CAN Julia Gillard get some clear air if she wins? – Katharine Murphy in The Phage
Human Services Minister Brendan O'Connor says it is critical Ms Gillard gets clear air after the leadership ballot. – Business Spectator
They owe the party a commitment to give Gillard the best chance of restoring Labor's fortunes. She needs clear air. – Phillip Coorey in The Silly
Then, with clear air, the Government sells a competent budget and gets a boost from the tax cuts and pension increases in June. Then the polls start to rise – Their ABC’s Barrie Cassidy
… thereby giving Gillard clear air to the election, and a possible chance of defeating Tony Abbott. – Ross Peake in The Phage
ALL THROUGH the afternoon it has been clear-air-this and clear-air-that and clear-air-everywhere else. Everyone is saying it on the radio as well, as became clear during an afternoon of Melbourne storms and traffic snarls. Heather Ewart on the 7 o’clock news just mulled the prospects for clean air, and if the ABC gets through what is left of the evening without “clean air” being uttered at least five more times on Q&A and Lateline it will be a marvel or, more likely, because you sat on the mute button. Perhaps Ewart picked it up from hubby Barrie. Or maybe each seized independently on the seamanlike metaphor, originality and independent thought being hallmarks of Canberra’s analytic elite.
It is always good to observe the language evolve, especially so when it adopts a hot locution and in mere days flogs it half to death. But you really have to wonder in this case. “Clear air” lacks the zaniness of “all your base are belong to us” and while it has not yet been around quite long enough to grate like “world-class whatevers” it is certain to achieve that station soon.
A dreadful waste of personhours as well -- the entire Canberra gallery mouthing “clear air” to itself while nodding sagely. Perhaps if only half those questers for truth were to stand about repeating the phrase, perhaps in a recognised location, the public might be better informed. It would be easier on the spinners if they could hand out the day’s catchphrase just once. Easier on shoe leather, more convenient for the reporters, and fewer carbon emissions, too, most likely.
And those other reporters, the ones liberated from the obligation to popularise a banality? Why, they could actually find interesting things to write about, and there are many of those.
Has anyone found and spoken with former prime ministerial party planner Tony Hodges? He was last seen in print on his way to London, but that was almost two weeks ago and the press corps does not seem any closer to having a word about Australia Day’s gathering of the tribes. Several reporters are said to have his SMS messages, but none have yet come forward to reveal their contents. Too busy stealing metaphors from honest sailors to spare a thought for how a race riot might have come to be provoked, could that be the reason?
Interesting stuff is all over the shop, and even an inquisitive Bunyip doesn’t have the time to satisfy every curiosity. A little help would be appreciated from the professionals. How much did Mark Arbib pay for that beachfront pad in Maroubra? What are those peculiarities which drew Coroner Alistair Hope’s attention to the contract of purchase for Christmas Island’s twin-hulled rescue boats, the vessels which could not put to sea when SIEV 221 went aground? Come Sunday, just for a little prurient fun before the gardening, it would be good to know if Craig Thomson is more often billed for overdue rental fees on blondes in blue lingerie or strapping women in leather.
There are so many little issues and inquiries a less preoccupied press might pursue, it will be a relief when the clear-air passion subsides and the gallery’s leading practitioners get back to work. As all now are saying of Gillard, a little clear air clear of clear air is all the opportunity they will need.
And that could happen … well, it should happen sooner or later.