All posts by Robert Bosler

In defence of Latham on the FTA

Artist Robert Bosler is Webdiary’s commentator on Mark Latham and the Australian psyche. His pieces include An Australian destiny?Why is Latham alarming? and An artist’s blueprint for a Latham win

Margo, no doubt you will have received a flood of passionate messages in relation to the FTA.(Margo: Indeed!)I urge your readers to look beyond this immediate issue and ask why and how this political situation came about. Of course, it’s more than a political situation; it’s our whole damn future! But it’s played out politically, so let’s look to what’s going on.

Firstly, we need to understand the political climate we are in. Idealism is great for use as the overall measuring stick, and we must remain centred there. We have of course been removed, and in fact removed ourselves by allowing it, from a place anything near ideal. So, what is really going on?


There are four factors involved in creating a political climate. Let’s work from the grass roots up.

The mass mind

This is a loose term, because every individual thinks for him or herself and has their own individual view. But a mass mind is very real, in effect. If we were to step away from daily life and retreat to an overall position, looking upon our nation, we see a general result of all of those viewpoints. It’s the same for any nation. Our mass mind is a very interesting mix, it’s not at all a fully made or rounded Australian “oneness”. It is in fact extremely disjointed.

The mass mind is known also for the fact it is impressed upon. While individual viewpoints exist, these exist because of what is given to that mind, whereby that mind has its thoughts shaped by what is given to it. There is, if you like, no deeper or clearer insight made by that individual mind, and it enmeshes into the mass.

It is very politically impressionable. There are many reasons for this, most of which are due to a lack of time or inclination to want to look any further than what it is given.

Individual Influences

These can be individual thinkers providing input, or institutions and organisations and other parties doing the same. These can also be acts of a human or non-human nature, like droughts and terrorist attacks, dollar valuations and sporting fixtures. This category represents unique forces that bear upon the mass mind and therefore upon the political climate of the day. Political parties and the Opposition leader are in this category.

The Media

This is a such a strong force in its own right it deserves its own category. It is a powerful force providing continual input. Readers of Webdiary are well aware of how frightening it can be to have a media force representing a singular proprietor’s viewpoint, and to be threatened with a lessening of media outlets. This threat is not so well known out there in the mass mind, if at all.

However, we are less inclined to see the media also for what it is: as a reflection. This is why blaming the media is always so fruitless. The media is fully designed to give consumers product. It wants to give you what you want. We must always remember that. The real question, ever, in critically assessing our media is: “What do I want?”. If your readers want to change the media, they must make their wants known to the media. The media is in effect guessing what you want, otherwise; yet their guesses are professionally acute.

Further, make those wishes known to the legislators and lobbyists, including the Opposition. Send them a copy and educate them as to what you desire of your media in your country. Your readers actively providing input in this way will most certainly make a difference. They key point to remember is that the media is only ever guessing what we want, until we tell them.

Think of the media as a highly energised spinning wheel, sliding out product for daily consumption. Even though the concept of “the media” in Australia maybe a huge thing in a reader’s mind, that is, the spinning wheel is huge, it’s also finely balanced, and very, very sensitive. Individual Australians have the power to tip the wheel, and change the product. Of course, major changes will take time, but if the media outlet wants your consumption, they’ll give you exactly what you want, in bucketloads. Making a difference begins with something as small as sending an email.

The Leader of the Day

Here we have a very interesting factor. It stands alone. For some reason, the human being seeks to have a singular person as a point of reference for communal living. Obviously we need a structure in place in society so as to function together. But a singular leader is not a given, it’s a choice humankind has made. So what does it represent?

A leader is two things. It is a force in its own right. It is a determining factor. This is clear. What a leader says, goes, until and unless it’s challenged effectively. Think of the mass mind, and imagine all those forces coming to a point. That point is the leader of the day.

Therefore, the leader is also a direct reflection of the mass mind. Think of the leader of the day as both a pinnacle and a reflection of the mass mind in one human being.

Our current leader

Looking into the fact that a leader is a direct reflection of the mass mind, we begin to find how the current leader, John Howard, has been so interesting a phenomena in Australia.

Australia has never been as a peoples one nation. We’ve been terribly divided all along. Of course this division began with the European invasion of Aboriginal Australia. The division of Aboriginal and settled Australia continues to this day. But there is tremendous division within settled Australia. Ours is most definitely a nation divided by class, race, education and outlook. We have been deeply divided as a nation.

The advent of Pauline Hanson on the scene brought to light so many of these divisions. As a leader, she was a pinnacle and reflection of some strong aspects of that national division. As a political force she was born, created politically, by those very divisions, gelled into existence by an unresolved state of the nation.

John Howard, as political opportunist, has taken advantage of the nation’s division. To say he creates division is true; as we have seen, a leader is two things, a force of ‘input’ as well as ‘pinnacle-and-reflection’. But Howard is much more than Hanson; Howard represents divisions as in all she did, and then more, across the board, and right through into critical areas of education (our peoples’ future) and international relations (our place in the world). Howard’s input is widely regarded as divisive, and widely divisive.

Therefore to understand the political climate more accurately, we need to see John Howard as a singular reflection of the mass national division. All that division, grown for so many years, has been encapsulated in our current leader. He was the perfect man to do it. All aspects of his character have led him to this position in our national history, not the least of which is his all pervading trait of opportunism, as the pinnacle reflection of our national division.

The current political climate

What happens when a leader, reflecting our national division, provides input into our nation? He further divides it, obviously. We’ve had a decade of a nation not directed in any way forward, but one standing still, and separated apart. This is going to scare a few people: but the truth is that were such an effect to continue, over many decades the nation would in all probability end in civil war, as each faction is forced to find its own form of acceptance and validate its expression. While division remains, and while division is engendered, those divisions are forced ultimately to fend for themselves in the absence of a unifying leader.

The mass Australian mind was already deeply divided before Howard. Howard has deepened this division and created many more. This mass mind has been further divided by a divided media. We are hereby at an unheralded point of division in our national history.

This is the situation Mark Latham finds himself in.

It is very easy to criticise Latham for all the things we perceive him as failing in.

However, right now he has the most horrifying job in the country. He has to walk a tightrope, not just one, but many, strung between all the many factions of this deeply divided nation. He has to do it daily.

Where people wish for Latham to speak up in one particular way, and decry him for not doing so, “he’s failed us!” is the cry, but were he to fulfil all those particular needs, he would be decried in other quarters more so. Latham giving satisfaction in one quarter equals an horrific bushfire in another.

The question we must ask of Mark Latham in this current climate is not only “What have you done” but also “Who haven’t you upset!”. A more accurate assessment of Latham’s achievements at this point in time is reflected in the fact he has managed to upset far, far less people and factions than he otherwise could have. Sadly, this is the climate of our current reality. Equally, we must acknowledge the climate to understand Latham’s achievements.

Today’s political climate is not a situation of Government and Opposition. Analysts providing opinion on that basis have been dangerously misled.

To consider the current political climate as Government and Opposition is to assume that the government is one thing, and the opposition another. In fact, the government is representing the people, and the people are deeply divided. The Opposition, led by Mark Latham, and the minor parties, united in wanting greater unity of a government, are all fighting this political battle on many, many fronts at once.

Sadly, there are those analysts and commentators who see this achievement of John Howard as being politically clever and masterful. Long may they rue the day of that foolish and expedient belief, as they grow more clear in their role and their responsibility.

When does it change?

Right now, we are in no man’s land, politically. Politicians are electioneering, but there’s no election date. While ever Howard holds the key to that date and to power, in silence and in secrecy, Howard has the initiative. It is an achievement of no small measure that Latham has managed to set the agenda time and again while Howard holds the power initiative.

Latham is performing the task asked of him, straddling the great divisions, and doing so flying blind. Think of what this must be like. It’s a task requiring much forbearance and a grandeur of spirit. It must be extremely draining of energy to try to hold all the divisions together while flying blind. It must be heartbreaking, also, to know the damage that has been done in our divided nation, and to know that until that divisiveness goes, the game must be played in the current climate of horrible compromise.

Latham’s popularity and his energy must, by the nature of the current reality, be sapping. The smarter readers will know this, and be awaiting the time when the situation changes.

It changes when Howard calls the election date.

At that moment, Howard throws the key on the table. And at that moment, Mark Latham is more equally able pick it up.

And at that moment, the general public, the mass mind, starts to take an interest.

What happens then?

Mark Latham is then more of an equal contender. He is not now. He may be regarded as such, but in terms of power, he is not, not now. And then as the general public grows in interest, he breathes more energy. The more interest from the general public, the more energy. With energy, comes greater focus and power and forthrightness, for the one who is in contention, regardless of how much of those things he had before: the key has been thrown onto the table, and that gives energy naturally to the one who would pick it up.

The reverse is true for the one who is incumbent. John Howard has thrown the key on the table, he’s thrown away the initiative, he now has to expend more energy to get them both back.

At that time, each more equal contender stands to represent something of the mass mind, and the mass mind begins to decide.

There is great division in our nation, as we’ve had to horribly face, and yet there is also a tremendous oneness.

The oneness, the unity, is found in the values we hold. At the time of more equal contention, both Latham and Howard will have a track record that above all else matters. One will stand for unity and inclusion, the other for divisiveness and exclusion.

Deep down, we all know how tolerant and what the true Australian is. This will be reflected in our new leader. Let’s have patience and understanding in the meantime.

Margo: And giving away our economic sovereignty to the big boys in America, against our national interest, while collapsing the energy Latham has built up among citizens – how does that fit in, Robert? Please explain! Why didn’t Latham have the guts to take this issue on? He could win back the former Labor battlers on the FTA issue, for a start. He could argue the national interest, and that Howard has betrayed it. Why did he do this, Robert. Why? Who owns the Labor Party?


