Jollies for Pollies

May 3, 2007 at 1:12 am (Uncategorized)

You might recall a little while ago I celebrated the great news from my Panamanian friend Abey that he has taken a role as second in charge and consul to the Panamanian Ambassador to the US. He and his wife Elle will be busy setting up house literally as I type – they moved from Panama this week. And you might also recall that I speculated no such opportunity exists in Australia for any kind of ambassadorial gig to be offered to any Australian outside a very, very private club.

Well, please stand up Amanda Vanstone. This federal minister announced her retirement from politics one day and the next, lo and behold, was announced as the new Australian Ambassador to Italy. It’s off to Rome for fatty Mandy, who will no doubt really get amongst all the wine, cheese, and pasta on offer in Italy.

You know, I just can’t tell you how much it irks me that she’s been given this plum posting. It makes my lip curl and bile rise in my throat. I think it’s gross that it only seems to be ex-ministers who get these gigs – haven’t they been sucking the fat off tax payers long enough? Haven’t they got their whopping great, never-ending superannuation payments padding their pillow at night? Isn’t it enough that years of dodgy expenses have been waved away because, well, let’s face it, they all do it?

Why did Amanda Vanstone get the job? And I wonder too what evergreen pasture John Howard’s got planned for Bill Heffernan, who after his OUTRAGEOUS and INSULTING slur against Julia Gillard must be close to on his way out. Out of the hot seat, then, and into the cabana. Or the trattoria, depending on your preferences. I can’t tell you how flawed I think this process is. I’d love to represent my country overseas. I don’t even think I’d do a bad job. And it irritates me beyond belief that it seems only ex-pollies in this country get the chance. It’s simply not fair. And it’s also really skewed, in my view, because I do not believe ambassadorial postings should be purely political. I believe they should be first and foremost cultural postings. I believe the role of an ambassador should be aimed at representing and promoting Australia in all its myriad shades, supporting Australian endeavour abroad, and further developing genuine understanding about the country and culture in which the ambassador lives. I don’t think it should be a glutted politician putting their hand up and saying “Please, Sir, I want some more.”



  1. Sarah said,

    Di – can you please go into politics?!!! S x

  2. doctordi said,

    And join all those overfed piggies in their tightly held power pen? No thanks. Although if I ever want a crack at diplomacy, I guess I’ll have to!

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