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RadioSerenade Offline
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LONG RANT: How a Prime Minister was Felled By Character. - September 16th 2015, 10:58 AM

What follows is a discussion of the importance of character in governmental process and coverage.

I begin with two past posts.

For the past couple of nights, I have been watching the live stream of parliament, and while there seems to be nothing by way of streams for the Federation Chamber, I have been watching a couple of debates, second reading debates and I noticed something very peculiar.

The politicians speaking were actually doing work. I just saw a bill passed for the amendment of the Copyright Act, and there was also an amendment passed for the changing of excise rates, so that tariffs for the export of Biodiesel and Ethanol aren't quite the same as that of Petrol (which makes sense, because it's a cleaner form of fuel).

However, when I switch on the news tomorrow, there will be none of that, they will probably be talking about how Tony Abbott's leadership will be affected by his consumption of a raw onion, or how Joe Hockey made a public relations mistake. In the abundant early morning spruiking and press conferences at child care centres, it would look, to an outsider looking in, that not a lot of work gets done in those red and green chambers.

Where is the amendment that is currently before the house, reviewing the powers of the Ombudsman in small businesses and family enterprises, in the media's political coverage and general discussion of political issues?

I think some people have been misled about the Prime Minister's personality and the more controversial works of the government, normally handled by the Cabinet: the amalgamation of the important Ministers, led by the PM. Firstly, in the video that Traci linked, you will see a comment where the Prime Minister remarked to the comrades a fallen soldier, "shit happens". That, by the remarkable political brain possessed by John Oliver, was taken grossly out of context. What he meant by that comment, was that even with the strongest of teams, even with the most extreme of precautions, major incidents still have the capacity of happenstance. And also, in an article by the gloriously relevant body to Australian politics that is the New York Times, you will find an articled saying that the government has made it a crime, punishable by two years’ imprisonment, for government employees to express humanitarian concerns surrounding the treatment of refugees. This is criminally misleading. The Border Force Act makes it a criminal offence for someone to disclose protected information and I quote:
Three LONG quotes from the Border Force Act and the Public Interest Disclosure Act, all of which you can read here.
I think he has been treated unfairly, misleadingly and in a manner that indicated a gross scourge on the integrity of Australian politics. If Prime Ministers are going to be released based on innuendo surrounding their personal integrity and one-off controversial comments they make, then we are going to have a lot of changes in government.

The first one was written more than three months ago. The second one was written ten days ago. Today, we have a new Prime Minister, because the old Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was ousted in an internal leadership spill, by a man known as Malcolm Turnbull. Joe Hockey, for the record, is the former Treasurer, (realistically) sacked for showing his support for Mr. Abbott. Originally I was neutral about the decision but as time went by, I grew increasingly pissed off, mainly because of some of the reasons for the disastrous polling results which led to this challenge. Some of the reasons our Prime Minister has been ridiculed include: eating a raw onion on live TV, calling the situation in Iraq and the forces of the more corrupt nations trying to stop them, “baddies versus baddies”, comparing and contrasting the leaders of Da’esh with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin and re-introducing knights and dames into our national honours system/having a monarchist view of the future of Australia’s placement in the Commonwealth. Oh, and training to become a Catholic priest.

These are character issues and public relations issues and they are not issues which should decide the fate of the Prime Minister. They are, however, issues that have made the Prime Minister so unpopular with the Australian people, that he has been ousted. The government has made and amended laws for the betterment of the Australian people, like cancelling the passports of terrorists who are dual nationals and who are already overseas, and some of the amendments made as referenced in the first post (I am being vague because I have not watched parliamentary proceedings for months), because those amendments are what governments do, definitionally. They were a good enough government to make it to the next election, in that they WERE a government. Although the Ombudsman and Biometric Data aren’t burning issues, they still improve the lives of Australians and the productivity of the nation, but because they are not indicative of character, because they are not divisive, they are not covered.

Why do people have such an interest in the personality of parliamentarians? Have a listen to this speech, made by the Shadow Treasurer in parliament a few months ago:

The Powerhouse Youth Theatre, in my electorate, is the only youth focused Theatre Company in Western Sydney, based at the School of Arts in Fairfield. Shamefully, this company faces the prospect of closure because of Minister Brandis's cuts to funding for small and medium arts programs. For almost 30 years, the Powerhouse Youth Theatre has fostered cultural diversity in its performances and positively transformed the lives of the young people it works with. The slashing of funding and the threatening of this organisation is nothing short of a disgrace. Arts funding is not the personal plaything of Minister Brandis. It is there to encourage and support arts right across the country.

The government might think the people of Western Sydney are second-class citizens who do not deserve arts programs. They are wrong. For the information of the government: by 2020 there will be one million young people living in Western Sydney, and, yes, they do care about the arts, despite the prejudice of the government. Two hundred young people per week make use of the theatre space in Fairfield for training in the performance arts. They do an amazing job with the few resources they have, with only three part-time staff producing an annual program of 11 major projects in 2015 and thousands of people participating as audience members. The cultural life of Western Sydney is rich and vibrant, but it needs support. It does not need a lecture from this arrogant, out-of-touch, elitist and incompetent Minister for the Arts. It actually needs support for hardworking young people.

He was doing well for about thirty seconds, and then he let personally and the resonation of character get the better of him. Government (and in my opinion, law reform is most of governmental roles), can be done without the requirement of burning passion and representation of your community can be done without even having to consider “arrogance”. The Opposition thrives on personality and they have jumped on the new Prime Minister, talking about his elitism and arrogance. The discussion on social media centres around how he is a rich, white man and how nothing has changed. One schoolgirl said “just another man voting for… what the community doesn’t want”. She’s making shit up on the spot, and it is so frustrating, because the practice of government is HUGELY devoid of personality.

Entertainment and image should not cost a Prime Minister and this time, it has. That is why I was chronically pissed off about what happened overnight: because public relations is not an election issue.

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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Thereishope Offline
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Re: LONG RANT: How a Prime Minister was Felled By Character. - September 29th 2015, 02:20 PM

Very interesting and I can see your point.

Can't stop now, I've traveled so far. - Foreigner

I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance. - Garth Brooks

Assoc Live Help Mentor from 11/23/2014-1/17/2015, 8/8/2015-

Live Help Mentor from 1/17/2015-8/8/2015


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