Campbell’s explosive headlines received with shrugs

21 May

CAMPBELL’S EXPLOSIVE HEADLINES RECEIVED WITH SHRUGS  The announcement that NSW transport minister David Campbell has been living a double life splashed into the news overnight with explosive headlines but was received by underwhelming shrugs of shoulders. The 16-year rule of the NSW ALP government has been plagued with so many personal scandals – John Della Bosca, Matt Brown and now Campbell – that people are not surprised by drama anymore, and many are beginning to respond with sympathy.

Watching the state government is like watching a midday soap opera, except the characters are much less attractive in this story, or a real-life version of Survivor, where alliances and Chinese Whispers run rampant amongst the tribe. But no one’s got immunity in this game.

With our personal lives more public than ever and the capacity for technology to retain information forever, via Google, Facebook and Twitter archives, the number of scandalous tales in the government are set to rise in the near future. Sexting and emotional tweets that are published while people are young and none-the-wiser will undoubtedly haunt future generations of leaders.

The public are always going to be interested in stories that question the integrity of the government, whether personal or professional, and individuals that venture into public positions will continue facing repercussions for personal indiscretions. But with our entire lives recorded and personal information available online, soon to include medical histories as well, will it be possible to find a suitable leader that has never uploaded a tipsy photo onto Facebook or engaged in sexting in fifteen years? Will we sympathise because many of us have published something we are not proud of as well? Will the treatment of personal issues in the media cause tomorrow’s great leaders to follow alternative career paths? Or is the recent indifferent reaction to Campbell’s story an indication that people will eventually become desensitised to this type of news?

As stories about Keneally’s team continue to be revealed, I just hope next time they spare us from imagining any kind of sex life of an overweight, middle-aged and unattractive man.

By Marissa Toohey

This post doesn’t conform with my usual subject areas, but nonetheless it’s one that people across the world can relate to.

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