The Decision Maker
Making decisions is the stock in trade of politics. Even the choice not to make a decision is a decision in itself.
Some of the decisions will achieve the desired result while many will not.
Occasionally there are decisions that are unmitigated disasters. These eventually end up being political orphans, meaning no-one takes responsibility.
The first role of the deep state bureaucracy is to ensure they keep their job. The second is to build their own power base by continuously expanding their realm.
This requires bigger budgets to hire more underlings to implement more programs that enrich the insiders. That's why you often see a mad scramble by government departments to spend money in the closing weeks of the financial year.
If there is any cash left from their budget allocation it suggests they don't need as much for the following year. That isn't consistent with their incessant demands for more and more taxpayer dollars.
Occasionally though, the bureaucratic and political shenanigans have terrible consequences. We have seen that with the disastrous Victorian quarantine debacle.
This resulted in over 800 people dying and apparently no-0ne is responsible.
Rather it was 'poor culture' that was to blame for the deadly crisis.
According to the recently published report from an inquiry into the fiasco, the bureaucracy made decisions to engage private security free from oversight and "without any transparent rationale".
To me, the report is as flawed as the original decision making process.
Firstly, the culture of any organisation flows from the top. In this case that means it comes from Premier Daniel Andrews. However, according to this report he is not to blame leading one of his former ministers as stating it is "another masterclass in political deflection."
Commenting on the report, former Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said:
I believe Victorians deserve to know the truth about an event that has so profoundly impacted them.
She went on to question why some of the Premier's telephone records had been redacted.
Secondly, the report misses one of the most obvious (to me) rationales for the decision. It was made on racial grounds with the added bonus of enriching some political mates.
The Andrews' government provided a multi-million dollar security contract to an 'indigenous organisation' which had no previous experience in the area and were not on the approved tender list.
It's clear to me that this was a deliberate choice and one that breaches almost every element required for good governance.
After months of stonewalling and deflection, whilst pretending to be open and accountable Premier Andrews said:
My commitment is not only to apologise … but to also offer my commitment to make sure we do everything we possibly can to learn these lessons”.
If I could go back and get a daily update, as I do now, about everything that’s going on in hotel quarantine, I would
This too beggars belief.
Remember, this Premier was celebrated by the media for his hour long daily media conference where he was asked soft-ball questions and had the righteous indignation of someone believing themselves to be morally superior.
It was only when Sky News' Peta Credlin started to attend that he was challenged and exposed as a purveyor of half-truths and platitudes.
Are we really expected to believe that Andrews was not receiving daily briefings on the hotel quarantine situation during that time? If you do, there is an amazing bridge in Sydney for sale too!
That the report has been released in the week before Christmas is also no coincidence. Few will read it and even fewer will care. It's yesterday's news and with no decision maker, the entire thing is a farce.
The message is clear. The deep state do not care about you. They only care about themselves, their survival and their power. They expect the rest of us to just accept what they tell us and to do as we are told.
Frighteningly many Australians seem more than happy to do exactly that.