Murphy, Katharine: The politics we deserve

Murphy, Katharine

The politics we deserve‘, Meanjin, 74, 4, Summer 2015

The writer is deputy political editor of Guardian Australia. We are posting this link not much more than four months after the article was written – we had missed it previously – yet already it looks dated, indicative of the volatility of political fortunes in modern Australia. Do you remember when the new prime minister quoted Thucydides as he unveiled the memorial to war correspondents? That seems ages ago; it was late September, only days after the change from Abbott to Turnbull (they must have had to do a quick amendment of the plaque).

But behind Murphy’s reporting of political upheaval there is some insightful writing about the nature of our politics. For example:

Turnbull has the self-belief to think he could be a modern Thucydides. The mind of Malcolm is hard-wired to dream big, to fancy himself both of the fray and above it. Our new leader wants politics to be an adventure worthy of his talents. We must all rise beyond “rule in/rule out” games, lift our eyes from the still-steaming entrails of leadership challenges—deals, numbers, undisclosed promises, treacheries—and look to the future.

One could comment: ‘we wish!’ The prime minister probably does, too. There is an air of ‘what might have been’ about this hopeful piece. Shame.

David Stephens



Click here for all items related to: