Here’s a letter to the editor I sent to The Australian in response to a piece on the Commentary page last Friday, ‘Hockey stays home holding the baby’ (The Oz didn’t run it – so I sent it to myself and I agreed to publish it).
I’m concerned about what is implied in the heading “Hockey stays home holding the baby” and the cartoon with it (April 9, p16). The article says Hockey is on leave and that his colleagues say he is “not doing enough”. While the baby isn’t mentioned in the text, the cartoon shows a dishevelled Hockey holding a swaddled baby in one arm and a toy in the other. Hockey is haggard, his face unshaven, his hair greying and his tongue lolls uselessly in the corner of his mouth. There appears to be baby spew over his black suit jacket.
Are we to read by this that looking after a baby is somehow beneath a man of politics (or any man?) and that he has been reduced to an unkept moron as a result while real men get on with the job of politics?
I really hope not. I really hope I’ve got it wrong.