Morning Glories


A genuine nuisance that comes with age is the broadening of morning rituals. The young recoil from sleep with little trouble and require few if any aids to segue from slumber into day. The not-so-young begin to elaborate their waking so that it might involve any number of accessories: dental floss, fibre supplements, legal drugs of addiction including Facebook.

The ageing demand an AM rider that would rival the Spice Girls’ Reunion Tour. My own dear papa, whom I prefer to know as Old Spice, does not resume his waking life for at least three hours after sleep. A highly structured exercise program is followed by a degustation breakfast (in which all major food groups are represented) and, it seems to me, the consumption of 17 international newspapers.

Just wait, warns my father from his prison of sunup pursuits, it’ll happen to you.

He’s right.

Another genuine nuisance that comes with age is the morning’s retention of fluid. Perhaps we elderly perform our bizarre callisthenics each day in an effort to shift stubborn waters. Whatever the case, I’ve added a new ritual. Each day upon waking, my chipolata fingers reach compulsively for the remote control. It seems I can’t begin my day without knowing exactly how frayed the fabric of the Opposition has become. And I shan’t deflate until I’ve seen the latest catastrophe.

Lest you had not heard, it’s vale Mark Vaile as an upright public identity. The former Nationals leader topped up his cash flow and future job prospects while on annual leave. This is fine if you work in a call centre. Not so topping if you’re an elected representative.

It’s not the foggy corruption that stinks as much as his arrogance. He seems unrepentant and colossally irreverent when it comes to the responsibilities of office. Even the oil-pumping parvenus of the Bush Administration make an effort to conceal their greed. They don’t go about issuing statements from Bahrain along the lines of, "Well, I’ll be looking for a new gig soon. And I don’t really see the problem."

Honestly. I watched my fingers shrink and my chin resume something like human proportions as the casual fact-finder of SKY offered me this news.

And, although I awoke one morning this week retaining water for all of the five perimenopausal Spice Girls, I retreated into physical order in learning about Dr Nelson’s new record low. It’s staggering to think the fella could sink from a nine per cent approval rating to seven. Truly. I reckon a minor cast member from So You Think You Can Dance? could manage a similar ranking.

Ethically aloof and devoid of charm, this guy is about as universally loved as Windows Vista. Or a colonoscopy. Or the comic stylings of Austen Tayshus. You get the idea. Talk about "existential aimlessness" as Nelson so falteringly did at his "apology".

Determined, it seems, to sink further into the tarn of its own metaphoric arsehole, the Opposition is choked by a nimbus of conceit. And as much as I’d like to retain my girlish figure by viewing their distress each AM, an Opposition that offered something more than error would be nice. Any time now.

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.