Liam Flenady of the Socialist Alliance routinely attends rallies in support of community campaigns such as marriage equality, rights for asylum seekers, single parents and action on climate change.
When he is not out on the hustings he is a PhD student in composition at the Queensland Conservatorium. He says he keeps his art and his politics separate, but the demands of both are significant.
According to Flenady, the Campbell Newman government has decimated the Arts budget in Queensland, in what he says is a mostly ‘symbolic response to so-called cultural elites’, and he says we can expect the same under an Abbott Government.
He says it is a ‘clever ploy’ to label those in the Arts as elites, when the real elites ‘are people like Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and the banks: they’re the economic and political elites who do the real harm to working people’.
As a socialist, Liam says his motivation in this election is to establish a profile and to link up with other activities groups and social movements. “Through people who are already active we can reach broader audiences, and we want to support those campaigns, especially the refugee campaign, because ordinary Australians are being so conned”.
People think, he said, that politics takes place in the parliament, but “we feel it takes place more in the streets; more in workers’ struggles and social campaigns”, “but the media tells us politics takes place in parliament and is about voting, and so we have to engage on that level”.
Liam said the majority of the eleven parties standing in Griffith are right wing, “it is a worry to see this rise of micro-right parties whose preference will inevitably go to the LNP”.
Socialist Alliance will preference the Greens in Griffith, and it encourages people to vote for the Greens in electorates where they do not have candidates standing.