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homepageDAILY – Best of the Web | October 23, 2016

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Polly Speak

Polly Speak
The Outsider

You may have noticed how often Julia Gillard the Australian PM likes to indicate that we are going to tell the ‘Australian people’ just how it is so that there can be no doubt that her election policy views are being delivered with transparency and openness. Leaving aside the validity of the content of what is being discussed, pause for a moment and try and understand the ‘person’ to which the conversation is being directed. It’s certainly not ‘you’ or ‘me’ but just who or what is or are the ‘Australian people’? Is it the indigenous folk in Cape York? The miners in Kalgoorlie? The young mums in Parramatta? Or the ageing hippies in Byron Bay? Of course it is none of them. The ‘Australian people’ is another meaningless abstraction ‘…told by an idiot, full of sound and fury (and) signifying nothing.’ Such useless abstractions neutralise the real issues we should be discussing. Just what will the incumbent government do about indigenous Australia? How will we balance our mining assets with social equity? Will the ‘new cities’ on the periphery of the old, be places where young families can flourish? And how will we manage the future life-needs of an ageing population?

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