Canberra bubble

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Bubbles used to be fun, frothy and ephemeral, but the bubble that we most commonly think of now is the one that encloses us, either protecting or cutting us off, depending on your point of view.

 It started in the medical world where the bubble was devised as a protective sheath to cocoon particularly vulnerable patients from the possibility of infection.  Bubble boy syndrome was the common name given to SCID, severe combined immunodeficiency disorder, particularly in relation to David Vetter, 1972-84, an American boy who suffered from the disease and who lived in a specially-built germ-free plastic bubble .

And so we acquired the phrase to live in a bubble meaning ‘to inhabit a world where the real world with all its dangers is shut out’. We could then specify the particular kinds of bubbles that developed. The internet bubble is the one created for us by the ability that Google has to match our searches with related searches so that gradually we get only the kind of information we want to receive and all extraneous influences are blocked out. 

 In politics the Westminster bubble and the Washington bubble predate the Canberra bubble by a couple of decades. We have been slow to catch up, but Scott Morrison has pushed this one along in his attempt to align himself with ordinary voters and distance himself from those Canberra politicians that everyone has come to hate. He does not live in a Canberra bubble, or so he would have us believe.

PoliticsSue ButlerComment