Howard’s End: Beneath The Southern Cross
As we listen respectfully to the statement by the Prime Minister at the opening of Parliament today, we will likely be uninspired by dull, bland and predictable words such as "balanced budgets," "growth and innovation" and "economic transformation." Why not mark this day by designing a new country, a shangri-la, a utopia, under the Southern Cross. Maree Howard writes.
In our land under the Southern Cross there must be space, room to move and grow. There will be a variety of climates from alpine to subtropical, though huge tracts of it will be Mediterranean. Space and climates will ensure it produces food stuffs in abundance.
Under the soils which yield this endless feast there should be a wealth in minerals, from oil to gold.
It must be a safe place. The Government shall be of the people, by the people, and for all the people. If you wish to stand in a main street and shout that this Government is no more than a mob of ignoramuses, then you shall do so.
Your opinions will be shared, agreed or disagreed with, and may be printed and broadcast. The police shall not interfere in your life and, especially, with your person without cause under the law.
If the Government does you a mischief, if the police or the bureaucracy overstep the mark, if anyone for any reason seeks to take your private property from you, you will be able to obtain justice in open, independent courts.
They are independent courts because though members are appointed by the Government, they cannot be removed by it, which is one reason why their rulings often inconvenience Government's.
Owning a home filled with the gadgetry of the good life should be fairly easy, which is why most of the people are fairly easy going and tolerant of others.
Our utopia under the Southern Cross will be a genetic cocktail but the communities will not be ghettos. There will be no-one caught between the grey walls of injustice.
There will be no partition, no fear of communal violence. Old hatreds from the outside world will be ignored. The exclusion of newcomers will cause an uproar, fully and freely reported. Racism will be acknowledged and it will be deplored. This will be such an article of faith that such language and deeds will be banned and made illegal.
It will be of no concern to the courts or Government how you obtain your sexual pleasure, provided it is with other consenting adults. Should these arrangements end unhappily, courts will endeavour to take on the wisdom of Solomon in apportioning property and looking to the welfare of any issue.
The armed forces wil do exactly what they are comanded to do by the Government, no more and no less. Any one of its members will be free to become the Government, but only after first hanging up their uniform and seeking the endorsement of a majority of the people.
There will be an annual parade marking past military glories - there will be a great marches and solumn ceremonies in every city and town throughout the land. But it will be a parade of old warriors and no one on parade will bear arms. There will be no bellicose speeches.
The citizenry will be free to follow any religion, or no religion at all - free to preach but forbidden to impose.
The Government will levy taxes but they shall do so warily, and a goodly portion of those taxes shall be distributed to people who have fallen on hard times or have entered the late autum or winter of their lives. The Government will be honest and not raise taxes by calling them by another name.
Laws, regulations and rules will be kept to an absolute minimum so that people will known them and be able to be guided by their knowledge and content.
The mere thought of anyone going hungry, living in overcrowded conditions or living in the streets of this land, will be an abomination.
If the citizenry work for someone else it wil be by consent and for at least fair and agreed pay and conditions - ensuring that will be another task for the courts.
Education for children will be free and universal. Health care of the highest possible standard will also be free accessible and universal.
Property may not be confiscated even after death, when it will be distributed according to your wishes.
You have, of course, already recognised that this was the original vision for this country.
The Prime Minister, today, ought to again
commit this nation to that vision of our utopia under the