For the six years I worked as an adviser to John So, the media tried their best to paint a picture of Melbourne City Council as ‘Clown Hall’. Great sport, but the mud wouldn’t stick. His fellow councillors managed to successfully rake the muck; however, John’s integrity was never really at question.
This month all but a few of the prominent federal Labor MPs managed to dive, naked into a quagmire from which it is doubtful cabinet ministers will rise. If they do, they will be forever soiled. That’s because Australians who watched the spectacle with protuberant eyes inevitably copped some grit. It was dirty.
Normally you feel some shame when your highest representatives debase themselves, particularly when it is on foreign shores in the dead of night (we forgave him the strip joint but never the Willard Hotel).
Every splatter of this sordid tale appears to have been covered so let’s not go there; we have better things to do. That said, there’s one thing to emerge crystal clear from this murky mud bath: our leaders do not appear fit to lead. But, rather than this being just a hunch, we went looking for some science, scoring Rudd and Gillard against the qualities of a great leader.
How did you score our finest ambassadors? The moral of the story? It ain’t easy at the top. Or the bottom.
Ellis Jones knows Australian government relations. We develop effective campaigns, manage issues and help politicians and senior bureaucrats connect with stakeholders.
Image: Wikimedia Commons