Wokeness is crippling our government organizations

Wokeness is crippling our government organizations, by Judith Sloan.

At a time when we need our public institutions at the top of their game and for people to have confidence in them, their activities and the expressed opinions of their leaders too often work against their original objectives.

Rather than perform their roles quietly and efficiently, most taxpayer-funded institutions are off on self-directed frolics based on the on-trend progressive fads.

Look at Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Brett Sutton. As COVID-19 struck, he was busy putting the finishing touches on a paper about climate change and public hospitals. As the virus spread, his deputy, Dr Annaliese Van Diemen, using Twitter, likened COVID-19 to the arrival of Captain James Cook. (Perhaps she meant Governor Arthur Phillip — history is not one of her strengths.) …

There is nary a part of the state or federal public services not infected by the rise of politically correct thinking and distracted from the pursuit of the rightful objectives.

Take the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A glance at its top-heavy organisational structure is terrifying. There is the Sustainability and Climate Change branch and the Human Rights and Social Inclusion branch. We even have an Ambassador for Gender Equality and, of course, a Gender Equality Branch. Evidently, people smuggling and human trafficking also need their own ambassador.

Most people would be able to remove about two-thirds of the activities of DFAT and conclude the country would be better off saving the cost of those highly paid officials as well as discarding all that pointless meddling.

It’s hardly necessary to mention the Australian Human Rights Commission here. What started off as a modest venture to offer some remediation for tightly defined violations of human rights — the states already had their own machinery — it has ended up as a vehicle for grandstanding presidents and commissioners pursuing personal agendas.

Then there is the ABC which is wall-to-wall woke with the possible exception of regional radio.

The Bureau of Meteorology should be a dull agency undertaking the useful task of predicting the weather, short-term and slightly longer-term. There were jokes about the inaccuracy of its forecasts but most people held BOM to be reasonably trustworthy. Climate change has completely altered its activities. The agency regularly makes grand statements about this day or month or year being the hottest on record without revealing the true adjustments it makes to these claims. The BOM wants to be a player in the climate change debate, underpinning its demand for more resources. …

The Reserve Bank of Australia is also on the climate change bandwagon, with the deputy governor giving a second-rate speech on the connection between climate change and monetary policy – a connection he was unable to make. But fear not, there is an international cabal of central bankers — the RBA is a member — working on climate change.

The bottom line is that we are being badly served by a large clique of woke public servants whose pay has been unaffected by the pandemic but who continue to deliver predictable, politically correct nonsense.

Does it really surprise anyone that the guards engaged to work at the quarantine hotels in Melbourne received training in diversity but not in infection control?

At least wokeness in the private sector just sends the business broke eventually, and we are rid of it. But in government, protected against foolhardiness by the poor taxpayer, wokeness blossoms uncorrected. This sad phenomenon is a great argument for smaller government than we have at present.