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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: My Political Fantasy

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Can we have a kindness revolution? Where people troll each other with love and compliments rather than hate speech?

This week we elect either Bill Shorten or Scott Morrison as prime minister. How did we arrive at a political system where two parties dominate so exclusively? We’ve fought for gender diversity; can we have political diversity too? It’s too binary.

Choosing between Liberal and Labor used to mean something, but now it’s like the game I used to play with my kids in the car: ‘what would you rather?’ The objective of the game is to choose two really revolting unimaginable options like… would you rather give Clive Palmer a full-body massage or spend a year living with Pauline Hanson?

We have seen a re-emergence of the radical right – but where is the radical left? Why are white supremacists getting so much air space? Where are our radicalised commies?

I don’t really like any of the election promises or platforms of our major parties. Why can’t we elect a political party that gives us what we REALLY want? Firstly NO Adani. You can’t have the two major parties saying YES.

I’d like an ambitious commitment to move to 100 per cent renewables – by let’s say 2020.

A treaty. That’s not as the young girl in front of me at Bluesfest dancing to Yothu Yindi in front of me suggested when she asked her boyfriend if the song Treaty was about ‘something yummy that you eat’.

A treaty is recognising Indigenous peoples’ history and occupation of this land, the injustices they have endured, and creates legally binding responsibilities between the parties. Australia is the only Commonwealth country without a treaty. It’s embarrassing not having one.

Free education. It was so much better when it wasn’t a business. We’ve reached peak personal trainer. Maybe we need to cap barista numbers as well. And let’s take more refugees. You’d swear we took hundreds of thousands of refugees here the way politicians carry on about border protection. But we generally don’t take more than 20,000 per annum. Let’s a trial an open-border policy. I reckon we could up that number to like 100,000 and perhaps new Australians could be trained initially to work in aged care so that staffing ratios were 1:1 instead of 1:100. Imagine getting a cup of tea when you asked for it instead of six hours later! Even your racist old nanna might start to embrace multiculturalism. I can guarantee it would also improve the food.

No offshore detention. Although maybe we could keep offshore detention but only use it for paedophiles like George Pell and his mates.

Let’s make Climate Change Denial a crime. Restorative justice would be to resettle denialists in a beachfront house on one of the Pacific islands. Once the water starts coming into the lounge room see how long it takes to embrace science.

We need to scrap the stupid trade deals and tax concessions that make imported food and goods cheaper than the food and goods we have here. Local butter shouldn’t cost more than Danish butter. Economic localisation should be mandatory. Why are we moving stuff around the world when we already have it here?

And Centrelink – can we put the ‘human’ back into human services? Stop threatening single mums with dire poverty if they don’t comply? Give people benefits if they need them – especially young people.

Then there’s the NDIS: what a debacle. Could people with disabilities and lived experience of mental health illness stop having to front up every six months to prove they’re still affected? The billions the government saved and then blamed the people with disabilities for not spending was because the poor bastards couldn’t access it. It’s not a scheme, it’s a scam. Build an economic ramp so they can access their money and start funding the services that make their lives better.

Affordable housing is bullshit. Let’s go for a vigorous community housing scheme where housing actually STAYS affordable. But not ghettos. Community housing in Bellevue Hill and Wategos. Really nice ones.

Trains. Can we have them back to our regional areas please? But can they be solar?

Can we have more smaller hospitals in our communities and fewer of the giant Westfield Shopping Centre-styled ones?

Can we have services and support for the homeless?

Can we get rid of drug prohibition? Legalise everything. Tax it. Tax me.

Tax everyone more (especially corporations and fat cats) but give us what we need free of charge. Free childcare. Free healthcare. Free dental. Free love.

And can we be kind? Can we have a kindness revolution? Where people troll each other with love and compliments rather than hate speech?

Clearly this is my Australian political fantasy. Is it yours?

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  1. Equality could be achieved without such myopic policies.
    Offshore detention for climate change deniers would be fascist.
    You want local butter, it likely has a greater carbon footprint than what’s imported in bulk. The topsoil loss would be devastating in the long term.
    Rather than affordable housing, UBI and a Public Bank would distort the market less and allow people to invest how they want.
    Smaller hospitals would be incredibly wasteful, health is one of the biggest industries and needs scale to meet needs.
    Legalisation/taxation is unlikely to allow rural folk to grow a few plants for personal medical use and will limit citizen science in breeding and non-psychoactive concoctions.
    Free childcare? It’s called being a parent. We’re animals, if you procreate, you should do the job of caring about the result and bonding with it.
    A subjective critique risks creating worse versions of the problems we were trying to solve – objectivity with the right metrics is what we need to steer policy.