Robert replied to my questions just after publication of this entry:


Mark Latham has not collapsed the energy built up among citizens. He has collapsed the illusion he was anything but a politician. Of course he has made mistakes; we all knew he would. But the energy you speak of has not been collapsed. Further, what has been collapsed is the illusion that we would immediately and from this terribly divided national condition, exacerbated for nearly a decade by Howard, fight on the grounds of an ideal national way. That is not the playing field we are on.

The energy you are speaking of is a latent energy. You and your readers will find in him more of what you are seeking at that moment. How will this happen?

It has left Howard, for a start. He loses much, much more when he calls the date. Howard must fight to retain public enthusiasm. He’s thrown everything and more at doing so, and hasn’t succeeded. Howard is not far enough ahead to win from this position, given among that the mass mind is now more fully aware of his divisive ways. That energy is there for the taking. It will congeal on Latham through Latham representing, within and through the confines of what he has to work with, a more inclusive country with a a forward direction. I am not here to advocate ALP policy, so look to them to find the extent of that inclusivity, beyond what Latham himself represents.

After that, let’s work to make the system better ourselves. We all must learn from this reign of John Howard and become more aware and more active, lest how can we ask our politicians representing us to be more of the ideal of we want! I recommend your book “Not Happy, John!” for providing positive ways in which this can happen.

This FTA is an horrific compromise and one that hurts me deeply, I assure you. I do not support the decision, but I understand the climate in which it was made. Yet this issue had to be dealt with. My only hope is that in power, good sense will prevail and the thing can be tempered. If not, let it be clear it is Howard’s legacy.

In relation to Latham taking this issue on, he did so. His actions are actions of inclusivity. You must remember he cannot afford to set afire the national public mind. He was threatened with this by Howard’s artillery, fully lined up and waiting.

What happens if the public mind is set afire? Fear is generated, it catalyses on Latham, and fear is Howard’s win. That is what Howard was seeking.

Try to see it in that light. Your enlightened and passionate readers may feel that Latham has set the public afire, but as much as your readership is extensive and valued, this is not the mass mind. The mass mind is not jumping up and down one way or another on this issue. That, Margo, is the greater problem.

Further questions must be asked of Mark Latham. Let’s ask those questions, and let’s listen to the answers. While doing so, consider the climate and understand what he has to do.

An Australian destiny?

Artist Robert Bosler is Webdiary’s commentator on the significance of Mark Latham. His work includes Time for Labor to play to win, not just play safeAn artist’s blueprint for a Latham win and Why is Latham alarming?


What is our world built on? Is it built on science? Is it built on politics? Is it built on religion? What is central to all these aspects of the human condition? What is the one, irrevocable central point upon which we can all agree?

It is that the world is built upon ideas. Nothing began in this world that did not begin first as an idea.

We are born into this physical world, but do we understand it? Understanding our physical world has always been admitted as subjective. Studies of this world begin with an assumption – an idea – and processes are devised towards finding more about it.

This process is akin to throwing a blanket over some of the stars, saying �this is our starting point� and then embarking on the discovery of what that blanket holds. The end result is a declaration saying �This is what our world is like�. From this knowledge we then build the world we live in. But always there is uncertainty because it all began with an assumption, a limited frame of starting points. We have no definitive or absolute certainty about this physical place in which we live. We are, in reality, continually creating our own existence.

A small number of citizens whose ideas are regarded as exceptional, brilliant, and world changing. The bulk of our citizens accept the world as something they cannot change – and yet if only they knew the power of that idea about the world!

Our suburbs are full of people whose idea of the world is “I have limited if not no power in changing the world”, but in fact their idea of it is what has given them, and everyone else, that world in the first place! Imagine if the world were full of citizens with brilliant, world changing ideas! There would be mayhem. The world is balanced and stable to the extent it is because of the stability which exists in the suburban mind.

Our world is a direct reflection of the combined effects of everyone�s ideas. The purpose of education and learning is to unlock constraints and allow people to know more about how they can utilise the the power of their own ideas about how they see the world. We can change the world by changing our ideas about it.

We are all born into the world as travellers on the road of life, down through the ages, none of us with absolute certainty about the road we are on, nor any road for that matter, except certainties we choose ourselves. As citizens of the world we’ve been given a free ticket to create it any way we want.

So what sort of world do we want? We can have it all. If we want, we can have it all.

Do we want, for instance, a world where people are at war? Do we want a world of peace? We can have anything we like, it is just a matter of where we put our resources. The idea of travellers on the road of life killing fellow travellers is repulsive to some, or crazy, stupid, a waste, and terribly sad. To others, the idea of war is exciting and valuable. Who is to say who�s idea is the better? No one can with certainty. But we can say for sure that we have the choice. It�s all about what we want.

We in Australia are uniquely positioned to change the world we live in. There is no other country possessing the distinct qualities we have. Let�s look at our place.

Beneath us is the oldest land in the world.

Why are we given this privilege? What gifts are written into this? Where do we get the answers? It starts with an idea.

The idea we can embrace if we want is that we are given this privilege because Australia is destined to take a place as a leader on the world stage.

We are born onto the oldest soil in the world because we have an inherent privilege to respect and honour our place of specialness and to, from that place, lead the world. No other people can say it. Australians can.

Don’t like the idea? Don’t think it can happen? Then it won’t. If you do like the idea, then it can.

We’re young

All the great civilisations of the world enormous roots embedded back through time. Each of these cultures have produced tremendous gifts to humanity, of arts, sciences, sport, and other treasures. But each of those cultures has, along with their priceless gifts, an anchor holding them back. Just as those tremendous historical roots have brought forth those gifts, so too do they anchor those civilisations to their past. They cannot escape from it.

Australia does not have that bind. Settled Australia is only two hundred years old. This is a blink in the eye and not long enough to form roots of burden. But we can relate to it all and freely create our nation as we want.

Our country is in the unique position of being able to choose from all those other great civilisations any gifts we want. We can take the gifts, embrace them, and use those gifts for our benefit. We can look at it all and choose for ourselves what qualities we want, without the binding or limiting negatives that go along with it.

As a developed nation we have already done so. We have chosen many of those treasures of humanity. Not only have we taken them, we have excelled with them. Our advances in medicine, sport and the arts are already leading the world.

So the idea of working towards a position of world leadership is real. Let�s not confuse world leadership with world domination. There is a dearth of true leadership in the world now, not that it comes along often anyway, so we need to be careful not to misunderstand what leadership really is. Leadership represents a place where citizens of the world are all yearning at some level to go to.

What we’d need to do first

We must discover more about this awesome place in which we live and love. Have we really started to fully understand where we live? We have enjoyed it; have we really bitten in to really know it?

Our peoples here are ancient. Yet again we strike world rarity and human gold. We mentioned great historical cultures but do we consider what we have right here? Our own people blitz them all in longevity. Outright, unequivocal, stand alone, world leaders. Our very own people have walked the earth the longest; their culture the most ancient. Let�s imagine for a moment what tremendous forces must have been bearing down on our Aboriginal people through those thousands upon thousands of years. They survived. That alone is a gulp stopper. But they prospered, and their culture sang with the joy of success.

These rare qualities are big things going down. Have we ignored it? Have we harmed it? Do we want to heal it and embrace it? How do we take it further?

May contributors take the ball from here. If you’ve taken this idea for the first time, that Australia is precious, privileged, and unique, and can move forward into a greater place as a leading light on the world stage, and it moves something in you, you are needed right now. Take the ball and go. Do what you feel you must. Australia has the chance of moving forward at this moment in our national history.

The following is one afternoon�s offering of ideas to contribute to the way forward, towards reaching and honouring our destiny.

We will not achieve our destiny if we remain separate from our own people. The world will never respect us if we do not achieve reconciliation. There was never a conciliation in our national history, and we’ve been barking up the wrong tree trying to attempt Reconciliation. There�s been nothing to reconcile. We haven’t yet discovered what our Aboriginal people are all about. We don’t even know who we are dealing with. Let�s abandon the term Reconciliation for the misleading thing it is and start afresh on a whole new exciting path of discovery. Let us seek conciliation.

Our Aboriginal peoples� make up is entirely different from ours. They operate differently, think and feel in different ways, see the world from a different place. Their culture is a magical culture, built on relationship of matters of an internal nature. Settled Australia has matured enough to put aside our own view of life and to begin to discover the philosophical depths of Aboriginal life. Trying to make them like us is nothing short of cruel. But we can merge philosophical benefits from each of our ways and let each culture live enriching one another, crossing and joining where it wants, remaining free and pure where it wants. Of course this will take time, but the end result is brilliance. Let us set our goal at nothing less.

If you were born in another country, and looked upon these great gifts and privileges that only Australia has, wouldn’t you want to see them driving the highest standards possible for their appreciation within that privileged country? What would you think of a country that ignored them? We are brilliant and successful, leading the world already in so many ways, why not set brilliant conciliation and cultural celebration as our national goal?

How do we discover what our Aboriginal people are about? Perhaps a good place to start is to stop, sit down, and listen to them. This listening can happen anywhere, but the nation must hear it. What we learn must resonate through our daily lives. This discovery must be one of excitement and pleasure, so the journey of discovery itself is rewarding.

Maybe settled Australia needs to learn that we see our land as something separate from us. Maybe we need to learn that our Aboriginal people walk through and engage the land as a part of who they are; that they are walking through their own being, as distinct from being a tourist in it. Maybe if we sat down with them, and listened, we could learn how and why they see the world that way. Maybe we will benefit beyond belief in embracing some of these valuable philosophies and using them in practical solutions for all our welfare.

