Is a commitment to using critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry rather than emotion and ill-founded falsity the best way to solve human problems?
On the one hand, it takes much time and effort to reach a considered view on many matters. On the other, it takes little time to make a judgement. Good leaders make good decisions.
Was Scott Morrison’s decision to partake of a holiday while the flames of hell were destroying New South Wales a good one? Was his decision to ask the US to invite Pastor Brian Houston to dinner any better?
Was his decision to give Christian Porter his old job back as Leader of the House (even on a temporary basis) any better?
Worst of all, what about his decision not to buy the Pfizer vaccine when it was available. There are many more, but these will suffice for now:
On September 7, 2020 The Guardian reported that:
“The prime minister announced a $1.7bn deal with two potential vaccines: the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca to provide 33.8m doses and the University of Queensland/CSL to provide another 50m doses.”
On November 5 2020 the government announced a deal for 10m doses of Pfizer and 40m from Novavax, saying Australia was at the “front of the queue” for mRNA vaccines. Note that The Guardian said that “Pfizer had already signed agreements to provide about 1bn doses to 34 countries by this time.”
As an aside, Greg Hunt, on Insiders 8/8/2021, on a question from David Speers on this subject, said, “There was no other deal available.”
Just who is telling the truth?
Scott Morrison says:
“We aren’t putting all our eggs in one basket and we will continue to pursue further vaccines should our medical experts recommend them.”
The Government announces the vaccine rollout will begin in March.”
Then in December, the front of the queue” changes to “front-row”, and the turmoil of the rollout continues.
Politics often comes first in the decision-making process. Well, more often than not, but always because the retention of power is uppermost in the leader’s mind.
How often is logic thrown out the window when emotion clutters the politician’s mind and clinging to power rises above all else?
Indeed, the decision to take his children on a trip to Hawaii was an emotional one. The kids had been nagging him for weeks, and no matter what, he wasn’t going to let them down. After all, he didn’t hold a hose.
It could be argued that it was an indefensible decision that could only be made by a father desperately wanting to please his children. Those of us who are fathers could all plead guilty to that one.
But we are not necessarily leaders. The consequences didn’t occur to him. I believe that he tried to hide the fact that he had taken leave. It was a dumb decision.
Morrison was the Prime Minister; first and foremost, it was his responsibility to look after the health and safety of Australians.
At the time, the prime minister’s office refused to say if he was on holiday or where he was. McCormack admitted he was Prime Minister. The aftermath of bad decisions can be worse than the decision itself. Remember the slinky handshakes. For someone who prides himself on his spinning ability, the marketing guru had made a terrible decision.
Perhaps a few days with wife Jenny and the kids were more important than the security of the people he was supposed to protect.
Eventually, as reported in The Guardian, he was forced to apologise, saying that:
“Any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the terrible bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time.”
His decision to give Christian Porter his old job back as Leader of the House was another example of his poor decision making and brought his judgment into question. Once again, the Prime Minister’s judgement, and morality, was bought into question with this woeful decision. One that humiliated and slapped the face of every Australian woman.
The utter impertinence of the Prime Minister to do such a thing after the continual beating women have taken under his leadership has been beyond belief.
The allegations against Porter are amongst the gravest in our criminal code. The bare minimum test of his fitness to hold ministerial office would be an independent inquiry. At this point, it looks as though the Prime Minister has made yet another ill-considered decision just to let it pass. How damming would that be?
Christian Porter is Acting Leader of the House. I have no words to describe how I feel about this.
— Jane Caro (@JaneCaro) August 2, 2021
Yet again, his judgement comes into question when he decided to include Pastor Brian Houston’s name on a list of invitees to the White House. Houston had been a mentor for many years. He even got a mention in Morrison’s maiden speech.
It has long been known that when Houston gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, he admitted trying to protect his father. He even disobeyed church rules and allowed him to preach after admitting the violation.
Frank Houston had abused up to nine boys in Australia and New Zealand.
Now Brian Houston has been charged, and justice will take his course. Here we must try to fathom Brian Houston’s morality and state of mind before judging him. In Morrison’s case, it is more straightforward.
Presumably, he would have been aware of the evidence, as would the White House, so why had he refused to answer questions for months on the subject?
Let’s not pretend that good decision making is easy; it isn’t, but we make many minor ones daily. However, we expect our leaders to make significant decisions regularly with sound judgement.
The ones expressed above used poor judgement by a poor leader, and unfortunately, there are many more examples just like them. Climate Change (for instance) and the decisions required for our survival are paramount and must be made by people who know how to listen to the opinions of science.
To choose the correct path, our nation’s leadership must have a clear set of priorities together with an open mind that takes into account new or alternative ways of doing things.
They must use whatever experience they have and make common good, common-sense decisions with a willingness to change as knowledge changes.
The decisions politicians make define their judgement. It is better to be informed by the truth than be controlled by lies.
When you look at the decisions made by this Government during their tenure of office, well, to put it bluntly, they have been simply appalling, and given the criteria I have laid out for making them cannot be excused. That’s my judgement, anyway.
My thought for the day
People often argue from within the limitations of their understanding and when their factual evidence is scant, they revert to an expression of their feelings.
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