Australia often has a bad rep for being a dangerous place – go read Terry Pratchett’s The Lost Continent.
There are websites, twitter feeds, and Facebook pages dedicated to living in Australia.
In primary school, I lived on an army base in the middle of nowhere (but next to a sheep farm). Part of our physical activity each week was being reminded what to do if a Kangaroo approached. Run.
Bit hard if they hop on your school bus for a ride – I kid you not.
But I digress. Because even with all of these delightfully dangerous things to entice me to set-up EG Lair here, they fail to mention the most dangerous creature of all.
Exercise even greater caution for The Politician with a Sound Bite.
Take today’s news: Johnny Depp Smuggles Dogs into Australia!!
Look, don’t get me wrong – he did the wrong thing. You need to declare your pets and for good reason too.
But this guy, Senator Barnaby Joyce, has gone and made a big media spectacle about it. Mainly because Depp is a celebrity and the movie-reference sound bites make Joyce sound tough and hip and jiggy-with-it. It is highly probable someone made a simple mistake, and there are steps to make to fix that, including sending them home. But all this media circus does is embarrass a bunch of people who are now, and potentially in the future, bring work into the country.
But Australian politicians aren’t known for their diplomacy.
Celebrities shouldn’t get special treatment for being “known” – but that shouldn’t make them cannon fodder for politicians looking for air time. There are greater issues that could benefit from Joyce’s theatrics: the budget response to domestic violence; drug smuggling; refugees; whether daylight savings really will fade Queensland curtains and confuse the cows.
Don’t worry, Johnny. I’ll take care of your puppies for you.