What is it about Canberra and young would-be politicians? Does our nice clean Bush Capital air bring out the animal spirits in these youngsters? Is Canberra so uniquely boring they feel compelled to bring some life to our quiet town? Does the sight of snow-capped mountains make them feel like they’re on a ski trip?

It’s barely two months since Young Laborites left their mark on Pinnacle Apartments, a short-stay complex just a short stroll from the fleshpots — or what passes for fleshpots in this fair town — of Kingston and Manuka.

Now Pinnacle Apartments — which presumably should have known better after the June incident than to host a bunch of young pollies — has been the scene of equivalent debauchery from the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation. News Ltd has demurely pixelated the faces of the attendees it has obtained pictures of — possibly reflecting the state of inebriation of those photographed at the time, but sources have identified one of those photographed as Tasmanian Young Liberal president Whittney Jago (yep I spelt it correctly).

Like apparently everyone under 25, Ms Jago lets it all hang out on her Facebook page, where her status at the time of writing was the mysterious “is excited to John Howard tonight :)”, which might suggest the former Prime Minister is in for an ill-defined treat this evening, or some lucky Howard is going to get “Johned”, whatever that is. You know how these youngsters are always using neologisms. No pun, of course, intended. At least one of the Facebook friends of Whittney with two Ts hasn’t been able to resist mentioning her new-found, if pixelated, fame.

Some may frown on such activities, particularly in this era of concern over youth binge drinking. I prefer to see it as a splendid encouragement for alienated youth to join a political party. At a time when our political class is being drawn from an ever-narrower cadre of staffers drawn from trade unions (Labor) or PR firms (Liberals), the more kids who see drunken antics and decide to join up, the better. And besides, adult politicians never get drunk, right?

The only slight problem — prepare for the sound of my creaky old porch rocker — is this habit of putting all sorts of candid things on Facebook. When some young Liberals or Young Laborites grow up into real politicians, they may regret the pictures and comments they stuck on Facebook years before. Because, sadly, nothing’s ever lost on the interwebs.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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