David Humphries explained the excruciating boredom of this election campaign, the “Battle of the bland” with some quotes (SMH 24 Jul 10):
Dealing with hecklers once was part of an astute leader’s skills. A woman heckler at working-class Williamstown, in Melbourne in 1954, told Bob Menzies she wouldn’t vote for him if he was the archangel Gabriel. “If I were the archangel Gabriel, I’m afraid you wouldn’t be in my constituency,” Menzies shot back. He was the last PM in office when public meetings and radio broadcasts were the chief means of communication with the electorate.
Gough Whitlam was at Blacktown when another woman heckler interrupted his discussion of a plan to sewer western Sydney by demanding incessantly where he stood on abortion. “In your case, I’d make it retrospective,” Whitlam told her. Imagine the furore that would be unleashed by such prime ministerial utterances today.
Sad that we’ve become so wimpy. No one can make even the slightest mistake. No one can change their mind. Politics is pickled and preserved in blandness. The 24-hour cycle makes risk-taking impossible. It’s tweedle dum and tweedle dumb dumb.