Policy is my hobby – would you pay me to do it?
I normally provide policy advice generated by the invitation to make submissions to government and related independent inquires into health, the environment, industries, education, research and related community and financial matters. Such inquiries are reported in newspapers and one may find a website from which the terms of reference and a related discussion paper with questions may be drawn to aid submission makers. Submissions are often posted on websites. There is also great satisfaction in being able to send one’s submission to many decision makers from different groups of vested interests, all on the same open email. This may generate a considered response which one may see on television or in the newspapers, even if one feels personally ignored. The search for truth should not usually be secret or one sided. Life should be safer for all than that.
As an academic and former public servant, whose mentors include JM Keynes and JK Galbraith, I worship Microsoft. The combination of excellent Australian government websites, email and Google has allowed daily contribution to policy debate which could never have been dreamed imaginable for anyone in any former era. Keynes and Galbraith would have been green with envy at the access to politicians and other decision makers which email now provides to millions around the world. This is a democratic revolution without even having to cross the Atlantic. Should private sector communications ever seek to catch up, my teaching and policy may hopefully assist.