Actually doing a good job as Prime Minister of Australia is far harder than trying to think up smart marketing slogans. That sounds like a statement of the bleeding obvious, but I wonder whether there are not some who do not appreciate the fact!
Priority Number One – remember that your policies, and the legislation you enact, are intended to improve life for as many people as possible, with most attention being paid to the people who are in most need.
So forget the subsidies to wealthy corporations, and the dinners to raise party funds and, before making any decisions, remind yourself that you are one of the world’s best paid Heads of Government, comparatively speaking, despite our small population, and most people have far more problems than you do in trying to balance their budgets (as far as preparing Australia’s budget is concerned, you have unlimited funds at your back and call!), put food on the table and keep a roof over the heads of their families – if they are fortunate enough to have a roof and/or a family!
Many casual and part-time care workers in aged care homes are between a rock and a hard place. If they feel unwell and stay away from work, they get no income. If they go to work, prove to be infectious with COVID-19 and pass it on, other lives are at risk and the worker will again be out of work. What is your policy here?
When someone reaches the pinnacle of government, it is assumed – rashly in many cases – that they, and the political party which elected them as leader, have an awareness of the issues that require attention and they have a Public Service to provide them with all the background information they need in their decision-making.
Priority Number Two – remember that the Public Service is there to service the needs of the country, through the political party in power, so sometimes they will offer advice you do not like, but you need to consider that advice seriously, because the Public Service will still be there, long after you have gone, and the members of the Service have the ability, after they retire, to enhance or sully your reputation! (Trump ought to remember this!)
And if you choose to use external advisers, whether political staffers or major corporations, keep in mind the payments they receive are monies no longer available to carry out necessary policies for those who elected you – AND all the others who didn’t – and the advice may well be biassed in order to ensure the advisers are employed again. KPMG, PwC, EY, etc are doing very nicely, thank you, but do they not sometimes have a conflict of interest, which is ignored?
We often quote the statement ‘the only certainties in life are death and taxes’, but have we not overlooked a very import addition? Change is an absolute certainty, although the nature of change is often far from clear, and failure to accept that policies for the future MUST take change into account dooms a successful outcome
Priority Number Three – in considering policy, do not confine your analysis to its immediate impact. The Spanish flu, the GFC and COVID-19 have made it crystal clear that what worked yesterday may very likely not work tomorrow.
Julia Gillard was branded a liar because, when she expecting to have a majority government, she rashly made a a statement about future intentions in relation to climate action, which, with a minority government, she could not fulfill. You, Mr Morrison, will never know what the future will bring, and you were caught out holidaying in Hawai’i when your country was struggling to cope with an unprecedented bush fire season.
Not a good look, Mr Morrison!
You were supposedly keeping in touch with events at home while you were away. Are you doing so more carefully this time? There are still lots of bush fire victims who cannot enjoy a holiday – in fact they cannot enjoy a life!
Once more – not a good look, Mr Morrison!
Many of the people who lost everything, including, in some cases, their lives, have not, themselves, or their families, received the support and help they so desperately need, because advice, from experts, of the likely seriousness of the fire season was ignored, and forward planning had failed to take account of the possible severity of the fires, following lengthy drought.
And the fact that the fires were so closely followed by the Coronavirus has really thrown a spanner in the works.
To dream of a ‘return to normal’ is, frankly, a wet dream.
Worldwide, economies are faltering, capitalism has no answers to solve our current problems and, lurking in the background, becoming ever more urgent, is the need to completely change our policies to tackle Climate Change.
While we have been able to rely on good scientific advice from the medical fraternity, they cannot perform miracles when, in a multicultural country, governments (and Victoria is not alone in this) do not manage to communicate effectively the graveness of the situation, the need to overcome innate selfishness and the processes which absolutely must be followed if a disastrous level of infections is not to follow.
Priority Number Four – Make sure the country has immediate access to scientific advice of all kinds. Reducing funding for R and D is foolish at the best of times. When change is occurring as rapidly as it has been in recent decades, you must have plans ready, plans that can be pulled up on the screen for immediate action – and you MUST be prepared to accept appropriate advice from scientists.
Where are the CSIRO staff who could be involved in this? Elsewhere in the world helping others who are less ideologically warped and do truly respect science. More evidence of the inadequacy of government forethought.
Following the bush fires, there has been a lot of – entirely appropriate – emphasis on the skills we ignored – those of our First Nations, who used fire to support life and who see themselves as guardians of the land.
The greedy culture of the white invaders sees land and all that is on, in and under it, as a source of wealth to be plundered, leaving destruction in its wake.
Unless we dramatically change our attitudes, Nature’s fight back, by way of fires, floods, storms and pandemics, unleashed by our pollution, will destroy us.
Australia might seem a big country but it is only a small part of the world.
We ignore the fact that the emissions we produce, both here and through exporting fossil fuels, have formed a significant part of the greenhouse gases.
The polar ice is melting at an alarming rate, causing the tundra in Siberia to defrost, releasing methane far more abundantly than do our herds of cattle, and adding an even more deadly greenhouse gas to the mix.
Priority Number Five – Prime Minister – it is your duty to keep in touch with this information, to learn to discriminate between scientifically based information, and disinformation, spread by oil and gas magnates, who benefit financially – along with their shareholders – by people believing those lies.
If Australia is to have a future, which will certainly be very different from what we have had, if and when we cope with the present hiatus, and if you plan wisely, you need to ensure we rapidly reduce pollution, and work to reduce the massive and increasing gap between the really poor and destitute and the obscenely, in some cases, wealthy.
A few of these lucky people are genuine philanthropists, and do try to help those in need. Sadly that is not true across the board.
Priority Number Six – If you and your party are, as it often appears, only in government for what you can get out of it, then please resign.
We need someone capable of understanding the variety of problems which arise for the unemployed and the many poorly paid workers.
We also need a leader who cares about us and the future well-being of humanity.
You show little that gives us confidence that you are that leader.
You have been propped up by the National Cabinet, with its sensible mix of ideologies, while you have illegitimately hogged the limelight.
If you want to help Australia, bite the bullet and go!
I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
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