The Cloak of Invisibility

I had for many years been involved in progressive politics – working and volunteering. I gave it away when I got sick. Now that I am recovered I am an observer rather than a participant.

You discover as you age, especially as a woman, that gender and age renders you invisible. Invisibility, a superpower frequently requested by young sportspeople in those pop quizzes to be found on supporter pages. But harder to deal with when it happens in real life. Perhaps they, the young sportspeople, are yearning for a switch on, switch off form of invisibility. A superpower you can switch on when you find life getting a little claustrophobic.

However, it is difficult to accept that you have been given this superpower without being first asked. I intend to embrace this new superpower and use it for good not evil.

Moreover, I can write and I know just a little about politics and how it works.

I will start with the following observation. It gives an understanding of why politics plays out as it does.

When Scott Morrison thanked the ‘quiet Australians’ after the last election he was talking about a large number of voters who don’t engage with politics. They are not an homogenous group of voters. It is code for ‘switched off’ Australians – young people, working people, elderly people for whom voting is a chore.

They don’t engage in local and community politics and their level of engagement is the time it takes to vote. But these people, these switched off, non-engaged, quiet Australians often or not decide who wins elections.

Young people may not rely on the mainstream media, families hear their news in short grabs between children and chores. The elderly may watch all the news and get anxious about the stories of crime and accidents.

Not all media messaging that political parties distribute works and not all focus grouped messages work but when it does work it usually has been carefully focus grouped.

But all politicians start the day with their main talking points. If you watch Sky you can work it out pretty quickly.

Then catch the grabs which go to air on the main evening news.

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