The day after the recent Federal election I went for a walk along the river near our house. My mind went back to that morning six years before when I made the same walk excited by the election of the Rudd government the previous day.
I remember thinking how wonderful it was that we now had a government that was committed to taking meaningful action against climate change,that was committed to treating refugees humanely and committed to supporting indigenous people and other marginalised groups in the Australian society.
Six years on from the election of the Rudd government we now find both sides of government in agreement that we need to treat asylum seekers inhumanely in order to stop the boats and while we currently have a carbon price this seems set to disappear and will be very difficult to introduce.
What went wrong? The coalition have been able to convince us that Australians are doing it tough and in tough times “harsh measures are needed”. If abolishing “big taxes” and harsh measures against refugee and asylum seekers are needed to bring back the good times then so be it.
To emphasise how bad things were the Coalition announced days out from the election that they would slash foreign and the money saved would be used to improve road infrastructure.
The reality is that most Australians are better off economically that we have ever been. The “genius” (if you can call it that) of the coalition is that they convinced more than half of us to support policies that are based on fear of the other – whether the other be asylum seekers or climate scientists.