Thursday, September 11, 2008

New South Wales Wales itself again- Brown out strikes

One of the reasons why I try to avoid commenting too much on current politics as opposed to policy is that, too often, I can add little real value. I become just another chattering head adding to the static.

For the benefit of international readers, Matt Brown, the new police minister in NSW, has been sacked in part for dancing in his underpants at a budget party, more because he lied to the Premier about it. I do not know who I am crankier with, Mr Brown or the ALP idiot who leaked the story for factional reasons as a pay-back.

I must be one of the few people in NSW who has read Mr Brown's maiden speech in the NSW Legislative Assembly. I was actually quite impressed because of the way he linked different elements of the ALP past together, including the establishment of the Housing Commission by the McKell Government. Now he has put the state in brown-out.

The factional idiot who leaked the matter comes from the Kafka world I referred to in Uniformity and the tyranny of the majority, a world that acquires a powerful internal reality independent of what is really happening. What counts is what happens in that world even if the ship is sinking.

Wearing my consultant hat, I once made a call on an organisation on the point of collapse. The executive suite was well separated from everyone else. The quiet chatter, the well dressed executive assistants, the coffee in fine china on a silver tray with chocolate biscuits, the patient wait while we waited for the busy senior executive to see us. Then the chat about long term plans.

As we came out, my colleague said to me, "Don't they know?" I replied no, they really can't see what's happening outside.

One of the silliest comments on the whole affray came from a journalist. Doesn't the public service run the state, she said. By implication, things would rub along.

The current sickness in the NSW public sector, the reason for complicated processes and slow decisions, the very real paralysis that seems to affect some agencies, all flow from the top.

I suppose that we have to give the new Premier time to sort things out. This will be hard because he actually has to change direction. In the meantime, I think that I will avoid commentary on NSW affairs until the position is a little clearer. Posts like New England Story - The life and death of the mysterious Harry Freame are much more fun!

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