Letter | No-one ends up looking good when mud is slung

I WAS left rather unimpressed (and quite amused!) by the public spat and mud-slinging match that the Western Advocate recently facilitated between Paul Haysom and the Windradyne Whisperer Lachlan Sullivan which, I think, left neither of them looking any better than the other.

In fact, in my opinion, their behaviour is indicative of the childish/egotistical/back-stabbing style of politics that has emerged from and dominated the Labor and Coalition parties over the past 10 years.

Want-to-be politicians and diehard party faithful seeking a public audience should realise that the voting public is smarter than to be influenced by an exchange of innuendo and thinly veiled insults.

People have had a gutful of the kind of behaviour from those who seek to lead our communities that saw yet another PM toppled in recent weeks.

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For the record, I should declare my political stance as very much a swinging voter. I do not believe in pledging allegiance to or having blind faith in any one party or individual. These people quite often get it wrong and I reserve the right to swing my vote based on performance.

Mr Haysom accused Mr Sullivan of bias and lying (without providing any evidence that I could see), called him names (a stooge) and was intent on “exposing” his political persuasion in an attempt to discredit his democratic right to express an opinion.

One only needs to read the Windradyne Whisperer’s weekly column or do a quick Google search to know that Mr Sullivan is indeed a committed, loyal and very high-ranking (at a local level, at least) National Party member.

We do not need Mr Haysom to tell us this and his letters, in my opinion, come across as spiteful, nonsensical attempts to score points. 

Mr Sullivan did a bit of name calling himself (lefties, stupid) and slung his fair share of mud that consisted of very little substance. He seems to dislike Cr Jess Jennings very much, who is often the target of the Windradyne Whisperer’s jibber jabber.

The Whisperer said in one column that “Cr Jennings seems to have a new idea every week” and wonders “if the aim is to promote himself”. Well, isn’t that what politicians do? I don’t think there has ever been a successful politician who could not express ideas or promote themselves and the most successful ones would undoubtedly be the ones who did this best.

Let’s face it, Mr Sullivan writes a weekly opinion column. As he said himself, it is highly unlikely that it will influence anyone’s opinion even when he regularly attempts to use the column as a platform for his own political agenda.

I agree with some of the things he writes. I disagree with some of the things he writes. That, to me, is the premise and objective of an opinion column.

Perhaps the Western Advocate should take Mr Haysom up on his offer to write a similar weekly column, therefore giving the left and right an equal platform from which to throw mud at each other.

Or how’s this for an idea (and please forgive me if I am using too much commonsense): how about the Windradyne Whisperer column be replaced? Use the same format, but invite a different member of the Bathurst public to write it each week?

It would certainly cover a far wider variety of subjects and opinions ... not to mention political persuasions.

Mark Bradbury, Bathurst