I knew that John Howard would be in trouble at the 2007 election the instant that Tim Flannery was appointed Australian of the Year. It was obvious that Flannery would spend his 12 months flaying the government on climate change.
Howard should have known about his potential appointment in the first place, and been able to veto it. His appointment meant that something had gone badly wrong in the PM’s office. That something was the departure of Howard’s Chief of Staff Arthur Sinodinos.
Pat McGorry is another Australian of the Year who has turned into a problem for the governing party. News.com.au reports this morning:
AUSTRALIAN of the Year and mental health advocate Pat McGorry says he is “devastated” by the detail of Julia Gillard’s mental health policy announced today.
The Prime Minister’s pledge to inject nearly $280 million into mental health and suicide prevention services has been slammed by experts who say the issue has been airbrushed over yet again.
Professor McGorry told The Australian he was “devastated” with today’s announcement and believed Ms Gillard was continuing to show “a lack of leadership”.
Rudd and his office should have realised he was going to be a problem for them too.
I’m not saying that McGorry is a bad Australian of the Year, just that in terms of political pragmatism a vigilant politically aware government would have found someone equally as worthy but much more reticent.
Seems that no matter how hard PM Gillard tries to run from the record of the Rudd government it just keeps nipping at her heels and barking at her. And if it doesn’t bark at her, it seems to bark to Laurie Oakes.