Write Julia’s “Light on the Hill” speech

Around here at Troppo we’ve been musing for a while about how Labor in general and Julia Gillard in particular need to connect the government’s derailed policy agenda to some overarching vision or set of values likely to inspire  commitment and enthusiasm from the erstwhile supporters who seem to be deserting to the Greens in droves.

The other day our PM essayed what seems to be her version of Chifley’s “Light on the Hill” speech.  So what are the values to inspire us through the dog days of minority government?  Are they right up there with Martin Luther King’s immortal “I had a dream” rhetoric?   Not quite. More like the sort of fatuous homily your grandad might give the kids at the annual family Christmas party after he gets pissed and maudlin on Nanna’s cooking sherry:

Driven by our values and our vision. Hard work. A fair go through education. Respect. Opportunity for all. And always keeping our economy strong.

God help us all.  Anyway, at least it’s an excuse to embed Aretha Franklin’s immortal soul anthem R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  But more seriously, it’s an opportunity to pose a creative challenge to Troppo readers.  Let’s see who can write the best “Light on the Hill” speech for Julia.  It’s pretty obvious that neither she nor her spin doctors have the faintest clue about it, so they clearly need our help.  I have in mind something embodying familiar but noble values like liberty, equality and fraternity, perhaps with environment thrown in as a fourth pillar, all linked to Labor’s policy agenda in a way that explains how it’s actually coherent, considered and principled rather than a series of  bullshit ad hoc responses to focus group soundings.  But it’s up to you.  Keep it to 1500 words or less and post your efforts in the comment box.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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13 years ago

“Australia in 100 years”

Intro: Sappy vision of child growing up in 2110

What legacy do we leave for our future?

Body: Better people, Education

Body: Better environment, sustainable and long term

Body: Better world, labour progressive values

Conclusion: We face tough choices, lets make the ones our future child can be proud of.

Mervyn Jacobi
Mervyn Jacobi
13 years ago

Over the last 40 years, Lawyers have hijacked our political parties, they have hijacked the cabinet of the parties, they have hijacked the position of Prime Minister and of Treasurer, and during that time, they have been duping both the other party members, and the public. Grow up, and prove that you have a working brain. Fanatics will not solve the concern of our economy, nor will Lawyers.
The Australian workers – wage earners can pull Australia out of the trouble that the lawyers have put us in, if – and that’s a BIG if – those lawyers would grab a bit of integrity and allegiance to our country which happens to be Australia, not China, USA, Japan or any other country, – Australia, in case you have forgotten

13 years ago

She certainly opens it as a homily but I see no striking difference in the content of what she delivered or as if the content was delivered by Rudd. I dislike beating a dead horse but the reason for replacing Rudd was because they had lost their way yet her speech could have just as easily been delivered by Rudd. And this of course ties in nicely with your narrative of

the need to connect the government’s derailed policy agenda to some overarching vision or set of values likely to inspire commitment and enthusiasm from the erstwhile supporters…

Melvyn Jacobi
Melvyn Jacobi
10 years ago

In the 1950’s, there was a very good tax system organised by Arthur Fadden, the junior member of the coalition with the liberal party in 1950, with the top tax of 66.6 per cent. A correct replacement was placed in Hansard on17/09/2012.