Friday, July 27, 2007

Bracks #2

Just watched Bracks' rather lovely speech to the press.

He looks together, cheerful, energetic, relieved and uncrumpled. He is the opposite of ashen or shaken. He can hardly stop smiling.

He says that 'the events of recent weeks' have only confirmed, rather than caused, his decision to resign. And by the look of him, this is true.

So here's my theory: he has watched Blair (his almost-contemporary); he has watched Howard; and he has thought Hmmm, who's looking better, in every possible way?

Can it be that we've finally reached an era in which politicians do not grimly cling onto power at any cost but go in an orderly fashion, leaving their constituencies and their parties in good shape and their own psyches intact or even rejuvenated?

I'm guessing that male journalists and politicans over about 55 will find this incomprehensible, and will keep insisting that there's some other reason Bracks isn't telling us about. But probably nobody else will.


Darlene said...

Ah yes, but in politics people always have to look for other reasons, I'm afraid.

Some people never take things on face value.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Not just in politics, either -- people always think there's 'a story' when someone does something that they personally would not have done, especially when it's basically none of their business. But you have only to look at Bracks to see that if there's some hidden story he's not telling, it must be a humdinger of a happy one.

via collins said...

That's a lovely blue sky view PC, and I'll go along with it.

For a leader of such longetivity, he has maintained an amazingly healthy "he's a good bloke" persona, and to leave with that intact will be a fabulous badge of honour.

He was such a shocking speaker off the cuff, his life will be longer for not having to form instant reactions to the media. And at our house, we'll all lament the loss of "Can I just say...." as a response.

blogfloosy said...

Given the timing I reckon his son's incident either crystalised long held reservations about the impact of political life on a family (or any other job with long hours, responsibility and for him constant public scrutiny). I hope his son doesn't feel responsible - he's got enough on his P plate to work out. I think the other Howard, Blair considerations are prob secondary and confirming in nature. Good on him for having the guts to take such an unexpected step - like you said many of his gender and era wouldn't call it the same way.

TimT said...

And Howard will be watching him back rather jealously, I suspect!

My guess was that the resignation is due to the Murray-Darling dispute, and pressure from within the Labor Party. But your theory is a good one.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Yes, TimT, I should clarify that obviously I didn't mean he went only because of the Blair/Howard contrast (and of course Blair, unlike Bracks, bailed only after his otherwise good record had been wiped out by the disaster of Iraq) -- just that, in weighing it all up, Bracks would have had those two very vividly before his eyes.

Word verification: kggusysh.

Pfffft -- I do not.

poetmaurice said...

He went out well, a gracious, basically truthful speech.

But I think it is fatuous to characterise behaviour by either gender or age. Do you really think a woman of say twenty years now is any more virtuous than a man of sixty? Is Natasha 'nicer' than Peter? Does Bob Brown get an exemption from the charge of unweening ambition because he happens to be gay?

Pavlov's Cat said...

'But I think it is fatuous to characterise behaviour by either gender or age.'

And you are very welcome so to think; do feel free. My own view is that men who reached adulthood when the effects of second-wave feminism were already beginning to be felt (at least in the west) are generally less likely to think and behave in automatic/default-position-patriarchy ways, and it's a view based on 40 years of observation plus some fairly extensive reading in feminist theory. You are welcome to disagree, but calling people who disagree with you 'fatuous', particularly on their own blogs, doesn't exactly mark you as a reasonable opponent.

ashleigh said...

Those males over 55 who are critical or looking for some hidden agenda will just be jealous!