This morning, new Nationals leader David Littleproud was on Radio National, continuing with his push to make the party more conciliatory after the Barnaby Joyce of it all. He said he planned to lead a constructive party of opposition, confessing: “I actually like Anthony [Albanese]. He’s a good mate … “
After seemingly every election, the political class stop telling you that their opponents are incompetent, corrupt ideologues who are at this very moment attempting to push your car off a cliff and instead start telling you what thoroughly decent people they are. It’s the direct inverse of the rash of stories featuring disgruntled MPs anonymously telling us what fuckwits their colleagues are, and seemingly it’s just as inevitable.
Then there was Kristina Keneally, who didn’t even need to be prompted to list her opponents’ good points. On her way out of politics after her parachute into the seat of Fowler failed to deploy, she was asked by Peter FitzSimons for any “war stories, things we don’t know”, and took it as a chance to shower praise on this rogues’ gallery:
Matt Canavan is a lovely bloke, though we don’t agree on anything. Senator Anne Ruston and I used to often text each other keto diet recipes during question time, and Malcolm Roberts is one of the most chivalrous and polite human beings you will ever meet.
Perhaps she’s returning to Sky News and expects she’ll have to see quite a bit more of them?
Tanya Plibersek on Sunrise made a point of wishing Barnaby Joyce well and talking about her “soft spot” for “old school Nats”, comparing her attendance at Paul Neville’s farewell with “the mother of the bride showing up at the bucks night”, which got a huge laugh. Joyce, looking redder than usual (is he capable of blushing?) added: “If Tanya doesn’t get on the frontbench, there will be riot.”
“It probably surprises people that, behind the scenes, we often get along very well …” Plibersek had said to kick off the lovefest.
Which is true until you consider that 90% of modern professional politicians have a great deal more in common with each other than they do with the people who vote for them.