Friday, July 15, 2005
I have long held the view that the Howard Government is toxic to human beings and other living things. The Palmer Report was released yesterday and it confirms this view for me. The report is noteworthy for its rich and damning language. No wonder Howard looked ill at ease at the press conference with Vanstone. All the while, though, there is little or no mention by the press or anyone else of Philip Ruddock's seminal role in all of this. It appears he will escape uncriticised. The Shergold speech also confirms the shifting of the deckchairs on the Titanic and it is doubtful whether Metcalfe is the person to bring to fruition what is demanded by the recommendations of the Palmer report. The speech also raises questions about the senior positions to which the former senior executive of DIMIA are being relocated. Is this the transmigration of incompetence? When one looks at what Palmer found lacking in DIMIA and when one considers the salaries received by senior executives, the sheer laziness and incompetence is a marvel. Some of the recommendations are of the kind that one would have thought basic to any competent practice. But then the please your master attitude of the department was set above the welfare of human beings - and when toughness, incompetence, and counter-productive budgetary management delivered the result their masters wanted...well, then, why bother.