Inside Canberra, looking around, looking out

By Barry Tucker                  6 March, 2014

Tory Shepherd, Political Editor for Adelaide’s The Advertiser, also has gigs on commercial and ABC radio and TV programs, including Insiders. Shepherd spent a year in Canberra then wrote a colour piece on her experiences.

It included this:

There Really Is Such A Thing As Groupthink

“But it’s not what the hard-right blowhards think — that the press wing of Parliament House is a bunch of loony lefties who take their socialism with a mung bean chaser.

“Parliament House is its own mind marinade.

“However, it is still a place of fiercely independent minds — there are clever people and genuinely brilliant people and furious disagreements. It’s just that it’s hard, sometimes, to remember that there is this outside world of people who aren’t journalists, or bureaucrats, or politicians, and easy to end up writing for those inside your bubble, rather than in the real world.

“The groupthink means that politics is always the most important thing, not the people.”

And concludes with this:

Sometimes It’s The Little Things

“Be nice to the people who bring you your spaghetti marinara or pull you your One Fifty Lashes. In my first week alone I learned from various Canberra establishments which MPs tip, which ones are arse grabbers and which ones are loose-lipped gabbers.

“The walls have ears. Look over your shoulder before you talk, check who’s around before you make that call (this loud-mouthed journo still has to learn that lesson).

“And to paraphrase the Sunscreen Song. Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise, politicians will philander; you, too, will get old. And in Canberra, going to the Durham is never, ever a good idea.”

It’s a humorous article, contains insights, and is a rare attempt to explain the relationship between the players in federal politics and the consumers of political news. You will find Shepherd’s article here.

@ToryShepherdAdelaide/Canberra ·