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Maybe I’m Amazed

Is truth and honesty creeping into politics?

Ross Sharp swears that he caught glimpse.

Mid-morning Sunday last, I am watching ABCNews24, as is my wont, and, as also is my wont, my finger is hovering over the “mute” button on the remote just in case any Australian politician or “leading business figure” pops up talking slogans about bullshit billions here and bullshit billions there and gnarling and gnashing their squirrelly pebble gray teeth over what troublesome little bunnies we all are and how much easier it would be to run a country if it weren’t for all the stinking people in it.

My complete disengagement from Australian politics is almost complete.

There is a live-cross to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, a man I know nothing about beyond that, because, as far as state politics go, there are six of the goddamn things and a bloody territory, and I couldn’t give a flying poke about any of them with all their backwoods, parochial “my state is better than your state” dribbly bollocks and carrying-on.

Andrews was speaking, favourably, to the subject of “medical marijuana” and as he spoke, I found myself … listening.

He was not reading from notes, of if he was, it was not evident, in fact, he appears to have been speaking “off the cuff”, and using full sentences to boot, and I thought to myself, “You actually sound as if you know what you’re talking about”, because he actually did, and then I think, “That doesn’t happen very often”, because it doesn’t.

He speaks of a boy, a young boy who suffers all manner of dreadful ailments and seizures, and Andrews appears to be acquainted with the actual circumstances of this boys’ life, and he speaks of this boy, of the boys’ parents, and of the ordeals they have endured, and he goes on for a bit about the benefits of this, and the benefits of that, and I listen to it all, something I very rarely do, and when he has finished, I thought, “That was good. That was about a real thing. Good.”

Can it be?

Can it be there may be individuals within this boggy swamp of our fetid body politic who can talk on and about a topic sensibly, and logically, without resort to carnival barker sloganeering and “I’m such a Smug-Bastard” chest-puffery?

Bugger me with a spoon.

The last politician I paid attention to when he had something to say was former Independent MP, Tony Windsor, and before that, Paul Keating.

Does anyone remember Simon Crean?

No. Why would you?

Shortly after Julia Gillard enlisted the support of Windsor and his fellow Independent Rob Oakeshott to form government and inflict her Raging Red Reign of Horror upon the innocently unsuspecting masses of this fair land, Windsor was interviewed on ABC’s “7:30 Report” by then host Kerry O’Brien.

O’Brien asked Windsor a question.

Windsor answered it.

Jesus Christ! You just answered a question”, I thought to myself at the time. That doesn’t happen very often. Because it doesn’t.

O’Brien too looked a little taken aback, muttered a few “ums” and “ah’s”, shuffled a paper or two, and it was as if he were thinking to himself, “You bastard. I was expecting to have to go another two, three minutes to drag an answer out of you. You’ve screwed my timing.”

When Tony Windsor (Windsor’s interview with Richard Fidler on ABC Radio’s “Conversations” a week or two ago can be downloaded from iTunes, or the ABC site, and I highly recommend you do) says Our Prime Descending Testicle did say he would do anything but sell his arse for the job, and Abbott says he did not, who the #$!&* are you going to be more inclined to listen to and believe, for Christ’s sake?.

If you expect people to listen to you, talk like a person, know what it is you are speaking about, get to the point, answer the questions you are asked, and if you don’t know the answer, and you know you don’t know it, don’t make shit up, because you’ll only end up making yourself look and sound a right twat.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

You don’t have to be Martin Luther King.

You don’t have to be Billy McMahon either. Or Bill Shorten.

Here endeth the lesson.

In other news of note I am currently choosing to ignore but others are not, Our Prime Descending Testicle skolled a beer, Julie Bishop wore a scarf, and Malcom Turnbull appeared on the cover of Australian “GQ” looking like an over-eager counter boy from “Wendy’s” circa 1983, and then this popped up …







Don’t cry, Baby Jesus, only one nail left to go.

I am going back to sleep now.

Wake me in time for Armageddon.

Ross Sharp blogs on his own site; Smelly Tongues


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  1. babyjewels10

    Love it!

