I have a problem. I have made a promise to myself and to one other person in particular that I will no longer write about personal issues on these pages. I’m finding this an incredibly hard promise to keep. It goes against my nature. But this is as personal as it gets.
I have always been a fan of party politics. I knew that I wanted to join the ALP since politics grabbed a hold of me at a young age. Inspired by Curtin, Whitlam, Dunston and Keating, you could say I was a gleefully blind follower of the ALP ethos, mainly built around ‘The Pledge’ Unlike other political parties, the ALP has a rule of strict party discipline that dictates whilst you can have vigourous debate on policy and other matters internally when a policy is formulated, once it has been decided a member must adopt the party line. It’s the fundamental tenant of the ALP.
In conjunction with this party politics on a local level has really begun to piss me off. Endless friction was created over minor pieces of importance. When three women born before my parents start squabbling over who leads the local committee, you know its time to take a breather. I was also in an environment where my age, intellectual capabilities and disability were looked upon as impediments rather than assets. Where I thought my career lay in the rough and tumble of party politics just a few short months ago, I am now beginning to have second thoughts. Whilst I doubt I ever will give up my party membership, my enforced time off is making me selfish. That is a good thing.
Other circumstances have also led me to this conclusion. I hate my party’s leader. The first party leader I’ve openly despised. Obviously she is not as bad as Tony Abbott, but saying that you hate the leader at a branch meeting pretty much borders on heresy. Further the party’s response to disability policy is tepid and pathetic. My main objective in joining the ALP was to change this, and I feel like a failure for not achieving the goal.
Increasingly I feel like I am being more productive through my work with RampUp. My words have venom in them and they are stinging. Two articles for the ABC have achieved more than nine years in the ALP. This saddens me greatly, but it also tells me where my focus should be right now. I’ve just submitted my third article and it will piss more people off than the first two. At least something might happen though.