Friday, September 17, 2010

Wrong Orwellians

Nifty but totally misguided headline in the Post today: "‘Orwellian’ bureaucrats shielding PM from media surprises: documents." Really? Bureaucrats are driving the bus in Harper's Ottawa? News to anyone who's been following along. In 2010 Ottawa the Orwellians are those executing the Harper command and control style which emanates right out of the PMO. The Natural Resources director of communications seems to be driving the incredible tale of information management and vetting in the report, not the bureaucrats who are just doing what the ministers office wants.

If you read it, you'll see that a painstaking "zero-surprise environment" is what's being set up in the Natural Resources department (and likely elsewhere) to handle media requests. Taking seven or more "...“subject matter experts,” including media officers, senior bureaucrats and political staff, to craft and approve responses." Yes, it's the p.r. obsessed government in action, focusing so much time on handling media requests lest the government be embarrassed. And it all comes at the direction of Harper ministerial staff. Or, if you're the National Post writing headlines, "Orwellian bureaucrats."

Not fooling anybody.