Opinion

Our federal government is a joke, but no-one’s laughing

By Shepparton News

Head, meet desk.

Just when you thought the Federal Government could not stuff up more than losing leaders to sex scandals, sacking leaders for no apparent reason, losing unlosable by-elections and losing their majority to defections — Andrew ‘‘James Bond’’ Broad allegedly enters the fray so as not to let a single government announcement go through cleanly.

As the allegations New Idea published are reportedly the subject of an Australian Federal Police investigation, we will skip over the details, except to observe as far as ‘‘scandals’’ go this one seems particularly mild.

New Idea is not known for being an investigative journalistic dynamo.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley recently ripped in to the magazine claiming it frequently published false stories about her. Johanna Griggs has also had a crack. As have many others.

And yet with a few printed words and a photogenic picture, New Idea managed to torpedo Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s best day in weeks, knocking the mini-budget off its media pedestal and replacing it with yet another government scandal.

Mr Broad is off to the backbench. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who reportedly first learned of the allegations weeks ago, is ducking for cover.

No doubt Mr Morrison is staring at yet another tragic set of poll numbers wondering, ‘‘Why me?’’

Since Julia Gillard rolled Kevin Rudd eight long, excruciating years ago, I doubt few of us expected Australian politics was entering this bizarre new paradigm — one where reality constantly outdoes satire, leaving the comedians to wonder why our political leaders are after their jobs.

From Rudd to Gillard to Rudd to Abbott to Turnbull to oblivion and beyond, the revolving door prime minister’s office appears to be a symptom of Australian democracy in crisis.

But what is the cause? Is the media and its insatiable hunger for salacious copy to generate precious impressions, retweets and shares responsible?

In a previous life when I worked in parliament, there were endless rumours about who was bonking who — none of it ever made it into print.

At the risk of making our lawyers choke, I could rattle off half-a-dozen alleged affairs perpetrated by... best not go there.

Is it the politicians themselves?

Why did decades of stability under Hawke, Keating and Howard morph into this circus?

Do we have any guarantees that a change of government will fix anything, or will Shorten’s mob simply test our shock-fatigue with new and interesting ways to stuff up governing Australia?

Inquiring minds would like to know. At this rate it would not be unreasonable to learn the rest of world had turned us into a country sized Truman show for their own amusement.

At least then someone would be getting a good laugh out of it all.

Myles Peterson is a News journalist.