Sunday, 19 December 2021

Damned if you do and damned if you don't

is what it seems to be for some of our politicians.

Yes,  I know that politicians are there to serve us, to make decisions for the benefit of everyone etc. etc. etc. They get paid to do it. Yes.

But there are limits to what they can do and should do. They need to listen to advice. Not everything is their responsibility.

Our Prime Minister is getting criticised at the moment - because he went to offer his condolences to the families who lost a child in the appalling "jumping castle" disaster.  He is being criticised for using it as a "photo op" and an "election platform". 

Apparently the fact that he was if not actually in tears so close to it that he was having difficulty speaking apparently makes no difference. He was criticised. Of course had he stayed away he would also be criticised.  That's the way it works.

He was criticised for being on holiday when we had the very serious bushfires (wildfires) in several states. Nothing was said about him being available at the other end of a phone at all times. The fact that such incidents are a state responsibility and he could not have interfered was beside the point according to those criticising him. He was accused of "lacking leadership". Much was made of the footage of a woman refusing to shake his hand and claiming he was at fault.  That there was nothing he could do was beside the point. If he had returned and tried to take over he would have been accused of interfering.  That's the way it works.

In this state the Premier has, perhaps rightly, taken a back seat for much of the pandemic. He has left it up to the Chief Medical Officer and the state's senior most police officer to decide on how things should be done. The CMO did not act alone and neither did the police. They were getting advice all the time.  They were passing advice on to the Premier. In turn he was relating it to the Federal Cabinet...meeting for the purposes of trying to control the pandemic. 

Our Premier has been heavily criticised for allowing the experts to decide what should happen. It doesn't matter that, in a neighbouring state, the Premier is being criticised for the reverse situation.  It's politics. You can't win.

I don't often "tweet" back to people on a controversial issue. If I do I usually confine it to a statement of fact that is easily verifiable. But yesterday I had had enough. I snarled at someone.  The Prime Minister is a husband and a father. He went with his wife - which meant leaving their own children without either parent for a short while and it was obvious from the way he spoke and form the way he reached for her hand at one point in the footage that he cares about what happened - and cares deeply. 

Others using that for political means is simply wrong. It doesn't matter what you think of the man at that point. What matters is that the man who is the nation's leader was setting an example to everyone else. He was telling them that it is okay to show some emotion, that it is okay to care about people you don't know, that it is okay to offer help when people need it most. 

That's a pretty powerful message. I suggest it is a more important one than using his actions for their own political benefit.  

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