I'd not seen the Minister for Tourism for a while. Then he turned up on Breakfast this morning, first time in four years.
Even my extremely uninterested in politics partner got a fright - the question raised was "what's he doing talking about mountains and rivers when he doesn't know anything about them. Mountain man? LOL"
What this interview really reinforced for me was the use of language. The concept of "stream of consciousness" was brought to us by writers such as James Joyce, in the 20th century. Our current PM is a master of "stream of platitudes".
He regularly says things that seem, at face value, entirely sensible, to the point where they appear to be common sense. At an individual level they are fine, though a little shallow. The number of times he refers to "our great outdoors" is notable.
The problem is that once they are collected together, contradictions appear.
- On tourism - tourists need to be guided (like North Korea or China, perhaps?) but it's not possible.
- On fruit flies - we can't afford border security to keep them out or an eradication program, but the economic consequences would be devastating (so, what, rely on hope?)
- On religion - He attends church frequently but is agnostic.
Looking at the stream of platitudes in its entirety reveals regular "what the?" moments and inconsistencies. The media have begun to point them out, but a field-day awaits for a sharp journo.
I suppose tourist accidents and fruit flies are good reasons to not talk about looming crises about confidence in ministers, and a budget that is looking to be as disastrous and destructive as the one we were served in 1991.
Straightjacket Fits - Melt, 1990