Privatisations and sewage

Just a few hours after our last post on the 1873 City of Birmingham decision to take its gas and water companies into public ownership the Victorian Liberal Leader, Matthew Guy, announced he was going to privatise Victoria’s water and sewerage operations.

More than a century after Birmingham’s decision later UK Governments  privatised them again. read more

It could – and is – happening here

A new book about Birmingham and its role in shaping modern Britain illuminates how the UK moved from the world’s first industrialised nation to financialization and deindustrialisation to many of the characteristics of a failed society.

The book, Second City: Birmingham and the Forging of Modern Britain by Richard Vinen, is about the history of a place often considered the epitome of the UK’s 19th and 20th Centuries’. read more

Media dead last in ethics stakes

The seventh Governance Institute of Australia’s Ethics Index scores the media dead last in its survey of perceptions of ethical behaviour in various sectors of the economy.

21% rank the media as very unethical and 25% rank it as somewhat unethical. Only 12% rank it as very ethical and 23% say it is neither unethical nor ethical. read more

Behavioural science and its complications

Nudge theory offered a wonderful alternative future – governments could nudge people to do the right thing and thereby avoid pesky legislative interventions which irritated voters, industries and campaign donors.

But new research suggests it may not be as effective as imagined, that poor implementation can be counterproductive and that it’s all a bit more complicated than proponents think – just as we have discovered with the over-simplification of the implications of heuristics. read more

The 2022 Alan Whittaker commemoration

If you get invited to speak at an event that also features Thomas Mayor, the MUA official who is campaigning full-time for the Voice referendum, the author’s advice is – just decline.

A charismatic speaker, tall, imposing and the person you would probably choose if you thought about who you most wanted as our first Indigenous Prime Minister. read more

Who do we trust and distrust?

Lack of trust – indeed active distrust – of Scott Morrison was a major factor in his electoral defeat. Indeed, eight of the top ten most distrusted politicians in Australia were all LNP MPs and/or Ministers according to the Roy Morgan Research regular Trust and Distrust survey in research before the last election. read more

A case study in clusterf.ck PR management

It turns out that the BoM fiasco (see the last blog) is now a great case study in clusterf.ck PR crisis management.

The Saturday Paper has got the full inside story of the disaster and put it on this weekend’s front page – and it’s worse than the blog thought. The blog had wondered about toxic managers and their impact on culture in this saga and that is allegedly a large part of the BoM situation. read more

The BoM and the c word

One of the characteristics of a good consultancy – in any area – is when they forfeit potential fees by telling a client they shouldn’t actually do something they are considering.

The experience of the BoM with its rebranding exercise – now an issues management disaster – is a prime example. read more

An insider’s view of how public relations really works