Thursday, December 13, 2007

Corporate Speak in Politics

Listening to Liberal Party front bencher Andrew Robb I hear that the Liberal's task is to be competitive by the next election. Mr Robb's continued in corporate speak mode as he went on to describe the nature of the restructuring the Party had to do.

As he spoke, I had this vision of the Liberal party as a failed corporation, the Coles of the political world. The solution was to improve organisational efficiency, improve staff recruitment (pre-selection), define some new product to roll out. This will fail.

Despite the power of supermarket politics, politics is still about ideas, about vision, about the future.

Mr Rudd did not win because he was conservative, although he may well turn out to be a great Liberal PM! Mr Rudd did not win because people thought that his Government would be better at service delivery.

As I see it, Mr Rudd won because the Australian people wanted new approaches, felt that the Howard Government had become tired and stale.

During the election campaign. Mr Howard said that the Australian people were pragmatic, interested in results, not philosophy. That's partially true, but it missed a key point.

Once Mr Rudd convinced the Australian people that the ALP and Coalition were really pretty much the same in service delivery and management terms, then ideas and vision started to come into play. And here Labor won hands down.

No matter how many corporatist ideas prevail in politics, politics is not the same as selling soap. If you cannot match it in ideas, you will fail.


Lexcen said...

Hear hear!!

Jim Belshaw said...

Lexcen, much appreciated. Language both reflects and affects the way we think. I am thinking of getting a large notebook to write down examples of corporate speak!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Jim.
Perhaps Andrew Robb should read Don Watson's book "Death Sentence", about the decay of public language

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Winton. Great to hear from you. Just back from South West Rocks, but will try to reply to your email tonight.

A confession. I have not read Don's book myself, although I listened to multiple interviews when it first came out. I do have it on my must read list, and suspect that Andrew R should read it.

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