Maybe the joy of national discovery, of listening, of respecting the Aboriginal culture will inspire them, too. Nothing binds a people more joyously than the shared sweat of effort towards a common goal. Of course we can do it. We just have to want to.

Embracing our own people, bringing them into our lives, and going into theirs and enriching ourselves by all of this achieves not only a rich and magical and practically benefited Australia – it sends a powerful message to the world about how it is done. We did not fight, we did not demand, we sat down and listened. We learned.

What message would this send to the world?

Achieving conciliation between Settled Australia and Aboriginal Australia would send bullets of human brightness into the hearts of nations around the world. The international community would warm to us as a nation that got it right.

In embarking on our journey of conciliation we would learn more about what we loosely term the environment. We may come to understand that the environment is not something that happens to us, or that we do to it: that the environment and our own lives are wholesome as one, an organism of life. Imagine feeling that the natural world resonated within your very own being, rather than feeling like you are a tourist in it! How would this feeling change Settled Australian�s ideas and choices in life? How rich would be the feeling that your life is as one with the world around you.

Even slight policy changes that embraced this sense of wholesomeness in legislative matters of the environment shift the balance more towards our sustainability as a life form. Even slight changes alter attitudes and awareness, which lead in turn to the celebration of protecting our environment in all we do. Environmental respect becomes a sexy subject. The world must learn how to better manage our living with the natural world. We have the world�s teachers, the culture of philosophical success in achieving that, right here in our Australian Aborigine.

We would need a change of government if any of the above is to occur. We would need a government that has faith in our strengths, faith in our ability to freely embrace others, and faith in the value of ideas and the value of conciliation.

We would need a government that not only understood the need for trust, but understood that trust is an integral part of anyone�s desire to grow, and of the natural creative process – the process at the heart of everything we do. It would need to be a government that actually dealt in trust, if it could not go the distance to nurture it.

Strangely, a government that dealt in trust would, in the end, have less of an impact on our lives because it would recede into the background as we got on with the stuff of life that we each want to get stuck into.

Government criticism brings the government to the fore, daily, in everything we do, and is terribly distracting from what could be a smoother path of prosperity. Diminishing this criticism by having a government dealing more in trust – by trusting trust – shifts the focus of the national mind onto areas of government action that will provide greater national prosperity. It�s a win win situation for everyone. Even to get back to the days of some allaying of trust by a government would help, but this total ruination of it is not on. If only a government were brave enough to trust even more in trust. But then again, we have to demand it, we have to want it. Have we spoken loudly enough?

It is a matter of our self respect as much as anything. Do we continue to bend over and take it? Let us speak up, and clearly make it known what we want.

To arrive at our destiny, we need a government that did not govern to govern, but one that governed to lead. To lead is to grow, and growth requires faith and trust, and allows for failures along the way, knowing that admitting to failures is an important part of growth. We need a government of vision. We need a government brave enough to listen.

We need a government that understood that in growing there will be dissenting voices, and that these voices are precious and valuable to the process of growth, and that they must be listened to and embraced. To attempt to banish those voices is to turn from our destiny. No one can be denied.

We do not know for sure if we have any or all of these requirements in a Latham Government. We do know for sure we don’t have even one of them with Howard.

Perhaps also we need to answer questions of national self image. Questions of an Australian sovereign state, and our national flag, remain unanswered and unattended. Could it be that by walking the path of conciliation with and learning from our Aboriginal people we will arrive at a place where we do all want to celebrate our unique, natural, national identity? Are we shying away from standing alone on a world stage heralding our own identity because deep down we don’t feel we deserve it? Could it be that joyously moving towards discovery and conciliation with our peoples will give us this national self esteem?

Perhaps we also need to re-engage our international neighbourhood, presenting ourselves more as a nation of goodwill. A nation of goodwill is more accurately what the true Australia is.

Are these big issues to attend to? Yes. What does it take to achieve them? Only that we want to.

It is a great and privileged nation, ours. We have an unrelenting demand to lead in many things we choose internationally to do, and we have this fabulously laid back take it all on style. Somehow we have combined these national traits in a way that is not contradictory, but complementary.

An Australian leader would be bloody dangerous if he or she had the unrelenting need to lead. Perhaps it is time to realise the Australian psyche is sophisticated. Part of the nature of the Australian sophistication is that we don’t see ourselves that way. The makeup of our psyche precludes this, which protects us from arrogance.

Still don’t think Australia can achieve this position as a world leader, or should?

Is a true world leader an economic feastfest lusting after, and with a track record of, using a grotesquely disproportionate degree of all the world�s resources so that the world�s natural resources will be ruined beyond repair in fifty years? Do you think the vast rest of the world wants and respects this?

What are your ideas about what the world really wants as a leading light for the long years ahead?

If your idea of a true world leader is a nation built on the world�s oldest land, having found peace with itself, having faced the fears of discovering its own identity and celebrated that achievement, having learned from its own – the world�s oldest – people, there is only one place in the world that can do it.


The privilege and the opportunity has been given to us. Do we want to honour the privileges and take the opportunity?

If we do, we know already, by even just making that choice in our minds and empowered by our willing hearts, that we can make it happen. Our first big opportunity to stand for this choice is just months away. Take the moment now, if you feel it, to speak up on your idea for how you want your world to be.

Why is Latham alarming?

Artist Robert Bosler is Webdiary’s commentator on Latham the man. His work includes Time for Labor to play to win, not just play safe and An artist’s blueprint for a Latham win.


This country wanted political action and now we’ve got it. We’ve been given a teaser with the latest engagement between Latham and Howard, and it’s thrilling to see the lifeforce of the Australian system flushed again and pumping. After the barrenness of a seemingly endless Howard, we have our rising star, and the difference in his play was always going to alarm some of us. It’s going to get more alarming, too, so perhaps we should prepare ourselves a little.

Why is Latham alarming? We are not used to him. His style is world’s apart from his opponent. We need to get used to him and learn more about him, as he is on his way towards running the country. It’s more than a matter of style. The difference between the two men is a creative difference. One could be no more different from the other.

Creativity is not the exclusive domain of artists and writers. That we are about to talk about creativity demonstrates so wonderfully how our nation is starting to breathe again. It’s exhilarating to be talking about it again, because everything we do is a creative act. Everything. Write a shopping list, you are creative, right there.

Everything you do, every time you speak a word, or move your hand you are being creative. Creativity is our fundamental state of living. How highly you create, or what you create, are matters of your personal choice. These are also matters of self worth, of freedom and faith, and it is magnetisingly important that as a nation we begin to speak of it again.

That’s why this impending political decision – Latham or Howard – is so important to the way we will live once that decision is made. Each man is so different, creatively, that decision will affects us in much of what we will do, how we will think and how we will respond to our lot in life.

We can understand this better if we make a simple distinction between the male and female aspects of creativity.

Not gender – these are forces, the masculine force and the feminine force. Every creative act contains each of these forces. In Latham and Howard the mix could not be more different, and we need a measure of maturity in properly assessing them.

The feminine force is what comes first in the creative act. The feminine force we know as intuitive, sensitive, encompassing, receptive. This is the energy which descends upon us first in the act of creation. It is not physical in force, it is a sense.

We need then, as the second component of creativity, the masculine energy of action, of enactment, to bring the creation to be. In effect the two forces are combined intrinsically and immaculately in all we do, in varying degrees of each, and the difference in the general mix between our choice of leaders is astounding.


The man is highly creative. He is, beyond his full ability yet to control it, a man given to the creative spirit. That he cannot fully control it is not to be critical of him because the control of the creative act requires ultimately mastery, and the journey of total mastery, if anyone’s finally to obtain it, is one demanding decades.

It’s a measure of the man that he has embarked on that journey, because unlike Howard, Latham has chosen it and it is the tougher calling.

The creative spirit drives him. Because the creative spirit is driving him, empowers him, guides him, loves him – yes – for his commitment to it, this creative spirit holds him. He is so given to it he appears born unto it, and once on the journey he cannot step away.

We have here a man who feels things first, as an intuitive knowingness. This is the same intuitive knowingness once spoken of as being a woman’s knowingness or intuition, before we better understood the forces at play in each of us. It is a sensing; a sense. To the woman reading this, may this be at least another small step in our shared understanding. For the man reading this, just to be sure, know that when the footballer is about to cut through and score it is this sense he first feels.

That sense is an energy. It brings written into it the nuts and bolts of what is required to make it happen, but the nuts and bolts flow much later. First, comes the sense. Being highly creative, Latham knows only the sense, the feeling, the energy, the absolute empowerment of it, before anything else.

In humanity, this is the birthing ground of new ideas. In pure form, it is preciously rare in a political leader, and it serves us well to set aside our immediate responses, valid as they are, and look more into what this creative spirit is all about.

Given to it, Latham lives for it. To the highly creative person, the important thing above all else is to allow that sense to live, and live through them. In his capacity as a leader, Latham by his own choice, wishes to have others grow and benefit as a result of what comes to be. That is the very nature of creativity. That sense, that knowingness, that others (Australians) can grow and benefit because of what he senses is his defining characteristic.

This is the true leader. This is what eventually makes greatness. That Latham has even just begun upon this journey is electrifyingly interesting.

The element of courage in believing in the intuitive knowingness of what you can do cannot be understated. It is easier often to tie up the nuts and bolts of a new idea once it is born, but in the creative soul those nuts and bolts are in the first instance sensed only, if at all, and that they are there and that the idea can be done is a matter of absolute faith and trust.

This is the vision of leadership. To make it happen, it carries with it, also, an absolute faith in you.

Lately, in Mark Latham, we have as a nation seen these qualities begin to arrive. Right now, he is beginning his coming of age in the grander realm of our nation’s leadership and it is still very early for him in understanding the muscle of his own ability, through this creative process, on the national scale. Where it will go remains to be seen.

