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Politicising the Public Service: Nobody does it better than the LNP

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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  1. Phil Pryor

    While they dominate government benches, control departments, pay for and get submission by law, finance and administration people, the Morrison Turdpot Government attempts to get away with criminality, perhaps to outrank and outperform the odious Adolf, Heinrich, Josef, Hermann and other filthy unwiped anuses glowing in history like luminous haemorrhoids. Thanks Merde hoch, Rupert the stupert, a name that will live in infamy, for your obsessive egofixated cunning and greed.

  2. Matters Not

    RosemaryJ36 – certainly an important post. But as always any position in a democracy is likely to be a contested one. Take your opening statement as an example. You say:

    The APS is there to serve the Australian public!

    Who says? Not in the job description – is it? Thought politicians were there for that service bit? Where’s your ‘head of power’ (legal basis) for that statement? While I may agree with the sentiment(s) expressed what about an alternative view along the lines of:


    blockquote> The Public Service is the administrative arm of the Executive Government, accountable to the relevant ministers and the Parliament..</ blockquote>

    So public or politicians? Might seem the same but there are significant differences as a closer inspection should reveal. In theory, we live in a representative democracy – don’t we? So therefore doesn’t it follow that elected officials (politicians) have primacy over those in the bureaucracy? Public servants aren’t elected. Politicians are. Politicians are directly accountable to the people while public servants aren’t. etc. Politicians must rule. Public Servants must obey. Simple isn’t it? (Won’t go on.)

    What Morrison’s (public service) revolution is on about is materialising what executive government and the public service have paid ‘lip service’ to over a few decades. That government (first) develops the policy and then (second) the public service simply implements same. As though there’s a clear distinction between the two is naïve at best.

    Enough for now but there’s a whole heap of issues that might be unpacked.

  3. paul walter

    Can’t have an independent public service, they might give advice or recommend policy that doesn’t suit yours and your stringpullers schemes or sit well with your own prejudices.

    John Howard realised that years ago.

    Remember, one chip too many and the edifice collapses. Msm, think tanks, politics, consent manufacture all are components of complex mechanism many years in the making and with what these morons think of “victory” in sight, independence from any sort is not welcomed lest it sets off downstream effects in seemingly at length sectors.

    The bushfires gave us a nasty if nearly forgotten insight as to the sinister apparatus.

    We started with Angus Taylor and they had almost put that to bed when the fires started. Just when that seemed to be dying down, out popped SportsRorts, so we have had a look at the peak perversion and centrality that emerges via the exposed machinations of the Murdoch /IPA controlled PM’s and press/ media offices.

    Under msm;s smokescreens, the likes of Pezzulo were promoted instead of educated people.

    As MN points out, these things now employed against us were the very things that were put in place to keep civilisation going.

  4. paul walter

    Could have mentioned neo liberalism as an ideology, including the real reasons now emerged as to things like FTAs and privatisations. FOI’s and C in C and the role of surveillance security etc, as to whistle blowing, transparency and open government alone.

    The direct power of government to intervene on behalf of the community has been ruined. We saw it with the bushfires and increasingly privatised and fragmented services, but the spectacular example has been Asylum Seeker Policy, as much an exercise for its own sake as to do with anything real world; a mechanism now spun out of control.

    How democracy was undone by people like Rupert Murdoch and what’s been released from the Pandora’s Box they so childishly and irresponsibly opened…a deep blindness bespeaking madness behind their pernicious undoings.

  5. Matters Not

    So who in a democracy should resolve really, really important issues? For example, should it be left to doctors to decide life of death? Should teachers decide what should or shouldn’t be taught? What about who should be taught? All or some? And when or even how? Where should the dividing line be drawn between children’s rights, parents’, government etc? And who should decide? When ? And How? Should there be appeal rights? etc.

  6. paul walter

    We used to have concepts of open government and accountability till the nineties. Since then the powers that be have nipped this healthy evolution in the bud, like the oafs chopping of the head of the golden egg goose. Hawke and Keating bespoke the Clever Country, but I think it has headed to Stepford Country first slowly, now rapidly.

    We were a leader in renewables/alternatives at the turn of the century, boasted a good education, legal and information system that valued logic and it was
    no accident that dumbing down was high on the IPA wish list for reasons we already know all too well.

  7. David Evans

    So the “miracle man” will, maybe present a dill as the classic “sacrificial lamb”, having (had) set her up, maybe unintentially(?), IF “inspector Clouseau” finds that she infringed any “ministerial codes of conduct”, or “ministerial standards”, a vastly different interpretation.? It should be very obvious that Prime Ministers have their own set of rules. Who signed off on these election bribes? Who knew what and when? Who is on the Prime Ministers (Cabinet?) Expenditure Review Committee, would Morrison be there? Porter? Frydenberg? Cormann? Hunt? Dutton? McCormack? Head of p.ms. staff? (inspector clouseau?) Hope she lines up a few “exclusive” interviews on the way out. If these clowns had knowledge, and have had no fear of being exposed, mckenzie has an obligation to expose them all. I do fear though that she will be promoted to keep her quiet, maybe to health, treasury, deputy p.m., ambassador to the holy see, U.N., High Commission U.S. or U.S.A., Seems the worse “standards” one has the higher they go?

  8. Neil Hogan

    “I am currently torn in two between wanting some miracle to occur, so that the nations of the world cooperate in fighting global warming”

    I would like another couple of miracles to occur too and they are…

    1- The nations of the world cooperate in fighting the big 4 accounting firms, tax avoidance and tax havens!!

    2- The nations of the world to cooperate and put an end to trickle down economics and start raising the tax rates for the rich, big business and multi-nationals so everyone can have quality health, education and welfare systems!!

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