So you are a rookie minister. You have been allocated control of a new department – let’s say, for argument’s sake that you are a dentist and you have recently assumed the control of the Department of Home Affairs. You are a capable, educated, intelligent person but you have no experience of this department, and its related issues, whatsoever.
Minister needs advice
Next thing along comes a huge piece of legislation and you are under pressure to deal with it as quickly as possible. You might well ask “why the rush?” or you might feel you simply have to get on with things and fulfill your duties as an elected member of government. What do you do? Well, you would no doubt be very grateful to senior civil servants who are able to advise you. Your advisor might be able to make comparisons to similar legislation already in force in neighbouring nations and reassure you that it works just fine. What’s more your advisor helpfully remains by your side to assist further.
Who is the advisor? How does he tick?
Assistance sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Except for the fact that you may have no knowledge of your advisor’s background, attitudes, business associations, training courses attended etc etc. However, this doesn’t concern you because after all it’s government. It must be ok. This guy’s been doing his job for years. But supposing those issues were actually extremely pertinent?
Hard Act to follow?
Anyway, you confidently tell the electorate that this is a necessary, indeed essential move and the bill, with many imperfections, is passed. The imperfections are not immediately apparent. Only later do you realise that the bill was so complex that it was impossible to foresee all situations and implications and the resulting restriction of personal freedom.
Minister to save the world?
Your work is deemed to be a success and you are moved to another department where a very laudable-sounding treaty is the topic of the day. You are told that we need to protect the earth and the environment and that signing up to the treaty will ensure that the nation is playing its part in saving the world. How cool is that? You get to help save the world! There will be some sacrifices to be made and you are aware of that but – hey – this is why you were put on the earth. It’s all making sense. You will lead in the assault on environmental assailants. Bring it on.
Your action earns you wide recognition and respect within government and you know you have done the right thing. After all, your new advisor has been telling you how this treaty has already been ratified in neighbouring nations and you were assured that it would take someone with foresight, like yourself, to take your nation into the 21st century – ensuring the nation plays its part along with other upstanding nations.
Always read the small print
Just one problem: The other nations hadn’t actually read the small print. The treaty was horrendously complex and was beyond your experience of molars, crowns and bridges. Your advisor didn’t put you in the picture. The restrictions crippled growth, the economy and personal freedom but you had no way of knowing that at the time. The treaty was in fact the first step to collectivist global governance.
How streetwise are our ministers?
Fiction? Well, try figuring out Agenda 21 and more especially the latest addition, The Covenant, described as “Agenda 21 on steroids”: http://ppjg.me/2012/03/14/agenda-21-on-steroids/
Frankly, I don’t know how this thing could be interpreted – and I suggest your average minister doesn’t either. So who drives the agenda? Who advises and assists? Don’t we need to know more about the advisors? We now have the chance to find out.