For now, in these early days in the journey, it could be suggested that the most important thing for him is to represent that force and to give it life, to begin to breathe it into existence. That it must live, to him, is what drives him. If so, then the nuts and bolts of it all is of lesser importance than the need to bring it to first life. If so, the nuts and bolts of what he represents he would know are written into it, and he would trust that absolutely.

Remember, we are speaking of creative forces here, not political forces, which may require of themselves that the nuts and bolts are there at the start. But not always, and no national growth will happen unless it we begin with trust. Nor are we talking here the manner of choice in the way Latham introduces policy in the electioneering process, which is a tactical issue as much as anything else, and relevant only to this political time.

Having only started his serious journey of creativity on a national scale we see a man not yet developed nor perhaps even focused on the issues – the manner – of his ideas’ introduction. That what he wishes to bring to life will result in debate or uproar would of course be well known to him. Early in the journey, he has learned that this debate and uproar will exist, as a natural response to the process, but to him right now it is more probably something to be endured, not something that he has or is wanting to have control of. That what he senses must be given life to him just now is all; that it must live, is what drives him.

Later, as the corrective forces of pragmatic government, of media, of legislation, of failure, of success bear upon him, he will learn to better represent the early stages of the force so as to limit any uproar of its introduction. These will be the steps towards mastery; mastery of the demanding creative forces driving him. That he is such a young man and is this far along that demanding journey already is remarkable in our national history, and for now he must be given this credit.

That Latham represents this high creativity stands him on his own on the political stage. And this brings him to where he can come undone. Alone the creative power is without value; it needs others to make it happen. As Latham’s power grows, so too must his ability to acknowledge the role others play in bringing what he senses to bear. It is a learning curve for all involved, and can only be done by doing.

Comparisons are being already being made with Keating. Keating, too, lived and breathed his vision. But the Keating creative force came undone, and it did so for the same reasons Latham is just beginning to face. Keating failed because he failed to bring the punter with him. So enrapturing was the vision he lost sight of the punter. Latham must learn from this, and bring the punters with him. Inspiringly, distinctly, Latham appears to have the punters foremost in his mind as the very element of his vision.

The punters will come, but there must be a reason for them coming, and they must feel it. It must be about the collective effect of the creative act. It must be about how everyone plays their part. These are high powers Latham represents, but it is the meekest in the community who must guide him and teach hims to ensure his powerful vision comes to be.

If Latham cuts off his connection with those he wishes to serve, if he cuts off his connection to grass-roots criticism, his time will be over. Look for him in his community gatherings with you, and know that what he is doing, with you, is vital to the process.

Yet it is not all about this creative, feminine, energy, for Latham. Let’s be prepared for the consequences of it now, because Latham is colder, tougher, harder, than Howard has ever been. Let’s not be so taken with Latham’s ideas as to miss what also we are in for. The spirit of creativity, of what is pressing on Latham to be done, carries with it the demand that it must be done, and if challenged, will rise in force to achieve it. The corrective forces of his colleagues’ nature, of media, of opposition, of electorate calling, of pragmatic legislation, will all bear upon that demanding spirit and therein is it checked. But be prepared, because vision carries steel and the creative force, not the destructive force, is the stronger.

What a job the Labor Party has ahead of it. This is the fun time now. Once elected, they will have the task of somehow allowing Latham’s creative spirit its freedom to prosper and bring benefit while carefully shaping and guiding that spirit through the grinding process of political enactment.

What we have seen lately of Latham versus Howard is nothing more than a man coming into being. Engagement with Howard these last days would have been, more than anything for Latham, a test of that creative process. Latham’s true passion is the spirit of growth, of change, of creative benefit. Of what he senses must be done. This last engagement with Howard would more than anything have provided a valuable test of response to his own creative process, from which he can learn and mould the process for representing it more masterfully in the future.


A solicitor. Here we have an entirely different mix of energies. A solicitor is comfortable not for a new creative force, but to want to pigeon-hole something already presented. Howard’s creativity is not in newness or freshness, but in rearranging the existing. Moving things from here, to there. Re-organising things. Making a new order of things, or what he thinks is the rightful order of things, but of things already in existence.

He does possess intuitive and receptive qualities, but they are entirely geared for receiving how he is perceived by the public. It’s an entirely different mix of energy. Howard’s sensitivity is not wired towards new creative solutions or gifts for the public, it’s wired to what exists in the public mind about how he and his party appears politically.

It is interesting that Howard followed Keating in our history. Keating led that journey with the vision, lost touch with those he wished to serve, and Howard was there to mop it up. Howard, originally, gave some in the community comfort for the very fact that he had no vision, that he was a plodder, a re-arranger. Box this up here, restructure this over there, pull this out of here.

Because Howard’s intuition, his sensitivity, his receptivity, is wired to his political standing as viewed by the community, the community in effect doesn’t receive anything newly created. This is not a criticism of Howard, it is a statement of fact. But it does mean the nation will not move forward into new ground. It moves sideways or gets separated and is in danger of going backwards with each policy development. It will be interesting to see whether people want this to continue.

Howard did bring changes, and while they seemed to give us something new, in fact he has only given us things that were already created, elsewhere if not here. He has restructured, rearranged, reorganised, but he has not really created. He has not brought into the community something newly dreamed. Nor is he wired to ever want to. Howard’s creative mix means that the great words of history that said “I have a dream” mean only that he can restructure, not create anew, nor ever see anew or want to see it.

This has meant our nation hasn’t felt the nourishment of creative energy. The opposite has happened, because we have been held in an attempt of fear or division: again, not a criticism, a statement of fact. When the creative mind is given the choice of fear and division, or hope and opportunity, there is no choice for that mind: the grandness and value of hope and opportunity totally discount the temptation of temporary personal gain in its opposite.

Without this nourishment, for eight years now, we are as a nation drying up. There is a quiet cry in our nation now which has been there for some time. This dryness or spiritual sparseness, this sense of communal vacancy, is reflected in the way human issues of national community growth are shelved or swept away, and there is a silent edict that no one dare introduce something new or progressive. Our Aboriginal community, as one instance, have long since gone quiet in total disillusionment and neglect.

Issues of the economy in this vacant dry environment take on a highly unusual level of importance, despite the fact that any economist will tell you that there is much more to a successful economy than merely pulling economic levers. If the nation continues to suffer this lack of creative nourishment, the long term effect is that our youth turn from the sunshine and lower their gaze to the ground, seeing no future or receptive model for what they might dream as being.

The razzle dazzle of wars and terrorism issues wipe away any immediate public view of how ingrown this spiritual vacancy and growing depression is in the country now, and those who are sensitive to what is happening to the fabric of our national heart and mind are desperately concerned, knowing there is no government interest in the state of it, let alone its nurturing.

In fact, there is a blatant disregard and on occasions outright contempt shown for it. The ruination of trust in so many areas for so many years has done unseen damage, and filters through into every decision people make. This is a legacy which takes years to uncover, long after the fanfare of the government is gone.

Latham’s arrival has breathed new life into our national debate, but will it live after the election?

To understand how the nation feels without creative nourishment, perhaps we could use an analogy, of rearranging the house for a month, knocking out bricks here, sweeping that over there, day after day. How do you feel?

You feel like you need to have a shower, freshen up, and find some replenishment and some nourishment.

Our nation has been rearranged and rearranged and the question now is do we want to be rearranged any more?

Yes, we are frightened of change. For the first twelve months after Latham becomes our Prime Minister many could feel more frightened than they ever were with Howard. But that’s what happens when you move into another house; for a little while you feel unsettled, especially if it’s a much bigger house with more rooms and more to be discovered about where we live. In the end though, it is fun.

It could take those initial twelve months for those powerful corrective forces to guide Latham on his journey, and for us to get used to breathing the energy of new national ideas. Without the monotone drone of Howard’s rearranging we will hear the rich effect of the freer voice of the creative spirit, and we’ll hear words of encouragement and hope instead of fear.

And then, in your own creative acts, in everything you do, you have the sense of freedom that feels like blue skies open, and with it perhaps the dawning of your own idea.

How secure we will feel as a nation breathing that new energy will depend largely on the corrective forces bearing upon it. Among many other forces we have Peter Costello, a man without real creativity, but with his highly developed corrective force a man shaping up as exactly what our nation needs, as the Leader of the Opposition, to check the inspired Latham and help our treasured nation go forward.

It is a fascinating choice we are facing. Do we invite into our lives the sureness of new ideas, new directions, and the excitement and concern that those new developments bring from a man whose senses are geared towards the unseen future? Or do we continue with a man whose senses are geared towards how he is perceived electorally, whose actions are about restructure and rearrangement.

How much reform can we take? How brave are we to take the future? And how fortunate we are that we have a choice.

The Liberal Party: headed for oblivion?

“The Liberal Party’s arc of relevance has peaked and is steadily falling. Looking at the massive social shift, for personal and economic growth, onto Relationship, the Liberal Party must change its philosophical reason for being. If it doesn’t, as the groundswell keeps moving forward the Liberal Party’s current trajectory could well see it dead in fifteen years.” Robert Bosler

Artist and Webdiarist Robert Bosler reckons the Libs are gone and we’re about to do the vision thing. His previous work on the Zeitgeist includes An artist’s blueprint for a Latham win and Death of the Liberal’s liberalism?


Through the length of just these words we are going on a journey. It�s a journey that will peel back the madding rush of everyday life and we’ll be able to see into the deep groundswell of thought and feeling that is moving our nation forward.

