We interrupt this metaphorical flow…

3 Nov

I will never forget the night of the last election, and by the time my dad got to our place, they were already saying Bennelong was too close to call and what a night it was, and my children will always remember that they were allowed to stay up until midnight playing computer games, only we kept making them come and stand in front of the television because this is history and the next day I felt like this great veil of mean-spirited conservatism had lifted from us all.

We drank too much sparkling red, but the hangover was worth it.

We knew, we always knew, that this wouldn’t be a revolutionary government, that things would carry on much as before but we believed that now we would be led by people who, even if they were conservative, would lead with more generous spirits. We believed that the lines in the sand would shift (oh, a metaphor, how did that sneak in?).

That’s why this whole asylum seeker and ringing the Indonesian government and expanding the Christmas Island detention centre is utterly and absolutely depressing. There’s some actions on the Amnesty International website and doing them will make me feel better about myself, but not about much else.

And what I’m also remembering is the day my dad and I had another of our heated discussions, back when Latham let Howard set the agenda on refugees and asylum seekers once again, and I could not believe that Dad could still be a member of the ALP. One of those times when Latham didn’t just say, as he should have done, ‘No, enough is enough’. (It might have been the Tampa, but who knows, I mean there have been so many moments where I’ve thought, ‘Well, it can’t get worse’, but then it has). Surely, I said to Dad this, this is the tipping point, and he gave his old, once-relevant, but to my mind no-longer-so, speech about change from within. He remained loyal to the ALP, and he probably still would.

I feel let down.
(updated to add: as would he)

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8 Responses to “We interrupt this metaphorical flow…”

  1. mary November 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    It is bloody depressing. I think we are all feeling let down.

    And the misery now of people dying, literally, to get to Australia.

  2. blue milk November 3, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Yep, but thank you for taking me back so deliciously to that night of the last election.

  3. Ali November 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    I think you’ve articulated what many of us are feeling. They have disappointed on many fronts.

  4. kazari November 4, 2009 at 4:42 am #

    I live in Canberra, and you should have felt the buzz here, that night!
    And then with Sorry Day, and, the general optimism, it seemed like there was lots of possibility.
    Of course there were issues (after 10 years of being told how things were gonna be, you had to find old public servants who still had the ability to formulate and enact NEW policy options)
    And the insistence that everything had to be done all-at-once with no ability to set rational timelines…
    the shine has well & truly rubbed off.

  5. Cristy November 4, 2009 at 6:11 am #

    Exactly! All of it.

    That is why I am a member of the Greens.

  6. Kath Lockett November 4, 2009 at 6:14 am #

    Sorry Day was the utter highlight.
    Since then, it’ s been a slow descent into Howardism…

    …Labor got my vote last time, it’ll probably be the Greens next.

  7. miriam November 4, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    indeed. labour would’ve got my vote at the last election if i had been eligible to vote. now that i am, i wonder who it will be?

    whatever happened to the generous spirit? was it just our wishful thinking?

  8. Helen November 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    Hey, Rudd’s (round) head would lend itself as admirably to pinata-making as Howard’s. Just sayin’.

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