Darned good read and struck a chord

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Some people feel politicians have lost touch with rural and regional Australia.
Camera IconSome people feel politicians have lost touch with rural and regional Australia. Credit: Midwest Times, Geoff Vivian

I was in our local library the other day and a book caught my eye.

It’s called Rusted Off, by Gabrielle Chan. I’d heard a bit about it and that it was a good read so I thought I’d give it a try.

Chan is a political journalist who married a farmer.

In her book she looks at the country/city divide, particularly in regard to politics.

One of the things made very clear in the book is that when one mentions “country” it’s not just the farming community that is being referred to.

Many people live in the country but aren’t farmers or living on a farm.

I thought at first it might be a heavy read but once I started I was unable to put it down.

It was like the author had been talking to me and was writing down the thoughts running through my head, especially when it comes to politics.

Like so many others, myself included, many people Ms Chan spoke to in her rural community felt that politicians had totally lost their way when it comes to connecting with their voters, especially those in the rural areas of Australia.

The title “Rusted Off” refers to those rural voters who, for many years, even generations, had voted for the same party but were now looking to minor parties and independents.

A lot of that is due to a lack of trust in our politicians.

They promise all and deliver nought.

All of this resonated with me so much, especially given the recent campaigning for the Federal election, the dirty tricks that were used and a politician being so arrogant as to tell a voter, “Well if you don’t like our policies then don’t vote for us”.

Obviously, many people didn’t like their policies and didn’t vote for them!

To move forward, Ms Chan suggests Australia needs to come together as two halves of a whole and work together at all levels of government — local, State and Federal.

Towards the end of the book Ms Chan states, “Country voters are one fright away from determining governments”.

While she wrote that in 2018 I believe she has just been proven right by the result of our recent Federal election.

I’d recommend this book to anyone, whether you live in the country or the city.

I’d particularly recommend it if you are a politician.

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