Sharing my anger and filling in the blanks

It’s all very well to have a turn the other cheek attitude when you are wronged personally but in politics this is an approach that has its limits.

I have just watched Tony Abbott on The Bolt Report and am afraid that I am dissatisfied with his response. Everything can be explained, and everything can be forgiven, but that is not what the other side is doing nor can ever be expected to do.

We over here want this government to succeed. But if the government does not share my anger with the things that make me angry or refuses to fill in the blanks about the details of policy so that we can see what is actually taking place, then they may feel very good about themselves internally but none of us out here will either feel very warm about what’s being done or have much in the way of arguments to defend what is going on.

Take Gonski, which is a policy I do not support so do not actually care one way or another about its fulfilment. But a promise was made during the election, Christopher Pyne has implied that the government was going to walk away from the full commitment, but the PM said today that what was promised will be delivered while also suggesting that what was promised may be different from what we think was promised. Very subtle, no doubt, but will not work as a political answer. The detail of why the Gonski commitment will be fulfilled as promised, and not in some casuistical way, has to be explained.

Even more so do I feel the anger with the ABC. It is not part of the free press. It has the stamp of government all over it and is 100% paid for by the government, that is, by us. What is said on Sky or in The Age people like myself might disagree with but no one argues they have no right to say what they say. With the ABC, it’s different. The ABC is supposed to be a reflection of Australia, and even if we know better here, they don’t know better in Indonesia.

This failure to take sides in political issues, to articulate and reflect the views of those who support this government, and therefore support good government, will end up with that support eroding. Perhaps we are looking at a new approach to politics that is more subtle than any we have seen before and that in the fullness of time will learn to appreciate its success. But in the meantime, people such as myself remain nervous and I must say a bit let down by the entire experience so far.

UPDATE: The transcript of the interview with Tony Abbott. It reads a lot better in print than it sounded when broadcast live.

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