We trust authority.
We are obedient.
We don’t seem to care if we get hoodwinked by politicians.
Marr points to boredom, indifference and fear, arguing there’s:
“Something about ourselves we rarely face: Australians trust authority. Not love, perhaps, but trust. It’s bred in the bone. We call ourselves larrikins, but we leave our leaders to get on with it. Even the leaders we mock.”
“We aren’t the larrikins of our imagination. Australians are an orderly people who love authority. We grumble instead of challenging it. We despise politicians. Belittling them as a class is a cover for our own passivity. We elect leaders much as we hire electricians: we may whinge about the job and haggle over the bill, but essentially we leave them to get on with their work.”
Maybe politicians take advantage by hiding behind our cynicism.
Like in years of dealing with hardships faced daily by remote indigenous communities, for many of us for so long the attitude has been “There’s no way we can fix this and the politicians will never care.”
Maybe local governments hide behind, “They’ll never spend our rates on something we really need.”
Maybe local governments hide behind, “Well, the big chains will move into town, no matter what we do to stop them.”
Maybe state governments hide behind, “Well, the bay’s going to be dredged no matter what so we’ll just have to say goodbye to the record fishing seasons we’ve been enjoying.”
Maybe the federal government hides behind, “There’s no way we’ll ever sign Kyoto.”
Maybe it’s time we stopped complaining and started “challenging”.
Let’s change the conversation!