2020 is going to be the Age of Rage as people lose patience with delusional politicians, corporate CEOs and dictators who believe they can never be wrong.
Righteous Rage will not be a fashion, a trend, a meme or a moment. It will be an all-consuming mood that will dominate the headlines round the world as the reaction to lies and deception morphs into resistance and rebellion.
The rage has been bubbling through 2019 and in the coming year will reach boiling point and vent on the streets and in the media. The protest movement in Hong Kong demonstrates not only their desire for change but their determination not to surrender to state mandated violence.
In the UK Boris Johnson is leading a victorious Tory government but as he fails to keep his promises and blames everyone but himself, the rising tide of resistance will become a surge and it is likely he will respond, as all demagogues do, by recruiting the police to do his dirty work.
In the United States the Trumpist rantings have enraged those who believe in respect and common decency – even some of the very conservative church support is distancing itself from the source of unchristian behaviour.
Australia is now an enraged bushfired country as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his minions fail to show any real empathy for the those who have lost their homes or for firefighters, mostly volunteers, who have spent weeks trying to control fires that have grown into enormous monsters.
The deafness of the political leadership to the fact that Australia is burning has provoked a volatile mix of rage and despair. Australian politicians are adept at creating fears (asylum seekers, terrorists, foreigners, minorities) then claiming they are the only ones who can make these fears go away. Evading the tragic results of the bushfires should come as no surprise as it is not a fear they can contrive a ready solution too.
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Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton showed no signs of compassion or empathy for children living in terrible conditions in refugee camps. They did not care that children were being traumatised and refused mainland medical care so why should they be bothered by the hundreds of homes destroyed and rising number of deaths caused by something as minor as huge bushfires?
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The rage of the Australian people, like the fires, will grow and it will take more than a few pitiful apologise to dampen that rage.
Here in NZ we have our own ripple of rage at NZ First and Winston Peters who are hampering the progress of social reform.
The recently released New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES) Child Poverty Monitoring Report 2019 shows how the cost of housing has pushed an increasing number of children into relative poverty.
The consequence of rising house prices and the parallel escalating cost of renting is eating up low incomes and leaving even less for essentials such as food, medicine, shoes and school uniforms.
NZ First's veto of a Capital Gain Tax stymied a useful mechanism to contain the madness of house prices. I hope Winston Peters can look those children in the eye and say there was a reason, apart from his wish to exercise power and get his own way.
The suggestion by the Children's Commissioner that there be a 'pension for children' is worth exploring.
The pension is paid to all over 65s regardless of income or wealth. Again, noting Winston Peter's needing to sort a pension overpayment is a reminder that people like him, earning ministerial salaries, plus the perks of office with a very generous parliamentary pension scheme, do not need the pension but the thousands of children going without the basics deserve all the help we can give.
Let us rage on their behalf and lead our leaders to addressing inequity in all its forms. He taonga te tamaiti.
•Terry Sarten (aka Tel) is a writer, musician and social worker, Feedback welcomed: firstname.lastname@example.org