To liken John Brumby’s appointment of John Lenders as Treasurer ahead
of Tim Holding, to Senator Heffernan’s “deliberately barren”
appellation of Julia Gillard, is overblown and unfair. To splash it
on the front page and in the lead editorial is unbefitting of a paper
such as The Age. One might be forgiven for asking whether the current
absence of scandal in state politics had finally become unbearable.
To begin with, it’s not at all obvious to this reader at least that
Brumby’s description of Lenders as “a bit older and has had a few
more of life’s experiences. He’s a parent, father, husband. All of
those things” implies that only the procreative need apply. What’s
wrong with the idea that marriage and parenting might actually equip
a person with insights of use in serving the public good?
How tragic if our reprobation of Heffernan’s moralising has produced
some lifestyle paranoia at the mere affirmation of family life.
Family life is the foundation of a stable society and will continue
to form each generation’s leaders, whatever choices they then make.
We are well served if those who control the public purse are
acquainted with that which is ultimately part of us all.