    • I thought I was going to have to waste a lot of time rebutting the (mostly) bunkem in this article – but you saved me Joe

      I think we all get that there are lots of things that are tough in life, but as David Marr said in relation to the reaction to Henson over 10 years ago – do we actually have to make government responsible just because we don’t like something?

      And Stefanie – objectivity is about gathering facts in this context, rather than whining about stuff to get attention. In fact I think you would find that if most of these ideas Mandy suggests were put in place, you would have no power, no freedom and no soul – it’s called Communism. It’s like any other religion which people adhere to because they want to avoid their own mortality.

  2. Hey Joe – your comment suddenly brought to mind
    Jimmy Hendrix. By far too sad to navigate. Is this
    what we’ve grown into? To become? Objectivity…
    equality’s still limping by far behind the ‘goal post’
    & the planet’s been cut in half where the haves &
    have-nots will not ever get to so much as share
    their differences unless the have-nots take up a
    life of crime in order to join those of note. Any
    wonder there are so many life-takers. All this
    responsibility means nix because many won’t be
    allowed to think, live & feel differently. It’s a bit
    like our identity’s been legally stolen. The big end
    of town’s won. It does not pay to be human.

    • Bit confused stefanie…? still connected to COAL with all this correspondence … but its the Coalition’s
      Inaction right??? More to the point what about INDIVIDUAL’S inaction on Global warming…as they say it takes a community to raise a child !! Well it takes the country’s population to be together as one regarding Global warming right ? The hypocrisy

    • There at least 7 or maybe 8 renewables companies in Europe with trading in the billions, the rest of the world as well, including dear old Gore, and I haven’t heard of Green politicians fronting up to Centrelink. I’m on disability and consider myself a millionaire compared to a becak driver in Indonesia. Haves, have-nots? Big end of town? It’s all relative and who’s going to give up their daily croissant?

  3. Due to my background I know it takes a community to
    raise a child because it’s ‘unheard of not to do so’. As
    well, individuals/groups/blood families have risen up &
    tackled Climate Change [years ago] along with the
    banning of uranium [in large doses] & nuclear powered
    weapons to boot. Coal – ditto. Both Labor & the LNP
    are paying lip service to polluters in exchange for votes.
    The people are NOT happy Guys & Dolls… why would
    they be? I’ve been in the back of a Paddy Wagon for
    all of the above & there are a lot like me. And what
    about Pine Gap & its World Reach? Now that’s a
    suffocating question. Along with the above – if you’ve
    only the basic wage to get by on or disabled the
    situation gets worse. I ‘spose a citizen’s military is a
    possibility but I won’t go there as it’s not for an anti-
    war writer like me. Blame the times? The situations…

    • Honest response Stefanie.!!! ..but think we as individuals could do more …Governments can only do so much …

  4. I must admit that there are a couple of comments on Mandys piece with which I tend to view with a small degree of sympathy, BUT NOT MANY, AND NOT MUCH.

    Mandy, your heart is too big for many people. As the saying goes, “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.

    But dream your dream girl, and I and many like me, will dream along with you.

    Perhaps the age of miracles will come again. in the mean- while keep up the good fight, and more strength to your Quill.

  5. After all that, not much to say, except that the Left media has been stronger. You can name the Monthly, the Guardian, the Conversation, the whole SMH/AGE thing, just about every student press in the country and the more official Uni magazines, and … oh, the 2b a year abc … not quite as green as the Green Left, or Lenin’s post-constructural graffiti, but still there baracking for a Green Labor election result. Which is what we’ll have, plain as that.

  6. Mandy your views make my heart sing, you sound like Gough. Please start your own ‘Stand Up For Us” party, we will all vote for it.

  7. Hey… Mandy wrote of her ‘political fantasy & a
    kindness revolution’. It’s a game. What’s your
    game! I’m pleased she has a big heart & ought
    to display a dream.

    Roger, objectivity is your word. It’s also ‘the very
    quality of being objective & fair.’ The word policy
    is a text message these days – over & done with
    in a wink. Yes, I’d ask for No Adani too. I’d like
    to know Climate Change is being taken seriously
    along with many of the unfortunate stuff listed. I’m
    not into power – nor do I whine to get attention – &
    Communism’s an insult! It’s not me & never will
    be. Yes, I’ve lived a colourful life but not all of it
    has been uplifting. Assume what you will.


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