By REBECCA SPARROW
Yesterday a menu made my head explode.
For those who missed it because you were perhaps LIVING YOUR LIFE, a photo of a menu taken from a Liberal party fundraiser in March was leaked to the media.
The issue? On the menu Prime Minister Gillard’s body was likened to cooked quail and referred to in the most utterly crass terms. The description of her breasts, thighs and vagina left me sick to my stomach. And I wasn’t alone.
Social media went into meltdown with claims that this latest low act by the Libs was precisely what Prime Minister Gillard was raging against. And so, in the wake of the vile menu being made public, the Prime Minister called for the disendorsement of Mal Brough for whom the fundraiser was held. And I, for one, whole-heartedly agreed with her. My feeling is we need zero tolerance for this type of sexist filth whichever side of politics it comes from.
And then the truth came out.
The menu and those remarks were not written or sanctioned by Mal Brough or his Liberal National Party cohorts. It was a mock menu created by the restaurant owner Joe Richards and his son as an in-joke for the kitchen staff and was never distributed. The menu in turn was photographed and Facebooked by a restaurant staff member (sigh) and subsequently seen by a gleeful ALP member.
Because while I’m inclined to believe this is true (it was all a bit convenient for that March menu to surface yesterday as the perfect “I told you so” from the PM) … I can’t be 100% sure. How could I?
Both sides of politics have about as much integrity and credibility at the moment as those ads for Sea Monkeys I used to stare at wistfully in Archie comics. (But mum, they have crowns! We could have an underwater Royal family! And did I mention the crowns!).
In 2013 truth and policies mean nothing. Australian politics is now entirely about mud-slinging and gotcha moments.
Political commentators will tell us that this frenzied hatred from both sides stems from the fact Gillard is leading a hung parliament. Compromises are made. Policies watered down. Deals broken.
Tension is high between both parties. Disillusionment and disappointment – whether justified or not – is even higher amongst the voting public.
But my malcontent with the current state of politics is about more than the vulgar and childish mud-slinging from both sides. It’s about the fact politics has been completely reduced to half-truths and spin and lies. I mean it’s always been a part of politics but now, well we’ve reached a new low.