Presumed to be of national importance to us by the ABC just days before polling was a cooking contest of sorts when Rudd and Abbott on different days cooked something in their kitchens while being surreptitiously grilled by Kitchen Cabinet host and Fairfax scribe Ms Crabb.
Slowly but surely Australian politics pursue the American presidential election style of leader adulation. The man is all—policies be damned.
The ABC cosy kitchen clutch paid for by you involved the families of our two major leaders. Why not, election 2013 has been an all-in-the-family affair?
This 2013 Rudd/Abbott election contest has travelled down that “presidential” road further than ever before by pushing their children into the glare and scrutiny of a predatory media. The effects of which may not be seen immediately but can and does have destructive outcomes if not a few nasty surprises for the parents.
Leadership aspirants parading their children as political props puts to practice the self confessed liar Graham Richardson’s infamous maxim, “what ever it takes.” Are we the voters so intellectually stunted to fall for the cloying annoyance of candidates kissing the heads of babies, patting dogs, and feigning concern before semi-conscious dementia patients in nursing homes?
When was it decided that vacuous promises of the undeliverable from politicians would become believable when joined by their sons or daughters professing the decency of their father? And, with sexism from the fables it’s no accident that spin-doctors prefer girls to boys for best effect. No doubt influenced from their days in kindy; “Little boys are made from snips and snails and puppy dog tails and little girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice.” Stop right there!
Those who seek to run this nation should have the credentials and the confidence to woo their voters with hope inspiring “truths” for a better future. Traipsing around the hustings with spouse and children in tow is supposed to prove what? Nothing at all to do with running a country for my money. We are electing the person, not the entire family—I think!
Furthermore, children don’t always make their parents proud as poor Bob Hawke learned through his drug-addicted daughter. And the reverse when Bob unceremonious dumped his ever-faithful wife Hazel. But the old bodgie pulled a rabbit with his sobbing theatrics on national television presenting a new age “sensitive” bloke—it worked.
The children of famous and influential parents need to consider the possible effects that psychiatrists call collateral damage when the pressure of fame and media glitz goes wrong.
Michael Jackson, now there’s an example known to all on earth—what more can be said? And, the star of “Home Alone” Macaulay Culkin who disappointed his folks when he received three one-year suspended prison terms and forced enrolment into a probationary drug treatment program. He looked so perfectly innocent, didn’t he?
Drew Barrymore, the American actress film director, screenwriter, producer, and model. Drew was big worry for her parents when she began boozing at age eleven and smoking marijuana at 12. She was hooked on cocaine by her teens and attempted suicide at age 14. Too much pressure her parents thought.
Paris Hilton started her career as a model at 19. In 2010 she was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession in Las Vegas and copped a one-year probation and community service that I don’t think included her homemade sex video that went viral. What might her parents have thought?
Of course, politicians carting their kids around for subliminal advantage is not harmful in most cases. Such exposure often presents career opportunities unavailable to many, if not the taste for politics that becomes a family tradition—a tradition quite common in Australian politics.
However, as the multicultural state increases within our society I take a humorous peek to the future. If the family involvement stunt continues, campaign announcements promise to be rather animated affairs—especially so for a Moslem candidate.
“Ladies and gentlemen I bring you leader of the opposition Yousef Ali, the man who wants to be your prime minister. Also on stage are his four wives and just in front are their 32 sons and daughters who know their dad is wonderful, if not a very busy husband and father, and brother, and grandson, and nephew, and...gee whiz, there’s a lot of them here today.
“In the second, to fifth rows are their lovely children of which 143 are now in school. The girls are the ones covered in black. How about a big hand for this close family. And not to be forgotten in the five tour busses, the blue ones in the parking lot, are the family elders who will be serving traditional camel burgers and fried scorpions to anyone feeling hungry after Yousef presents his exciting vision for an “inclusive Australia.”
And don’t worry about making a mess today folks as Kevin and Tony’s families have been hired to clean up when you leave.”