Sincerity vs theatrics
As I listened to the panellists on Q&A last night discussing the erosion of trust in institutions, I was forcibly struck by the quiet common sense of Jane Goodall and her inspirational message to a young boy who asked what he, at age 11, could do to help prevent the destruction of natural habitats, and the exploitation and hunting of primates.
After giving the boy some specific ideas of what he, personally, could do, she reminded us all that we can make a difference by making ethical decisions every day and that, in so doing, we can help make the world a better place.
Her sincerity and her quiet optimism made me feel that we do have a chance to stop the hatred, to stop the destruction, to remember that, regardless of our differences, we are all part of the same family and that we need to start caring for each other and the planet we share.
Contrast that to watching the puerile theatrics on display in Question Time in Parliament where Malcolm Turnbull has morphed into an attack dog – not in the Keating way where he used scathing wit, not in the Abbott way where he opposed everything just for the hell of it, but more like the third speaker in a Sydney Grammar School debate.
As he gesticulates wildly, thrusting his glasses at the Opposition, ridiculing them and looking around at his colleagues to make sure they are appreciating his bluster, laughing and pointing and calling out “shame”, there is no inspirational message, no sense that he understands the problems facing us, no confidence that he has any solutions, and no feeling that he even believes what he is saying. That is what debaters do – they make the case for the side given them by the toss of a coin. You don’t have to believe it, just be able to sell it to the audience whilst demolishing the other side.
No business can run successfully when the whole raison d’etre of half the management team is to undermine the other half. Truth flies out the window, respect is non-existent, and constructive collaboration is anathema.
And they wonder why they have lost our trust.
Yesterday, during the school funding debate, Turnbull repeatedly used the phrase “focus on the children”. He would do well to listen to Jane Goodall who reminded us that we haven’t inherited a planet from our parents, we have stolen it from our children, and unless we change our ways, we will have nothing left but hatred and a dying earth to bequeath to our kids.
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A Labour Party false news organisation!
Yes, What an inspiration…I love Jane Goodall. You give us hope too, Kaye. Thank you for keeping going and sharing your well considered contributions. Rx
Great little post Kaye!. For a bit of light relief from the nonsense dished out by the Libs these days, esp. in QT (which I cant watch any more, its too painful) I turn to old YouTube clips of Paul Keating and what a master he was at trouncing his opponents. Absolutely brilliant. He understood the real theatrics of QT and prepared for each one of them. Those opposite knew they were in for a daily pummelling too, though they tried unsuccessfully to beat him at the game. Turnbull is such a hypocrit. Think of the children indeed. All his government has done is make life worse for the children of Australia – except those at the top of course, for whom life will get better and better. I was pleased to see the Newspoll result again 53-47. I dont think the Libs have beat Labor in any Newspoll since the election? Voter remorse set in immediately and hasnt really moved much at all, despite the Libs efforts in this budget to be “nice” and try to con people into thinking theyve changed.
Well said Kaye??
Of course Turnbull’s performance as PM Is utterly appalling; the worse because better was expected from him. Instead he is a crippled PM with few ideas and no chance of getting any ideas he does have to swim unless the ideas sate the rabid dogs that comprise his party room. Even when Turnbull is saying it is time for ideology to be replaced with good policy, he sounds hollows and still sounds like an ideologue.
His failure highlights a really serious issue with our current political system and climate and with society generally. In the “era of confected outrage”, individual selfishness and greed effectively means there is no such thing as a policy that takes from one group to give to another being readily accepted by the public, so just like Nike, the product can be crap, but it might still capture the market if it is sold properly. We get the politicians we deserve and worse, that we tolerate – they are a mirror for our own absurdity.
You get the folly of the well-off who want cheaper electricity but whose personal and family energy use continues to grow – pool pumps, heating and cooling on 24/7 in the intemperate months of the year, bigger fridges, bigger TV’s, multiple TV’s in the one house, multiple computers, multiple TV AND multiple computers, recharging the hybrid Lexus SUV. But the problem is not us, is it – let’s blame our politicians – and they fall for it, by trying to develop unworkable solutions to problems that have been gestating and known about for years leaving themselves them with further to fall when the solutions are ineffective. Rehashing old ideas from the other side; claiming credit for infrastructure spending that was already provided for in past Labor budgets; shrieking about a few boat people invading Australia, but turning a blind eye to the tsunami of financial colonisation of Australia by Asian money (much of which is smuggled illegally out of China).
Labor are also up to their necks in the mire – a person like Dastyari should not be allowed anywhere near politics, but presumably his power and influence in the NSW branch mean that Shorten relies on him for their support – so Dastyari’s blatantly corrupt behaviour has to be swept under the carpet as soon as possible. Same with Mal Brough. His collusion with the execrable Ashby to bring down Slipper was surely criminal and if not, grossly unethical (how Ashby has largely been left alone by the media is a sad indictment of him and the media), but his behaviour had to be defended. Robb taking a job with a Chinese firm and Conroy with Responsible Wagering are both disgraceful examples of the self-interest of our politicians – like the rest of us, we are out only for what we can get. But how can any politician whose daily travel allowance for one night of travel to Canberra is more than the pittance given each week to an unemployed person argue they are entitled to more and the unemployed person entitled to less?
“better was expected from him”… did you not notice his woeful stint as Opposition Leader?
Malcolm wrote some good papers before he was leader and then gave some good speeches after Tony rolled him. The folly was in thinking he would use principle in power rather than swapping one for the other.
“principle in power”? He spent two years undermining Abbott to seize the job. He’s a bit like the dog that finally caught the car… NFI
The only people that liked or like Turnbull are those who would never vote for him.
