The thoughts in this article were triggered by one of the most RTWT pieces produced over the last week or so since it was shown that EVERY agency, military, civilian and NGO involved in Afghanistan was worse than clueless.
Hundreds of thousands of experts, top in their respective fields, all failed to see 20 years and trillions of dollars were no match for hard men with a cause. CIA, FBI, NSA, UN, ASIO, Medicans san Frontiers, Oxfam, and a thousand other trustafarian dilettantes all poured time & resources onto sand.
I’m not going to rehash the points made in that, and other well written articles about the failure. It’s catastrophic, all consuming and cannot be denied.
Instead I’m going to focus on trying to save the administrative state.
Something I hate personally but will credit with (in its original forms) assisting in reducing inequalities and regulating behaviour between the classes.
What Im afraid of: A turn to rule by emotion, breeding, wealth, or personal influence and connections. Tsarist Russia might be seen as the epitome of this, which led to the horrible spiral of repression, oppression then revolution.
In my opinion there is only one key way to save the administrative state.
The bureaucracy must learn to fear the general public.
The local planning officer should flinch when a permission is requested knowing if they apply the regulations capriciously or in a way that damages an individual they will lose their job and be liable for economic loss.
The Clean energy finance guru should shit his pants seeing electricity prices rise, knowing, without a doubt he’s about to be sacked and blacklisted from any similar position.
The various health authorities inflicting economic and mental ruin on hundreds of thousands of people need to be jailed and their departments disbanded, every person in them marked as pariah.
Politicians must be made to enact legislation through parliament only, not assign vast reams of law making and regulation to self interested silos of various regulatory agencies. And when one of those regulations causes harm to an individual they must be held personally accountable for the losses suffered.
We exist in an awful state at the moment which I would call anarcho-tyranny, where we are sowed incredibly thickly with laws and regulations, yet connections or money mean they are selectively applied.
Billy Bongsmoke can’t leave his LGA for fear of a fine equal to 3 months of his disability pension, yet Nicole Kidman flys in direct from Singapore because she’s ‘economically vital”.
The only way out is complete accountability.
We need lawyers prepared to lodge thousands of damages claims every time a new regulation is enacted.
We need a political party that removes any ability of the bureaucracy to generate law or regulation without compensation paid up ahead of its imposition to those affected.
And lastly we need sackings and consequences for every fuckup. No shuffling sideways, no mercy, if a bureaucrat has blighted another person’s life with a bad decision then justice demands they face a similar penalty as restitution.
This and only this approach will save the administrative state.
As it exists it is an almost completely closed self serving loop. Appeals and complaints pit atomised individuals against organisations wallowing in OPM and effectively unlimited resources. And “watchdogs” supposed to provide some accountability are designed to respond to the bureaucracy, not the individuals affected.
Introducing fear of the public is the only way to make the managerial class realise the danger they are in.
They honestly don’t realise in many cases they harm they inflict, and with a near complete absence of painful personal stimuli have no reason to do so.
With no skin in the game they are ignorant enough to reach for repression as their tool of choice.
Democratic repression is no better than repression by Theocracy , Monarchy or any of the charnel house “isms” of the 20th Century.
I am genuinely concerned we may return to the age of “Propaganda of the Deed”, where people ruined by government fiat decide that just smashing stuff up and becoming ungovernable is as legitimate as voting for the uniparties every 4 years.
31 thoughts on “Guest post: Thefrollickingmole- Do we save the administrative state?”
I watched this tripe creep through successive LGAs over a period of 25 years. I had my “good” and “bad” LGA list, and tried to avoid the overzealous copybook heading gods like the plague.
And, like plague, it gradually infected every single one. Endless hours, to-ing and fro-ing, desperately trying to satisfy their interpretation of often vague “rules”. No discussion entered into. Money and time down the gurgler. For…nothing.
Yet some projects mysteriously went ahead. Vast areas of bushland flattened for Chinese financed units, while others argued over the removal of a single, dangerous tree.
My trust in the administrative state evaporated long ago.
The other issue is justice.
As a defendant you have the whole wealth of the government pitted against you and they use and know all the tricks.
If you win your case you should be able to claim every cent the exercise has cost you from the government, and I mean every cent, plus be able to sue for damages. Prosecutors should loose money in these cases and In the case of vexatious litigants they should be bankrupted and sent to the poor house if they lose.
Unfortunately with deeply politicised civil service, MSM and judges this will never happen.
The Ancient Athenians had a procedure called ‘ostracism’, where a person so chosen was compelled to leave the city for a number of years. They were not otherwise punished, they did not forfeit their property, they just had to sod off for a determined period.
Athenians would as a body vote, year on year, whether to hold one.
