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.