Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 7 September 2012

Cuckoos and CanberraWhat motivated me to write this short article was a letter to the editor of the Australian (Sept 4th) from a lady in Canberra who wrote: “I have evidence of disruption to the natural order: spring has sprung without a first-cuckoo letter being sighted.” No doubt over the years the editor received many letters but in today’s global warming, climate change environment, this letter seemed interesting.

Now I don’t know if it seemed interesting to the editor but it seemed interesting because living for a long time in Canberra I’ve never had to wait to Spring to hear or see the first cuckoo. Indeed I know many people in Canberra think the city beset by cuckoos every day

While ornithologists usually welcome the cuckoo in September, the non- ornithologists among us think Canberra is beset by different species of cuckoo not only in Spring but also in Summer, Autumn and Winter. The main species are better known as Labor, Liberal and Green Cuckoos while there are some indeterminate species some of whom exhibit the same kind of behaviour as the three main species.

Naturally where you find birds you find twitchers. In the case of Canberra however, these twitchers are political twitchers whose job is to report the various comings and goings and falling outs of the political cuckoos. At times, however, their reporting of the goings on of one of the three main species of political cuckoo makes them seem like a related subspecies. If truth be known, they are.

But I don’t want to focus only on the cuckoos in their nest on Capital Hill but draw your attention to another set of politicians with a different affliction.

Firstitis and the ACT Assembly
Some ACT Assembly cuckoos are also afflicted by Celebrity and Obsession

When these afflictions raised their head during the first few Assemblies most residents thought them passing phases. Unfortunately this is no longer the case. With the introduction of the internet, Facebook, Twitter and a variety of apps, not only had these phases not passed in some MLAs they became major afflictions whose most obvious symptoms were Celebrity and Obsession.

The more I observe them the more I think that some have become members of the Celebrity Cult as they spend more time on Facebook and Twitter advertising themselves and their own ambitions rather than on that of their constituents for better services and better government. This is supplemented by appearances on TV and radio or photographs and reports in The Times and Chronicle.

You may not agree with me about obsession although let me confess that often I wish some MLAs were more obsessed particularly with the issues the community they represent think most important rather than the issues they personally think most important.

What disturbs me also is that if the Assembly is not changed by the next election the same pattern of juvenile behaviour that, in a sense, portrayed the last Assembly as a kind of school playground will be repeated, and voters treated as uninvolved spectators of playground spats.

While honesty and integrity should define the behaviour of the Assembly how many MLAs of that ilk will form the next Assembly , I wonder if the next Assembly will simply be a continuation of a Celebrity Cult meeting room or a centre for new obsessionists. You might not agree with me that obsession is rife. Often, indeed, I wish some politicians were more obsessed particularly with the issues the community they represent thinks the most important rather than the issues they personally think most important.

Let me express a personal point of view that it’s about time the media, apart from giving Labor, Liberal and Greens the opportunity of continually espousing their policies, gave voters the opportunity of reading and/or hearing the policies of the Bullet Train for Canberra Party, Liberal Democratic Party, The Community Alliance Party (ACT), Marion Lê Social Justice Party, Australian Motorist Party and Pangallo Independents Party (?), so that they can decided for themselves if they are worthwhile.

They can you know.

That said, and though it is said also that the age of miracles is not yet past, I doubt the leaders of these parties will be knocked out by the rush of journalists to their door.


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