Passing Bull 226 – An unmoored prime minister

 

It was, I think Lord Denning, who spoke of man who had been accused of being a war criminal and of not going to church on Sundays – he only sued on the latter, being unwilling to join issue about whether he was a war criminal.

That case came to my mind when it appeared that the Prime Minister had finally got the gumption to fire his Minister who had applied public money for an improper purpose.  He did so on the suggestion of a civil servant that the Minister may have breached a standard or protocol – and he claims that the civil servant has exonerated the Minister – and Prime Minister – on the substantive charge.

There is a general consensus that Morrison should have fired the Minister, and that he should not have asked a civil servant to advise on ministerial conduct.  That is like my asking my secretary if I had breached a duty I owed as a lawyer.  Now the Prime Minister even refuses to release the report.

It is, therefore, apparently the view of this Prime Minister that it is in order for a Minister to use public money to achieve a party political objective. That is very close to the essence of the impeachment case against Donald Trump.  The only difference is that one withheld public money for a party political purpose – the other paid it out.

At least Mr Morrison is consistent.  One response to his reaction to bush fires was to put out a hilarious ad for the Liberal Party.  Now he is using the work of a civil servant to protect the Liberal Party.  That report does not belong to the P M – it belongs to you and me.

There is another comparison with Trump.  Mr Morrison is now on a regular basis making errors of judgment that would see the CEO of a public company straight out the door.  It is clear that the man does not have what it takes for this position.

Bloopers

Contributions to the pre-conference blog claimed ecosystems could be a silver bullet, they ought to have a value chain — or possibly even be part of one — they should be ‘leveraged’ to ‘maximise value and achieve competitive advantage’ or ‘populated with new addressable customers’. ‘If you orchestrate it and tie the ecosystem on to a platform, you’re really resolving the customer problem holistically,’ enthused one panellist.

Financial Times, 3 December, 2019.

With all that bullshit, ‘holistic’ was a Monty.

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