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A Tale of Grief and a Tale of Two Leaders


Parliament started today. An interesting start in deed.

I will not discuss the Opposition’s package re the floods in this blog but rest assured it will come. Today I want to focus solely on parliament proper.

A day of condolences always opens its way for emotion.  It is a moment in time that the human beings that we call politicians rise to the surface of that murky thick substance that usually separates “them” from “us’. We are surprised when they do but I often wonder why that would be.

You see these men and women in their costumes and “position” know more about the damage these floods have done to families and businesses then we will ever know. They sometimes know those lost or whose families homes have been devasted. We try to forget that sometimes.

Why? Because we don’t want to see them as just human. We want to see them as our local member or our Prime Minister or the Opposition Leader and with these titles and honours that come with their job. And most likely they have met every family that has been affected personally and before they can process the information that they have just been exposed too, they are ushered to another family who’s tale of woo equals or exceeds and the process continues for days and nights. And in between they have to maintain the position we expect and give us sound bites and policies and the weight of the grief from the tales they have heard is still there, building, getting heavier. But they keep it inside because they have jobs to do.

Many ministers today shed tears. Real tears. Why? This is the time for them to mourn. They can not do it tomorrow or the day after as they return to work wearing those titles and honours and trying to meet expectations.

It is good to see that the men and women of parliament can *be* men and women. Even though some included comments that could only be called political.

I type this as I listen to parliament and am hearing parliamentarians who usually are at each others throats are genuinely thankful of each others actions and support.

Unfortunately this will all recede before the night is gone. Like the floods, I believe the  MP’s have reached a new high water mark. It will be chalked and no doubt people will talk about this high water mark in the future until another moment unites Australians in either tragedy or triumph.

But like the floods, I expect this mood to recede.

The prime minister opened the floor for this release today. She did it in such a way that I believe set the tone throughout with people who where closely affected and who sit on the backbench can release or at lease share their grief. Many do not seem to be holding back.

Many will critic the Prime Ministers speech. Some will make note that David Williamson made not of her bad acting. Well if this was a moment that Gillard was acting, then it was truly oscar worthy.

This was no act. This was that weight I was talking about that has being bubbling away while she had to be a PM for people and as she read the words, she reacted and that reaction incited a reaction in me. I felt it as real.

Even Tony Abbott said “Whatever political disagreements we may have, she has shown a decent heart.”

Mr Abbott made a speech too and while his words were eloquent, he tainted the mood by returning to politics at a time of mourning albeit concealed but not deftly so by any means.

And so begins the new year. Mr Abbott reminding the PM that he will tear her throat out at any opportunity and the PM finally achieving something she said she wanted to do during the election campaign and that was show us the real Julia.

I also wish to note that the great speeches did not limit themselves to the front benches. Many a backbencher too have spoken and continue to speak with passion and emotion.

As My Abbott pointed out when he listed the electorates affected by the woes that have afflicted us, a good chunk of the nation was noted. And each electorate has its share of communities and in each communities, families  in their thousands all with stories and tragedy.

Grief shared is grief released. Many will remember these tragedies for longer than most because of the direct impact on them, but as many of those who spoke today said, you will not be forgotten.

A. Ghebranious    2011  (All Rights Reserved)

One Comment
  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Hope your government does not screw you too much.

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