As we head towards the third decade of the 21st century, the old suited right-wing nut jobs are still railing against any small advance in society, any small decrease in bigotry, or any small decrease in inequality. They long for a simpler time1. However, those days are long gone, and fortunately, we live in a very different world to their ‘good old days’, which never really existed as they perceive them. However, we still have some way to go. I would have loved to have called this a manifesto, but that implies some sort of programme, which is lacking from this list. It is, however, a description of where I think we should aim to get to.
I long for a country in which everyone will have the same human rights, irrespective of their colour, religion, sexuality and gender; where women are in parliament and boardrooms commensurate with their proportion in the population; where any man or woman is safe on the street at any time; in which violence against women is non-existent; where the perpetrators of sexual or any other sort of harassment are called out immediately and appropriately punished; in which bullying is called out immediately and appropriately punished; in which violence is simply not acceptable and is perceived to be solely the preserve of the insipid and incompetent, and is appropriately punished; where the emphasis in the economy swings back from capital to labour; in which looking after the environment is the prime concern of any business; in which the first inhabitants of this continent are recognised in the constitution, and party to a treaty; in which the activists and environmentalists are in parliament; in which its inhabitants can live sustainably in perpetuity; in which education is looked upon as an investment, not a cost; in which research is valued as an investment in the future, not regarded as a cost; in which the people no longer see the nation only as a farm or a quarry; in which there are no homeless people; in which everyone gets the health care they need, not what they can afford; in which drug addiction is treated as a health issue, not as a crime; in which politicians cannot accept bribes from corporations or very wealthy individuals; in which a politician knows that if they use the dog-whistle, they will be pilloried for it; in which the phrase ‘career politician’ is an oxymoron; in which all people have an understanding of our democracy and their part in it; in which women are paid the same as men; in which those on benefits are not looked upon as scum by politicians; in which the rule of law applies to everyone, and nobody is protected by their church, their business, their political party or their wealth; which deals with other nations morally; in which its media actually report the news and are not beholden to foreign owners or a political party; in which media owners are held accountable for their behaviour; in which everybody, be it individuals, corporations or churches, pays their fair share of taxes; in which asylum-seekers are treated humanely and with dignity. I long for a country with an Australian head of state and one of which I can be proud, and which is the envy of the world.