There are FIVE levels of government bureaucracy here in Australia; Federally we have a Senate and a House of Representatives, States have their own Senate and House, then we have Local Governments and Councils. What the hell do they do all day?
I know they make a lot of new rules which do nothing more than annoy the law-abiding public. They are really good at arguing with each other like schoolgirls over petty things but not so good at debating the important issues. They are also really good at giving themselves payrises and making tax claims which would see the rest of us locked up in prison.
I understand that federal politics must be quite a difficult job, but how do the rest of these elected officials stay busy? Well, there’s obviously lot of
petty arguing debating, reading and signing things. But after they’ve spent the first hour of the day dotting i’s, crossing t’s, that leaves the afternoon open for what they are best at; finding photo opportunities.
A disastrous photo opportunity
Whenever anything of the slightest interest happens in the community, politicians will appear like flies to a steaming pile of excrement. They linger like used car salesmen waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting member of the public, smiling like they have just discovered cheese.
When a local hospital ward opens, a politician will be there. If something happens at a factory, a politician will be there wearing high-vis jacket. If there is a community or charity event a politician will stand there with a tacky t-shirt pulled over their suit.
If nothing interesting is happening, politicians can always arrange a pseudo-event such as planting trees, picking up litter, or visiting senior citizens, which can then be masqueraded as news. This is especially effective during an election cycle.
The single best photo opportunity for a politician though, is a natural disaster. A natural disaster is a politicians wet dream because it gives them an opportunity to show their concern for their local community through a series of pre-planned photo opportunities alongside rescue workers who are pulled away from having an actual impact in the cleanup to stand next to a suit-wearing poser. This is never more obvious than when you see a photo of a politician standing next to a fire truck pretending like they actually did something.
I honestly think that politicians are the only people in the world who are eagerly awaiting the next flood or bushfire. It gives them a chance to pretend to care for 5 minutes, whilst photographers take photos of them standing inside a persons waterlogged house, showing concern for the damage to their hideous IKEA sofa.
It is obvious to everyone there that they’re only doing it for the publicity. However, they think that spending 5 minutes parading around like a showhorse with a pole shoved up its ass whilst getting as many photos as possible, shows that they care about the local community.
There is absolutely no point to it. But the photos will look great in the newsletter and if it makes the local news, that’s all that really matters.
How to correctly take advantage of a photo opportunity
These handy tips should help any aspiring politician. Remember, there is no point in attending a photo opportunity unless you are ready to take full advantage.
Remember, as a politician, you need relate to the common person, this means you need to look the part. If you are at a charity or community event, you will need to wear a cheap printed t-shirt over your suit. If you are at the site of a natural disaster, feel free to dress up as a fireman. A high-vis vest and shiny new hard hat are best for anything industrial but will suffice for most other occasions as well.
Stand in front of something
You will need to find a prop to stand in front of, alongside some people you don’t really care about. This prop needs to be appropriate for whatever it is you are attending; A giant piece of machinery and some workers will do if you are at a factory, an elderly person in a hospital, or a family with children standing in front of their damaged house at a natural disaster.
Point at something
In order to not look like a complete bellend, you need to assume a natural pose that still makes you look interested in whatever event it is you are attending. Pointing at something whilst surrounded by people will give the impression that you are interested in what is going on, despite the fact that you are probably more interested in what free food they have put on for you to grab before you rush off.
Pretend to have a conversation
Talk to as many people as possible about nothing in particular. This is a very powerful technique which even made Sarah Palin occasionally look intelligent to outsiders who weren’t actually involved in the conversation.
Laugh a lot
Remember, everybody likes the funny guy so make sure that you smile and laugh as much as possible to lighten the mood regardless of what is said in conversation and how unfunny the event may be.
Look of concern
You can’t laugh after an elderly lady has just watched her cat get dragged downstream during a torrential flood. Where laughing is inappropriate you should look concerned and serious.