OPINION: Tony Abbott broke a table, is that a big deal?
TONY Abbott broke a table.
Just when our much maligned former political leader thought he'd finally escaped the daily struggle of having his every word, movement and choice of tie publicly scrutinised and, at times, annihilated, the Mad Monday-esque events of his ousting as Prime Minister of Australia have come to haunt him.
He and his colleagues (well, at least the ones who supported him, I would assume) had a few drinks in his last night in office… and broke a marble table.
To a degree, I concur with the public uproar.
Yes, it was a bit silly.
But I broke a table once; it certainly didn't get close to Mr Abbott's level of media attention.
Come to that, the story behind my breakage is almost definitely better than the real one involving this marble one, but that's a story for another column.
The point is: no one cared when I did it.
Now, I realise that a much more important man breaking a much more important table on a ridiculously important night in Australian history is probably going to see more papers than my little anecdote.
However, if nothing else, doesn't it go to show: this story really doesn't matter.
As Australians, we have a tendency to put people's professions and personal lives a touch too close together.
And I'm not so sure it's the best tendency to have.
While there is a lot to be said for personal balance and happiness and the benefits each can provide to one's career prospects, this tendency of ours is actually pretty dangerous.
Politicians are people too.
Even if a couple of excessive helicopter flights may not exactly ooze of qualities we'd usually deem relatable, we can't allow a few bad guests to ruin the party.
As such, whether we like it or not, politicians need to do "people-y" things.
And if that includes having a few drinks and acting like a bit of a goose after a (for the record, extremely) hard day at the office, then I don't see what all the hullabaloo is really about.
Truth be told, if someone is the best man or woman for the job, then I couldn't give a flying flip what they get up to in their private time.
I understand that this latest little indiscretion of Mr Abbott's did in fact take place in the workplace.
But hey, the guy had just been brutally booted from the biggest job in the country. Wouldn't you let the hair down a bit too?
Besides, it's Parliament House; they need to do something to make the place more exciting.
People in the public eye may well choose to be in the public eye; but that doesn't mean they need to act as though they are even when they're in private.
Sure, if our prime minister was a heroin dealer, it would probably be cause for concern.
If our governor general was running a Nike sweat shop in his home basement, it would probably be cause for concern.
And if Queen Elizabeth II had a strip club job on the side, it would be cause for concern for more reasons than one.
Add in the fact that Mr Abbott asked Parliament House to invoice him for all costs within days, and it all seems just that little bit more ridiculous.
Furthermore… a marble table? Really? Pretentious much? It probably deserved to be broken.