Recently I caught up with my nephew who I had not seen for many years, now all grown up at the ripe old age of 21.
It was the best thing to catch up with this well-educated and gorgeous young man, someone you would be proud to call your son.
I was however surprised of his political views, considering his family history, of which he is not aware, how could he, being brought up isolated from his broader family who are located in NSW and he in Qld and living mostly with his mother as a result of his parents’ separation.
I felt my nephew had not looked at other perspectives and simply recommended Dick Smith’s book “The Population Crisis”. I said Dick Smith made good points, and highly recommended he read it. I devoured that book, took notes and was shocked at the things Dick Smith revealed after his meetings with rich and influential friends and associates.
Dick Smith is passionate about Australia, wants his grandchildren to have the opportunity to live in a healthy and prosperous country. I respect Dick Smith’s passion and his ideals. I supported his campaign to buy back Australia.
My nephew’s subsequent comment really surprised me. “Oh no, Dick Smith is a communist”. And I think perhaps he will not be reading his book?
Well, I have a great deal to say about that comment.
Firstly, to label someone is a mechanism to shut them up or to discredit. Give people a tag, then ridicule that tag, spread lies about that tag, demonise that tag. Remember the old comment “commo under the bed”, perpetrated by Bob Menzies?
These days, the tag to be feared, is Greenie or Leftie. We all know about the lies perpetrated about Greenies, these lies stick, a bit like Pauline Hanson, her tag is “racist”.
When I was 17, I was passionate about politics, I was outraged about the homeless in our society. I supported the rights of workers and the right for every Australian to have the opportunity of a good education, and access to tax funded universities no matter how poor, this would give our country a great advantage in the world.
I spoke during lunchtime in my workplace at the Berrima County Council, about how the workers are losing all that our forefathers had shed blood to achieve. That we needed to be mindful and protect our rights otherwise we may end up back in the dark ages and have children working in mines all over again.
A colleague, Ian Mein, said that I was nothing but a communist. Later, when back at my desk, he called me on the internal phone and started speaking in a pretend Chinese. So, this was my very early example of how in order to shut people up, you label them because they dare to have an opinion.
My mother was a great influence on me. A marvellous storyteller and spoke about her life growing up, about the life of her mother and of her grandmother. She told me stories about the war, about her useless no-hoper father who left my grandmother struggling to bring up two daughters on her own.
My mother articulated clearly how in her experience; capitalism unchecked always ended up exploiting the poor. How laws needed to remain in place to protect the worker, otherwise deaths in the workplace would prevail, seeing the profits of greedy multinationals and large corporations out of control.
My great grandmother was a maid, (similar to the maids portrayed in the Upstairs, Downstairs series), she swept the carpeted stairs on her hands and knees, worked six and a half days a week, she wore white gloves when lining up for dignitaries and visitors to the mansion in which she worked in order to hide the calluses on her hands.
My great grandfather fought and demonstrated against child labour, a trail blazer, a unionist. He was instrumental in the fight for workers’ rights.
Dick Smith explains in his book, the world’s population exceeds 7 billion and each year we add about 80 million people. By mid-century we will require twice as much food and double the energy we use today.
Think about this for a moment. Already there are millions of people in the world that are starving and, quite understandably more and more people are displaced due to famine, war, poverty and persecution, and migrating to countries that will provide them with safety, shelter and food.
Australia will be deeply affected by these trends – we have the fastest growing population of any developed nation.
These are the staggering facts that confronted Dick Smith and set him on his crusade to warn the dangers of unsustainable growth. Dick highlights if we are to ensure the survival of our civilisation and the planet, then we must put a stop to population growth, immediately.
No, not get rid of people, that is a ridiculous assumption, but educate all nations on birth control and work towards assisting those countries which cannot provide for all their people. His philosophy is, let’s feed and care for the population we already have. The food distribution is unfair, our importation of skilled migrants is unfair.
So why would my nephew not want to read the book of this “Communist”, Dick Smith. The far right would love the philosophy of Dick Smith, as they continue to focus on immigration as a major issue. For example, Katter’s Australian Party senator, Fraser Anning, praised the White Australia Policy and echoed Nazi rhetoric saying, “the final solution” about reducing Australia’s immigration intake.
I would suggest it is because members of the same political party, the LNP, are encouraging growth at all costs, because of the almighty dollar of our revered billionaires, with the masses blindly following along.