Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What a car crash

Twenty years ago I worked for the NSW Environment Protection Authority. It was a job that started as one day a week and I ended up there for two+ years. Bob Carr was NSW Premier and the environment was top of mind for government and business.

It was an amazing experience where I got to work with some incredible people, and learned the other side of the media world. For a journalist, it was an eye opener working on the "dark side".

A lot of years later I was in Canberra and working for the Coalition Opposition. It was a chance encounter at my work farewell drinks that I was offered a job with Senator Barnaby Joyce. I learned a lot from him and he from me.

I went on to have four bosses in a little over three years. It was all a bit too much.

Now that I have a nice job on the periphery of politics I am watching the current shenanigans with incredulity.

The turmoil created by the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments strangled Australia. Now the Coalition is strangling itself after some poor polls and equally poor choices from Tony Abbott.

Tony has been a divisive figure in Australian politics because he has strong views, but don't we want our politicians to have the courage of their convictions? There are few Prime Ministers who are popular - Bob Hawke was for most of his term, Kevin Rudd was in the beginning because he wasn't John Howard. JWH had his haters, and for many good reasons. Malcolm Fraser was hated. Paul Keating had lots of haters. TA has his haters. But what good does it do any of us to have this constant churn of leaders? In the Northern Territory a couple of nights ago a bloodless coup turned into a farce when the Chief Minister refused to step aside when someone else wanted the job.

There is still no clear election result in Queensland.

Victoria threw out the Coalition Government after one term - and good on the voters - but already there is criticism that the new ALP Government is back-tracking on election promises.

I love democracy and that we all have our say, but why destabilise everything because someone makes a few unpopular decisions? Every leader, every boss, every parent makes unpopular decisions. Sometimes there has to be an adult in the room.

I'm wondering where the adults are and who is calling the shots behind those politicians who are speaking publicly. It's OK for those with nothing to lose to speak up, but they have nothing to lose, so what is their aim? Do they want everyone on their side to lose because they have the sh*ts, or do they not realise what may happen.

As for the standard of political commentary in the Canberra Press Gallery...there are the handful who know what they are talking about and then there are the many who comment on tone of voice, gossip from unnamed sources and the like.

I suspect most Australians are too busy worried about doing a good day's work and paying their mortgage and the bills to even be taking notice.


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