what would be your advice to the pm?


The media reports regarding ‘cleaning off the barnacles’ continue two weeks after the Prime Minister first highlighted the ‘need’

Evidence of the practise is reflected in a number of changes in policy and regulation, including those relating to – payed maternity leave, the GP co-payment and the education ‘reforms’

It would seem that someone has advised the PM to ‘clear the decks’ before Christmas and or the end of the year. It would seem that there is a strategy being implemented that involves starting 2015 with a ‘clean slate’ and ‘clear air’

My questions are two-fold:

  1. Are you as tired as I am of expressions like – “cleaning off the barnacles’ and ‘clear the decks’ – not to mention ‘team Australia’? and
  2. Will the strategy of cleaning off the barnacles now and with a view to setting up 2015 work?

I will let the first question ‘pass through to the keeper’ at this stage, with a view to focusing on the second more substantive question

I will also choose to set aside the issue of competence which may also impact on the success or otherwise of this strategy

To my mind it is unclear whether this strategy will work. Two of the lessons from the Gillard/Rudd era were surely that chopping and changing is never ideal and clarity of message is essential. In my view Abbott has failed on both of these counts

But will clearing the issues aside before Christmas give him clear air in early 2015. Will the illusions of Christmas being a line in the sand and a new year actually being a new beginning serve to kick-start the governments fortunes?

Time will tell I guess, but I would argue that two other things are the Guillard/Rudd. Firstly, that if the changes just announced are not right and do not get support, the problems for the government will start again, and once public trust is lost it is VERY hard to regain

Setting aside whether any of them have had good policy advise, I would argue that Gillard, Rudd and Abbott have received VERY BAD public relations advice. In the case of Abbott, my advice would have been to:

  • Let things go quiet from the end of parliament until early February
  • Spend February and March visibly consulting (and negotiating)
  • Launch revised policies and legislation in April/May

This would look less ‘knee jerk’, more considered and more strategic. It would make the current suggestion by the Prime minister that “we are listening’ more credible and the prospects of a deal more certain

What would be your advice?

I hear that Julie Bishop is rubbing her hands together

This issue will be discussed in detail on THE D. JOHN CARLSON NETWORK – https://www.djohncarlsonesq.com/publishing/

D. John Carlson is a behavioural scientist, strategic planner and lateral thinker focusing on branding, marketing, communication, personal advancement, business development and behaviour management. https://www.djohncarlsonesq.com/

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