Here’s a (lightly edited) exchange between me and a friend who, I’m going to assume would prefer to remain nameless. If they want to change this, they will let me know and I will change it.
The exchange should be read downwards — with the first email you encounter below being the first email I received.
This is your regular update from clown world
Hard an interesting exchange on Twitter with Stephen Mayne on the same subject
The question it raises: What does Gladys represent that the political class has intuited it needs to defend ?
niceness. [reflecting my own view that a kind of unflappable pleasantness is the most prized possession in Australian public life, considered to be far more important than domain knowledge, ability, charm. Unflappable niceness is a very secure route to steady promotion as a ‘good operator’ and blended with a little apparent savviness, let alone the capacity to be ‘strategic’ and pretty soon you’re on your way to an AC. By the same token the greatest liability is being particular about things. It just slows you down , makes you difficult to deal with, and on things that people just can’t fathom — and for what?]
More than that…
For some reason this venal, rudely partisan and somewhat incompetent person has been elevated as the standard bearer of the Australian political class (“the woman who saved Australia”, “Australia’s most powerful person” etc).
I think it’s because her key power was her unerring, Dunning-Kruger infused, self-belief and self-regard – she just kept going.
So I think the message she sent to the Australian political class was: “don’t dwell on the fact you do not measure up to the moment! Instead just treat the world as if it is no more complex than you can handle. Just keep going and you will not be judged. Our power may be fading, but I have shown you how a kind of political perpetual motion can defeat electoral gravity”.
Yet here she is felled by a reflex motion of our dying accountability culture.
And like the children they have become, the political class cannot integrate at an emotional level what it means to be subject to an adult system of accountability.