The Greenhouse Effect – Canberra Style

Greenhouses can be wonderful things. They help to isolate growing plants from potentially dangerous elements from the outside such as variations in temperature, wind, rain and hail. When nurturing something precious and delicate, greenhouses are ideal.

The problem for Australia right now is that Canberra – and more specifically our parliament – is also a greenhouse. Our parliament members of both sides are being propagated in a greenhouse where little to no contact is made with the outside world by those members. Instead, they are fed nutrients and fertiliser by their advisers, internal polling people, focus group results. Somewhere along the way, the ability to control the temperature inside the greenhouse was delivered to the members of a press gallery who seem to enjoy turning up the heat inside the greenhouse with their assertions, high modality language and conflating. The claque of Oakes (slapstick politics), Hartcher (it will happen; collapse), Grattan (“crisis”), Maiden (“revolt” – a favourite of hers), van Onselen (Four Corners interview a terrible look) and various other chatterers are delighted to be given the space to tell us – and the plants inside the greenhouse – who should be leader and why. They know that the plants inside the greenhouse would be absorbing the heat they create.

The Four Corners story last week provided us with an ideal way of seeing how the greenhouse works. It was a nothing story, featuring an ex staffer with a book to sell, the SDA Catholic Crusader, Joe de Bruyn, Con Sciacca and Graham Richardson – again. Basically using The Drum / Q and A method of analysing politics. The only irrelevant commenters needed were Peter Reith and Mark Latham. Shots of Kevin Rudd attempting to look popular file sipping Peronis in Darling Harbour were shown as evidence of his popularity. The story was a tiny shift away from being hosted by Tracy Grimshaw. Questions were asked, though, as to why Julia Gillard graced the show with her presence. She was a victim of the greenhouse effect. If she said no, she would be accused of being evasive and scared of Rudd. She said yes, however, and so every tiny thing she said was analysed and placed in planter boxes built by the press gallery.

The end result of this greenhouse effect is that the growth process is halted and all hell starts to break loose. Then we see absurd lists of people who are voting for one side or another, individual plants (even ones that taste like cheese) buckling under the pressure, as well as videos released of one of the plants swearing

Personally, that video puts me in mind of one of the most famous plant based TV show in history, which makes more sense than the current show in Canberra

All sorts of stuff that gets the journalists very excited. Then those journalists sitting outside the greenhouse will retweet comments like this as some kind of “nyah, nyah” comment to those of us who tire of the turning up of the temperature inside the greenhouse

Funnier than the uncivil war of embattled Labor PM v embittered ex-Labor PM is TwitterLeft realization that it’s *not* all a media beat up.

Leadership seems to be almost always bubbling inside any government. That seems to be the nature of the egos inside the greenhouse. So, this is not about any “beat up”, it is more about the way journalists become the anointers of new leaders after their own actions in turning small disturbances into full blown wars.

Meanwhile, far away from the artificially controlled greenhouse, there is a nation. A nation that needs a government to formulate good policy and legislation in order for that country to progress. It appears that the people who gleefully turn up the heat inside the greenhouse know or care little about those policies or the people – instead focusing on the “winners and losers” and “what is means for Kevin”. In other words, using them as another way to fiddle with the heat. The truth is a casualty of this manipulation. I laugh at the dumb that is said about the “Western Suburbs” by journalists who wouldn’t be seen dead there, until I realise how a whole community is pigeonholed and then used.

The end result of this greenhouse activity will not be the glorious flowers of Floriade, more like a browned off bunch of leaves.


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