Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Today I watched the State funeral for Joan Child, who was the first female Member of the House of Representatives for the Australian Labor Party, and who became Speaker of the House of Representatives. She was a remarkable woman and those who spoke at her funeral showed clearly her character and achievements. she died at home, aged 91, in the care of her loving family. Her family and colleagues paid wonderful and moving tributes to her, and described how, along with her struggle to bring up her five sons, she moved into politics and achieved a great deal.

So often political matters become trivialised and are presented in extremely negative ways. Our press very often should be ashamed, that they do not report on policies, legislation and achievement, focussing instead relentlessly on the negative.

I don't claim that the political sphere is perfect, or that it ought not to be criticised. There is plenty to criticise, but also much to praise and to appreciate.  Newspapers seldom report on legislation or on the details of policies and programs. To do this journalists would actually have to do some work and analysis, instead of carrying on endlessly about the latest public opinion polls and whether there is likely to be a leadership challenge. The standard of journalism, in my view, has deteriorated significantly in recent years, to the extent that it is often disgraceful and very misleading. While it is possible to  get specialised information, the ordinary voter - and such I count myself these days - has a lot of trouble getting any clear and accurate idea of what is happening in the political area. This ought to concern us all far more than it does. We are all citizens, and most of us pay our taxes.

I used to follow politics far more keenly than I do now, which is not to my credit. It is depressing that so many people are so willing to carp, to focus on the negative and not to appreciate that we have a democracy which ought to be the envy of many countries. It is not perfect and has deteriorated in many ways - and of course there are many causes, which include the shock jocks of TV and radio stirring up prejudices and the negative.

 We ought to consider the positive far more than we do.

1 comment:

The Elephant's Child said...

Snap. I am tired of the focus on the negative and on trivia. I am also really sad (mad) about the amount of power we have given to the shock jocks. Sometimes it appears that they have the power to instigate policy change. Which is wrong.