An open letter to Julia Gillard | Courier Mail

 

Dear Julia,

If Australia were a family, you would be the head of the household, the top decision-maker and the holder of the purse strings. You would be, in fact, our parent – or at least fulfilling the parent role.

You are supposed to look after us and our interests. You are supposed to listen and nurture, support and help us grow. Lately, you seem to have forgotten that.

It would be great to be able to feel like Australia was one big, functional family.

Functionality sometimes means sorting out differences and that requires you to listen.

We know sometimes what we want and what we need are two different things. And we know there are times when we probably need a little healthy disciplining for our long-term good. But we are not babies any more, Julia. Many of us are unhappy with many of the big decisions you have made lately on our behalf. Please consider the following six big concerns:

Trade in live cattle

We were sickened in June when Four Corners showed what some already knew – cattle grown here and transported live to Indonesia are being shockingly mistreated before being inhumanely slaughtered. Trade was suspended to ensure better practices were put in place. But a month later it started again, even though nothing had really changed. It felt like you were forced to stop the trade because we howled so loudly, but flicked the switch on again because we were distracted by other dramas and the siblings in the bush were screaming. You are giving us whiplash. Animal cruelty is never, ever OK by us. No excuses.

Trade in human beings

The political focus on asylum seekers is way out of proportion to the size of the problem. We’re not the only country with people in peril on our doorstep and others don’t treat them like things to be shelved and shuffled. Others don’t violate due process by locking them up without charge or make them another country’s problem. They offer a hand to those who need it and process many more of them with a speed that would spin our heads. Trading human beings is never, ever OK by us. No excuses.

Gay marriage

All families comprise diverse and interesting individuals and ours is no exception. But, Julia, don’t you think it’s time we stopped pretending homosexuals are lesser people? Penny Wong announced two days ago she and her female partner are expecting a child. Doesn’t that demonstrate the greatest expressions of love are not always between a man and a woman? Let gay people marry, for Pete and Peta’s sake. It would be equality in action and drag us into the modern world. It would also stop our cousin nations thinking we are backward bigots.

Big taxes

What hurts the big end of town eventually hurts us, too. You say the way you have set up taxes on carbon emissions and mineral extraction won’t hurt the little people, but we know better. Don’t mess with the geese that lay the golden eggs – any fairytale fan could tell you that. It will end in tears for us all. Again, cousin countries think we are loopy for tampering with the big-ticket things that ensure we are a player in the world economic market.

Communications

Please consider reviewing the family’s communications budget. What about spending less on the carbon tax explanation booklets and more on rolling out the high-speed broadband at higher speed and in a broader band? Many in the bush are going to miss out and most of us won’t see the increasingly expensive NBN for ages.

Health reform

You said last week that the deal was done and dusted, four years after your predecessor promised it. But we don’t really think that you’ve taken health responsibilities back from the states, as you said you would. And we know it may not improve the health services, which is what we need. You promised us a cooked breakfast and delivered fruit salad and toast. It is still better than sugary cereal (we hope), but just not what was promised.

Remember, Julia, as the head of the household, the world thinks you speak for us. But that is not quite true.

Please remember you got to the top of the family tree because of people’s votes and it is a privileged and precarious position. Like any family, we need the head of the household to make good and healthy decisions for us to thrive.

Kind regards,

Some people of Australia

via An open letter to Julia Gillard | Courier Mail.

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