Cooks River festivity

cooks-river-fair-from-afar

On Sunday for a local stroll with D and my sister, just off the plane from the UK and so walking in the daylight in an attempt to overcome jetlag.

But lo, what mighty fair appears in yon fair dell or dale?

It’s sponsored by Marrickville Council and has something to do with Cooks River and the environment. Note the empty row of seats on the distantly viewed stage. (You’ll probably need to click on the links to make that and any details out).

By the time we descended to the ground, that row of seats was populated. The picture below doesn’t really show it, but there weren’t many more people actually watching the stage than in the first picture. Here the dignitaries are all getting ready for the official opening. Can you identify our local bigwigs?

cooks-river-fair-opening1

And now, proceedings underway as Aunty Fi [oral transcription], previously obscured above, gives the welcome to country. To her left (our right), Linda Burney (member for adjoining electorate and state minister), Sam Iskandar (mayor), Anthony Albanese (federal member, minister for infrstructore and govt leader in the house – his wife, local state member and minister etc sent apologies), Morris Hanna (councillor) and two other councillors.

cooks-river-fair-opening21

Another dignitary was offstage tending to her child (hence, I take it, the empty chair). Most of the crowd kept on with whatever they were doing. Only a few actually watched. I started to with the welcome to country but the welcome from council delivered by Mr Iskandar proved too much for me.

This is the grass roots stuff that is the less glamorous side of politics. The cynic in me says: these people will do anything for an audience (other than actually restore or keep-clean the litter-strewn mangrove flats, which D observed were much as ever). Less cynically, you hope that this brings politicians back to the people, but as far as I could see Iskandar and Albanese, who did their crowd meet and greet in tandem, spent nearly the whole time talking just to each other. This seems to defeat that possible purpose.

9 Responses to “Cooks River festivity”

  1. Victor Says:

    Perhaps Iskandar and Albanese were left to talk to each other because the general public was not interested in talking to them?

  2. Lucas Says:

    interesting reflections on local politics here. I think part of the problem is architecture. your photo demonstrates that the pollies are physically set apart from the plebs. this is not necessary for local council, and discourages people from interacting with them. i wonder how much thought goes into these arrangements? or do the the council beaurocrats just book the default marquee hire company each time there is an event?

    another part of the problem is the idea of “ceremony”. too often speeches are empty and symbolic rather than actually containing any information that the politician wants to communicate.

    this is all a bit odd – because local pollies are very poorly paid, one assumes that they are in it for the love, right? so why would they not be interested in mingling and getting the views of their constituents?

    on the other hand, i reckon we citizens are pretty lazy and getting in and having our say. we feel so damn helpless to effect change that we just don’t bother most of the time (and the beaurocracy we face if we do try to interact is discouraging).

    i heard on the radio today that obama is working on some online ways for citizens to participate more in decision making. could be interesting to watch…

  3. Victor Says:

    I’m missing your posts. Will you be returning?

    • marcellous Says:

      Thanks for the kind inquiry, Victor.

      I can’t even put my finger on why this has happened, other than the interruption of normal transmissions on account of the visit by my sister referred to in this post. The only really obvious change apart from that is that in Feb I got the piano tuned, and have been trying to spend more time at that keyboard.

      I haven’t resolved not to return, but a few attempts to rejoin the fray have been still-born (mixed metaphor I think). So the executive summary for the time being is, like General MacArthur (though he professed more confidence), “I might return.”

  4. Neil Says:

    http://twitter.com/ninglun Marcellous, come back! :)

  5. Thom Says:

    I’ll second that: Marcellous, please come back! Missing your posts, oh-he-who-is-not-a-critic.

  6. Thom Says:

    That said, I’m itching to follow your lead and spend more time at the (piano) keyboard. In my case that involves acquiring said keyboard, which involves selling a certain very high-pitched wind instrument.

  7. Rebecca Says:

    Come back, come back, Marcellous! I always look forward to your concert critiques.

  8. While I’ve been away – Ten concerts « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] I’ve been away – Ten concerts By marcellous Given the least encouragement, I am dipping my toe back into blogging, notwithstanding that you can never dip your toe in the […]

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