The Main Event

As we sat on our balcony last night toasting the new year and watching fireworks from the Caves Beachside Resort we were given to reflect what are the things that this year will bring.

Hopefully good things for you and those you hold dear.

Of course the fireworks from caves Beachside are nothing to compare with the main event, the Sydney Harbour Spectacular, however I could see them from my balcony, as we toasted the new year, and that certainly has an upside as against those who had to walk, train, bus or even drive.

Balance and priorities may well be something to aspire to for the year ahead.

Any keen observer of Australian Politics will hope that some of that transpires to our Federal and State Parliaments. I suspect that it would not be too unfair to assume that one of the main problems we have at the moment is that many of them think that the main event is being ‘in power’, rather than being ‘in government’, and yes there is a difference.

I recall, and it is not all that long ago when the then Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull and the then Prime Minister, all but agreed on climate change and had Copenhagen been a little more successful no doubt things would be different today.

Australians in general don’t believe that The Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Government need to disagree about everything, however we don;t always feel comfortable when it is not clear how they are operating and how they are coming to their conclusions. We also don’t like backflips and turn-around opinions that seem inspired by back door deals or shifting focus from the main event.

Sometimes the media is guilty of dumbing things down too much so we cannot know what is really go on, or simply failing to understand and ask sensible questions. Sometimes the media is guilty of being managed by the spin doctors and so failing to deliver anything approaching and objective point of view.

It is my view that media fall victim of being managed and is guilty of trying to manage outcomes. There is a moral duty on the media to endeavour to achieve some objectivity, and where they fail in this they need to be plain about the lack of objectivity. Kerry O’Brien has had a reluctance over many years to see any thing positive in conservative ranks, whilst Andrew Bolt seems to have come up short in seeing any good in the ALP, and I am sure that the only photo of Bob Brown he would have would be brawn up with target circles!

Both of them fall short of any objectivity, and whilst that is fine for a few, the overall journalistic motif in both news and current affairs demands greater objectivity, if the media intends to retain any credibility.

So the main event for the Media for 2012 should be greater objectivity. The main event for our politicians on both sides of the house should be government. There are major issues confronting is, European Debt, Economic Malaise, Asylum Seekers and Border Protection. Of course there remains the greatest moral challenge of our generation, Climate Change and Planet Earth as we leave it for our children and our children’s children.

One of the things that happened in 2011 was the demise of the long term ALP hold on NSW. At the time the state ALP ordered an internal objective assessment of what went wrong. My list included the following.

    • The ongoing saga a scandals of one sort or another took its toll on credibility
    • The ill discipline of the elected representatives including Ministers
    • The  disunity of the party
    • The party appeared to follow public opinion rather than lead
    • The party’s main objective appeared to be to hold power
    • The campaign started negative and ended up defeated
    • The lurking suspicion that all decisions were made at Sussex Street
    • The Proroguing of Parliament to thwart open review of decisions
    • Too many taxes
    • Too little investment in infrastructure
    • Too many Announcements and not enough Action
    • Too little loyalty to the leaders.
    • Not enough Transparency
    • A loss of ideology and core mission
    • Too much spin, too little substance
    • Too much elitism – not enough egalitarianism
    • Too little concern for the people of NSW

There is no evidence that the Independent assessment managed to uncover any of this, and some of these issues will, I suspect, plague a bewildered Federal ALP Government, though some detail may need to change.

The O’Farrell led State Government has been criticised for not doing a lot, and that may be fair, time will tell, however it has been refreshing to discover that we do not need a NSW hosted scandal every couple of days.

We also now have a priest as speaker of the House of representatives, though not renown or his piety 2012 will show what he has to bring to the office.

For must of us 2012 will bring probably more of the same, as we try to make of money last past bank fees, taxes, and soaring power costs. I hope for you and for me it brings some financial stability, some joy, some zest, and the opportunity to do good, to give and to receive, to live and to love and be loved. In short may 2012 be good for you, peace, happiness and Jellybeans.


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