Anyone watching the television news last week would have been appalled at two national stories – Schoolies Week and the shenanigans in Federal Parliament.
Frankly, there was not much difference between the images on our screens. In both, immature, angry people were making complete fools of themselves while apparently lacking any form of self control.
The schoolies story showed the unfortunate mix of teenage exuberance and alcohol and the tragedy that so often accompanies this booze-fuelled rite of passage in the form of brawls, sexual assaults and accidental death.
The Federal Parliament story showed the unfortunate mix of adult hubris and political ambition and the national tragedy that results from this anger-fuelled thumping of chests.
If the latter is setting the example for the former, we are in deep trouble.
Taken together, the two stories tell us we need a major culture shift. Our children need to be taught that getting out-of-control drunk is simply uncool and our politicians need to learn that most of us are not impressed by the toxic abuse and cheap point-scoring that have characterised the parliamentary year.
In the last sitting week, so many national issues were brushed aside as one side pursued an ancient issue and the other poured scorn on their efforts. Our country was no better for it and our opinion of politicians hit a new low.
Our political leaders should set a much better example