Elections are great fun, and highly entertaining, as the prospective candidates lurch from one gaffe-laden disaster to another, firing off soundbites and promises as they journey from one group of well-chosen listeners to the next. But the erroneous choices of words mask that this is a highly serious business and that all the promises these politicians make should be kept. 

Tony Abbott has admittedly endured a few weeks that put even George ‘Dubya’ Bush and his famous utterances, or ‘Bushims’ as they were swiftly coined, to shame. He became an international laughing stock after he got his words muddled up and described his opponent, Kevin Rudd, as not being the “suppository of all wisdom”. The memes and jokes swiftly followed – know your enema; images of Abbott as Lord Of The Rings’ Gollum ‘squeezing out a policy’. Needless to say, Abbott’s authority immediately evaporated. 

And this was not an isolated incident. He had already been accused of sexism, quite rightly, after he described Liberal candidate Fiona Scott as having “sex appeal”, a comment he later brushed off as stemming from his being “a bit exuberant”. And he had casually dismissed same-sex marriage as being nothing more than “the fashion of the moment”, a comment some say shows his disdain for the gay community. 

Rudd has promised that should he be re-elected at next month’s polls, he will introduce a same-sex marriage bill within 100 days of his win. A fine promise, one which would move Australia forward into the present day rather than wallowing in such narrow-mindedness. But it is a pledge he should be made to keep. Too often promises are made, then in predictable political fashion, abandoned. Just look at Nick Clegg’s grovelling apology after he reneged on his assurance before the last election that he would vote against any rise in university tuition fees. Promises made to garner votes should be kept – make it a law, even – as behind all the media pouting the future of a nation is on the line here.

» Agree or disagree? Should pollies be forced to keep promises? letters@tntmagazine.com


Dried beer is on its way here

Dried food has been around for ages, but now a company in the United States is about to launch sachets of powdered beer – just add water for an instant bevvie.  

Alaskan company Pat’s Backcountry Beverages will launch next month a pale and dark ale dried beer, available in four packs, providing an instant and incredibly light alco-drink when packing for that weekend in the great outdoors. 

The beer concentrate, the company promises, “contains all the great flavour, alcohol, and aroma of a premium quality microbrew”, only it doesn’t come with the 95 per cent water that makes up beer.  

So with your freeze-dried chicken tikka masala or roast dinner, you can now make yourself a pint at the campsite, though quite how close to the real thing this new powdered brew tastes remains to be seen. After all, Diet Coke doesn’t quite taste just like the real thing, does it?


Photo: Getty