S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Where are the leaders?

Image S Sorrensen

My place. Wednesday, 10am

Can you imagine a world where people look up to their leaders?

What a world that would be: Leaders inspiring people with actions based on the common good.

Sure, it’s a fantasy, more Marvel Studios than Parliament House, but I believe this is what leaders originally did. From the dawn of Homo sapiens, approximately 300,000 years ago, leaders led by putting the wellbeing of the tribe ahead of their own. No leader worth his salted meat would knowingly put the tribe in danger. Leaders became leaders because they had certain qualities – virtue and bravery being the most obvious.

Where is virtue now? Where is governmental behaviour displaying high moral standards? Certainly not on Manus or Nauru; certainly not in the treatment of the Indigenous people; definitely not in its disregard of climate change.

Can you believe that people once regarded their leaders as role models?

Ha. This thought has me grinning in my coffee. Senator Leyonhjelm as a role model?

Honesty, decency and vision were the hallmarks of a leader. These were the moral bouys which lifted the leader from the pack; these were the identifying traits of leadership.

Not anymore. We may call them leaders. They may call themselves leaders. They are in positions of power – thanks to an ailing democracy usurped by a two-party system and poisoned by corporate interest – but they’re not leaders.

Honesty, decency and vision. Zero out of three for the majority of our national and state leadership. (I don’t include local government in these generalisations about government because local government still has some contact with reality.)

Just when the world is in dire need of farsightedness and prudence, it is served up parochiality and recklessness by actors whose primary objective is enhancement of their own position in a toxic little power game that attracts small-minded men (mostly), noosed and suited, who are clever but not wise, and whose legacy is ruination not wellbeing.

Politicians these days cannot even speak the common language. They are so divorced from the actualities of the world that they can’t do communication. They assume a certain tone, a furrowed brow, and adopt what they perceive to be a look of sincerity, but you can be blind and deaf and still not miss the cynical artifice that betrays the politicians’ pretence. They themselves cannot hear the fraud in their talk, but to others it’s as obvious as a Nigerian email, as conspicuous as a fire alarm.

Leadership depends on trust. People trust that the vision of their leaders is in their interest; is a benefit to society. Leaders trust the people will allow them the time and facility to pursue that vision and demonstrate its benefit.

But who in the driver’s seat of the careering Australian bus can you trust? The prime minister, who is as rubbery as play dough? The opposition who is the same but with a different tie colour? The professional misogynists who play the system to gain unearned entitlement, and whose actions are printed from a corporate template of last century – a template that has taken us to the very brink of ruin?

There is no trust. So what now? What do we do?

We are slowly removing ourselves from an unwell world – where pretend leaders cackle and smirk and look the other way while rivers run dirty, knowledge is spurned, justice is miscarried, and leadership (real leadership) is jailed – and we’re migrating through a screen to a better world, like Alice down the cyber hole, where the music is unlimited, the rivers are clean and filled with new 4WDs, and the leaders, though masked and costumed, are brave and decent and saving the world.




5 responses to “S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Where are the leaders?”

  1. Hotspringer says:

    Spot on!
    They are leaners, not leaders.

  2. Ron Barnes says:

    Where are the voters in Leyonhjlem Electorate
    They should be ashamed of their elected Member and vote him out the next election.
    Never Trust a fool
    It seems The Liberal Nationals and hanger on Hanson’s party’s are full of them.
    cutting back on income from Taxes it like cutting your own throat Financially.
    Extremely poor management in state g s t sharing .
    What’s earned in that state N S W and Victoria should stay there .
    Public Education and Family Support services Hospitals Medicare are all important .
    They should never have made cuts in these arears .
    Then gave tax brakes to those that could afford it .
    The time will come very fast when this country is broke .
    That time will be when we pay for our new Navy Ships subs also Airforce updating cost its billions .

    Then their is the checking on overseas Aid making sure its spent on what its meant to do as cheaply as possible so it helps more people.

  3. iam lismoron says:

    Excellent summary of our leader’s behaviour. What I will never understand is why people vote against their own best interest to put those people over us.

  4. Distressed Pensioner says:

    So what do we do now? Is that rhetorical?

    When all the parties to vote for aren’t representing anyone – except corporate thieves, doesn’t that say get a new party – that we can vote for? Something going towards direct democracy – so we don’t have to put up with career politicians much longer.

    The Greens cannot expect votes from people who just will not vote for them. Tamara is doing a ‘Megleesian’ on the Greens and they will end up as the Australian Democrats. Who would vote for a party that could have am elected member come out as a Liberal? The Greens have nothing in place to stop this.

    We have to stop talking about left and right – and talk about democracy – the real kind.

    Are possible primary civil servants scared of Novichok poisoning – if they do the right thing for the people?

    Where are the brave good and intelligent people?

    Will it be more psychopaths and sycophants with ‘trustworthy’ faces?

    People have to stop running back to the party they rejected and start a new one.

    Our past Green ‘leader’, Christine Milne, said that with more parties – we have a better chance of democracy.

    We have to start from the truth – that we don’t have democracy, and we need to have a secession from NSW if people understand that mathematically we can’t have democracy – when we can’t vote for the Liberals – and yet – in the Northern Rivers, they still rule!

    Labor said Michael Costa had it quite wrong – but they just say ‘whoops’ to that!

    Our governments are pure mockery!

  5. ian mcconnell says:

    Whilst agreeing with the basic premise, and trying so hard (but obviously failing) to not comment further…on reading the last paragraph, I am left wondering why, on plunging through Alice`s cyber hole, I find myself in a clean river ” filled with new 4WDs” ?. Don`t get me wrong, I would love a new 4WD (with snorkel), but I would prefer a kayak for my expeditions down the “clean river”.

Leave a Reply to ian mcconnell Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Brunswick Picture House.