By KATE HUNTER
So a kid chucked a Vegemite sanger at the Prime Minister yesterday.
Breakfast radio announcers are sniggering about it, kids are giggling, and the adults who were there said it was just, ‘kids being kids’ and a bit of childish ‘high jinx.’
This is our Prime Minister and it doesn’t matter if you don’t like her, if you don’t approve of her policies, if your parents think she’s the worst thing to happen to the country since Sylvania Waters, you show respect. You don’t throw sandwiches. If you don’t like that she’s visiting your school, go to the library, the gym, the toilet. Demonstrate your disapproval with your absence. It’s cooler.
One friend I spoke to shared my outrage, but only to a degree. She said, ‘It’s just manners. You don’t throw sandwiches at anyone. It’s equally bad to throw one at your sister.’
I disagree. If my son chucked food at his sister, I’d be cranky, for sure. I’d make him apologise, clean up and probably ban him from watching the next Lions game.
If he threw a sandwich at the Prime Minister, I’d expect that he be charged by the police. BECAUSE SHE’S THE PRIME MINISTER and the office demands respect.
My father in law was in the army for 25 years and is fond of saying, ‘You respect the uniform if not the man.’ (If he’d been born later than 1930 he’d have said ‘person’ not ‘man’ but you get my point.)
It’s a deeply unfashionable sentiment but I agree with it. Plenty of people don’t though.
Kids are told – by word or inference – that teachers are just people who are there to serve them. You can question them, disobey them threaten to report them for injustices, perceived, real or made up.
Police are fair game. Just make sure your mates have an iPhone handy in case one of them reacts to a jibe.
And public office holders, from local councillors to our Prime Minister are ripe for ridicule and easy target practice. It takes a teeny bit of ticker to do it in real life and not online, but the kudos is great and there are no consequences.
Julia Gillard laughed off yesterday’s sandwich incident. People say, ‘good on her’ but what else could she do? It’s not like she could lob a pikelet back, or tell the kid off, or have him charged.
Just imagine if she’d done that. What a witch. What an overreaction. Where’s her sense of humour? The poor kid’s life will be ruined.
It’s the opposite of ruined now. He’ll be the hero at school today. Perhaps not with the headmaster, but certainly among his mates – I can just imagine his Facebook page. ‘Nice shot, mate!!!!! Put tomatoes in it next time. LOL.’
What do you think the student’s punishment should be?