Abbott undermined himself with the public by being ridiculous and with his colleagues by handing over the reins to Credlin
Kaye, yours is one of the unfortunately few voices/pens of sense and optimism in a period when it would seem the collective I.Q. of our elected members would be lucky to reach the boiling point of water. The increasingly hostile, vindictive and ridiculous waste of taxpayers money they call Question Time is, well… questionable at best. It would be enlightening to find out what a single hour of Question time, including their travel expenses, living away from home, etc, etc and other entitlements cost us.
We need people like yourself debating the serious issues affecting the country, not this bunch of clowns in taxpayer funded $5000 suits and Italian leather shoes. I think you need to get all your articles together, along with some crowd funding and get them published so the general public can see the hole our ‘elected representatives’ have dug for us. My old man always said ‘to get to the top in politics meant you were the biggest bastard of the lot.’
I would like to see in the future many “Barry Jones” in the parliament instead of these bunch of individuals that have no respect for the people and for the country.
Unfortunately politicians like Barry and very hard to get or not popular within the parties.
Are you people know of any one that can be as good or near good as him?
Turnbull should have waited patiently and let idiot Tony ride out his failure as a Prime Minister so he could be elected on his own mandate, maybe then he would have had a chance to run on more progressive policies that a lot of us thought he believed in. Old boy got too desperate for the top spot and has achieved nothing worth writing home about since.
When Turnbull recalled parliament early to force the DD, the Huffington Post wrote “two days in Canberra for our political leaders have cost you, the taxpayer, almost $1.4 million.”
“A spokesman for Bill Shorten’s office told The Huffington Post Australia that the 226 politicians recalled to Canberra each get a $271 per night travel allowance, while another 226 travel allowances at $263 each are given for their staff. Another $941 each is reserved for return flights to Canberra for those 452 people.
Travel allowances and flights for the short-lived sitting session, assuming they all arrived on Sunday and leave on Wednesday morning (three nights) would come out to around $787,400.
Adding on figures released to Labor by the Parliamentary Library, which estimates costs for recalling a day of Parliament in a non-sitting week at around $300,000 a day, that figure comes out to about $1.39 million.”
Fairfax was even higher estimating the cost of recalling parliament at around $1 million per day.
None of that includes their salaries of course.
And that fat pr..k, Hockey had the gall to call welfare recipients “leaners”.
I feel ill.
Thank you once again for an excellent post Kaye.
To do good and be ethical is not complex if we follow do unto others and least harm it is the self-justification to avoid responsibility for demonisation and victim blame that makes things convoluted, complex and thoroughly irrational. Divide and rule by the fools.
A very good Q&A, and Jane Goodall certainly was inspirational.
I caught some of QandA, in time to watch Jane Goodall, quietly and inclusively talk to the little boy (and us) on how he can help – while she did not put into words, “boycott the harmful”, her message was clear; buy, invest and support those people and industries which aid rather than exploit the environment. You’d think the right-wing plants would squirm in their seats – such people are good at the fake smile – but they did not dare to challenge Jane, because they knew how ignorant they would appear.
We will offer a future for our children.
Interesting post.. I too was impressed by Goodall’s calm responses which actually answered questions in contrast to the two right-wingers whose only contributions were rote responses of learnt platitudes.
I also find it hard, never to look at that sycophant, Paterson without imagining this dry, unimaginative and emotionless toady in a SS uniform.
Rachel Botsman handled herself well, too.
My Kaye you said exactly same words I told my daughter about Turnbull showing off and NOT being a Keating What a mouth/show off contributes nothing else to Australia except rubbish and Lies.
Any sincerity of Turnbulls words are seriously compromised by the theatrical wanking motion of hi right hand
Has tried to impersonate Keating. One of his worse effort. Didn’t last long. Another who can’t talk to a woman without talking down.in patronised way, using the first name, along with plenty she in sniping manner.
Gilly, don’t forget the glasses.
Every time I watch Turnbull trying to impersonate a leader on a mission, making sure he hurls a few abuses at Shorten, and then looking behind him to see whether his followers are approving ( who is the large middle aged blonde housewife sitting almost behind him,who smirks and nods effusively every time MT insults Labour?) I cringe! Is this really our government, or a bunch of schoolkids having it out in the school yard. So much for the common good and actually debating at a rational, adult level!
Ann Sudmalis, member for Gilmore. Sitting behind the despatch box is a sure sign you are struggling in your electorate. That’s why Luke Howarth, Julia Banks and Sarah Henderson are there too. Another sure sign you are in trouble is the number of Dorothy Dixxers they hand you to ask. My member, Lucy Wicks, had asked the most before this session.
Even in full flight, Turnbull doesn’t even come close to impersonating Keating.
The closest imitator was probably Costello who even used to casually put a hand in his pocket Keating-style but never quite made it seem sincere.
At least Keating’s contempt for the opposition was genuine and well-founded and not just a theatrical sideshow for his own supporters (probably scheming) behind him.
The more Turnbull talks, the less he seems to say. I wonder if anybody is still listening to him?
Goodall is an absolute wonder.
Turnbull, I thought looked jaded ,the little I watched of him on teev earlier.
Interesting to see on Q&A that when school age kids are present and asking questions, politicians are on their best behaviour. Do we need to bus more school kids in to Parliamentary Question Time…??
Keating was genuine, Turnbull is like a method actor, but sadly the method shows…
Even Abbott comes across as authentic : ) as do some others , PURE evil…
Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing. If only the man would make some policy decisions and stick with them at least we would know where he stood on pertinent matters. As it is at the moment with vacillation and party machinations I am at a loss to point to any definitive stand on anything. Mind you, with the non talent on display, it may be for the better that things just bumble along.