  2. Poss

    OMG this is gold love it

  3. Catherine Lindsay Wright

    What a delicious piece.

  4. Socrates the Second

    How refreshing to read robust incisive ironic commentary worthy of the adult mind. Maybe Malcolm should have worn a bikini for the GQ pose

  5. Kaye Lee

    Tony Windsor is speaking at the Sydney Opera House next weekend as part of the Carnegie Conversations on “What’s wrong with politics – Mistrust in governments is increasing, yet we rely on them to provide services and tackle global issues. Is democracy working?”

    The IPA’s Chris Berg will also be debating Julian Burnside on “Freedom of Speech – In recent years we have seen some heady discussions of freedom of speech, questions of race, freedom to offend, and ‘political correctness’.”

    Should be interesting….

  6. stephentardrew

    I too live in pretend isolation from the mountains of lies obfuscations and miss speak till I catch my subconscious rabidly rattling on deep down ruminating upon the fowl wasteland of rational thought and logical argumentation knowing I do care and cannot ignore this farce.

    My hand on the mute button underscored by intense anxiety I feel when the madies come on TV shattering any pretense to contrived disinterest.

    Ross unfortunately just writing this article leaves you open to the glaring light of day bathed in an ocean of frustration, despair and feigned avoidance.

    I too wish it would just go away unfortunately the sun rises and the mind awakens to this.

    As I discovered hiding doesn’t make these bastards go away it simply reflects my disgust.

  7. john o'callaghan

    Fantastic piece of writing Ross,and so good to read something of substance.
    Everytime the politician fronts the camera to announce some last minute bullshit thought bubble policy,the body language sticks out like a sore thumb,the eyes,the facial expressions and the utter desperation in the presentation is painfully obvious,they know they are lying,we know their lying,the press know they are lying,but the show just rolls on and on and on until we are all reduced into a self induced coma.
    Human nature being what it is,this situation cannot go on for ever and like everything in life there is an end point,i dont know what the trigger will be to end it,but i believe it is coming,and coming soon,and when it does it will descend on all of us and we will finally wake from our self induced comas and wonder why we let it go on for so long,and i believe we will all vow to never make the awful mistake that some of us made back in 2013.

  8. helvityni

    Thank you, Ross, absolutely love it, please come again.

    No worries, I have ear-marked your blog

  9. Ricardo29

    Two territories. I presume the ‘raging red reign of horror’ was an attempt at irony. I mostly agree with the sentiments though.

  10. Loz

    Good article but I too wasn’t to sure about ‘raging red reign of horror’.

  11. Wally

    Daniel Andrews js no pinup boy but when he opens his mouth words flow and they make sense, nice change instead of the bullshit that dribbles from the Abbott parties mouths. Andrews is also a man of his word, the Herald Sun tried its best to make a big deal over the cost of dumping the east-west tunnel project but other than the LNP staffers and the young liberals there was little if any reaction, the voters in general were impressed that an Australian politician kept his promise despite plenty of political pressure from an opposition who did there utmost to undermine him by committing to a major project just weeks before an election.

    Dennis Napthine should be charged with criminal offenses for entering into a contract that he knew was not in the best interests of the Victorian public, until we make rogue politicians accountable for their indiscretions we will forever have to put up with rabble like Abbot and co in parliament.

  12. Ross in Gippsland

    When Tony Windsor speaks people stop and listen.
    When Dan Andrews speaks people are starting to listen.
    When Tony Abbott speaks it’s a frantic lunge for the mute button.

    Only two of these come across as honest men of principle.

  13. Jexpat

    “When Tony Abbott speaks it’s a frantic lunge for the mute button.

    Someone should mention that to the overt propagandist who runs the Triple J hourly “news” blurb. Since 2010, and even worse after Gillard formed government, it’s been overwhelmingly awash with “Tony Abbot sez,” to the disproportionate exclusion of anything else, as it if were some sort of Fox “news” feed.

