Politicians say the darndest things

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Let’s open up the old mixed bag and look at a couple of different issues this week:

Politicians say the darndest things

Joe Hockey last week, Clive Palmer this week. Politicians really have trouble controlling their words, don’t they?

Mr Hockey, the Federal Treasurer and man whose budget is about as popular as brussel sprouts at a kid’s birthday party, was criticised by even the most staunch of Liberal voters last week when he said that “the poorest people either don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far in many cases”.

Now as somebody who once looked at the petrol gauge as if it was my bank account going down bit by bit by the second, I actually understand in a way what Mr Hockey was getting at. But Mr Hockey’s comments were never going to wash, and were always going to create a furore. Can you imagine how many people, travelling to $50,000-$60,000 a year jobs from Penrith to the city were gripping the steering wheel in bumper to bumper traffic when they heard those comments?

Politics is about many things, and part of the job is truly understanding the people who you purport to represent. As times goes on, Mr Hockey is having more and more trouble getting that part of his job right, and it could have dire consequences for Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

As for Clive Palmer, his comments on national television this week about China were bewildering and bizarre.

Given our respective bank balances, the bloke is clearly a lot more savvy and successful than I, but it appears he legitimately doesn’t understand that he’s not sitting around a board room table with ‘yes men’ anymore. His transition to politics has been nothing more than a car wreck, and you get the feeling it’s far from over.

Good on you, Erin

I’d like to think we’re past treating females in male-dominated jobs as sex objects, but trust Kyle Sandilands to prove we aren’t.

Erin Molan, a presenter on The Footy Show and a rugby league columnist here at the Weekender, is refusing to return to the Kyle and Jackie O Show on KIIS FM after being asked inappropriate and sexist questions on the show earlier this month.

Sandilands does not shoulder all of the blame here – he is simply the most high profile link in a chain that allowed the questions and comments, some from listeners, to go to air.

Erin Molan is hardly a trailblazer and wouldn’t consider herself one – but she is a dedicated journalist and presenter aiming to forge a career in an industry that has traditionally been dominated by males.

While the glass ceiling was broken long ago, we cannot accept a situation that may see other women discouraged from following their dreams because they see people like Erin being undermined and taunted because of their gender.

More celebrity bullying

Kyle Sandilands, however, did get a taste of his own medicine this week, albeit unfairly.

I wrote last week about disgraceful celebrity bullying within the media, and it continued this week when New Idea produced a story suggesting Kyle Sandilands only had six months to live.

A doctor quoted in the story has since denied ever making such a claim, further muddying the waters.

Either way, the doctor openly admits he’s never met Kyle and hence, wouldn’t have a clue about his personal health issues. Still, his word was obviously good enough for New Idea.

Again, we really have to stop this notion that celebrities are ‘fair game’. One day, it will have some really disastrous consequences.

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