Monday, September 28, 2015

Israelly Home

Christopher Pyne's memoir, A Letter to My Children, was most insightfully reviewed in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald by Gerard Windsor:

"How self analytical can a serving politician be? After all, he lives in a world of spin, evasion and equivocation. Yet Christopher Pyne says he wants to reveal at least his professional self to his children; they they deserve an explanation from such an absent father...

"The one word never mentioned is 'power', whereas the implicit message of the text is that he loves the power employed and achieved in the political process.. There is one little giveaway word - 'turn'. Everyone - Pyne, Wilson [the MP unseated by Pyne in a preselection challenge], the preselectors - is using it: 'Wait your turn... It's my turn now... You've had your turn'. This is children's talk - licking the wooden spoon, nursing the new kitten. This is not the only disjunct between what is said and a contrary implication in the choice of stories and language. In fact, this book is a great subject for textual analysis. Pyne says various experiences have made him humble, but every anecdote he tells has himself winning out, having the last word, trumping someone else not so witty or politically astute. This is vanity, not humility. And omissions are at least as interesting as inclusions. For example, Pyne tells us he has visited Israel at least seven times, and that 'Israelis are a lot like us'. The word Palestinian does not occur." (Pining for more questions and answers, 26/9/15)

Puts a whole new construction on the term 'absent father', eh?

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