As if no-one has noticed, the good people of Australia are heading to an election soon. This has given both sides the chance to present themselves in the best light possible, should they wish to, but there has been much pompous posturing going on, and a couple of gratuitous phrases have recently slithered their way into various politicians’ vocabularies.
They are “I make no apology”, or “I do not resile from …”, phrases so obnoxious as to almost defy our notions of mercy and tolerance. They are said as if it is self-evident that their actions are brave and bold, and were taken, perhaps at a personal cost to the speaker, in the nation’s interest. They are always said because they are being questioned about matters of honesty, or probity, or in matters where the very appropriateness of the question is being doubted; surprisingly these phrases are never trotted out when they are proud of actually doing something for us, which is almost never, anyway.
When an outgoing government attempts to sign contracts for major infrastructure projects, just days or weeks prior to an election, we are asked to accept their unseemly haste as if it indicates busy – busy, whereas really they are attempting to push through dodgy deals while there is still time. This is like the ploy practised by real estate shills, where if you do not buy/sell within the next twenty four hours, your opportunity will be forever lost. But we all know where rushed decisions usually land us.
We need to not only have conventions in place. We need clear, transparent rules for these people, because we all know how useless self-regulation is! Crack the whip on these people. There is nothing more depressing than hearing of some form of outrageous behaviour, when we rub our hands together, expecting the miscreant to be shamed and humiliated, only to hear the line “Yes, I did it, but so did someone from the other side, and so if we all do it, it must be acceptable. The rules need to be changed.
This is the reason why politics, and politicians, are so disrespected. The practitioners are generally liars and cheats, and that is depressing and disappointing. And there seem to be no good guys in this scenario. They are all equally guilty. That’s why a friend of mine refuses to vote – he believes it just encourages them!