As you do so, you’ll be aware that you’ll be looking into the minds and hearts of Australians moving surely in a clear direction. You will see some people are well aware of where they are going, while others may be less aware, but walking that way nonetheless, looking more at what is beside them than what lays ahead.

This is the world of vision. It�s also the world of the strategists who seek to dive in and return with a treasure of insight which will set the bearing on the compass of their political party towards where the groundswell of people are moving.

We�re going into those depths now. But before we do, a word of warning. It is often scary. Please take that seriously. It can be very, very frightening. We will discover things that we never before knew; and the fear we feel will come from discovering that what we find in there had been living there a long time, and that it is not going to go away.

It can also be thrilling, ecstatically. How much fear you have will depend on how much you resist what you see. Let�s go in and look.

Unlike diving into the depths of the ocean, or into the universe of outer space where we have to put things on, like protective suits, to go into the depths of the hidden inner world of the nation�s heart and mind we have to take our protective suits off.

We have to remove our prejudices and our pressing need to do whatever is pressing on us to do. We have to strip away our daily concerns, take it all off, and sit there, free. Peaceful. We feel the quiet descend on us. We become aware of our breathing. Breathing in. Breathing out.

There. Down we go. Into the depths. We are on our way in.

The first thing we see is that it�s big. For twenty million people it�s bound to be…but isn’t it strange, we don’t see twenty million people. We don’t see any people at all. We see a kind of an organism, where the oceans of peoples� hearts and the universe of their minds sort of melds together, moving gently, warm, just seeming to move over itself. All sharpness and hardness went long ago. We are inside the warm soft pulsing body that is our nation�s heart and mind. It seems to just want to experience itself. That�s all it seems to want to do, to feel itself, explore itself, enjoying itself, slowly and timelessly. It seems to delight in its very own existence, as though that delight is reason enough for its being.

It�s sensational! Are you smiling a little? That�s it, right there. That is the heart and mind, the soul, of our nation.

It is precious, isn’t it. Precious and delightful, almost breathtaking.

There�s no rush. We can take time to enjoy this, if you�re seeing it for the first time. Amazing. See how it loves to move through itself. Discovering itself, delighting itself. This is the silent, deep inner depth, of who we all are.

When you are ready, let�s go back in time.

How, do you ask? Easy. We just stay right here. This deep in here we can watch the groundswell of our national heart and mind move over the top of us, from decade to decade. All we have to do is to put our heads up.

Up we go. Let�s go back up towards the surface now. There. What you see now is Australia, and the year is 1944. The country is at war. See all the people. Look at what they are wearing. It�s grey, it�s all grey. There�s no colour. They�re all doing what they�re doing but they seem like they are all boxed in. They�re all sort of trapped within themselves.

And there now we see the great leader of the time, Mr Menzies.

He�s talking to the people. What�s he saying? He�s saying he wants to give everyone there �more personal choice, more personal freedom�. He does indeed look like a man of greatness; courageous. He has a gentle authority. Well, these people here in 1944 certainly need more personal choice, and more personal freedom, that�s for sure. It looks like every man has set jobs to do, as the breadwinner. That�s all. It looks like every woman has to have a baby and clean the house. That’s all. This is no joke; it�s not much better than that for man or woman. That�s not life as we know, from where we come; but there it is, all grey and boxed in, in 1944.

Let�s consider Mr Menzies� task for a moment. The Australian people we see here are vastly different from us. Mr Menzies has a seriously big ask here. �To provide people with more individual choice and freedom.� Can he do it?

Inspirationally, he establishes in this year a political party for that very purpose, and it�s called the Liberal Party of Australia.

Let�s leave Mr Menzies and those boxed in war time Australians. Let�s leave 1944.

Let�s go back in.

Breathing in. Breathing out.

Silently, deeply. Down we go. Down into the depths of the national heart and mind. Gently. Pulsing. Enormous. Delightful. Warmly and lovingly discovering itself. You’ve been here before, and once here, it never really leaves you.

Let�s stay here and just watch what is going on up above. And looking up, we watch the groundswell of the national heart and mind wash over us.

Soon we see the war has finished. Finished!

Perhaps we’ll leave the Australians of that time to rejoice, as they all come back together again; it will take them a few years to try to sort through what life is without a world heavy in battle.

Look up. Bummer. The 1950’s and it�s still grey. The men and women of Australia are still all trapped and caught up in the roles life has set for them. It�s like they are living life on traintracks. It�s a stilted existence, this. What is it gonna take for them to be free?

It would take an explosion. And the western world got it, and how! There we see it, as time moved forward into the sixties. Huge. Boundaries break and boxed in lives burst, exploded. Colour!

The seventies, we see, everything is trying to settle again, falling back into a new world order. Like exploded embers coming back to earth. But the social ground had burst from under the people, so there in the seventies we see the difficulty people are having, trying to put their new world back into place, bit by bit. Because they have been released from their boxes and thrown away the traintracks, people there now have these fabulous new ideas about how their new world can be – but without any real solid ground under them yet it�s hard for them to make those ideas last. Let�s leave them time to let it all fall into place, and let the new social ground form.

Breathing in. Breathing out.

Now, it is getting interesting. There we see the eighties. This is different, big time. The ground beneath the people there has become solid, very solid. Ideas from each and every individual can take root and they can grow. And look at the colour! Look at the vibrancy and richness of life. There�s a woman excelling in a professional career, heading up a boardroom. There�s a man staying home looking after his children. The people are, individually, free. If only Mr Menzies could see this. These people have individual choice. Look, they can do what they want, be what they want. Look at the power it is giving the people.

It�s like a hunger for them. Well, let them eat. They’ve been starved of individual expression and starved of individual freedom of choice, so let them gorge themselves. This is real freedom; this is real choice. It�s on solid ground, and the sky is the limit.

What more could we want? And what a relevant question. This is the me-want time of Yes! Money? Not a problem, watch them go for it.

The crying need for the fully free individual, the time of individual choice, has arrived. Achieved. Done. On solid ground. And aren’t they hungry, and isn’t that all they want. Look at them, satisfying their hunger. Gorging. Mr Menzies, and your Liberal Party, what you set out to achieve is now here, in abundance. Whatever any individual wants to do, here in the eighties, that individual has solid ground beneath them and they can set out freely to do it. They are hungry; we’ll let those individuals feast on their freedom and their limitless choice.

Before we leave the eighties, a quick look at this question between two of the people from that time. What happens if one said to the other �I want to create a political party who�s philosophy is all about individual freedom and choice�?

By us going on this journey, we now know the response would be: �There is no need to have a political party with that philosophy. We are doing that already. It�s been done. Our society has achieved that already. There�s no need to try to do it for our country, it�s already happened.�

�You mean it�s not a good idea?�

�I mean there�s no need for it any more. You don’t need to build a political party to do something that has already been done. The party would be irrelevant. No one would notice it. It would be like building a big political party whose whole purpose is to give us the ability to breathe, or nod or wink. We already have it. Freedom and choice is part of us now.�

Breathing in. Breathing out.

What we’ve just heard takes a moment to sink in. We know in 2004 the Liberal Party still exists, but we’ve just heard how even there in the eighties Australia doesn’t need it any more. And that�s big news.

That�s the frightening part, right there, that we talked about at the start.

Before we left we were prepared for what we might find. And find it we have.

It may take a while for it to be absorbed, but there you have it. The Liberal Party is now philosophically irrelevant.

All that is required is the maintenance of the choices and freedom Australians have, and to ensure the choices and freedom of parts of the nation as those parts evolve and arise, and that can all be done by any capable political party.

The Liberal Party was built in 1944 upon a philosophical premise: to satisfy the hunger from the groundswell of Australians, calling out from the depths for a better life. That life has been achieved.

The Liberal Party of today has been slowly rendered philosophically irrelevant. And it has been that way for some time. Only now could we say so. The groundswell has passed over us sufficiently, so that here now in 2004, we can see clearly where that groundswell has been, and what it needed as it moved along.

We have now a political party that exists in name alone, in party structure and membership, and in political acts alone. It is, at its core, no longer relevant.

This is not word play here. We went on a journey of discovery, and we have brought back a truth that is hard in this day and age to swallow.

To make more sense of this, we need to look at what has happened between the eighties and now.

We saw that freedom and choice had arrived, secure, in the eighties. That it is secure is important. We needed the time of the eighties to see that the peoples� freedom and choice was standing on solid ground.

We knew it had arrived when we saw on our TV creens the news item telling us that a black woman had been made a judge. That signaled the full arrival of the individual of freedom and choice, standing on solid societal ground. That a woman could choose and build a professional career like that was sign enough. That it would be a black woman who could now sit in judgement over whites and decide impartially upon their fate, when for centuries earlier her sisterfolk was bound in the shackles of slavery, signaled the end of the ball game for the liberal vision. The world over: liberal fulfillment had been sought for so long, the evidence was clear that now it had come.

Eat too much, and you don’t need to eat any more. So it was in the eighties, with people gorging on their individual choice and freedom. And filled people were. The groundswell was ready to move on. And was it all positive? What was the cost?

The cost of the feasting on our individuality was what we did to our natural environment. Blindly in our personal hunger we massacred it.

Amongst the din of the feast we heard other noises during the eighties. We heard it in the distance, and we heard it from those who had been quietly studying the environment for years. We heard alarm bells. We heard for the first time in our history the very, very serious threat detailing the end of our species if we kept blindly gorging on satisfying just ourselves.

There was a social cost, too. Some individuals just couldn’t grow, couldn’t prosper, couldn’t feast on what was provided for them by this individual freedom and choice. Wondering how to give them more and more individual freedom and choice was never going to help these people: they need help in other ways. Besides, they knew they had available all the freedom and choice they could ever want, and knowing it was available made it even more painful for them that they couldn’t prosper in it.

