I’m going to sleep. Wake me up when the next generation are in charge.
There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Bart calls a character in Australia to ask if their toilet bowl drains counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. That’s the unsophistcated way our country is often portrayed by the rest of the world; even our shit is backwards.
I like to think it’s an unfair perception – and most of the time it is. But the past month of events in Australian politics suggest that our nation is indeed trapped in some kind of bizarre values time warp.
First came the sorry affair involving former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, a woman who had become all too comfortable with the perks of her office. So much so that she chose to travel almost exclusively by limousine, helicopter and chartered planes, while supposedly serving as the arbiter of appropriate parliamentary behaviour.
Next, a number of Members and Senators were exposed for pushing entitlements guidelines to the very outer limits. While not technically breaching the rules as written, their expenditure of other people’s money was well outside the bounds of modern community expectations. (Neither side of politics made too much of this of course; it’s generally inadvisable to dial up the outrage about something you’re probably guilty of yourself…).