Monday 17th of May 2021

Margo's book is a light shining in the darkness (Lindsay Williams)

Reading 'Not Happy, John!' has been a liberating experience. Here was a book which articulated the growing concerns that I've had about the state of politics and decision making in Australia. Other people do think the same way I do! I'm not just a lonely, 'deranged' voice in the wilderness. I could identify with Margo's feelings of being 'burnt out. Depressed' - at least in terms of Australia's political life.

Margo's passion is well balanced by her forensic use of evidence. While it's a partisan book, how could it be otherwise? At least she is open and up front about her values and beliefs, unlike the neo-Con commentators who like to proclaim their 'objectivity'. The credibility of her arguments is further assisted by including pieces from a range of contributors, from various political persuasions.

I think Margo's correct that the politicians rely on people simply giving in and just accepting the way things are! The final chapter, 'Democrazy: Ten ideas for change', was exciting and made a lot of sense. However, if Margo's right and the political parties, big business and big media have a vested interest in maintaining the current arrangements, how will these changes ever take place? In his book 'Critical resistance: From poststructuralism to post-critique', David Hoy quotes Friederich Nietzsche as saying: 'How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the exertion required, to remain on top.' Hoy goes on to say, 'The resistance can be to domination, and in the name of emancipation. But it can also be domination's reistance to emancipatory efforts.' In our context, we can't rely on the major political parties to instigate the change - despite Margo's appeals to Mark Latham. In fact, they are more likely to make changes that appear to address voter's concerns, but in fact entrench their power further (take public funding of election campaigns as an example!) If change is to be actively resisted by those in a position to make those changes, the very real question is: How will we ever bring about real change in the political system? A critical mass of Australians pushing for genuine changes is probably one answer - Australians working within and without the political party structures. It's going to require those of use inspired by Margo and her co-writers to spread the debate. At least now, there's a light shining in the distance and in the months and years to come, I hope it grows steadily brighter.

Thanks, again Margo!