Our Social unAwareness

20 May

For a long time, I’ve found it difficult to find any pride in calling myself a West Australian. That’s the blunt truth.

Many people from this state will tell you that it’s a land of beauty and richness. We have an abundance of natural resources, the people are friendly and unique, and we have a long and exciting history.

I think that the first of those three points would be the only one with some valid truth to it.

Show me a friendly west aussie and I’ll show you a dozen extremely rude ones.

Tell me one exciting and interesting story from our history and I’ll tell you a number of boring and long-winded ones.

I’m not setting out here today to put down this state or to declare my hatred for it, but I am somewhat perplexed by the pride that so many take in it when we clearly have no sense of progression or direction.

I’m speaking of course about the attitude that reigns supreme here; a lack of social awareness and far too much inward looking.

We are a state of people who have no awareness of the outside world. We spend far too much time consumed with our own territory and our capital city that we lead ourselves to believe that it is the whole world.

Perth is a town with a relatively small population and far too much suburban sprawl. That is the truth. Now there is absolutely no problem with that, however many people that live here believe that it is a great city. It is far from being a great city. We have far too many issues going on that halt any kind of progress. Our attitudes are stained by an ultra- conservative philosophy that reeks of xenophobia and far too much economic liberalism. The mining companies, for example, are looked to by this state as the driving force of our strong economy. Yet it is also these mining companies who are causing our young to miss out on a rich education and experience a diverse range of cultures and lifestyles. It is these corporations that are destroying the very land we live in for the sake of the economy – in the end, economic matters are inconsequential compared to social matters. What is really important is people, not finance. Humanity can flourish without a free market.

Lately there has been a call from within a right-wing faction in this state to have WA secede from the rest of Australia. As ludicrous as this may sound, it is also a dangerous call and one that threatens to alienate and further isolate our people. The arrogance that exists within the people of Perth and other towns in this state is unjustified. Although the economy appears to be strong, it relies on one area and that is the resource sector. Iron ore, nickel and gas do not remain forever. Once they’re gone they’re gone. Then where are we?

The attitude towards sport is also quite backwards. People continually cry out for a new ‘footy’ stadium while Health and Education are left out in the cold. Our hospitals are ill-equipped yet this is never mentioned as an issue until election or budget time. We truly do not deserve the status that we have as one of the states driving this country until our public services are improved. It’s frustrating, that after so many years where a basic service to humanity has gone wanting, it is still undervalued by our government and media.

There is a group that exists within Perth, of so-called intelligent professionals that are working towards improving Perth and its reputation. However, it is not the physical aspects of this city that need improvement, it is the social aspects that require our full and undivided attention. As far too much emphasis is placed on the look and feel of a city, it is the implementation of better social projects; welfare, health, education, that need to take place in order for the people to live a more full and enriched life.

This will not happen in WA if attitudes are not changed. This comes with a better education and experience regarding social matters. As Western Australians we must stop looking to the mining companies as our saviours and begin looking at other great cities and regions in the world – mainly welfare states, particularly in Europe where a higher tax means that individuals and families are better off.

If the government simply takes in a little more money then it has the ability to distribute it evenly and more abundantly to public services that are in dire need.

Unfortunately, this is where WA is very far behind.

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3 Responses to “Our Social unAwareness”

  1. Josh Maxwell May 21, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

  2. Peter Spicer-Wensley June 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Hear Hear!! Well said Simon!
    I wholeheartedly agree! I also think that some WESTern Australians are an ignorant bigoted lot who think that earning an ill-gotten buck is more important than ANYTHING else. ( I am proudly Western Australian though I was born in Scotland and grew up in Queeensllaaand.) There are also many beautiful caring people from all walks of life whose fairness and caring I have witnessed and

    Bugger human rights!!! – I stole this land fair and square.
    Give any of it back to the poor bastards I stole it from??? – GET REAL!!! THAT’S RACIST!!!

    They also overlook that we are a nation of immigrants who largely arrived by boats. You might even say that we are a nation of “BOAT PEOPLE” – shock horror!!!
    I have a doggerel poem on the subject at my bad poetry website. Worth a read. (Sorry in advance for the doggerel.)

    Like your good self – my politics are best described as “broadly left” (AKA NEVER VOTED FUCKING LIBERAL) and think that there is more to life than which local team loses to Victorians in the colosseum.

    I celebrate our cultural diversity (otherwise our restaurants would be really shit and so would our coffee.) It appals me when migrants from anywhere want to deny the same opportunities they have enjoyed to others from wherever they may come. If others had done the same even those with car-part surnames may have been excluded from our fair brown land! 😉 (No offence intended – only mirth merriment and jocular jesting.)

    Off the soap box…
    Ciao for niao!
    BTW do you have a twitter account to follow???
    PeterSW

  3. simoncarabetta June 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Hey Peter, how goes it?

    Thanks for checking out the blog and leaving a few comments. It’s great when you get a discussion going about the articles, really appreciate it.

    It’s great to see that there are other like-minded people in WA who want change and want it now. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say on twitter as well, mate.

    Cheers.

    Simon

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