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In defence of kitchen cabinet and democracy

By Tim O'Hare - posted Monday, 23 November 2015


Since the knifing of Abbott, a wave of vindication has swept over our media elite so much so that they remain dogmatically assured that they have won every policy war.

Such is their confidence that they have now gone after one of their own, Annabel Crabb for having former Immigration Minister and current Treasurer on her program and (shock horror) allowing him to justify his policy positions.

Admittedly, Crabbe's 'Kitchen Cabinet' is not a serious exposition in the vein of Leigh Sales' 7.30 Report.

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Yet by having our politicians on her show, we are getting insight into their background, what makes them tick and what they are striving for in public life.

One would think that that should be viewed by both sides as an invaluable service.

Evidently not.

Amy McQuire of New Matilda writes 'It's akin to spending a life gorging on sweets and then finding out later you have diabetes. This insidious spread of propaganda, soft interviews with hard-line politicians who wield enormous power over the lives of the most vulnerable, is sold as a fun, light-hearted look into the lives of the people we elect.'

Likewise, Ben Popjie of the Age says 'It was easy to be nauseated by last week's KC episode, wherein Annabel had a spiffing old time cooking with Scott Morrison, trading amiable banter while carefully avoiding the topic of irredeemable evil.'

Let's put aside the Immigration debate for a moment. It's been won and lost on separate occasions. If 'Kitchen Cabinet' is to be on the ABC and the ABC is to be government funded then their is a public duty for it to be provide balance.

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This means allowing politicians of all persuasions to come on the show and present their arguments in addition to giving us perspective on who they are as people. But no, according to our intelligentsia Scott Morrison is 'irredeemably evil'. No defence, dismiss the jury, case closed.

What this does is fundamentally undermine our liberal democracy. Our politicians are not conclusively good or evil and their trial is at the hands of the electorate.

Gone too are the days of Chifley and Menzies, or more recently, Keating and Howard, where both sides were interested in each man, his motivations and the justification for his actions.

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About the Author

Tim O'Hare is a Brisbane-based, History graduate from the University of Queensland. He is a freelance commentator on political and cultural issues with specific reference to economics, education and free speech. Along with his commentary on social media, online publications and blogging he also finds creative expression in stand up comedy in a variety of bars in and around the Brisbane CBD.

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