You know when a government come up with something that just really stinks of “cooked up by a PR company”? To give him credit, our State Premier John Brumby took on board that the recent attacks on Indian students and workers in Melbourne really did have a racist component and didn’t try to take the “Racist? Who? Us? How dare you!” route. But. Come on. Wasn’t there anyone in the State PR machine to say “hang on a minute guys, I think this might cause widespread uncontrollable laughter, eyerolling and blowing of mighty raspberries from the people we are trying to impress with our Sincerity™?
A FORMER AFL footballer is the nation’s first “respect” minister after being appointed by the Victorian government to tackle the growing racism and alcohol fuelled violence problems in the state.
Premier John Brumby announced Justin Madden would be the minister for the “respect agenda” as part of his election year cabinet reshuffle following the shock resignation of embattled Transport Minister Lynne Kosky this week.
I mean… Madden! Not only does he come from the background of Australian Rules football – a milieu which is trying with limited success to shake off its reputation for a lack of respect when it comes to women and people of other races and cultures. He’s also the minister least likely to be associated with the word “respect” by the long suffering inhabitants of Victoria. He has a long history of showing respect to developers and money, and none to architecturally significant buildings, grasslands, coastal communities or the planning rules set up to make our city livable. This leaked email about setting up a false public consultation process for a development has shown just how much respect Madden and the Vic Government have for the people of his State and the iconic buildings and places which they love.
Really, I’m not under any illusion that the Victorian government has our best interests at heart – let alone those of international students – but you’d think with all the money from developers pouring into the party coffers, they’d be able to come up with a more sophisticated PR response to the problem.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Find out what it means, before you create a ministry of it.
Crossposted at Larvatus Prodeo, with bonus Bernice