As an observer, I am becoming convinced that current government ineptitude is the price we are paying for the politicisation of the Australian Public Service (APS).
Just stop a moment and reconsider those three words.
The APS is there to serve the Australian public!
By reducing staff in the APS, appointing politically oriented (Department Secretaries) Heads of Departments, employing numerous political advisers and paying massive sums for reports prepared by wealthy firms of consultants (which also helped the banks hone their tainted policies and audit their books – a clear conflict of interest!), transparency, consistency and honesty in government have all fallen by the wayside, while politics dominate policy to an unhealthy extent.
What does it say about the integrity of the consultants when their substantial income is dependent on giving welcome advice?
I appreciate that “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister” portrayed the picture of politicians being manipulated by well-established senior public servants, yet surely, in the interests of the public, in whose service they are employed, that is actually their job! To protect the public from the extremes of politics!
Just ask yourself, how often have you heard Coalition politicians tell you how hard they are working to put things right after Labor messed things up?
And when did Labor last have a chance to mess things up?
And how big was our debt in 2013?
And how big is it now?
And how has Labor managed to be responsible for the continuous worsening of our economic situation?
And is not the Coalition making Labor the fall guy for their own incompetence?
And don’t stop at incompetence!
Then Sports Minister, Bridget McKenzie, was warned that her involvement in assessing the applications for the Sports Funds grants was inappropriate. Clearly her choices were driven by political expediency and the merit of applications was totally ignored, which – in case it needs to be spelt out – is C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N!
The whole point of the Public Service it to give advice to current Ministers on policy choices made for the benefit of the public.
Our politicians have turned that idea on its head and they now only seek the advice which benefits them! They tell us how hard they work on our behalf but – Boy! Do we pay for it!
We have a former political adviser investigating whether Minister McKenzie broke the rules government ministerial conduct.
If the verdict turns out to be “Guilty” it would be a most unexpected breath of fresh air!
And I am not barracking for Labor, here. They are as guilty as the Coalition on many issues – the most egregious being the case of Witness K and Bernard Collaery – two honest and worthwhile individuals whose whole careers have been destroyed because of corruption on both sides of politics.
I am currently torn in two between wanting some miracle to occur, so that the nations of the world cooperate in fighting global warming, while, at the back of my mind, a little voice is telling me that mankind, with its infinite cruelty and greed, taking all and giving little back, deserves to be wiped off the face of the earth and the sooner, the better!
And, ironically – those most loudly professing some sort of religious beliefs seem to be those showing the lowest levels of integrity while demanding protection for their religious rights! Let’s just hope that the Catholic church ceases recruiting altar boys!
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