Published Letter in The Australian 18 December, 2017.

Debasement of Debate

The nature of politics, as I encountered it as a junior reporter on the Victorian Parliament in the late 1960s, was punctuated by shameless and reckless mudslinging by both sides.

So I can now only ponder at Chris Kenney’s dismay at the debasement of today’s political debate as I realised this as a reality intrinsic to politics internationally nearly 50 years ago. (“Labor serves up another helping of bile and hate,” 16/12)

Polite respect has never been part of politics and over my life, the media here and worldwide report almost daily the vicious contempt and disregard for their competitors’ differing opinions.

These vituperative attacks seem inevitable in playing politics, be they by the left or right. What we do need is an imaginative and mature democratic response to dissent that’s not steeped in insulting labels or malevolent mischief.

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