What if our PM and our Opposition Leader were a couple of cafe owners?

Jared Ingersoll on... Politics

Imagine two cafes, next door to each other. You enter one and immediately get lambasted by an overbearing owner; he literally roars about how bad the café next door is, shouting passionately into your ear about their terrible fit out and their rubbish, awful, overpriced food!

You sit there patiently waiting to order, finally choosing the soup which, the owner assures you, is the most delicious and wonderful bowl of sustenance that you will ever have the opportunity to taste. It is going to enrich you and sustain you. In fact, this soup will make your world a better place and provide you with everything that you desire. Oh this soup, this wonderful soup!

Your meal turns up and it’s a salad…slightly overdressed, a little limp and it actually looks like it may have been served before. You don’t eat it and when the bill comes you realise that you are forced to pay a small fortune for tap water.

Tired, frustrated and hungry you go to the café next door and sit down. Ravenous, you try to catch the waiter’s eye. You wait and wait, the waiter knows you are there but it seems that the two owners of these cafés are fighting. Tempers are rising, things are getting vocal and the brow beaten waiter tries to look after you but keeps getting caught up in their argument. You wait a little longer, trying to be patient – after all, the menu looks great, there are great smells coming out of the kitchen and you can’t help but feel a little excited about your meal.

Finally the fed up waiter throws down his apron and storms out, one of the owners comes over to you and apologises that you had to witness the whole thing and informs you that unfortunately because the argument went on for so lon  that the kitchen is now closed – but could you please come back tomorrow. You’re forced to pay an even bigger bill for the tap water you didn’t ask for that did not arrive.You leave hungry, tired and financially worse off than ever before and you vow never ever to return…but it’s a bitter feeling knowing that you will. What other choice do you have?

Being in the small business industry, I am a little jealous of our political leaders because I know that I would never ever in a million years get away with carrying on like that.

• Words: Jared Ingersoll

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