Power does reveal substance. It tells us quite quickly about the values that drive political parties and political leaders. Scare tactics are always a sure sign that the values and policy cupboard is bare.
We can accept that our leaders must make some compromises from time to time, but we need to know ‘what they stand for’. We look for leaders who have conviction. Hypocrisy and double standards become very obvious.
Australians are sick and tired of politicians. The community is deserting the major political parties in droves. Most recently we have seen it in Longman and Wagga. We have lost trust in our major political parties and most particularly the Liberal and National Parties in recent months.
In the 1980’s we embraced economic change and reform. It was necessary but painful for some. Today we need democratic reform and renewal. Like the 1980s, it is necessary but it will be painful for some.
We need to inject some ultimate responsibility into public administration. The buck has to stop somewhere.
What was perceived in some circles as two highly political appointments to plum roles in the federal public service highlights a need to re-examine government administration in the 21st Century. Not because these appointments were necessarily inappropriate, but because they exposed a basic disconnect.
We still like to pretend we have an olde-worlde apolitical public service consisting of career bureaucrats who have no political leanings and/or are never influenced by them. If this was ever the case, it is no longer.
Worse still, the way public servants pursue their upward career mobility results in a surplus of generalists and a dearth of subject matter experts.
Last week in Sydney we saw the tragic death of two teenagers as a result of domestic violence. We know that over 12 months on average one woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner.
Yet national effort and resources are directed overwhelmingly to counter terrorism where in the last decade only three people in Australia have been killed.
There are six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are: the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing budget deficits and debt increases, the threat of climate change and increased carbon pollution, the NBN debacle, hostility to refugees and asylum seekers, and problems with foreign influence and political donations which are producing an anti-Chinese sentiment. Continue reading “Six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution”
The campaign run by some of our security agencies and people close to them about the alleged Chinese threat is getting great support from some journalists. The latest is Andrew Greene, the security and defence reporter at the ABC who breathtakingly reported last week that “A Chinese vessel, believed to be a spy ship, docked next to HMAS Adelaide in Fiji”. Good god!