Well, yesterday and today have seen us flat out visiting our nation’s leaders, strolling the corridors of power asking them to increase our nation’s commitment to halve global poverty by 2015. The response has generally been very supportive. I have to mention one MP in particular. Mike Symon, my local Member in Deakin in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, has made a personal commitment to do all he can to get the Labor Government to commit to 0.7% by 2015. He is also very keen for the Government to do more on the issue of climate change. The lobby group I am with visited Mr Symon this morning and we were very impressed with his support and passion for these issues. He is also a member of the Parliamentary Friends of the MDGs group and has made speeches in Parliament highlighting the plight of the global poor. Mike (as he insisted we call him), thank you!
Yesterday our lobby group also met with Minister Jenny Macklin. She was also supportive, although I had to hold myself back from responding when she tried to tell us that we have no greater supporter on climate change than Kevin Rudd! He may be personally supportive, but as a Prime Minister, I am afraid he has shown an appalling lack of leadership. With no legislated commitments on climate change to 2020, and with our commitment to only a 5% emissions reduction by then, there is simply no way we can claim to be a global leader on this issue. We have a moral responsibility to do alot more than we currently are.
Yesterday I mentioned that I would hope to blog about our eminent poet Cam Semmens and his words of wit and wisdom that he has inspired us with over the last few days. Here’s some of what he said:
- “We see the homeless sleeping in the bus shelters of our apathy, lying in the laneways of our indifference.”
- On asking how different we really are from the poor and how we tend to ‘other’ them: “Between black and white, there are shades of grace; between 3rd and 1st I’m having 2nd thoughts.”
Some of the workshops here have also been excellent. Yesterday I attended one about the Old Testament prophets and political engagement with the powers. I’ll blog more about that either today or tomorrow. ‘Til then….