I saw you on the news last week announcing your new anti-bullying strategy.
After 30 years of working with young people it is a topic dear to my heart.
You explained some of the figures:
2,500 official suicides in Australia last year with over 80% being linked to bullying…horrific isn’t it?
Who are the bullies?
They are those who are in a position to have power over others – those who have the ability to influence the lives of others in a negative way by what they say and what they do.
Who wields the most power in our society at the highest levels?
Obviously those in authority and those with money – big business, big institutions and politicians.
Julia, I could almost guarantee to you that a disproportionate number of those suicides occurred in rural Australia.
A young man in the country is almost twice as likely to take his own life.
If that young man happens to be gay that figure rises by another 30%….
Why is that do you think?
Because he’s not just bullied in the schoolyard and made invisible by his school.
Not just shunned by his family and rejected by his community.
Not simply ostracized from his church and marginalized by society in general….
It starts at the top Julia, with you and Tony and those we’ve chosen to “lead” us.
This young man is told by the leaders of his country that he has no value. That he is an inferior citizen, deprived of his basic human rights.
This is about much more than simply “same-sex marriage”.
It is the epitome in hypocrisy Julia, to talk about stopping bullying and then to enshrine into law that it’s okay to discriminate against someone based on their sexuality.
You give the ultimate bullies, the haters who hide behind the thin veneer of religion the legal right to bully.
You pour taxpayer funds into “Independent” schools, then anoint them with the right to discriminate as they please – to refuse to employ someone based on their sexuality, the right to sack staff if they’re suspected to be gay.
You grant them permission to destroy the lives of people who don’t fit their narrow-minded world view.
If that’s not bullying then please tell me what is Julia?
It’s about as acceptable as having a rule that people with red hair or “sticky-out ears” can’t be politicians……..
Essentially you condone bullying and hatred at the highest of levels, actually funding bullies to perpetuate hate crimes against good people.
Strangely ,you don’t even seem to notice how out of step this is with the rest of the population and the rest of the world…you don’t seem to remember that we’re living in 2013…
So excuse me Julia (and your mirror twin Tony).
Excuse my cynicism.
Bullying certainly needs to be addressed in this country in a big way.
Stop spouting platitudes and start leading.
If you really want change to happen then you need to start at the top.
Your target market, those most at-risk young people, have inbuilt crap detectors.
They’re distrustful and weary of people talking at them.
For them the real proof comes not in what we say, but in what we do.
If you seriously want them to learn how to stand up to bullies then grow a backbone and do it.
Show them how to find that courage inside…..
I don’t want to go to any more funerals.