Caring for children is valuable work

Peter Boyle: "parental effort and love is not considered to be of real value because it is not work for the boss."

Peter Boyle is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney. He gave this speech to a rally for single parents rights in Redfern on August 24.

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Together with Dianne Hiles, the Greens candidate in the same electorate who just spoke, I am campaigning against the cruel cuts to single parent entitlements by the former Julia Gillard Labor government and campaigning for a break from major party rule, from conservative major party policies and from the corrupted, old politics those parties stand for.

A society that does not value the caring of all children, and value the work, love and attention their primary carers put in, is a very sick society.

As we acknowledge that we are gathered today on the land of the Gadigal people — land never ceded, land that was stolen — we should remember that for millennia societies have valued this care very highly. Indeed it has been at the centre of community values.

It's only in the last few hundred years that this valuing has come under attack. Now it seems that all this parental effort and love is not considered to be of real value because it is not work for the boss, work for some big corporation's profit.

This is so wrong. It is the reverse of the way things should be.

These cruel cuts have not only thrown thousands of women and their children into deeper poverty, but as a previous speaker explained, it has forced more women and children into physical danger by trapping them in domestic violence.

And all this cruelty for what? To “save” some $700 million over three years. At the same time the Labor government and the former Howard Liberal-National government gave out $169 billion in tax cuts that mainly benefitted the richest 10%. The government subsidises the mining companies by $4.5 billion a year.

These are the twisted values of a sick society on display.

I don't have confidence in this political system. It is deeply corrupted. The major parties even pay themselves millions of dollars in public subsidies for their lying election campaigns.

The public subsidises the major parties to put expensive but false advertisements in the media. We are forced to pay them to deceive us and then to hurt us. How perverse is this?

And they want us to keeping voting them into government and they are trying to scare people out of voting for small parties that want a break from their twisted values. They say that supporting smaller parties will bring “instability”. However, this sick system desperately needs more instability. It needs to be overturned.

We need a new politics of participatory democracy and every action like this — big or small — is an important building block of people's power. I firmly believe in people's power. It can work and one day we will see people's power return us to a society where the caring of all children is once again valued and the community gives it its full support.

Thank you for listening to me today.

All power to your struggle!

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