• 2.5 billion reasons to sit on a giant toilet

    Posted by Ben

    26 June, 2012

    You may have seen the image of Independent MP, Rob Oakeshott, on a giant toilet in the media lately.

    It did the rounds of the Sun-Herald, The Age, Crikey and Twitter.

    It was featured in a website launched by the National Party to attack Mr Oakeshott. We understand that the National Party intends to campaign hard against Mr Oakeshott in the seat of Lyne.

    Fair enough. That's what political opponents do.

    Rob Oakeshott campaigns for decent sanitation for allRob Oakeshott campaigns for decent sanitation for allRob Oakeshott campaigns for decent sanitation for all


    But we were disapppointed that the Nationals attack website badly misrepresented the photograph. Rob Oakeshott took his seat atop the novelty toilet in support of a campaign to provide decent sanitation to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don't have it.

    Diarrhoea is the second largest killer of children worldwide, and causes the deaths of more children under the age of five than measles, malaria and AIDS combined. Almost all of these deaths are caused by lack of access to – or poor quality – water, sanitation and hygiene.
     
    Surely this issue deserves the attention of our elected representatives. And rather than be ridiculed, they should be supported for taking a stand. Or a seat.

    Mr Oakeshott wasn't the only one brave enough to be photographed on the giant toilet, either.

    WA Liberal Senator, Michaelia Cash, took her place on the loo.

    Senator Michaelia Cash campaigns for decent sanitation for allSenator Michaelia Cash campaigns for decent sanitation for allSenator Michaelia Cash campaigns for decent sanitation for all

    So, too, did Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury.

    Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury campaigns for decent sanitation for allAssistant Treasurer, David Bradbury campaigns for decent sanitation for allAssistant Treasurer, David Bradbury campaigns for decent sanitation for all

    In fact, Members and Senators from across the Parliament came out in support of the campaign.

    MPs & Senators campaign for decent sanitation for allMPs & Senators campaign for decent sanitation for allMPs & Senators campaign for decent sanitation for all

    We're happy to report that the National Party have changed the image on their website to remove any reference to the toilet, in order to avoid undermining the campaign.

    Some things ought to be above politics. The dignity and health of 2.5 billion of the poorest people on the planet is surely one of those things.