Monday, 18 March 2013

Day 103: Contemplating the politerati

on the way home

Day 103 (18 Mar) Monday, South Bank day. There is a different momentum to the day although I get up at the usual time (that's simply a habit). I don't have to be on a bus until about 9am for the trip into town which only takes about 12mins. Such a contrast to 98km and 75 mins by car. (We were also entertained by a very serious 'air-drumming' passenger, a little different.)

Subtle changes in the 6.12am light
So one can take things a little more leisurely, a little less rushed. At 6.12am it was taking in the light of day from the bonsai's perspective. It's a maple-type tree and it follows the four seasons. The leaves are starting to turn and drop off, a micro-imitation of autumn least I hope so. (This is the second year I've had it so I'm confident it is supposed to be doing this.) I think we do tend to let work take over and work intesification in the tertiary education sector is quite an issue. I'd like to be just heading down the road for a full day's work and home again before the sun sets. It would be nice to smell the roses, or water the bonsai...

Today's lecture was an interesting one (OK, I think they're all interesting) but today's topic was the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Of course, given the speculation at present, I wasn't sure whether the notes I had would be current during or after the lecture. Talk of the 'spill' is makes for terrific, if sometimes anxious, lecture moments. 

At the end of the day, Julia Gillard is still prime minister and while there is some policy discussion of sorts, it is all framed through the prism of leadership. It is a lot of 'white noise'. I sense it is something that is of most interest to the media and the politerati. I think everyone else is tiring of the will s/he, won't s/he between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gilllard. As I mentioned to someone today, we went through this kind of bitter leadership divisiveness with John Howard and Andrew Peacock, but they weren't jostling for the prime ministership, simply the leader of the opposition. There was a more reserved battle between John Howard Peter Costello during the Howard Government. 

Look hard, you can hear the rustle, at 6.12pm
Unusually at 6.12pm I was home, listening to PM on the radio and in front of me was a vase I bought late last year, I was looking into that and listening to the news and contemplating the state of political leadership at that time. 6.12pm crept up on me because I'm just not used to being here on a work day. It is a work by an artist now living on the SunCoast. It's a lovely contemplative piece. If you look hard enough, you can hear the reeds rustling. 

I'm fortunate to do what I do. To be able to be on the frontline of teaching people to engage with our politics, to help them understand, to make people interested is a huge privilege, it is also a responsibility. Yet there are days where even I wonder why our politicians act the way they do. They do themselves no favours and simply cultivate a culture of disengagement. We all need to be involved and interested. We can't just 'contemplate' the politerati, we ought to be the politerati, for our polity is us, and we are our polity. 

It's worth thinking about. 

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