There is no place whatsoever in the 2020s for conservative governments anywhere, not in the east, not in the west, nowhere on our planet. That is the opinion of this humble writer.

Plato stated categorically that if we do not take an interest in the affairs of government, then we are doomed to live under the rule of fools. Australia and other countries are modern day examples of misguided fools at the helm.

For rectification of this, we have to go overboard now because we have reached a dangerous tipping point, and what is this tipping point? It is a line drawn in the sand, for want of a better description, beyond which we have now travelled, a line where had we not crossed it, we may well have had a world in which the following attributes would have put our leaders and the direction they guided us towards on the right side of history instead of the wrong. There are too many world leaders who will go down in history for all the wrong reasons…too many to list here, but you the reader surely know many. What attributes am I referring to? Well for a start, compassion. Compassion in revealing the truth in relation to First Nations’ people and their history. Compassion in dealing with homelessness. Compassion in the heartfelt assistance we offer to refugees and anyone at all who is down on their luck. Then there’s education which doesn’t put such an emphasis on the sciences, but equally also on the arts. Then there’s research. Why don’t we offer incentives to anyone in society who can come up with ways to make the world easier for its inhabitants and ensure a better future? We give medals and so on for a job well done, but why not more funding? Imagine if Fred Hollows had been granted more research dollars earlier on. Perhaps everyone in the world with blindness and eye disorders would now be able to see clearly…unlike many modern-day politicians who do not see clearly at all.

People ask who’d want to be a politician. Who’d want the responsibility? Well my answer is if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. However that in itself poses a dilemma. Politicians on the whole, are not worth more than what they’re paid because they are pretty well useless in making positive change for the world. If they were decent decision makers, if they showed a little compassion and made real plans for a better and cleaner future, then maybe they’d be worth more. So by paying what in corporate circles are small amounts, we don’t attract the passion required to make the changes so urgently needed for our future.

I feel we desperately need a massive change, a total re-think on where as a species we are heading. I have felt for decades that the human species is the most undeserving of all. We wreck the planet, we kill and maim. We pollute our ocean and the air we breathe. Great thinkers like David Attenborough must be listened to. So too Professor David Suzuki, Greta Thunberg…what passion these and others have. People like this should be our advisors. The tipping point to which I’ve referred to since the 1980s has passed. Are we therefore doomed? I’d say unfortunately, yes…unless we have a total re-think. Every single decision must put nature first from this point forth. If we don’t, there is no future. I feel that the current pandemic, Covid-19, is Mother Nature’s wake-up call. The growing number of variants tells us that she is in control and not the inhabitants of this sorry little planet. Coupled with the growing number of natural disasters – bushfires, floods, out-of-season tornadoes and cyclones, these so-called rare weather events are becoming so commonplace that I am genuinely fearful that we are starting to accept them as the norm. And when we do that, we continue further down the drain. Our common sense drains away. We start to accept that ‘rare weather events’ are not so rare after all.

2022 is now here. 5 million people have died from the current pandemic. More pandemics will inevitably follow and inevitably more people will die. We’re overpopulated, so it’s back to my thought that Mother Nature is telling us something. We have the power to do the right thing. We can harness the energy we need from the wind, the sun and the tides. We can even produce clean electricity from footsteps. Imagine if every footstep taken in a university powered the hospital next door. Imagine if every footstep taken in a shopping centre or in a series of city streets powered all the local schools in the district. Imagine if we had governments who encouraged business to incorporate such systems – to transfer kinetic energy into clean electricity, and in so doing, make positive contributions to our world. Imagine if those who were depressed were given the opportunity to work on these projects. Imagine the happiness and increase in well-being that would be achieved. Imagine all the negative sides of our world being addressed by progressive governments hell-bent on solving social issues. The general welfare of those inhabitants in countries where governments did such innovative things for their people would increase. Crime may well decrease.

Back in 1988 when we could have made a real difference by giving First Nations People a voice, we missed an opportunity. When veteran suicides reached appalling numbers, we again missed an opportunity. Are we going to forever miss the boat? Are we going to foolishly proceed without the fundamental changes I refer to as a necessity? The time has come, and in fact we’re late, way too late, so we’ve got to hurry. We’ve got to catch up, we’ve got to make those changes, improve our lot, every single one of us. Then, my friends, there is hope!

I sincerely wish that we become true champions through this nightmare of a pandemic coupled with poor governance and become what many just a few short years ago would not have thought possible…a race with humility, compassion and higher intelligence, striving for a future that is a better and far more positive one than that which we are so sadly heading towards at present.

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GJ Maher