This was originally published on February 7, 2018.

There is a measure of the current relationship between politics, government and everyday life, and that is the rich varieties of contempt one now feels for our elected representatives. We’ve gone well beyond the stage of blanket "hate" for pollies we happen to dislike or disagree with. Virtually the entire crop of leading mainstream party politicians -- after the cresting of John Howard and the demise of the Beazley-Crean Laurel and Hardy act -- arouse in us rich and complex blends of pity, loathing, and disgust; each as distinct as the different notes and flavours in a variety of single malts.