If they did then citizens would scratch the name of the person they wish ostracised on a potsherd called an ostrakon. These would all be dropped anonymously into a giant pot and then counted out. The person who received the greatest number of ostrakons had to go.
I think it would be fun to have a protocol where every year the 10 worst performers were reduced by a rank or two, including reductions in pay. Doesn’t matter how senior their original role was, if they are not up to in, then down they go.
Cruel? The number of people in the private sector who lose jobs or whose employers are prevented from opportunities that would grow the company (and employee numbers and pay) through the ineptitude of government departments is large indeed.
And it could be broadcast!
It’s all over red rover.
What Calli is referring to above is bribery and corruption. Something I have seen for myself in something that you might expect to be immune from it, public education.
If these rats can find a way to divert money from schools or residential building into their own pockets, what do you reckon they are doing with billions in defence contracts? What do you think police commissioners do when appointed by a political party and then something political, like uh, I dunno, a pandemic occurs?
Money, money, money. We’re ruled over by grubs.
Every century or so, things have to get so bad that the people rise up (or, one set of elites gauge that things are bad enough they can manipulate the people into rising up against they other set of elites: meet the new boss, same as the old boss) and flush away the turds at the top.
Not just money, despite appointments based on merit”, it is amazing how many in-laws, nieces, nephews, siblings, spouses, cousins, children, and parents are found to be the most meritorious and appointed. According to my office mate who for years sat on selectionpanels, he was unaware of the relationships because in many of these cases, the person being appointed uses a maiden name, or mother’s maiden name to disguise the relationship.
Then you get the other corruption where the AEO will always hold out for the indigenous candidate and find the job is readvertised, often more than once, and that candidate’s CV is polished and polished and they are coached and coached until they win.
From my dealings with planning & council it doesnt even have to rise to the level of corruption.
Bone idleness and absolutely no comeback on the officers for deciding they can “end” any work they have to do by denying permissions.
Then there is the more obvious corrupt practices such as miraculous zoning changes & permissions.
The Feraldton council for example, elected councilors can no longer ask questions of departments but instead must inquire via the council CEO.
Councilors are not told of what applications are rejected, only those that are approved.
Dozens of buildings in the “cbd” are empty shells, in one case an old motel has been a ruin for 30 years.
They have “managed” any accountability or responsiveness out of the system.
The root cause of Australia’s problems is that we started out as a prison nation without American ideals of a democracy created under God and rights conferred by the creator – not the government.
Instead, we have a patchwork national constitution barely a century old adapted from the old country’s and a weak judicial system that can be easily hijacked by activists, starting with the High Court.
However, the administrative state is out of control in Australia because even the rules that were written down in the constitution are being flouted by the public service, which sees Kung Flu as an ideal Trojan horse for a coup d’etat against the democratic state.
Voila! Tyranny by unelected experts, to whom elected politicians have handpassed minute control over our lives, including our physical movement, largely banned under lockdowns, and increasingly over what we think, with the social media monopolies self-appointed as our thought police.
But you’re forgetting the big one in schools: gay or lesbian lovers.
Sorry gays, I love you, but the nepotism seen in straight people translates in your case to often lead you to appoint your latest squeeze. Doesn’t usually end well for anyone.
Idiotic guys in their thirties and forties also often pump for appointting someone they’re rooting, then it all turns to shit. Seen that one too.
At one point, a school I worked at had a staff of around 60, six of whom were married couples, one lesbian pairing and several effeminate young men one person had been on the panels for.
… and then there was the P.E. department.
At the same time I was trying to get a building application through a green council.
And you all wonder why I’m insane.
Ah yes I had forgotten that one. PE – say no more
Arky, you are allowed to be insane. Its OK, you don’t need a reason.
Mate has illegal building going on next door.Council issues stop orders which are ignored.
Mate complains to Council about it not enforcing its own orders.
Next thing Council officer comes out and starts inspecting swimming pool at mate’s house .,claims there is a defect.
Next a notice signed by the guy who inspected the pool .
PE = Penis Enthusiasts?
The disease described by frollickingmole is horribly advanced in Firearms Licensing in WA. He sums it up beautifully; the kafkaesque results of all power and discretion handed by Parliament to the Police; and utter Ministerial recalcitrance backed by state funds, against each individual. The Administrative Affairs Tribunal that ought to provide accountability, is unable to be used as precedent like a court decision.
I am not sure if he didn’t know what connections there were it could be called nepotism?
Yep. It’s three actions coming from different directions. Throwing punches in bunches.
The governments actions are like jabs to the face, the administrative experts are a big right cross to the guts, and the big tech media are a left hook to the earhole. In reality, they’re all part of the same thing. Chuck in a leg sweep from the judiciary and an elbow to the head from activists, there is an entire hydra of rotteness coming at the citizenry all the time.
