For the record: Garrett and ministerial code of conduct

On principle, Peter Garrett should resign and if he doesn’t, he should be asked to go. His department was responsible for oversight, the rushed rollout meant that the program was not overseen as it should have been, homes burned and people died. The Minister is responsible for his Department. End of.

But responsibility is not the same as culpability. Those who are arguing that Garrett is morally and/or legally culpable for the deaths of workers employed by dodgy operators? Callous grandstanding of the most cynical kind. The moral and legal culpability belongs to the operators who recklessly and negligently disregarded safety standards for their workers.

Stepping off the front bench needn’t be the end of a political career, especially for someone acting on principle and whose Department appears to have given him the mushroom treatment. Plenty of past Ministers have spent a few months resting on the backbench and come back to cabinet positions. Do the right thing, Peter.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, Politics


4 replies

  1. “Callous grandstanding of the most cynical kind.”
    Yes. For the reasons you said, and even more so when it comes from anyone who was a member of the Howard government, with its well-known attitude to the concept of Ministerial responsibility…

  2. Yes, Garrett should go but to follow what Jo said, the Howard government effectively destroyed the idea of ministerial responsibility. Based on the precedents of Children Overboard and AWB etc Garrett should be safe.

    It would be nice for Garrett and Rudd to have moved politics on from that era but alas, no ground shall be given.

  3. Jeez, Tony Abbott deserves an Oscar for his voice-trembling breathy enunciation of people died!!!!! Yes Tones, people died under your government; Iraq (while your Wheat board took kickbacks from Saddam), SIEV-X, and as I’ve pointed out before, the 150 -odd people who die EVERY YEAR from workplace related causes while the Liberals oppose every regulation going because it’s ANTI BUSINESS and liable to affect the bottom line. GAH.
    …Sorry, tone fail: that was not to assert that it was OK that people died under Liberal govt, but rather that Tones mysteriously chose not to give a flying rat’s then and he still doesn’t about non-Insulation-related workplace deaths.

  4. Aaargh! And now Rudd’s doing the classic Howard deflection: “ooh, look over there. Terrorists!”

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