When my family and I migrated to Australia in 1949, leaving a war-torn Europe behind, we all called it a ‘Lucky Country’.
I felt proud to be Australian in the 1950s and I still feel proud to be Australian, but that would be greatly diminished if this great country were to be represented by Tony Abbott as prime minister. He has nothing of the dignity of some of the past prime mnisters, Labor or Liberal, such as Sir Robert Menzies in the 1950s, later Malcolm Fraser, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating.
The Australia of the 1950s represented the economic boom years, a land of opportunity for all, even if it was isolated geographically and to a great extent culturally.
Of course all that has changed greatly, Australia being a rich multicultural society now.
In terms of geography, ‘the good old days’ are over, and it is no good pretending that we are insular from the rest of the world.
We are now part of a world at large with its economic crisis, environmental crisis and in many parts of the world, a humanitarian crisis.
Listening to Tony Abbott it is obvious he does not only lack dignity, but his speeches in this election campaign especially in terms of economics, does not make any reference to Australia in a global context.
At least Kevin Rudd represents in a global context, including economics.
Australia’s economic situation cannot be separated from the world’s economic situation, and as a recent letter writer said ‘Labor has done well in fearful times’.
We are no longer an insular Australia of the 1950s.
‘Cut, cut, cut’ is not a solution to a very complex situation we are facing.
We all want sound economic management no matter what party we vote for, but our Commonwealth (common wealth) will depend on how our common needs of food, shelter and fulfillment are met, including the needs of our most vulnerable children, the aged and people with disabilities, as well as the average person and the highly functional person in our society.
The common wealth will not work with more and more power falling into the hands of the transnational corporate elite.
I’m afraid that a conservative Liberal government will also let the mining and logging companies continue to degrade the environment even if it is against the will of many people.
Anna Hill, Tyagarah