Topic: big media
Back in another life we were on the Bondi Beach Public (primary) School Committee with the principal and local worthy parents. This was part of our role as a ward councillor at Waverley 1995-99. We were invited onto the panel as distinct from the local ALP or Liberal ward people - which was nice.
In addition to monthly meetings about school matters we would attend once or twice a year to presentation days. Even the most jaded activist or local pollie would notice the life energy and enthusiasm of childhood in full array. A subtle reality in one or 3, but impressive amongst a chattering hall full. Their intense interest in token prizes. Their sponge like absorption of the social dynamic. It was easily one of the most optimistic experiences of a ward councillor. One could not help smiling. Perhaps it was just surviving all those years and tribulations still to face them.
Picture: The child Kristine Kersher Keneally at bottom right. One assumes the image was released by her own family: Indicating a very personal media embrace unlike ex premier Nathan Rees to his undoubted detriment career wise, but perhaps wise in terms of private space.
Which brings us to the calculating, cynical practice of politicians everywhere to schmooze big media picture opportunities with children, usually strangers, to self aggrandise their own career postures. We regularly see PM Rudd, Deputy PM Gillard, no doubt opportunistic opposition leaders too. Lately it's been Premier Keneally with her own sons. They all want to coat tail on the energy of youth vacuumed up by the cameras like a dishonest fizzy drink advert – drink Coca Cola and you can play with bikini girls too. Only in this juxtaposition it’s 'look at me I’m kind to children, wholesome and responsive so vote for me'. Af if the children know any better.
The incredible hypocrisy in all this is that big media play along as if they can literally smell the revolving door to their own sector. But if children are taken by protesting parents to a rally or similar they seriously risk approbrium for politicising innocents. Double standard? You betcha.
These naive children have no policy insight or vote. They just look like innocents. Politicians from all parties and big media should front parents, and teachers and voters of adult age, otherwise they are exploiting children for cheap picfacs.
Picture: The author aged 12 or so.
Yesterday it was a cute variant of PM Rudd as a child book author. Oh please.