How do we help them?

And those who no longer wanted to feast, and are comfortable with what they obtained, what do they want now? To where was the groundswell moving?

Here we come to the treasure that the strategists want to find. We’ve had the frightening thing given us from this journey, now let�s get the gem.

To get it, let�s go back to those two people talking. What were they doing? They were relating. Each had individual freedom. Each had individual choice. But, individually, that is all they were: individuals.

Together, they had a relationship.

The relationship allowed them to grow. One individual shared with another. One helped another. Together they shared in the issue. There was growth. Only then, from relationship growth, could they move forward.

Yes. We needed to achieve individual freedom and choice. We did. Yes, we need to maintain these. We will. But the individuals� growth and the prosperity of enterprise came from the relationship.

Just as we heard in the two people having the conversation, through that brief relationship, where one person, who needed something, got it, so too does that fulfilment come when there are three people, four, a hundred, a nation.

Relationship. The true essential power of our growth as a nation is built on Relationship.

We know we have our freedom and our choices. We now want quality Relationship. We want it personally. We are learning about it all; our television shows and bookshelves are filled with help about relationship. Society today is awash with the need for it. We want it internationally. We want it between institutions. We want it everywhere. Even hardline business wants it. The modern business world is philosophically built on it, and calls it in today�s world: interdependence. We are striving for quality relationship, through every area of life. Since the passing of the eighties, and here today, we are hungry for it.

The political gem that we have brought back with us on our journey of discovery is that now, in today�s times, the groundswell is hungry for quality Relationship. We know that through quality relationship we will all grow. We know now that is how we will all be secure and prosper.

Let�s get another gem. This treasure is less obvious in our daily life. But it�s there. And that is our nation�s relationship with the environment. We’ve not yet become serious about what we are doing to the environment. We know that. We’d put it off, but its time has come. We all know it. Like cleaning out the rubbish in the back yard to make it fresh and healthy again, we put the job off, but when we finally embrace what has to be done and we get it done, we feel… what…..we feel liberated!

How it is that liberation comes in often obscure and simple ways.

Care and management of our living with the environment is not yet a sexy subject. We have to embrace whatever is required. Verily we now know, our survival as a species relies on what we do with our environment.

There it is, today�s hunger, the new bursting need of the Australian society. Quality Relationship between the individual and the individual, and quality relationship between the individual and the environment.

What happens if we fail to satisfy this new hunger? What happens if we deliberately ignore it?

Unfortunately, that is happening now.

Where once the Liberal Party we saw had enormous relevance in what we needed as a nation, today because it is philosophically irrelevant, it has in ways become a danger. The danger now in the Liberal Party belief is that, by focusing on the Individual, Relationship stands to have no bearing whatsoever on what the party chooses to do, let alone any attempt at quality of it.

It either has to change its philosophical core – its reason for being – or the danger will persist.

Keeping the liberal philosophy in today’s times gives the Liberal Party the right to cut up portions of individuals, and put them in separate piles. If you are focused on the individual as you cut up the groups you won’t feel a thing about what is holding them together, or what could be nurtured to hold them together. Whatever holds them together to the Liberal Party is not relevant. The liberal focus is on the individual. The focus is not on the relationship. The focus is not on the glue that holds us all together.

Cut the relationship, and each individual withers and dies. Cut the ties that bind us together, cut the bond, cut our brotherhood and our sisterhood, and we suffer. We do not prosper, we do not grow.

Cutting social ties without philosophical responsibility or pain then becomes just a political ploy – it serves no value to anyone except the Liberal Party itself. This is what we hear described as wedge politics, and it is a ploy used by the Liberal Party as we know to hold on to power.

Let�s be clear about what a danger it has become, and let�s be sure we understand what is happening. Let�s be sensible and responsible in how we deal with this danger. We have heard the use of the ploy of wedge politics being described as �clever politics�. Now we know the danger of this political ploy, it is clearly irresponsible to regard it as clever.

Here is the harsh reality of what is really happening: would you stand for Mr Howard cutting up the bonds and separating your family so that he could stay elected? Would you do it? Why then do we let him do it to our Australian family?

Is it clever?

That’s why today Australian people are crying out daily in the public media forums and in their private moments of discussion about the sad principle-less act of wedge politics. It hurts the fabric of our nation�s precious hearts and minds. It tears it apart. It tears us apart. On the surface in our daily lives the living effect is we cannot walk through life together. We cannot work together. We cannot laugh together. We cannot play together. We cannot be Australians together. We cannot build our future together.

By focusing on the individual, as a philosophy for a political party in today�s times, that party is given the free right to cut the nation up like cutting up arms and legs and fingers and toes of our bodies, and not feel a thing. The Liberal Party of Australia is the only political party in Australia with that particular focus, and the only one with that free capability.

Sadly, if it continues, that is what is threatening to become of the great Liberal Party tradition: a cold hearted butcher to the withering slab of the Australian body, and the public get sausages for policy from the sweepings off the floor.

Let’s remember the seemingly ancient but courageous man of principle, Mr Menzies, and ask: is this what Mr Menzies had in mind for treatment of the Australian people?

We have seen the awesome courage and vision the principled Mr Menzies set his working life about. Why the world of difference between Mr Menzies and Mr Howard?

Today, with the Liberal Party philosophically rooted in 1944, like an anchor to a time no longer relevant, and because Mr Howard has clung to it all his working life, as the wheel of time moved forward past its relevance it looks sadly like he has been sucked hollow. Without a principle of relevance to nurture him and hold him to a central belief, and using political ploys, not principle, to maintain power, Mr Howard has in a political sense become a hollowed out monotone political shell.

This does not mean he cannot make policy. Or stand adamantly to deliver it. Far from it, of course. But the issue confronting the Australian people in modern times is that, without philosophical relevance, he can put on an adamant face here, a face there, without any core substance, and representing therefore nothing of relevance, he can pick and choose policy for policy sake, simply to hold on to power.

We saw this lack of philosophical core signaled clearly, very early in power, when Mr Howard enthused about “core and non-core promises”. We all know a promise is a promise, and what he said was ridiculous, and, sadly, inherently dangerous. Mr Howard himself was voicing his own inability to be of any core truth about what he stood for.

The other area where the danger remains with the Liberal Party ruling philosophy is that our precious environment doesn’t have to register in what they choose to do. Our human relationship with the environment is not philosophically written into the way the Liberals govern. In the early days when the liberal philosophy was needed to promote individual choice and freedom, there was not the need to deal with the damage this individual growth would do to the environment. The dangers today in ignoring the alarm bells about how we’ve treated the environment are so serious it could lead to the extinction of the human being, if the heartbreaking daily extinction of other species is not enough already!

To have a token entry about the environment in your political platform is not sufficient; and the small token mention of it in the Liberal Party�s current political platform signals today the danger of a philosophy of long lost relevance.

Sadly, for many of us, we were looking forward to learning how we could better manage our living in harmony with our environment, but our teachers were torn from our coming together when Mr Howard came to power. Many of us knew we had right here, on the oldest soil in the world, with the oldest culture in the world, what any truly clever country would have cherished: the Australian Aborigine.

What richness we have, right here, waiting patiently, with whom we can one day sit, at their feet, and learn philosophical means for our salvation from the destruction we ourselves wrought on our natural world.

The Australian Aboriginal people have lived in harmony with the environment some say for 40 thousand years, some say 120 thousand years, but either way it blitzes our brief and destructive reign and from them, right here, we can learn the philosophical approach aboriginals have to that longevity. The world�s teachers are right here. Our world�s beautiful precious gift, our own brothers and sisters. Waiting patiently.

No wonder our Aboriginal brother and sister is hurting, with so much precious knowledge to give, and a government not wanting us to hear. What burden of riches they carry, and we see only their suffering under its weight.

And in return, what would our precious Aboriginal culture get from us? They get the respect their ancient culture deserves. And with that sense of self respect, they find their own way into their own fulfilment; all they have ever as a culture wanted from us after what we have done.

It’s all about relationship.

It must have been very daunting for Mr Menzies, way back in the boxed up grey war world of Australia in 1944, to find the hungry treasure that people of the day were looking for, and to believe in that treasure, and to make that treasure become reality. People of the day then, let�s remember, would have been frightened of that change.

And so it is the same today. People are naturally frightened of change. That�s what our journey into vision has been all about. Stepping back from the madding rush and discovering what the groundswell of the nation is hungry for, and how it changes, even though some may not know that they themselves are hungry for it until they see others feasting and can view the fare. The latter is often the most in need. And some, frightened, resist, and loudly we will hear them. But hungry we all are.

As we knew at the beginning of this journey together, how much fear you have depends on how much you resist what you see.

And so to the Liberal Party. Its arc of relevance has peaked and is steadily falling. The wheels of time turn. Looking at the massive social shift, for personal and economic growth, onto Relationship, the Liberal Party must change its philosophical reason for being. If it doesn’t, as the groundswell keeps moving forward, the Liberal Party’s current trajectory could well see it dead in fifteen years.

But sooner than that Mr Howard will go; what then? Mr Costello appears as the only person in the party showing sensitivity to the social needs of today, through ever so scant mentions at that. Sadly, his talent is rendered flippant and powerless because of the irrelevance of what his party stands on. In political terms he appears somewhat forlornly as the lost soul of modern politics. The public are not seeking his lead, though they enjoy from him as an aside their tiny glimpse of government colour.

Who then? Mr Abbott? Mr Nelson? Ms Patterson? Ms Vanstone? Mr Ruddock? Do these people reflect even a hint of what the public are hungry for? Does anyone want to seek from them our social future? And from any of them, do we hear even a word about the environment?

