My age is beginning to betray me. I seem out of touch with the new kind of gung ho approach by politicians. The fostering of solidarity and admiration among an audience that is most impressed by seeing them as 'good sports' and 'a laugh' and 'one of us'. Perhaps they figure that is the best they can do in a recession and a positive contribution to the countries morale is better than nothing.
A newish comedy show screens on TV3 called 7 Days. It's a stock in trade competition between two teams of comedians responding to leading from a adjudicator. It had me laughing out loud on Friday night. Then in rolled the Minister for Social Development (I suppose a new comedy show is a form of social development). Rolled because she had to roll in her own seat and sit in the middle. She then participated in that old game whereby you must never answer a question with 'yes' or 'no'. Probably not much of a challenge for a politician. Questions like "Have you ever done it in the back of a Holden?" answered by, "Who hasn't?". At which point I had stopped laughing and began using all my energy trying to process what I am seeing and figure out why 'we are not unamused'.
It's not very dignified. So what? Stop being such a pompous twit Lindsay. But aren't we supposed to take this person seriously? She is in charge of the government's biggest spending portfolio. In which case she is allowed to have some fun for a change. Give her a break. But I spend so much of my frigging time worrying about welfare and she's positively chirruping. In which case she has a better work/life balance than you and you could do worse than take a leaf from her book. But what would an overseas visitor make of it all? Who is that, they would ask. Oh that's just the government minister in charge of child protection services, the disability sector, care of the aged and reduction of family violence. She must be up to the job because she can make people laugh.
So my discomfit is without foundation. It doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It can only be explained by my age and the expectations I have because of it. I am a dinosaur with an attitude that says there is a time and a place; portraying a level of discipline publicly is important; maintaining a certain distance and anonymity is desirable; but above all, when there is serious, urgent work to be done there is no time for personality parades.