Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cabinet Conflicts of Interest

Here’s something to ponder…

If a Minister declares an interest in a Cabinet meeting and that declaration is subject to the “long-established principle” of Cabinet Confidentiality (i.e. secret for something like 25 years), what is the value of the disclosure?

This question struck me when I saw this recent question and answer in the Legislative Council:

Read more here: Cabinet Conflicts of Interest

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yes, Commissioner (tails and their dogs)

I recall in Opposition, many members of the current Government held strong opinions of Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan – and they weren’t flattering.

Mind you, I don’t recall many people suggesting Mr O’Callaghan wasn’t competent. On the contrary, the problem we saw for the Minister of the day was the Commissioner’s superior ability – particularly in the field of public relations.

While back in 2006, the now-Premier was overtly supportive of the Commissioner, Mr Barnett did express his concerns about the chief of police’s propensity for publicity:

Keep reading at - Yes, Commissioner (tails and their dogs)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Premier’s poor management begins to bite

As Gareth Parker broke this morning in The West Australian newspaper, the Premier’s move to drop former Police Minister Rob Johnson from Cabinet has already come back to bite him. Mr Johnson has publicly explained that his decision to not back the Government’s CCC Amendment Bill was not related to the way he was treated by his Party’s Leader, but solely based on the details of the Bill.

And I believe him. While I’m guessing it feels pretty good...

Read the rest at

Premier’s poor management begins to bite

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jeeves: my newspaper, pipe, slippers and that i-thingy please!

Disappointed is far too mild a word to describe how I felt when I read the weekly column from the “political editor” of Western Australia’s only Sunday newspaper (as it now reminds us on the front page) this week. For those who missed it, the author not only declared that he doesn’t own (or want) a so-called Smartphone, he also told us he doesn’t use Twitter, Facebook or other social media.

I don’t know what could have provoked such a “coming out”, but for the political editor of a newspaper that now distributes exclusive content via a paid iPad app, I worry that using such valuable column space to not write about politics might be the opposite of a good career move. It strikes me that with a bit of thought, he could have quite easily combined his outing as a Luddite with some actual politics. The way Western Australian politicians are using new media – and not – is the guts of a cracker column that face-to-face Joe could have penned.

Read the rest at Jeeves: my newspaper, pipe, slippers and that i-thingy please!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Staff payouts cover for poor management and weak leadership

There’s been some pretty big words thrown around since the Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet made public details of the payout of the former Government media adviser who sent a publicly available photo of Opposition Leader Mark McGowan’s home to journalists. The Opposition have used the word “corrupt” and the Premier said yesterday the payout in question was as a result of “high standards”.

Stripping the politics out of the issue, neither is correct.

Let’s first deal with the claim of corruption. Easy really - there wasn’t any. It looks smellier than it is because the Premier has refused to provide any detail of the payouts in Parliament over the past few months – and the smart-arse fooling around with subsequent Freedom of Information requests hasn’t helped. But that politicking aside, the DG offered all he could to someone who had been treated shoddily and somewhat ironically, the “generous” nature of the payouts actually confirms that fact.

There was no requirement for anyone to leave the State, nor was any part of the payment in exchange for staying quiet. Quite simply, the Government has been very lucky that the people involved have chosen to take that course of action for their own reasons, very lucky.
And that brings me to the Premier’s bizarre claim of the payouts being an example of the Government’s “high standards”

... read the rest at - Staff payouts cover for poor management and weak leadership