A footnote to history

Electing a government at any level is an act of trust by voters. The bedrock of this act of faith is that the administration will implement good governance for the benefit of the public.

How indebted are we then to The Australian’s Paul Maley who  today exclusively revealed that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has imposed a ban on any of her Ministers taking notes during Cabinet meetings.

This farcical initiative demonstrates as well as anything else just how unfit to govern is her administration.

The lack of trust was triggered by a series of leaks and resulted in the scribbling ban last October. Two aspects are worthy of note. First, a poisonous level of mistrust between those entrusted with the national interest denounces their capacity to act cohesively for the greater good. It is a hallmark of failure and symbolic of the pursuit, only, of selfish ends. Resignation would be honourable but that would be a stretch way too far for this lot.

The second is more whimsical but just as damning. If Ministers charged with the most burdensome responsibilities including the expenditure of close to $400 billion a year cannot remember detail of the juicy bits they might want to leak, what does it say for their mental faculties?  F for Fail for the lot of them.

The ban also provides insight into the failure of leadership by Ms Gillard. Clearly unable to lead by inspiration, she reverts to mere management and a command-and-control determination to bring her erstwhile colleagues to heel.

Ironically, it is an approach that would tug at the heart strings of her predecessor (and, dare we say, erstwhile successor!) Kevin Rudd who so hated and was hated in return by his own band of merry men.

Both Rudd and Gillard exhibit a tendency to micro-manage which, of itself, is not dreadful. But it is indefensible when applied to presumed leaders who have been elevated to some of the highest positions in the land on the supposed basis of their leadership and managerial abilities. Then again, these are the senior members of the team which chose both Rudd and Gillard. So much for their judgement. And the same team which appears entirely unable to find a suitable alternative to Rudd and Gillard from within their own ranks. So much for their collective capabilities.

Not worth a hastily scribbled footnote to Australia’s parliamentary history.