The sacking of three Departmental Secretaries and achieving the “voluntary departure” from Treasury of Martin Parkinson seems to me a bad idea for a Coalition that does not have an abundance of talent. That some of these people pursued policies that were sought by Labor is irrelevant – these men are skilled civil servants who serve whatever party is in power. Some had worked for the Howard Government. Indeed I don’t think their individual politics are relevant even where they could be identified. The key issue is how well they do their job and Ted Evans is right – this is a sad loss of talent.
The gesture of giving marching orders to these people (and restating their announced removal of 12,ooo members of the public service by voluntary attrition) the very day the Coalition becomes government might create joy among those right-wing fanatics who despise civil servants but this is pure bigotry. To govern effectively the Coalition need to draw on the best of the public service and not promote an us-versus-them politicised view of the world. Today was a poor start.