Government of Secrecy

3 Oct

Abbott started by not releasing real costings or substantive policy before the election.

He censored the arrival of asylum seekers. He didn’t explain that the NBN board had been sacked. He plans to delay the release of MYEFO. He illegally excluded Indonesian journalists from his press conference there, and wouldn’t explain why. Nor did he explain why he sacked senior public servants.

He censors anyone and anything that may say something adverse. The Climate Commission. A Malaysian democracy activist. Even his own ministry: he has forbidden his ministers from media appointments without prime ministerial leave. He and his ministers have not only refused for weeks to be interviewed by Leigh Sales on national television, but even feel the need to lie about being interviewed on ABC radio. They habitually run away from the press.

The fact that he constantly changes policy positions (such as on university student caps, buying boats, or paying childcare workers) conduces such uncertainty that it is itself a form of secrecy, because it erodes faith in any ostensible policy position.

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