Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kitchen Cabinet

Kitchen Cabinet  is a delightful half hour show where you get to dine with politicians and Annabel Crabb. I managed to catch up with it today and thought it capitalises perfectly on something we do well - lunch. We are very good at relaxed dining.  It breaks through  the stereotype, barricaded media representation of   politicians and we see them on our own turf - lunch. I could never have imagined myself watching a programme with Amanda van Stone and Christopher Pine and yet having lunch with them and Annabel Crabb was convivial. It was proof again that we actually want to see our politicians as people and not media images. We want to engage with them. I guess that is the impact of social media and Facebook , in particular. We can know people in a more detailed way these days if we want to and we know them warts and all . It isn't a problem. It's good. A media image is exactly that - an image and neither we nor the politicians have been able to sustain it in any kind of viable way - hence our hung parliament. If we were more accepting of the fact people are people and can be quite lovely or quite horrible depending on where and when,can say one thing and then another, then we'd go a lot further. Analysis paralysis through media scrutiny has made it impossible for some really good people to survive. Already they are writing off Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. There's a scenario, a narrative and then people are bashed into the shape. So to have a chit chat and a leisurely lunch was so refreshing. I could see Amanda van Stone was in command, that her face changed to very serious over political questions and she just talked away. Christopher Pyne was full of banter and not one nasty word. He was just very sociable and straight forward. He is never like that when I see him. It was the stuff of a good Australian lunch - some good stories, some lovely food, an appreciation of the food and then the valuing of being in the company of others. There is a real disconnect between what the media engineers as the story and the real story. It is pretty presumptuous to write someone off. Besides, if I walked into work tomorrow, challenged my boss for her position , lost - I'd still be in my job doing my job and taking pride in that. What my colleagues or anybody else think is none of my business.Amanda van Stone and Christopher Pyne talked about that quite well because she was very much disliked and it put a really human face on it.  My business is to do my job well and be responsible for that. If I lost a challenge, well, the job is still there and needs doing and I am still there with control over my own destiny. No one would be describing me as terminal. No one would be talking me down - we'd have lunch and sort out the next step. Life goes on with or without the hackneyed phrases.

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