What have we learned this week?

That a publicly-funded national broadcaster is as vulnerable to the shrill squawks of the tabloid media as any other outlet, maybe more so. It’s our/their/your money after all.

That the Prime Ministerial office is not so stern, lofty, dignified or noble that the full weight of its public presence can’t be brought to bear on some ludicrous self-promoting, self-absorbed spat between a foul-mouthed cook and a ratings starved light-entertainment TV host.

That the same PM is so cynically calculating about the tone of his public utterances, that he morphs with each passing audience between wonk, ocker, best mate, hooray henry, mourner in chief, and peeved mandarin.

That increasing numbers of Australians are jobless or have recently been forced to cut their hours and earnings.

This has been the passing parade. The only constant is the ever present need for some fresh episode to fill the next vacant moment of the cycle. A wish list for next week: climate, the economy, infrastructure … and a little less empty hot air.