Everybody’s Problems

Can you believe that it’s only two days since I officially came back from holiday? For the past two days my office has had the feeling of a Byzantine bazaar, such has been the level of activity and the broad range of issues to be addressed, but that’s to be expected when you’re a hands on leader like I am. There’s been a sense among some of my colleagues that the hurdles we face are more numerous and higher than we anticipated, but I have offered them all the same piece of advice, “Mess this up and you won’t even get a job mopping the floor at the ACTU cafeteria.”

The only person who seems completely happy with the way things are going right now is Wayne. He’s had a lot of press lately and most of it has been quite positive, especially the reports of his meeting with the State and Territory Treasurers and Health Ministers. By all accounts it was quite successful, but then again the reaction you get when you give money to the States is not unlike that when handing out free Mars bars at a kids’ fat camp. To their credit though, the State legislators all played their roles well, without anyone deviating from the script that I had approved late last week.

One amazing thing is how quickly most of the hacks have fallen into line and started accepting our statements as conventional wisdom, it’s almost as if they are simply incapable of anything more than re-typing press releases. One of the commentators who has gone out of their way to emphasise the need for a positive relationship is Laurie Oakes, I think he’s pretty much the only person left in the Channel 9 newsroom who can even find Canberra on a map, so he doesn’t want to get anyone offside and lose access. Laurie and I have a personal understanding anyhow, it has its roots in my time at uni when I worked as a house cleaner for him as a way of earning a few extra dollars, we both have a very good understanding of what’s ‘off the record’.

There’s a queue outside my door already so I’ll sign off.


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