I would also be a bit cautious about some of the proposed remedies. There are a lot of, to use the medical term, nutjobs out there who believe that a public servant should do whatever they want them to do. This includes doing stuff that impact in their neighbours’ they don’t like, and don’t forget if it went the other way the neighbours could have a go at the benighted regulator. I am aware of even types who accessed grants fraudulently, got caught and convicted, but still used FOI ombudsman, HRC etc to harass those he believes did him wrong. Repeatedly.
In short, we need to put the servant back into public servant.
The left always encourage “activism” ie demolishing the system from within. The right just get on with their lives. This is the big difference. Busy body bugmen vs citizens. Arky calling for parallel institutions, like that is going to happen. These problems as the author of the original article refers to them, ie excess layers of complexity, usually resolve by some sort of reset.
The only reset on the horizon is either war with china or the fascist reset of the davos crowd. The bugmen class buried Trump, who had the temerity to try and shrink and restrict the bugmen class. I have yet to see anyone from the corrupt Obama years or the coup or the steal, prosecuted. Does anyone think they will not throw everything, including the kitchen sink to prevent Trump being re-elected?
What hope do we have here? We have shades of the uniparty.
The left always encourage “activism” ie demolishing the system from within. The right just get on with their lives. This is the big difference.
But because the prog-left politicises everything, we are rapidly reaching the point where “the right” – whom I would prefer to call the normals or similar because many of them are not politically conscious of being on “the right” (and there’s another discussion to be had: what is “the right” these days?) – will not be permitted to just get on with their lives. They will be required to burn incense before the prog-left gods simply to retain a place in society.
You mean the H.L. Mencken way? With the black flag and throat slitting ?
The lack of accountability is so weak and corrupted, that even when the departments kill people, the other administrative and legal arms will just filibuster to avoid prosecution.
Witness the fight to get worksafe and the DPP to apply the law to the Victorian government’s hotel quarantine fiasco.
Could be either if my teaching experience is any guide.
Like asking the nose to prosecute the face.
My parents had a place down around Bowral way. The neighbours were nice people and had a nice house. They wanted a carport so they could park under cover.
They made the request to the council, including an undertaking to pay for any incidental expenses, a guy came out and had a look, and the request was rejected.
A couple of years later they moved out and another family moved in. They just built the carport. Whether they knew the council gnomes and the whole thing was just waved through, or whether they knew just not to tell, no idea.
its usually better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission for such minor things, IMHO.
Although, I used to work with a bloke who wasn’t given permission to build a carport on his place.
His genius solution was to build a shelter on big castors. It moves, so it ain’t a carport! FU council.
My brother was a building inspector for a western Sydney council.
One day he was trying to deal with a recalcitrant house owner (immigrant) who had violated council regs on his home, basically be ignoring the approval process.
He was basically told:
“ you don’t worry me, I will do what I want. Where I come from your equivalent would turn up with two soldiers armed with automatic rifles. You have turned up alone with a piece of paper.”
It may have started as a “get the Tali and BL” adventure but once the rivers of treasure started flowing through the hands of particularly the CIA and their coterie of “contractors” along with the hundreds of millions in drug money being hoovered up, the LAST thing the puppet masters wanted was for it to stop. The dead, wounded and broken vets are just another expense line item for these bastards. This is how this part of the swamp and the desk Generals survive and prosper. From the expending of blood of young men who firmly believe they are doing their duty.
Pouring in time (careers) and resources ($$$$$$) is the uppermost priority of the whole show.
The administrative state has its uses. The real problem is that the administrative state has become the policy state. Unlike even recently, in the days of Kim Beazley, John Button, John Howard, Peter Costello, or the Modest Member, Bert Kelly, today’s politicians seem to show little interest in developing policy. Few even have sufficient knowledge of the functions of government to challenge the “options” put forward by their bureaucrats. Being a minister seems to now be simply a “tick and flick” exercise. Backbenchers are there to make up the numbers (like members of the major parties).
The first step should to be to abolish all “policy” areas in the bureaucracy, at all levels of government. Policy (and selling it to the public) should be strictly the role of elected representatives. If they are inadequate at it (hello Robodebt), they will soon be found out.
The administrators should have the function of advising how policy should be implemented. Inevitably there will be some crossover, but the final decision should be political.
Administrators have a more routine or mechanical function than the “high flyers” who currently advise on policy, they should be more subject experts than dreamers. Get rid of the dreamers, force politicians to understand their portfolios, and a different beast would emerge, administering decisions, not making them, with few graduates of nonsense uni courses in a position to flannel the elected representatives.