Every so often, I can’t help myself and write things I actually enjoy writing. Jokes to amuse me and my wife and perhaps a few others. These are almost always unread and unshared. That’s when I wish I had the skills of Ben Pobjie, who is able to make politics funny.
Sunday. We have a debate. Yay. I am torn between watching the Battle of the You Know What Fair Dinkum and a replay of the GWS Giants play Fremantle. It seems as though we have moved permanently into a land where the Very Blokey, Very Important Sky News has some kind of cred – David Speers is the moderator again – and that Peter Hartcher and Simon Benson are somehow ideal for asking questions. Lyndal Curtis, yes, that’s reasonable – but Rudd’s Cheerleader-in-Chief and the main Abbott supporting hatchet man at the Telegraph? It’s already shaping to be same kind of hard edged battle of talking points that we have seen for a number of years now, except now with two of the most partisan journalists we have seen for a while on the panel. Plus, of course, no other parties allowed. I’m frankly surprised they let a woman into the room for this – though, we are to get the GWS No. 1 Ticket Holder, Melissa Doyle “hosting” the broadcast on 7’s digital channel, along with Karl “Mr. Roboto” Stefanovic on the digital channel of 9. Just so we can cop Kony Rubbott in HD, I imagine.
We can picture exactly what will go on in this debate. The economy, “black holes”, “pink batts”, “trust”, “stop the boats” – you know the rest. And the worm. You can be sure that Mel – sans – Kochie and Mr. Roboto will have worms turning faster than a Queensland Liberal can put his in a glass of pinot. All the wormage will be connected to Working Families – or should that be Worming Families – pressing whatever buttons relate to their concerns about the Cost Of Living and how the Election Will Relate To Them. The audience members will probably be disappointed that they won’t be able to send their questions via Facebook – which was a Labor party suggestion for one of the debates. One can simply imagine how much fun the Social Media Strategists from both parties would be manipulating Facebook for those questions to each leader. And Ten, in its wisdom, is encouraging #believerudd and #believeabbott hashtaggery for the the #auspol people to use for an hour. Yes, true representative social media democracy inaction from Ten. Oops, I meant in action. Actually, no I didn’t.
Because the questions to be posed I suspect will be pretty dull, safe, uncontroversial and the rest – I am suggesting 20 Questions that won’t be asked, but should.
1. Why are both of your parties obsessed with surplus budgets when economists are saying that we need government stimulus as the private sector goes through a downturn?
2. Aren’t new roads a waste of money? They just fill up with more cars in a couple of years.
3. Why do your parties insist on funding a private health care system that does not provide core health needs for the majority of the population, to the detriment of public health spending?
4. Can you say more than 3 words at once? (that’s not for you, Kevin, we know you can. Yes, we know you can say them in Mandarin too)
5. Can we get a rock solid guarantee that you won’t use the phrase “rock solid guarantee” or appear in hi-vis vests for the next 4 weeks?
6. Have you two actually ever considered talking to Indonesia and Malaysia about a long term solution to the processing of asylum seeker claims?
7. Have you actually ever met an asylum seeker?
8. What actually is a “Gonski” and how can someone really give one?
9. The IPA. Heard of it? What do you think of it?
10. Do you think the ABC is “Their ABC”?
11. Is narcissism an illness or a prerequisite to do the job you do?
12. Be your actual selves for a minute. Just for the laughs.
13. Do you actually think Rooty Hill is a nice place and you enjoy going there?
14. Why haven’t either of you denounced Kyle Sandilands, Alan Jones and Ray Hadley as sexist peddlers of abhorrent attitudes who should be off the air?
15. Can we have an hour without a three word slogan?
16. Social Media is really a forum for partisan hacks to shout at each other, isn’t it?
17. Do you listen to the Ausvotes 2013 podcast? Follow up – Do you have a thing for Ed Butler?
18. Why are there only two of you here? Are you two scared of the leader from another party showing you up?
19. What do you think of Malcolm Tucker becoming Doctor Who?
20. Tempted to spend a day of the campaign without a single staffer around you?