As published in Independent Australia
Contemptible political and corporate forces impact heavily on our lives, but most Australians don’t care. It’s crazy but true.
Sure, the broader society views the establishment with disgust and disdain. And yes, trust is at an all time low. And lack of confidence in the system is understandable.
But these cannot be excuses for not caring – quite the opposite.
Collective disengagement – apathy on a grand scale – has become a national cancer, and the prognosis is not good. Continued inaction will invite the Grim Reaper to remove the Australian soul.
To quote John F. Kennedy: “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
Society can be divided into two categories – the minority, which actively advocates action, and the rest whose apathetic silence is deafening. For them, comfortable inaction must feel safe.
Meanwhile, the resolute minority soldiers on, driven by social, political and environmental conscience. It cries out for progressive, radical change. It must surely be bewildered at the task of overcoming public apathy as well as confronting the issues that bedevil Australia.
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THIS CARTOON, DRAWN AT THE END OF JULIA GILLARD’S TENURE AS PRIME MINISTER, WAS ON DISPLAY IN THE MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY AT THE OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE IN CANBERRA.
THE EXHIBITION, KNOWN AS ‘WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT’, COMMENCED IN LATE AUGUST 2018 AND RAN FOR 12 MONTHS.
It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1,000 times more scrutinising of women — indeed, less critical of men. If Julia Gillard had bat ears, it is unlikely she would have made it to the prime ministership in the first place.
A word of caution: If you happen to be a highly intelligent woman with deep philosophical convictions and passion for the future of Australia, and have aspirations to become prime minister, go for it. But only if you do not have any physical imperfections that make you lesser in appearance to Elle McPherson. But then again, if you are blond, the media will destroy you anyway.