in the news recently - both for the wrong reasons.
The first of these, a Senator from a very small party, claimed she was "racially profiled" at the airport by one of the airlines. The Senator in question claims indigenous heritage.
My good friend M...., who most definitely is indigenous, mentioned the incident to me. "Not sure what she is on about Cat. She was just being asked to observe the same rules as everyone else." Whatever she made a fuss and ended up in the VIP lounge.
I don't think that is where she belonged or where she should belong at any time in the future. My thoughts about this have absolutely nothing to do with her status or otherwise as an indigenous person. I would be very happy to see M... and many others like him in the VIP lounge. They belong there. The Senator doesn't. It has nothing to do with their appearance or who they are. It is what they are that counts with me. M... and others are people with whom I feel comfortable. They have respect for other people from all sorts of backgrounds and respect for themselves.
The other Senator abused parliamentary privilege yesterday and made some scathing remarks about the Prime Minister. The media loved it. It was all over the news. It sent important information about the Budget to the inner pages of the press and down the list of news items. This is what they wanted. One of the PM's own team was coming out so strongly against him. It justified all those attempts by the media to undermine him - and there have been plenty of those.
It isn't the role of a PM to be popular. The media really needed this story because there was not a lot they could find to criticise in the Budget. It was a very cautious one for a government soon to be facing the electorate.
The problem is that the Senator in question was very angry that a meeting of 500 members of the party had seen her relegated to a lower spot on the Senate ticket for the state. It means that she is considered to be in an "unwinnable" position. She won't be returned to the Senate at the election. She will be out of a job.
Rejection like that hurts. The way in which it was done was in accordance with the rules of the party in question but it would still hurt. The Senator in question might have something to complain about if the rules had not been followed. Her outburst in the Senate, behind parliamentary privilege, just showed that the members have likely made the right decision. It is also likely that the harm she has done will not be readily forgiven. Roles available to former members of parliament will be less likely to come her way.
The media of course does not wish to acknowledge this at all. There has barely been a mention of it except to suggest that everything the Senator had to say must be true or she would not have said it. It is too good a gift of a story to make much mention of the likely cause of the outburst.
I know rejection like that hurts. It happened to me in another context. I wanted to fight it but I had put too much work into making things happen. In the end I thought it was better to have something work without me than spoil everything for which I had worked.
Right or wrong? I don't know. What I do know is I had to learn to live with the fact that fighting doesn't mean you always win.