I have been a participant and keen observer of the Australian political landscape since my student union days. My late grandfather, Tom Gibson and his daughter, my amazing mother, have been the defining political influences on me. A keen sense of social justice and fairness characterise us and I am proud to carry on the family tradition. Tom Gibson was a member of the Australian Communist Party and ran a butcher shop in the Prahran Markets in Melbourne in the fifties. I have an almost spiritual sense of place in the markets; I was there when I was very little.
I am a proud unionist and believe collectivism is a good way to balance the usurious power of capitalism. I loathe the societal values that force us to be accumulating consumers and actually think most of us have got it completely wrong. Please note I"m not holier or better than you, I'm just trying to use less of the world's resources.
How have we let ourselves become economic units? Why are we so badly served by our mass media? Why is the public interest now all about buying things?
The stranglehold business has on government is appalling, Why else would we be ignoring a real and present existential danger - climate change? Addressing climate change is the vital issue of our time and the deniers are getting air time. Why? They are too stupid to actually comprehend the enormity of human impact on climate. But they make news!!
I have always had a keen bullshit detector. It seems to go off daily now because the very things we need to be seriously thinking about are being coopted by the marketing. What a very sad species we are. We seem to be becoming Non Practising Environmentalists who talk the talk but are full of shit - just nipping to the corner in our hybrid cars (one each), having half hour showers under a watersaver fitting, recycling our packaging but consuming just as much. It's the same logic as having a diet choke with your pig mac.
I have been a proud member of the Australian Labor Party for a very long time but not so much any more. I value social justice and fairness but despair about the incompetents who run the party machine and the politicians who won't get out of bed unless thy have an opinion poll to tell them which side. The mandatory detention of innocent people - refugees - is utterly appalling and both sides of politics are pandering to Australia's unshakable xenophobia.
What to do? Just don't use as much - it's really simple. Get public transport, set your hot water system on the lowest setting possible, don't use appliances' stand-by function. Install a gas stove, grow an edible garden that needs minimal water and mowing. Shower with a bucket and put the water on the garden, use a bucket in your kitchen sink to rinse your dishes into - and put that on the garden.
Fight back. Use less. Enjoy your life more. Get involved. Turn the television off. Talk to a real person. Don't believe the Murdoch media. Contribute to your community. Remember 'free market economy' is an invention by greedy bastards to get richer at your expense.
Social media isn't. It's OK for keeping in touch with people it's a bit hard to be with - interpret that as you may. But it's essentially bullshit. Liking a Facebook page does not constitute political action and we are becoming a race of pissweak avoiders hiding behind the technology. A 30 second phone call - yes, really talking to another human - easily replaces days of proving you're a fuckwit via inane texts. Texts are great for organising to meet for a beer or sending a phone number, not much else.
Don't ever forget to have fun. The entire world we live in needs more laughter and less nanny state.