Last week an Australian politician gave a farewell speech in which he outlined his vision for the future.
He expressed his belief in the reduction of tax breaks for the rich, the means-testing of private health insurance, as well as negative gearing and the National Broadband Network… which came as a bit of a shock as these were all ideas he had spent the last four years trying to kill.
Because they weren’t his.
Had any of them passed into law all the credit would go to the Opposition, the people he – and more importantly, his boss – were determined to frustrate and humiliate at all costs.
And that’s the big problem with politics: it calculates real value of an idea by who gets to look good… and/or who doesn’t.
So how good does our outgoing treasurer look? By his own admission, he’s devoted all his talent, intellect and skill (as well as every waking hour) to destroying ideas he actually believes in… is that a good look?
Does it make him appear more impressive as a public servant?
More attractive as a leader? More inspiring as a human being?
Is it a good look for his party or the government? Does it renew our faith in politics?
Or should our politicians learn from Harry S Truman who famously said:
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”