On Christine Milne’s retirement
Mary Noonan writes: Re. “Milne leaves Greens at record strength” (yesterday). Bernard Keane, for one so politically savvy, I was very surprised to read your final comment regarding the steady upward trend of Green candidates securing positions across the political spectrum in Australia. You seemed to be mulling over this odd fact & wondering if Di Natale would keep up this strange phenomenon. Well, er yes, er der Fred!! Just when will political journos fully understand that the Greens are actually a world wide movement and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon? If you need verification of this, have a chat to a roomful of under 30s. (In fact, fly to Germany and check out their popularity there). The under 30s understand there is a better, fairer world out there. They also understand that with guidance, leadership and hard work they now have the option of voting for a party that can, by its expanding presence, make a real difference. The youngins can circumnavigate the likes (and lies) of Murdoch & they actually “get” what being Green is all about. I for one have very high hopes that one day we’ll have a quality person like Scott Ludlam as PM and I won’t be the least bit surprised. Just imagine, someone of his abilities as our leader instead of Abbott et al.
Our new overlord
Roy Ramage writes: Re. “Razer: the royal baby is a tool of oppression, stop being fooled” (yesterday). Bravo Razer! Here I was thinking I was the only one trying not to puke at the media’s fawning, right royal reports. Although Razer may not like the idea of a republic, the time must come. Australia must go down the republican path built around a bill of rights or remain saddled with the royal dross Razer so accurately describes. It wont happen before Tony gets his Knighthood of course.
On the DLP’s demise
Federal Secretary of the Democratic Labour Party of Australia Michael Byrne writes: Re. “Vale the Democratic Labour Party, Santamaria’s little helper” (Tuesday). Alex Mitchell’s report on the apparent demise of the Democratic Labour Party was marked with the self indulgence of an “old leftie”. Now that I have enjoyed my own purely self indulgent act, I wish to provide a picture of the contemporary DLP of Australia.
The Democratic Labour Party of Australia is a sector of the labour movement that locates Mum, Dad and the kids — and all other combos of people — before the immediate greed of the market, and the ultimate violence of the state. It recognises the capitalist system provides the framework for personal freedom to be attained and defended. The DLP’s constitution contains no man made solutions built into socialist tract. Ben Chifley in his Light on the Hill speech stated “The job of the evangelist is never easy”, recognising that politics contains an evangelising exercise in winning hearts and minds towards the “betterment of mankind”. Ben Chifley had the marks of a Christian humanist.
The DLP is a secular party. We do not preach. Its membership is open to people of all faiths, or none. As a foundation statement, we simply put our position in response to a question that requires asking at this time in human history: are we “of God” with purpose and an end? Or are we simply a biological accident with oblivion as our destiny? By stating our position we simply relate our commitment, through political engagement, to a Christian humanism that promotes an integral human development of the whole man, and the whole of man. The purpose of political policy is to promote human flourishing in liberty and peace.
The Democratic Labour Party has a task: that is to make good a social situation we have seen degenerate across the last six decades in which the citizen has been reduced to “the consumer” in the current market/society/state complex. A task to form policy out of a public ethos that reflects freedom, choice and life; with free people choosing their destiny to be in union with others in the pursuit of the common good; with the building of solidarity in the good times to face the inevitable tough times. With life, from conception to natural death, being seen as gift with the hope always present to enliven gratefulness over entitlement in all aspects of life.
Yesterday’s news of a new Green leader and his proclamation to be more pragmatic to gain and hold the support of the “progressives” ( aka the comfortable Left ) leaves the Australian Labor Party dangerously exposed. The Democratic Labour Party may well be the flank man it needs. Or perhaps it is the other way around.