Government is More Than a Destination

With an election likely to be called in the week ahead, Australians will once again contemplate the future path offered by the major parties.

The Labor Party will expect you to believe that the dysfunction of the past three years in government is behind them. Having changed the leader for another of the ‘gang of four’, the policy readjustment has nearly been completed – or has it?

The French phrase “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” roughly translates as “the more things change, the more it is the same”. It captures Labor’s transition from a Rudd to a ‘Gillrudd’ government; the same spin with a different mouthpiece.

Consider for a moment Ms Gillard’s border protection policy. There’s been no real change from the policy that has seen an unprecedented arrival of unauthorised boats ferrying the product of people smugglers to our shores.

Despite her on again, off again denials, Ms Gillard promised a new detention centre on East Timor, in spite of the fact that the East Timorese Parliament has rejected such a measure unanimously.

How can anyone believe this Gillard promise is anything more than spin and trickery designed for political advantage rather than a serious policy solution?

So too should we question on what basis this government deserves to be re-elected. They have wasted tens of billions of dollars on flawed and failed programs, excelled at administrative incompetence and failed to hold true to the Westminster system of ministerial accountability.

The Gillard team has lost notable contributors like Lindsay Tanner and John Faulkner, yet Ms Gillard insists upon retaining Peter Garrett and Penny Wong in Cabinet. These latter two have presided over some of the most incompetent schemes (apart from that administered by Ms Gillard herself) over the past three years.

Mr Garrett had carriage of the fatally flawed insulation program that cost billions of dollars, burnt hundreds of homes and cost four lives. He was also responsible for the rorted and dumped Green Loans scheme, whilst also presiding over the solar panel stuff up. Despite his gross incompetence, Mr Garrett continues to collect his ministerial salary and benefits whilst having little left to take charge of.

The track record is little better for Penny Wong in her attempt to impose a great green tax in the form of an Emissions Trading Scheme on us all. Despite the evidence that such a scheme would make no difference to the environment, but would in fact reduce our competitive economic advantage, Ms Wong ditched the national interest in pursuit of an extreme green agenda. Fortunately she failed, but her department and portfolio responsibilities live on.

Regretfully this proves once again Reagan’s maxim that ‘the closest thing we have to eternal life on Earth is a government program’.

I could go on cataloguing the waste and incompetence characterised by Ms Gillard and her team. Little has been achieved over the past three years and it is clear they have even less idea about what to do for the next three years.

Ms Gillard and the Labor Party need to realise government isn’t a destination in itself. It is a responsibility that comes with a duty to improve the country and suspend self-interest in favour of the national interest.

The Gillard Government’s list of failures, false promises and fakery suggest it has self-interest at its core and is not worthy of a second term.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Confidential Daily.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.