Dennis Shanahan ran a piece, in Saturday’s tree edition of the Australian – no online link – covering a speech that Wayne Swan gave to the Blaxland FEC on Friday night.
Much of it was predictable stuff: “if we get it wrong at the next election we’re out for a dozen years; Howard won the last election by holding a mirror up to the battlers (thank you bloody Ninian Stephens and your obsession with reflecting us back to ourselves!); Mark Latham is a total dick (not in so many words you understand) and Paul Keating combines the beauty of Brad Pitt with the wisdom of Solomon (a punt to the electorate Favourite Son who now of, course, resides elsewhere)”
But it was this curious Swan offering that really caught my eye:
“in politics at the moment there are too many men in tights leaping across the public stage, ignorant of what goes on around the kitchen table.”
Who are these men in tights I wondered? And why are they leaping around unencumbered by intimate knowlege of “what goes on around the kitchen table”? Does tights-wearing, in itself, prevent knowledge of kitchen table goings-on or do tights-wearers just eschew the kitchen table altogether? Are they more the type you find hanging out around your polished granite benchtop with halogen downlighting perhaps? More importantly, what is it Swan thinks they could be missing? A deep, considered domestic analysis of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic context, going forward? Or whether Narelle saw that guy Jason today, you know, the one who was going out with Carol? And whether tonight is garbage night. Inspirational stuff.
Many people don’t even use the kitchen table. They’re sitting in front of their Home Entertainment Centres, eating TV dinners and watching….. well, Men in Tights. Anything to avoid watching some pollie hammering away about blokes jumping over kitchen tables. They must think we’re bloody simple.