this person observed his vocation was becoming unsustainable for normal people. By normal people, he meant balanced people. If balanced people could no longer cop the life, the profession would shrink back to representation by a very narrow type of personality—people who live for the brawls and the knockouts, and can’t function without the constant affirmation of being a public figure. We would end up with representation by ideologues, adrenalin junkies and preening show ponies, posturing for a media chorus as unhinged as the political class.
The unnamed Minister was speaking last summer to Guardian Australia‘s political editor Katharine Murphy.
The conversation sparked her to write an excellent, troubling essay for the winter edition of Meanjin.
It draws extensively on conversations with two escapees from the Australian parliament.
Having departed the circus, Mal Washer and Greg Combet were willing to identify themselves; their observations are informed more than a little by their pre-parliamentary experiences as, respectively, medical practitioner and trade unionist.
Click here to read all of The Political Life is no Life at All.