By Rowan Cravey
Where are politics going in Australia? Is the Fourth Estate helping or hindering the situation? Rowan Cravey sees a Soap Opera looming.
So we’ve all know what’s been happening for the government. Even if you’re not someone who turns the news on for even a second, you know the farce that politics has become once again.
Ah, the days of Rudd and Gillard have been resurrected! The media asking the same questions every ten minutes in the salivating hope that a development has occurred, the ministers coming forward all assuring that everything will be ok, the high intensity camera shot of the PM and his ministers walking down the corridor with him, reminiscent of a scene from Kill Bill. It’s all so wonderful, is it not?
“And on it will go. Perhaps with the spill being decided in the PM’s favour, everything is done and over with? Nope. As every savvy commentator has said, this will not be over and at the present time, nor will it ever be until Abbott is not PM.” -Cravey on the question of when will the speculation will end.
Is it? Well, no. It’s not. If you just think of an episode of Home and Away, Neighbours, or even better, Dynasty.
“What did Julie Bishop say? WE DON’T KNOW”. Oh dear Lord, we must invent things immediately to speculate on to try and guess what she said! “She didn’t say that? Oh, well, what did MALCOLM TURNBULL SAY???”
And on it will go. Perhaps with the spill being decided in the PM’s favour, everything is done and over with? Nope. As every savvy commentator has said, this will not be over and at the present time, nor will it ever be until Abbott is not PM.
This is what politics has devolved to over the last few years. There have been leadership speculations in the past, sure, but like this? Never. When Gillard knifed Rudd and then vice versa, the media found the gift that kept giving. Want to talk about boat people and the billions of dollars in cost it involves? What about rising taxation and growth of state influence and intrusion? No? What then?
Who the prettiest face is. Who the cutest hand movements belong to. Who the most silver tongued devil is.
Policy is a dry subject, to be sure, but the media doesn’t even bother with it in the face of leadership speculation. While writing this, David Spiers of Sky said that even though Abbott won the spill, he “essentially” lost the vote. An invention of the media to keep the speculation going. The vote happened first thing in the morning at 9:00 am. What do you think they were talking about a 7:00 pm?
So this is what politics in Australia has been reduced to for the most part. Making stuff up about the other side, the face of the Party, rather than the policies of the Party itself, what did Alexis say, what did Krystal do in response, etc.: Farcical in the extreme, wilfully ignoring the truth behind many policies (i.e. the invention of 80 million dollars “ripped out” of health and education that were never there), whether Malcolm Turnbull’s hilarious wit (and come on, he is pretty hilarious) is something that matters in the larger picture.
So let’s hope that eventually, the media and population of Australia can see politics as something to be informed about, rather than only looking up to see the soap opera unfold before their eyes until the opposing major party promises to not do it themselves.