Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

If the truth be told...

I have a friend who has had several strokes. She's a dynamo in spite of it all, and a driving force for social justice and equity in our society. I saw her the other day, and in our conversation she said that: "I'm going be a truth teller. I don't know how much time I have left..."

It really stuck with me. In our state of Queensland in Australia, we have seen one disaster after another from governments of both (or similar) persuasions -- the Laberals -- who are seemingly held captive by the philosophy of "rational management", which not to put too fine a point on it, is neither rational, nor management.

The current fiasco is called the Department of Health, which appears to have been working under the misapprehension that the managers were the health experts. Bureaucratic positions in department rose something like 85% over 15 years, whereas health staff (nurses) rose just 15%.

This was supposed to make things better. Hah! Two commissions are now busily investigating the paths of destruction that 'management' has left in its careering wake across the body politic.
There is the charade of child protection, who, according to my friend, is busy defending itself, but the kids -- well, let's say things aren't getting worse -- or can we?

Now, personally, I think that if you look at any government or private corporation, you will see the same pattern: very highly paid CEOs, a neo-feudal approach to meeting the organisational objectives, a serious decline in production and/or quality, and a bloated, non-communicative bureaucracy defending itself against all comers.

In the meantime, citizens and clients are "important to us", unless they rock the boat...

Maybe it's time for truth telling in bureaucracies and corporations (now they're really the same thing), and perhaps also an addition of holistic awareness, and a dash of honesty and openness, and just maybe things might improve.

As an old sailor once said: "Wish in one hand and spit in the other, and see which one fills up the fastest". Scatological perhaps, but true, if the truth be told.

Enough for now
PB White