Up on the Australian Politics Forum there’s discussion of a paper entitled Queensland’s Worst Government? Its thesis goes:
A reasonable case can be made that the AWU-dominated Goss government was the worst government in terms of practical accomplishments that Queensland has endured in living memory. Through the blatant abuse of power, the Westminster tradition of a professional and credible Public Service was ruthlessly demolished – and the best talent of a rising generation was destroyed in the search for a quick (political) fix. Then almost every function of government was mismanaged until eventually popular support was lost – much to the surprise of political observers who had not understood that effective government requires more than stylish policy rhetoric.
We all know who was at the helm. Dr Death. Or Kuddly Kev, as he has rebranded himself. The bloke who was sworn in as Prime Minister this morning.
The paper claims the Goss government was a control freak’s dream: dismissive of caucus and keen to relieve ministers of policy responsibility and media control and replace both with centralised operations.
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It describes Rudd as a centrist controller, distrustful of professionals. It talks about how his cabinet office often over-rode ministers and developed a culture of adversarial relations with the public service.
Rudd diagnosed Queensland’s problem as lack of policy capacity, unresponsive departments and poor public sector leadership. Canberra, of course, has a larger and far for competent bureaucracy.
It is twelve months tomorrow since Rudd became Labor leader. For most of this time, he has operated as a one man show. He cannot continue to do that as Prime Minister.
Has Kevin Rudd learned from his youthful exuberance?