    For literally the entire 3 years leading up to the last federal election it was, consistently: short statement: “government announces (______) fill in the blank policy, etc. followed by extensive Tony Abbott sez: (______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________)

    It’s gotten no better- perhaps even worse, since the LNP rot got into government. Now it’s Tony Abbott or so & so minister announces (______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________)

    Followed (sometimes) by a very short bit from the odd Labor or Green or other commentator (___________).

    So, now, I just turn it off, and end up listening to a lot less Triple J.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    Jexpat it was far worse than “Abbott or the Opposition Leader says” in response to every single item on the government of the day. It was a constant barrage across all ABC media platforms of not only the “Opposition Leader says” but the “opposition says”, such and such “Shadow Minister says” (even ones whose portfolio had nothing to do with the topic) and “such and such from the IPA or other right wing think tank or media says”.

    I can barely remember a single time when an interview or statement by the Labor government or Labor minister, especially the Prime Minister, wasn’t followed up by a far longer, more comprehensive and never challenged “…says”. There were times I yelled at the screen or car radio because the “….says” was so blatantly lying or distorting the truth, but alas these blatant untruths were never questioned, just taken as fact because they had been repeated so often. On the other hand every sentence, word, punctuation and intonation of the Labor government was challenged. The response I always got when I pointed this out is that they are the government and should be challenged, the opposition isn’t the government. Now it’s the other way round their response is the other way round, it’s Shorten and the opposition that should be challenged.

    It says something of just how bad Abbott and cronies are that it took three years of this constant unconcealed bias from the media to get him across the line, and even then it wasn’t the emphatic victory that the same media still makes it out to be to this day.

    But the thing that really gets me about the media bias of the time is not that it was so unashamedly biased for Abbott and the opposition but to this day I read right wingers complaining that the bias was the other way round. At a restaurant a few weeks back I heard someone on another table say on the back of some non-political stuff up, “I guess they are going to blame Abbott for that as well just like the media in this country blame him for everything else that’s not his fault.”

  15. Kaye Lee

    Despite Abbott categorically stating that the state of the budget would not be used as an excuse for broken promises, that they would be a no surprises no excuses government, and Hockey promising that they would own and take responsibility for the budget from day one, they have spent their whole time in office blaming others. Labor’s now not-so-urgent debt and deficit disaster, Gillian Trigg’s political stitch-up, climate change alarmists, welfare leaners, too many old people, falling iron ore prices (after rubbishing Wayne Swan when the same affected his estimates).

    Abbott can’t be blamed because he takes responsibility for nothing at all except undoing things. He is like that son that perhaps you should have made face a few of the consequences of their actions instead of always providing excuses for them or paying to get them off. Even if something is NOT your fault, it is your job to fix it Tony so stop your blame game and start taking some advice from someone other than Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Maurice Newman and Cardinal Pell – someone with some relevant expertise perhaps?

  16. totaram

    @Kaye Lee

    ” – someone with some relevant expertise perhaps?”

    expertise? Don’t you know they are self-confessed suppositories of all wisdom? Who needs any other expertise?

    Actually, they do have their “experts” in the IPA and the Murdoch press and they follow their advice to the letter, as far as possible.

  17. Kerri

    I look forward to a time when Political Parties are made illegal and each politician is required to converse and consult with their constituents about what they want in terms of policy, rather than attending caucus or the party room and blindly voting along party lines. The seeking out of and election of Cathy McGowan by the singed (who wouldn’t be with Mirabella as a representative) and innovative people of Indi stands as lesson in how politics should be conducted. Completely independantly!

  18. eli nes

    only a rare politician can speak without notes because they have so few personal convictions. The power of gillard and the shallowness of abbott was brought home at a canberra local gov conference the pm gillard arived early spoke without notes on topic and took questions abbott arrived late read to us how terrible gillard was then left early no questions.Whilst oakeschott and windsor were brave there is no comparison between gillard ans abbott. It should make us grateful to these men for giving us such a beaut 3 years.

  19. hforward22

    I’m a Victorian and I’m loving Daniel Andrews and his crew. More power to them. Andrews is a genuine family bloke and his connection to ordinary hardworking people is obvious and genuine.

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