You can feel the collective “meh” around Canberra and beyond today.

It’s echoed in the press gallery commentary. Not in a Get Out of Our Lives/I’m Mad as Hell/Convoy of No Confidence kind of way. More like a roll-of-the-eyes way. A groan. An oh-for-goodness-sake kind of way.

Bernard Keane wrote yesterday that “an already unhealthy political atmosphere is becoming more rancorous and febrile, with all thought of future consequences going out the window”.

Annabel Crabb dubbed it an FFS moment. Tony Wright suggested someone call the fact that everyone’s nude. Malcolm Farr suggested no one comes out of this with any credit.

The Thomson affair has turned the faux outrage and hypocrisy up another notch even by this parliament’s standards.

The precedent? As Keane pointed out yesterday, this law of the jungle atmosphere takes us still closer to the sort of “superheated atmosphere of 1975”. And we all know how that ended.

The level of vitriol in parliament does transfer to some very angry members of the community. But for most ordinary Australians, the overwhelming sentiment towards their politicians can be summed up by one simple phrase … get your hand off it.


Every Thursday, Crikey editor Sophie Black and Crikey‘s Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane will talk the week’s events in the national capital.

Visit the podcast page (or via our iTunes page) on our website at 4pm AEST to download or listen.

Peter Fray

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