The real pain will lie with the Liberal Party backbenchers, who have not had the attention these ministers have had. Would the Liberal Party backbenchers have realised the irrelevance their party belief would become? Good folk no doubt, how would they have been able to see the movement of the groundswell when they first invested in their Liberal Party careers? What fear would they have for their own political time ahead? Will they want to continue to invest their lives in something continually moving away from them?

Though it is hard to swallow, unchanged, the collapse of the party is a very real possibility. It cannot survive on name alone. It cannot survive on what has been sadly and wrongly called �clever politics� alone.

For relevance in today�s Australia any political party must now we see have a Relationship strength in their philosophical purpose. The real excitement surely must exist within the young at heart, who can look upon all this and create their own vision of what a political party of today would be. There would be confidence in doing so, as their vision would last until if ever Australians satisfied their need for relationship and all the gifts that relating with their varied fellow man and woman and environment can bring.

Why have a philosophy at all? Because if it is a good and relevant philosophy we can hold them to it. And because a philosophy shows us the party�s belief – what each of them are all about – and we can see, and feel, if it reflects our current needs.

The Liberal Party: what is to happen to it? The party�s urgent clinging ploy maker, Mr Howard, will go, sooner or later, one way or another. Who�s left? What then?

We’ll leave the last word to Mr Howard himself, in his own voice – the word he uses to describe his fear of the political fate of his beloved Liberal Party.


A Webdiarist’s speech for a Mark Latham address to the nation


Australian dream. Martin Davies image.

“I’m glad to see the year 2003 go, ladies and gentlemen, because, and I’ll be blunt about it, because the year was a thief.” Mark Latham if Robert Bosler wrote his speeches

Robert Bosler is a Sydney artist and regular Webdiary contributor. His last piece was An artist’s blueprint for a Latham win


What would you do if you were the current prime minister and your whole world had just been turned upside down? What would you do to try to claw back some of your lost political image?

Think Christmas. Think the Queen.

Remember, you have all the advantages and trappings of the prime ministerial office, so you can set the stage, assume your sincerity, and, exactly – an �Address To The Nation�.

It would work, tremendously. You’d look sensational; and there on television you would lay it on us all over again.

Let�s be creative. It�s all out of the ordinary, this, our current political moment, so we can be creative with the state of our national debate now. If anything, what is below is at least an example showing it is possible now for someone to participate in it. I personally hope many more people not given so far to speaking up realise this fabulous opportunity in our national history right now and, whatever their view or their forum, come forth.

For us to share in the electioneering process, and so a citizen off the street may possibly add something to the national debate, I’ve made up a speech for a fictional end of year address by the other possible prime minister. Can you see and hear and imagine Mark Latham making the end of year address, written below?

Thank you, Margo, and your Webdiary, for the wellspring of its magic throughout the year – and looking forward to this wellspring, our beautiful national public voice in text, continuing to help shape debate in the most important of years: 2004.


Footprints in the sand

Well, what a year it�s been ladies and gentlemen. What a year. A big year. It�s been a big year, ladies and gentlemen, a big year for us all.

And along with all of you around the country I’ll be celebrating, I’ll be celebrating, but I’ll be celebrating because I’m glad to see it go.

I’m glad to see the year 2003 go, ladies and gentlemen, because, and I’ll be blunt about it, because the year was a thief.

It stole our chance to take the big steps on the world stage that would have coloured us with brilliance and we could have sat there shining for the world to see.

Instead, we have been threatened to become something we are not. Not if I can help it.

This year has seen us named as a terrorist target. I’m here to tell it to you straight, ladies and gentlemen. That�s what we’ve become.

I keep talking about the nation�s future and while it’s End of Year time and we are partying here and there, it’s not the sort of time we want to put our minds towards who we are. It’s enough to say who we are not. Were we ever really meant to be a terrorist target? Is that what Australia is supposed to be?

2003 came to us dressed as a salesman, ladies and gentlemen. Not the harmless salesman selling us the harbour bridge, it was a deceptive salesman, a dangerous salesman because it wasn’t selling us the harbour bridge, it was selling the desert of Iraq. The salesman came all dressed the part but it came selling the desert of Iraq.

It’s not good enough to hear John Howard point to the footprints in the sand that was the year 2003 and say that we’ve moved on. It’s not good enough. I don’t accept that, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t accept that for all of you.

When John Howard talks about our nation�s security having grown because we bombed Iraq he cannot ignore those footprints in the sand. He cannot.

It’s not good enough for John Howard to point to those footprints and say we moved on, ladies and gentlemen – because those footprints of 2003 were the footprints of a thief. A thief and a vagrant, vagrant from the true shining spirit of who we really are. It stole our country�s sovereignty, and our freedom, and it stole the chance we had to show our strength to the world and shine.

We are not a country that bombs other countries without a valid reason. We went to Iraq and we did it. My colleagues and I were opposed to it, you know that. And in retrospect we were proven right in opposing it, but our loyal country�s sons and daughters were sent there and we did it and my heart goes out to all those who served there and the families of those who served there, and I’m here to tell you we won’t be doing it again. Not like that.

To the people who served there and to your families, you are in my heart and you will be with me in my heart through my time ahead and I tell you this, if you are asked to draw upon your loyalty to your service, under my decision, you’ll be doing it with a country proud and united behind you.

Of everyone I ask this question: did we have to go to war when we did? That�s the question. That�s the question I keep getting asked, ladies and gentlemen.

But now we are in this situation, there�s no denying that now. No denying it. We are in it. John Howard put us in it, and I don’t accept the situation, and I’m dealing with it and my colleagues are dealing with it.

And now that we are in this situation, as Prime Minister I will have to ensure the arrest of terrorist suspects. I will do that. But there�s a bigger job I have to do, a bigger job for this country, bigger job for all of you. That�s why I’m talking to you now, to let you know what I have to do.

I will ensure the arrest of terrorist suspects, as Prime Minister of this country, but the bigger job I have to do is to arrest the slipping of the Australian nation down into that black hole of mutual retribution.

It’s slipping that way, and I have to arrest it. That�s what I have to arrest, ladies and gentlemen, I have to arrest the slipping away of our security and our own sense of freedom and of our sovereignty.

All that means is that we have to make our own decisions, and we have to have the time to make those decisions properly, that�s all that means. But you have to be big enough to do that, you have to be big enough. We all have to play a part. All of us. We all have to do it.

So 2003 was a thief, ladies and gentlemen. A thief, it stole our security and it stole our chance to shine. It stole our true Australian way.

I grew up thinking Australia was a masterpiece, a masterpiece in the making. I loved it. I loved everything about it. I loved the way the word looked, you know, when it�s written on the page. Still do, I love the way it is written. I love the word: Australia. It looks a proud word, an elegant word, a big thing, something big, and strong. I love the shape of our country, the outline of Australia, when it’s drawn on the map. Love it. No other country looks like ours. Every time I see it I feel this beaut sense of pride that that�s the country where I live. Where we all live. I love it, all of it. It’s ancient. Old, older than all of us, older than any other country. It’s special, a masterpiece.

A masterpiece in the making, it was. We were on our way to finding our oneness with each other. On the way to achieving a sense of balance with our internal cultures, as we share this country, and we all from all different backgrounds add our contribution to making it the masterpiece. There was lots to do, lots to do, but we were on the way.

That�s now gone. We lost it. We lost the way. The masterpiece in the making has been turned into mudpie. I want to get it back for us, for all of us. I want to get it back. That�s why I’m here.

I don’t have all the answers. That�s not what I’m here for. I’m not here to give all the answers. I’m here to help us find our way again. I’m here to pull it all together again as we all rebuild our shining nation. That�s my job.

If you’ve lost something, where do you find it? You find it where the light is brightest, that�s where you find it. Australia�s national light is brightest in our sense of joy and our natural sense of freedom and our natural love of life. It’s brightest in our sense of true Australian freedom as we get on and create and achieve. That is where we will find our future.

And if the light isn’t shining where you lost it, what do you do? You get a torch and you point the torch, you point the torch on the dark issues and we have to look at them.

We have to look at the things that swerved us off the way and look at those things that turned the masterpiece into mudpies. We have to look at them, we have to look at the lies about Iraq, at the lies about children being thrown overboard – goodness sakes! I promised you no crudity but goodness sakes! We have to look at all these things, because this is what has happened to us. Our country, this is what has happened to our country. This is what has made mudpies out of the spirit of our country.

That�s another arrest we have to make, ladies and gentlemen – we have to arrest the thieving of our national spirit.

It�s a bit harder to understand, but you know yourselves that when some precious property of yours is stolen and walks out the door you want to stop it and set it right. That�s what�s been happening to our country, ladies and gentlemen. All our shining glory, everything spiritual we as a nation had achieved and were working hard to achieve, everything we believed in as a free and creative and colourful national spirit, and a developing and learning spirit, is going out the door. Out the door. It’s being stolen.

John Howard and his government, for them to stay in government, it�s not a good enough reason. It’s not a valid reason and it’s not good enough. Having our bright and true Australian way stolen from us, there�s no valid reason for it and we have to arrest it now. We have to stop their politics of fear. We have to stop their politics of division. That is not who we are.

There has been enough of John Howard, enough. Enough: making mudpies out of the masterpiece that is the Spirit of Australia.

This is a land of abundance with a wealth of spirit and in spiritual terms we have been forced to make mudpies and eat the soulless cardboard package.

We have to rise up out of the mud, wash ourselves off, and start clean and fresh. That is Christmas 2004. Arrive there clean and fresh.

My dream is that we all contribute to the new masterpiece, the true masterpiece, the true Australian masterpiece. It won’t happen just by itself, nor can I do it for you – we all have to make the decision to do it together. We have to make that decision every day. We have to take action.

