‘Trust’ between voters and their elected representatives must seem rather arbitrary to politicians, whose success depends on its maintenance. Our simplistic expectations of honesty are belied by the ways in which our subconscious perceptions are herded into different narratives. Julia Gillard was either inherently untrustworthy because she benefited from Kevin Rudd’s political assassination and ‘lied’ about the carbon tax, or she was a victim of appalling sexism and a scheming predecessor. Tony Abbott is either a secretive DLP operative about to turn the clock back half a century and a smarmy would-be womaniser, or a refreshing mix of cheeky larrikin and pragmatic conservative. John Howard was either the greatest liar in modern politics, or the most trusted economic and national security manager in the postwar era.
Trust Me: Australians and their Politicians
by Jackie Dickenson
University of New South Wales Press, $34.99 pb, 311 pp, 9781742233819
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