Jon Stanhope’s entire tenure as Chief Minister has at times been distinguished by weird rejection of realities intruding into the world as he would like it to be.
Some highlights over the years have been:
- — Refusal to believe fire would reach the suburbs on January 18, 2003
— Refusal to realise that staff caught painting political graffiti on private property can’t stay on the staff
And in recent year’s there have been his “rejections” of the ACT Auditor-General’s efforts to highlight the gaps between Mr. Stanhope’s grand visions and the reality as implemented by the ACT Public Service.
This week’s Audit report into the Ambulance Service appears to have tipped him over the edge. He’s now reported to be threatening to “Audit” the Auditor-General and reduce that office’s funding.
The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne has leapt to the defence of Auditor General Tu Pham.
Mrs Dunne kindly puts this and other erratic behaviour down to the stress of an increasingly speculated on leadership challenge.
My 2c is that it is the product of a longer term inflexibility of thought, and lack of imagination, struggling to come to grips with new information. Although increasing anger while grappling with this cognitive dissonance might have something to do with the rumblings from the lower decks.
If audits keep finding problems the solution is to do more audits, not less.