So many of you marched on the streets, you linked arms, and walked towards what you hoped was a world of peace. I urge you to continue doing that. Walk the streets with peace in your heart. Say g�day and smile and shake your countryfolks’ hand. Every day. And if you don’t want to get out of the house to do it, you can do it by sitting right there in your lounge chair and linking arms in spirit with your fellow Australians, and walk forward, walk forward, with me into our new and brighter future.

Australians are not afraid of the task ahead. We are not afraid, that�s not who we are. We are not meant to be made to be afraid. We don’t like it. We live in a land of colour. Colour. I think of the golden sands and the blue skies, the red earth and the silken snow. That�s what we are. This is the true Australia. We are a land of brightness and colour. We are not a land of mudded fear.

We can do the tough stuff in the modern era. We can do it. It’s part of our history, our national history. We can do it, and we do it. It’s part of who we are.

When the time is right, we get stuck in. Stuck in. We are not afraid, we do it, when the time is right, we do it, we get stuck in.

I look at all our great achievements along the true Australian way and I see Australia roll its sleeves up. We do it as a country, we roll our sleeves up and get stuck in and that is what we are.

I look at John Howard getting stuck in, but he never rolls his sleeves up. I look at him and see he lets others do the dirty work or take the rap.

But we know it�s the Australian way: to roll your sleeves up. It�s the true Australian way.

I look at John Howard and he doesn’t roll his sleeves up, ladies and gentlemen, because if he did we’d see his use-by-date. His use-by-date. Stamped on his arm.

I wish you all a true Australian Christmas, ladies and gentlemen, a happy and colourful and joyful Christmas.

And I look forward eagerly with you, my fellow Australians, with all my fellow Australians, next year, for John Howard to call the election and show us that use-by-date.

Goodbye to 2003, thankfully, ladies and gentlemen. Freshness is on the way, Merry Christmas, and enjoy.

An artist’s blueprint for a Latham win


Heart land. Image by Martin Davies.

“The consequences of Labor’s decision electing Latham as their leader are utterly profound. It has shattered the psychic fabric of our nation. We wake up now in a totally different country than we have done for 7 years of a dominant Howard.” Robert Bosler

Robert Bosler is a Sydney artist and regular Webdiary contributor. His last piece, on Labor’s leadership choices, is in Time for Labor to play to win, not just play safe.


After 7 years of living in John Howard’s landscape we had grown used to the scenery. Whether it’s hit you yet or not, that scenery has all changed with the rise of Mark Latham to Labor Leader.

There is another, fascinating landscape we all deal in on a daily basis – all of us. It’s the landscape of the mind, the landscape of the heart, the landscape of the soul, all immaculately welded together. This is the ‘psychic fabric of our nation’.

The powerful thing about it is that it is a fabric, where each of our hearts and minds and souls play a role. This psychic fabric is just as real as the roads and the trees of our visible landscape.

The consequences of Labor’s decision electing Latham as their leader are utterly profound. That decision has shattered the psychic fabric of our nation. We wake up now in a totally different country than we have done for 7 years of a dominant Howard.

Two people who wake up each day to this totally different world are Mark Latham and John Howard. How each of them respond to their new world will create the new roadmap for our country’s future. Will it be more of living in John Howard’s Australia? Or will it be Latham’s vision we live in?

Because of Labor’s decision, whether we like it or not, neither future is certain to arrive. Each of those men must now make it happen.

What follows is my suggestions for how Mark Latham can do just that. It sets him apart from his opponent, and defeats his opponent, and causes mistakes in his opponent, and Mark lives to enjoy it all.

1. The most important point Mark must remember is that he doesn’t have to do too much.

This is the central, coldest, hardest fact of the upcoming battle. Stating that fact will crash up against mountains of resistance, screaming at him that there is so much he has to do to win from this position. But that’s just the point. The more he listens to that, the more he will have to do. The first and foremost point of winning is this: keep it simple. He must not get swept up in other peoples’ energy or ideas. In short, to win, he must, more, remain himself.

2. Men like Mark know they are winners.

He knows it, don’t worry about that. If you want to enjoy seeing this in him you need look no further than his simple statements, like: “I’m just a guy having a go.” That simple truth and the way he says it speaks theease of the winner. It shows you he has all the complications of his role under control. That is the sign of a man who knows how to win. He must, daily, feel and enjoy his own winning nature.

3. Having all the complications under control – being on top of it all – allows him his sense of humour.

You can’t laugh about something if you’re buried up to the hilt in it. If it’s bigger than you, your only laugh is a nervous one or a forced one. Mark’s laugh so far has been positively wicked. It’s the laugh that brings out the spirited mischievous schoolboy in us if we are male, and the laugh that puts a mother’s hand to her brow as she faithfully prepares the next load of mud splattered washing, along with a ‘what am I going to do with you’ comment. It’s an infectious laugh, and its adorable. But it has also been the laugh of a man bored witless. And so to this point. Mark’s humour will change naturally, as the boredom and the mischievousness of previous times change for him. But his humour must remain. If it does, you’ll be looking at a man who has absorbed his new responsibility and who has the complications under control, who is on top of it all, and that is the safest and most secure leader you can have. Look for it. If you see his humour remain in the months of growing responsibility ahead, he’s already won.

4. We are all human, what happens on the days it all gets too much?

What does he do when the mountainous screaming whirlwind is just too much for now? Absolutely, he must say nothing. This crashes against the screaming mass and all hell will break loose. His minders will be screaming at him: “you must speak to the media or they will tear you apart”. He must let the media do just that.

Let’s say that again. He must ignore the exhortations to comment under those circumstances and if the media tears him apart, he must let them.

This is a standout point. It only lives successfully under these conditions: little time to go coupled with uncertainty, which is where we are now before the next election. It works because it creates a vacuum. A vacuum is powerful. It sucks things into it. During times when Mark is uncertain, if he ignores the screaming mass he then gives himself time to centre his spirit and get on top of it again.

Let the media tear him apart – because they will have nothing from him to tear apart. The media will be tearing apart only the substance that the media itself throws at it. Mark is silent. He, then in good time, has regathered within himself, he has created the vacuum, there is greater intensity of interest in what he has to say, and when he speaks again he speaks with incisiveness and strength and fills the vacuum with substance of his own choosing.

The net result: Mark has reset the agenda. He is back on top of it all, and the game plays out under his renewed terms and conditions. This point is crucial to his winning. Failure to do so, by listening to the exhortations to speak under duress, will show only a man not yet ready to lead.

This is a tough game we are playing now, and the conditions are not normal. You have to play it your way, and the critics will acknowledge, at the very least, your own style and your own strength in the way you play it. That’s a double win from a dangerous position.

5. Mark’s great strength is that he is the real thing.

He’s a real human being. We’re going to go on a roller coaster ride with him, but isn’t that what life is, in truth? We’re going to laugh with him, shout at him, wonder with him, grow thoughtful with him, all of it. We are not used to that. Mark has to be comfortable with how we respond to that human intimacy. He must fully realise right now his own natural and easy response to our future responses to feeling his intimacy with him. He must address this now, within himself. If he doesn’t, when we respond to his natural ways, en masse like never before, he will himself be uncomfortable with his own nature and we will feel it as uncertainty, or worse, rejection. He must not grow aloof. He must be himself prepared and natural with our unusual response en masse to his naturalness. We are not used to naturalness or intimacy in a leader now and Mark must prepare for our response to it. This way, he stays natural, and he stays the real thing.

Mark, and his minders, must realise that its better for us to be taken on a roller coaster ride of his naturalness than to feel rejected by him closing off that naturalness. This will not be easy for Mark, because he doesn’t want to upset us; his intentions and his ambition wants us to feel better about life. What Mark must overcome within himself is any tendency to be frightened about how we might feel about this intimate naturalness. He will be doing this in the face of at times overwhelming questioning as to its validity in a leader, because we are simply not used to it.

We are human too and will forgive him the downs along the way, but we will not forgive him our feelings of rejection. He must trust in us, and know that its ok for us to feel life again. When we feel secure in the weeks ahead that Mark is fully comfortable with himself and our intimate response to him, he will be unbeatable.

In short, Mark must set the agenda. His biggest challenges come not from his opponent, but from within himself, and from exhortations from within his sphere of influence. He must, then, keep the agenda, which means stepping back from it and letting it thrash itself around, not get caught up in that thrashing, and then go back in and reclaim it.

His party must grow enormously in their own understanding of these things about him. His party must understand that Mark is unique. His party must learn to see him, and not be looking at their own idea of what he should be. His party must understand that falling into the agenda Mark sets, even though it’s utterly foreign and probably utterly frightening to them in ways, is the only way they will win.

This point is of absolute importance to a win. Members of his party will be under enormous pressure to want to speak up and try to right what they see is wrong from his agenda, but if they do, they will lose. They must learn to sense this within themselves and hold it in check. They must not cut him down. They must realise that all agendas are flawed in some way and that it’s this oneness with his agenda that is unbeatable. They must not get in the way from him growing. Instead, they must put it all aside and grow with him, and by him. And if they do not realise this themselves, individually, Mark must make it clear.

And, finally: Time.

Time is illusory. You have a bad day at work and the day goes forever. Have three good days on holiday and they’re all gone in a flash. Winners know time is illusory.

When you set the agenda, you are controlling time. In fulfilling all the points above, Mark will slow the screaming thrashing rush down to a holding pattern under his control. Then, whenever he needs, he will be able to glide through spaces and score while his opponents look on dreamlike. Or, for fun, he can unleash it in a lightning blast and tear his stunned opponents apart.

Fulfill the points above, and time will be Mark’s to own, and everything that happens will fall into place, albeit challengingly, for him to win.