Tony Abbott while I wish to connect with the Liberal Party. Others will no doubt be trying to connect to the crowd. In all likelihood some will march who wish Tony to resign but trying to attach that naive aim across all the attendants is disingenuous or lazy or perhaps simply click bait.
Finally, there is an overriding point that the Writer does not seem to appreciate at all.
Joining the march shows others who are ready to despair at the lack of respect shown to the Voters that they are not alone. That Democracy can’t be left to the pollies. That given enough folk getting off their backsides, pollies can be directed and managed by the Voters.
Perhaps Simon is like most of the Voters who currently take what they are given and simply put up with the quality we have. But in these days of Social Media we stand on the brink of being able to demand smarter decisions and of holding them accountable. Immediately. None of the old waiting 3 long years to punish the bad decisions as happened in John Howard’s case.
Done thoughtfully, we get pollies who respect the Voters. Leave them to their own devices and we get the double speak we are getting now.
Can the march force immediate change. Hell no. And nor is it designed to. But look at the long term picture and if it results in folk becoming politically aware, then we are on the way to having our wishes considered by whoever is in power.
In summary, Simon is looking the wrong way. Turn away from the pollies and look at the crowd. If it’s big enough then that is where the future lies. If it only reaches the size of the Alan Jones debacle, then we will be stuck with platitudes and eventual apologies.
The tools exist but we need the enthusiasm to use them intelligently. It’s really up to us.