07 May, 2012

Labor's Identity crisis

I may be everything that John Birmhingham thinks makes the Labor party doomed (doomed he says).

 My grandparents were fair dinkum working class.  Dad's dad was a Firey.  Mum's dad worked for the water board.  My grandmothers could not vote or could not drink in a public bar.  Once they married, it was expected that they would give up their careers and stay at home to raise my respective parents, my Aunts & my Uncles.

My parents climbed the ladders of opportunity.  Dad obtained a cadetship and worked as a Health Inspector, eventually climbing to run Building and Town Planning sections of Municipal Authorities.

Mum also climbed a ladder. She gained a scholarship to be a teacher.

As a child, I watched Mum bang her head on glass ceilings.  She needed twice the experience and three times the qualifications to break into administration.  She taught by day and studied at night.

My siblings and I (through no fault of our own) were the kids of professionals. The lower tiers of our maslow's hierarchy of human needs was met.   We were raised in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, on a farm, surrounded by rainforest & close to beaches & all sorts of wilderness.

My parents took me off to Sunday School, where I learnt about Missionaries.  I watched slides shows of poor people in developing communities.  I did not want to save them.  I did want them to access to clean water and designated, sustainable places to poo.

So as an adult, I must be what JB refers to as soft left!  I am a Greenie (though not a Green). I am a humanitarian.  I work as a mercenary contractor for a Municipal Authority and run a floundering social enterprise.

So on Labor Day, 2012.  I am working from home, with the dual responsibilities of child care & provider.  I would have liked to have marched with the Labour movement today, but I am not sure I belong.

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