I know firsthand how hard it is to write well in government, and I want to see if I can help a few writers in government (however many other roles they juggle) go from good to great by mastering a professional process in a new online course. Does that sound like you? Leave me a… Continue reading Government Writer Masterclass – are you interested?
My latest Burning Archive podcast is episode 116. Professions vs. Managers. The rise and fall of the professions. Interview with Hannah Forsyth. Listen here on Spotify and here on Apple podcasts and other platforms. Subscribe, share and leave a review. In this podcast I do my second in-depth interview of a historian. Dr Hannah Forsyth… Continue reading Latest Podcast: The rise and fall of the professions with Hannah Forsyth
There has been a growing debate in Australia over its subservient defence and security relationship with the USA. This debate is also leading into a meeting next week, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) national conference.
For 7 years between 2006 and 2013 I was directly responsible for alcohol and drug policy in Victoria (Australia). It is a contentious field, and it was a personally rewarding field. But it is a field in which many common problems of governing are revealed.
The third chapter of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat is the title essay, 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat'. It plays with Wallace Stevens' poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, and seeks to open up the reader's mind to the many unexpected, even poetic ways you can look at this plain, humble, even despised personality, the bureaucrat.
The second chapter of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat is Silenced Voice of the Bureaucrat. The second way of looking a a bureaucrat is to see a subtle mind that has been gagged, and who, if that code of silence were released may have something interesting to say. In this chapter I have… Continue reading Day Two of Thirteen Days of Looking at a Bureaucrat
My new book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat, is now out! Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat: Writing on Governing, is both memoir and essay collection. I think it breaks new ground because bureaucrats don't publish memoirs. It will change how you see government, politics, working life, and bureaucrats.
John Menadue and the team at Pearls and Irritations has published an article of mine on the public service today and the problems of the overuse of consultants.
So I have decided to write a series of posts on my substack exploring theses on the world crisis. You can join my free weekly newsletter at jeffrich.substack.com, and I would encourage all readers of the blog to do so.
As it happened, I had watched on the weekend the earlier Soviet film, Come and See (1985). Perhaps next Victory Day, Michael Pezzulo should write to his staff, and urge them to watch Come and See.
‘Money/, So they say,’ sing Pink Floyd in Dark Side of the Moon, ‘Is the root of all evil today.’ And money makes the roots of the multipolar world, the power of great states, and the grand illusions of Western dominance in the world.
Empress Zhu wrote, “Once I lived in heaven above, in pearl palaces and jade towers; now I live among grass and brambles, my blue robes soaked in tears. I hate the drift of snow.”
The story of Arthshastra is similarly fit for the Burning Archive. It was composed some time between the 2rd century BC and 3rd century CE. It was known to be influential until the 12th century, but then was lost or went underground, perhaps due to the Persian, Mughal or Muslim rule over India. It was known of, but considered lost by colonial era scholars. Then in in 1905 a Tamil Brahmin from Tanjore walked into the newly opened Mysore Oriental Library with a copy of the Arthashastra in Sanskrit, written on palm leaves.
This week was the beginning of the next stage in my new life, la vita nuova as an independent author. After a ritual week on the liminal beauty of the Bay of Lorne in South-Eastern Australia, I transformed from a government official, wounded and now retired, to become an independent author.
Episode 63 The Lessons of History - The Burning Archive podcast explores how the past is not dead, the past is not even past. But if that is so, what are the uses and lessons of history? How can history be used for guidance in our lives, and to advise governments on the big decisions that shape… Continue reading Two new podcasts on the uses of history in government and decision-making
American elites wag the dogs of war as the post-democratic theatre burns. Liz Truss in Moscow: the disgrace of the British State. Journalists behaving like spin doctors and government propagandists again. Isabella of Castile and the Spanish Empire. The strangeness of the children of Ash and Elm. The uncontrollability of the world, and the true words of John Donne on public health rulez, OK?
Robert Lowell on George Santayana. The silence of the doctors and the rule of public health. Virus gonna virus. Jordan B. Peterson on saying no to tyranny. The exposure of the RussiaGate and Steele dossier hoax. On prophecy. Bhagavad Gita and the sacrifice of the soul in the fire of the Gods.
The escapades of the American Imperial War Faction in the Black Sea. Corruption investigation in Victoria, political patronage, branch stacking, Red Shirts and political decay. Rene Girard on scapegoating. Tennyson's temper of heroic hearts. Regenerated tradition.
Things are very serious here in Australia. There is a mental health crisis. We have endured a state of emergency since March 2020. Normal rules of government decision making have not applied. We have pursued a medical utopia of COVID Zero at stunning cost. It is really something that should never happen again, and hopefully, at the right time in the right way by the right people, will be deeply investigated and reflected on.
Generals, Winston Churchill said, are always prepared to fight the last war. Their early experiences of combat, their intellectual training, the received wisdom interpreting the most recent conflicts - all shape how they read the battlefield. These decisions and the interests of the institutions, which were built during the last war - the war machine,… Continue reading Cease the endless war against the virus