As I write this, yet another Prime Minister is being dragged through the dis-honour of having to survive a vote of confidence.
Over recent years, Australia has become quite a different place to what it was even as little as 10 years ago.
Whilst this country is stable and wealthy, more wealthy than it has possibly ever been, politics and the will of the people is now a volatile area that takes few prisoners.
Gone are the days of allowing an elected Government the time to develop plans and strategies for the country’s future, to be replaced by anxious, impatient citizens wanting change at the moment of any perceived hardship. Naturally, this is what is said to be democracy in action and reflecting the will of the people, thus paramount to the cause. But sometimes it does seem we are demanding change all too soon.
There is an un-deniable effect on politics through the availability of polls.
Polls have become the goal scores in the game and after as little as one day
we can learn how well or badly a Government is tracking, should that Government have made any moves through the course of the day.
Opinions and gossip are nothing new. For most of human existence, we have found local knowledge and hearsay to be helpful and comforting at times, only to be harmful on other occasions. But this is the advent of a new kind of gossip. A gossip by the people and for the people that doesn’t just remain colloquial, it travels at the speed of radio waves throughout the world.
Coupled with the speed of gossip and opinion, is a proper ground-swell of demand for equal rights and conditions. It seems that, as the world becomes more informed then it must re-jig itself to work with all people on an equal level. It is now impossible to expect that social conditions that once played little or no part in the on-going politics and management of another, have no effect on other more wealthy countries.
Everyone, can now see all and rightly make comment on what they see.
So the new possibility of a real change in the perception of equality is a welcome development, even if it is somewhat cajoled into place by this new-found people power.
Here in Australia, we struggle with the same issues as all countries through our constant evaluation of what is and is not, an acceptable level of equality.
What is right and proper for one is an outrage and attack on the equality of another. Not much new about that struggle.
However being the wealthy country that we are, our standards of acceptable and not acceptable conditions has risen dramatically also. The poor are still poor, the rich are still rich as in all countries, but it is the main body of this country and I suspect it is similar in other countries, that has increased it’s living standard. Subsequently there is also a cry of hardship even though conditions of life are at a historical high.
The case for gossip is, as with all things, there is a time and place. Gossip can save lives by making communities aware of possible threats and dangers even though there is no actual proof. It can also be a destructive force utilized to garner support for actions that are driven by greed and dishonesty. Gossip when used effectively, helps communities to cope with situations but on the other side can be used to harm others through bullying and undermining. It has to handled as a community asset and we must not allow it to be our one and only guide. Facts can never be over-looked just for the 15 minutes of fame that badly handled gossip can afford.