#BWF13 Comedy: Australia needs Politicians, Not Leaders


 Literary festivals are wonderful feasts for the mind; the Brisbane Writers' Festival was no exception.

Held over the 5th - 8th of September at the beautiful State Library of Queensland, it brought together some amazing - truly amazing - writers and authors and I was humbled to be speaking alongside some of them for a few events.

The photo above is with the authors Tim Cope (on my left) and Chris Sarra on my right.  Both of their stories are amazing and worth checking out; Tim rode along the steps of Genghis Khan, and Chris is the former Principal of Cherbourg School, who was able to change the culture of low expectations and attendance at this Indigenous education facility.

The second event I had the honour of being a part of was The Great Debate.  Held on election night, it meant that I didn't have to watch the telly or really think about politics... except our topic was 'Australia needs leaders, not politicians', and we were on the negative.

My fellow debaters were William McInnes and Julia Zemiro from Eurovision (and Rockwiz). We were pitted against Tim FischerAnita Heiss and the delightful Ben McKenzie.

Unlike the debates I have previously been involved in, I soon found that this was to be a 'hilarious' debate (as the crowd below can attest to). Here is a little excerpt of what I had to say...(or what was on the script anyway!).




I'm just want to start by saying that I'm an engineer by trade, so I am very serious, my points are bullet pointed, and there will be numbers.
I have been chosen to rule over you, though I am not the best among you.  Help me if I am right; correct me if I am wrong.
These are the words of Abu Bakr Al-Siddique.  Abu Bakr was the first ruler – and politician – in Islam.  He was referred to as the ‘Khalifa’, and Khalifa in Arabic means ‘custodian’ – of the people, the principles of the religion and of the land.
He was chosen.  Politicians are representatives, leaders are not.

I will argue two points tonight, both which will prove to you undeniably that Australia needs politicians, not leaders, regardless of what the election says.

Firstly, I will argue that we as don’t want to be lead, we want to be represented.  Politician are those who represent us.

It is no secret that Australians aren’t a fan of tall poppies, people who think they know what’s good for us, or authority figures in general.  Debate2

We don't we want people who will tell us where they think we should go,we want to tell them where we want to go and have them take us there. Or that's how Its supposed to work - ours don't quite have that down yet.

Secondly one of the main differences between leaders and politicians is that leaders are assume power, while politicians are entrusted with power to make decisions by the us, the people – the citizens they represent.

After all, who will a leader be answerable and accountable to?

Putting this aside, one of the most important contribution politicians make to our society is that they entertain us. They keep our journalists employed and without them, who would Annabelle Crabb talk to in Kitchen Cabinet? Phillip, what would you write about if there were no pollies? The pages of the Australian would be laid bare...

While googling the answer to this topic, I came across the following quote by Gourcho Marx.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

SO in essence, politics is the art of trouble.

This is definitely what Australia needs.

Leaders inspire us, yes this is true.

However, our National Anthem says 'Australian all let us rejoice, for we are young and free...'

We clearly don't want to be inspired. We want to be entertained.  Politicians do just that.





What do you think? Did you go to the Brisbane Writers' Festival? Any favourite sessions?