- The light on the hill
The light on the hill is a phrase used to describe the objective of the
Australian Labor Party. The phrase was coined in a 1949 conference speech by then Prime Minister Ben Chifley.
The speech, delivered near the end of Chifley's term as Prime Minister, pays tribute to the people who make up Australia's labour movement and, lacking specific policy detail, has resonance for every strand of opinion within the party.
I have had the privilege of leading the Labor Party for nearly four years. They have not been easy times and it has not been an easy job. It is a man-killing job and would be impossible if it were not for the help of my colleagues and members of the movement.
No Labor Minister or leader ever has an easy job. The urgency that rests behind the Labor movement, pushing it on to do things, to create new conditions, to reorganise the economy of the country, always means that the people who work within the Labor movement, people who lead, can never have an easy job. The job of the evangelist is never easy.
Because of the turn of fortune's wheel your Premier (Mr McGirr) and I have gained some prominence in the Labor movement. But the strength of the movement cannot come from us. We may make plans and pass legislation to help and direct the economy of the country. But the job of getting the things the people of the country want comes from the roots of the Labor movement - the people who support it.
When I sat at a Labor meeting in the country with only ten or fifteen men there, I found a man sitting beside me who had been working in the Labor movement for 54 years. I have no doubt that many of you have been doing the same, not hoping for any advantage from the movement, not hoping for any personal gain, but because you believe in a movement that has been built up to bring better conditions to the people. Therefore, the success of the Labor Party at the next elections depends entirely, as it always has done, on the people who work.
I try to think of the Labor movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody's pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective - the light on the hill - which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labor movement would not be worth fighting for.
If the movement can make someone more comfortable, give to some father or mother a greater feeling of security for their children, a feeling that if a depression comes there will be work, that the government is striving its hardest to do its best, then the Labor movement will be completely justified.
It does not matter about persons like me who have our limitations. I only hope that the generosity, kindliness and friendliness shown to me by thousands of my colleagues in the Labor movement will continue to be given to the movement and add zest to its work."
The light on the hill is often referenced in Australian popular culture. Notable instances include:
* "The Light On The Hill" from the musical
Keating!is a country-influenced ballad in which Keating laments the trends in the 1996 election, concludes that he is doomed electorally, and sings of his unachieved dreams and with some bitterness at what he seems as the backward-looking message of his opponent.
* "Neighborhood Watch" from
My Friend the Chocolate Cake's self-titled first album refers to the light on the hill as a dream that is no longer even dreamt.
* [http://www.australianpolitics.com/parties/alp/chifley-light-on-hill.shtml The light on the hill speech]
* [http://workers.labor.net.au/17/c_historicalfeature_chifley.html Workers Online: History - The light on the hill]
The forgotten people
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
light on the hill — A symbol of the political objectives of the Australian Labor party. In 1949 Prime Minister Ben Chifley spoke of the Labor goal of social justice as the light on the hill, which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind . Since then … Australian idioms
The Hill (New Haven) — Infobox nrhp | name =Trowbridge Square Historic District nrhp type = hd caption = location= New Haven, Connecticut lat degrees = 41 lat minutes = 17 lat seconds = 47 lat direction = N long degrees = 72 long minutes = 55 long seconds = 55 long… … Wikipedia
St Arild's Church, Oldbury-on-the-Hill — St Arild s Church, Oldbury on the Hill, from the northwest … Wikipedia
Middleton on the Hill — Coordinates: 52°16′37″N 2°40′23″W / 52.277°N 2.673°W / 52.277; 2.673 … Wikipedia
Up the Hill Backwards — «Up the Hill Backwards» Сингл Дэвида Боуи из альбома Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) Сторона «Б» Crystal Japan Выпущен … Википедия
The Vatican — The Vatican † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Vatican This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Introduction; II. Architectural History of the Vatican Palace; III. Description of the Palace; IV. Description of the… … Catholic encyclopedia
The Oblongs — Title card Format Animation, Black comedy Created by Angus Oblong … Wikipedia
The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own) — Regimental crest Active 1866–present … Wikipedia
The Beatles' influence on popular culture — The Beatles influence on rock music and popular culture was and remains immense. Their commercial success started an almost immediate wave of changes including a shift from US global dominance of rock and roll to UK acts, from soloists to groups … Wikipedia
The Cleveland Show — The Brown/Tubbs family. From left to right: Back: Cleveland, Donna, Roberta. Front … Wikipedia