Most mornings, I like to read the dead-tree edition of the paper over breakfast. I'm not choosy as to what I read - whatever is available will do. Unfortunately, most mornings, that is the SMH - but anything is better than nothing.
It struck me yesterday that the state government rarely features in the news these days. When Labor was in charge, a day didn't go by without some government announcement near the front of the paper. It was government by press release - they announced a lot of things, but didn't really get much done. I guess that was a hangover from having Bob Carr - a former journalist - running the show. I reckon he came to government with a media-centric view of the world - if it wasn't in the media, then it wasn't happening. You can see the same thing happening now that he is Foreign Minister - he has to be announcing something new every day. He just can't help himself. He might wake up one day and discover that apart from a few foreign affairs tragics, no one really cares.
Frankly, I'm happy to rarely read about what the government is up to. I like government to operate nice and quietly in the background with minimal interference in my life. Kind of like the sewerage system. It does its job with a minimum of fuss and bother. I don't want my toilet telling me every five minutes about a proposed upgrade to the main trunk running down to Balmain. I don't care. Just do you job, and kindly shut up while you're at it.
The federal government is just as bad - they have to be in the news every day. It's relevancy deprivation syndrome gone mad. That's probably another hangover from when Krudd was running things. As he said, "He's here to help". That says a lot about the guy - he believes it is his job, and the job of government, to interfere in how you live your life. He's here to help you do a better job with raising your family, running your business and interacting with your friends - because you are a useless, incompetent, idiotic booby compared to him - who is all wise and all seeing.
I don't view government as being an important part of my life. I don't view government as being particularly effective and efficient. It has a job to do, and I just wish it would do it and be done with it. I'll judge how well it's performing on the results. What are you going to believe - a press release from the Roads Dept proclaiming that our roads are getting better, or a bone jarring, spine rattling trip down the pot holed main road nearby?
I hope that when Abbott gets in, he enforces a ruthless culling of Press and Media Advisors across the public service - getting rid of 90% of them would be a good start. It would be even better if he can cut them all without a single press release being generated.