I had a go at writing a scathing analysis of the way journalists and commentators treat the political process, concentrating instead on leadership possibilities, public opinion polls, haircuts, suits, jackets, and, God help us, that our Prime Minister is photographed in a magazine and she is knitting a kangaroo for the expected royal baby. Shock, horror, gasp. No leadership challenge has yet happened and Kevin Rudd has just gone again to China, and there are only another two days to go before Parliament rises.
Anyway my article did not get published. Not that I was surprised. I suppose you cannot expect to get published if you criticise journalists and their failure to report what the Government, Parliament and its members are actually doing. Especially if you ask sarcastically whether the media owners and their hench-people are not rich and powerful enough yet. Don't worry, all the reactionary shock jocks are out there, blathering away, stirring up discontent by abuse and trivialisation.
So I am bit depressed, as well as angry, about the future of our polity.
Some tweeter poured scorn on the Prime Minister on the basis of what she knits might wind up being given to the homeless.
This made me really angry. I, and hundreds, nay, probably thousands of women are knitting and crocheting wraps to be given to refugees. I have made quite a number in the last year. My little group consists of wonderful strong women who are spending a lot of time and energy, not to mention quite a lot of money to pay for the yarns, to help desperate and homeless people in other countries. Such work makes us care for each other. And it makes us care for others - all those out there, out of sight, out of mind. It creates social capital. This is a small contribution overall, but it seems far more worthwhile than the sneering of journalists and shock jocks.
It is about time we recognised our good fortune, and ceased abusing, sneering and whinging.
I did watch, on the Public Affairs Channel (APAC), a Round Table discussion on the Constitution and on the referendum proposal (whether or not local government should be recognised in the Australian Constitution). It was held at Parliament House, in one of the committee rooms, with several MPS participating, and notable and erudite legal experts, political scientists, journalists and historians discussing the issues. It was a civil, moderate and reasoned discussion from which any viewer could learn a lot.
Did it get any coverage?
I bet not, except possibly in the Canberra Times, as its political editor is excellent, informed, erudite and well-spoke.
Why don't we acknowledge the good, as well as the bad?