Lighter Note: Leave the pub out of public policy ideas

OVER the years I've spent a little bit of time in pubs, purely for research purposes, of course.

So when I hear a TV or radio commentator attack some politician's latest brain bubble with the statement, "This wouldn't pass the pub test!" I always wonder where these clowns drink.

My last conversation in a pub was a witty debate about who was the funniest comic from the 1970s, Dave Allen or Paul Hogan. Although things went rapidly downhill when some eavesdropping drongo demanded it was Ugly Dave Gray.

Occasionally, a political topic will rear its head, but before things turn nasty we'll quickly agree that they're all a bunch of crooks, then start squabbling about whose shout it is.

Blogger and columnist Greg Bray.
Blogger and columnist Greg Bray.

Still, when the mood takes me, I'm a great listener, particularly if someone's happy to pay for the drinks while chewing on my ear. As a result I've heard some interesting political views, some of which have made Clive Palmer sound like the voice of reason.

Frankly, I'm not keen on the "pub test" being used to pressure politicians into forming, or changing, public policy. Personally, I'd prefer the opinions of folk not addicted to alcohol, gambling and bumming cigarettes.

Still, I may be hanging out at the wrong pubs and perhaps it's time I dusted off my good thongs and sampled the conversations at some different watering holes.

Purely in the interests of research, of course.

Greg Bray blogs at Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.

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