The Art Of Looking For Trouble

“Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

— Mark Twain

There is a horrible virus sweeping Australia. It's been here for a long time, but of recent years it has become more and more prevalent until now, in July 2013, it has reached crisis point amongst a certain - thankfully small - (and possibly expendable) sector of the population. Here are the symptoms to be watchful for: 

  • You find yourself making decisive hand-chopping gestures to emphasise a point; 
  • You talk in catch phrases like 'name the date', 'the rough end of the pineapple', or use alliteration like it's going gangbusters (sorry couldn't help it) ;
  • You make up words ('conditionality'?) 
  • You spend approximately 95% of your time denigrating your fellow citizens who are involved in the same field of work as yourself; 
  • You are in a position to potentially do great good, but are too busy with all of the above to actually think about formulating public policy. 

I'm sorry to tell you, but the diagnosis is in, and it doesn't look good.  

You're a senior Australian politician. And the chances are, you're never going to get any better. 

Not without a cattle prod anyway.  

When exactly did our fearless leaders turn into rubber faced buffoons? And I am being bi-partisan here; there are exceptions to the rule, and those who know me are aware of the pollies I admire. But in terms of two tribes going to war, all I hear and see when I turn on the TV or radio is the worst kind of campaign being run by both sides; sloganeering, pure and simple.  

I don't see any policies on offer per se; I see 'let's do this' - but no 'this is why we are doing it, and this will be the flow on effect in other areas'. I also don't see a response other than 'well, that's crackers, and we are awesome, so vote for us'. There is no answering alternative, just empty rhetoric. The mindless blah blah blah of talking heads who love the sound of their own voice rocking around the country. 

Pig Iron Bob and Chifley must be turning over in their graves.

So how do we stop filibusteritis? Is there a treatment? 

Possibly, but it may be painful for those involved. 

Put them in a room together for a week with no TV cameras. 

Oh, and Silvio Berlusconi. 

That'll learn 'em. 

Fair shake of the sauce bottle.