In my own defence, I would say I’m no more guilty of faking it than the average person who puts an effort into living a peaceful life, trying not to upset family, friends and strangers alike. For example, if greeting a friend who is dying of cancer you say how much better they are looking when you know they have only weeks to live. After all, you are not going to say “Gee, Jenny, time seems to be running out for you”.
Not the same thing I hear you say, so let us look at my life as a politician and let us see what you think after you have digested my story.
I took an active role in politics when I returned to Benalla with my two children and husband in tow, joining the Labor Party because these were people who espoused the same values I had about people and how we should and could live together. I enjoyed the monthly meetings and especially liked taking the message out at election time hoping people would vote for our team. I stood as a candidate, becaming active in various roles which often took me to Melbourne.
Without going into all the details, we eventually moved to Melbourne where I had a job close to a Minister in a Labor Government. We had chosen Altona as our home branch as it was a working class suburb and close to the city. As usual we joined up with the local branch which was generally run as a country branch based on friendships not factions.
By this time though I had joined a faction. By making a stand each time I voted, I gradually found myself taking a stand to the left of the party.
Then there was a State redistribution of seat boundaries and Altona was made a new seat. This took the factional ‘heavies’ by surprise. They were even more surprised when I had the numbers in a vote for pre-selection
At the same time there was division within the left about the sale of public utilities. I joined those against the sale, becoming part of a group known as ‘the pledge group’. These were my values, I didn’t compromise and that was my downfall. The right and the left joined forces against ‘the pledge group’ and placed someone else in the seat of Altona. I was heartbroken to be treated in such a way, but now I understand that is life if you don’t ‘go with the flow’, especially in a political party.
So with this tale I submit that, in general, 'Pollies' don’t fake it any more than the general public, all of whom are doing their bit to make life as tolerable as possible.