Wesley Wark: The rise and fall of Arthur Porter

Wesley Wark on Arthur Porter, the disgraced former chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. Pulls no punches and rightly so:

The lesson of Arthur Porter is simple. He was exactly the wrong kind of person to appoint to SIRC: No political experience, no knowledge of the world of security and intelligence, no capacity for thoughtful, non-partisan analysis, no moral compass. Now it behooves the current government and its successors to give serious thought to what the right kind of person should be.

A start could be made by actually appointing a SIRC chairman. The SIRC chairmanship has been vacant since Chuck Strahl’s resignation in January and the committee is down to three members, rather than the statutory five. Any fresh appointment to the SIRC chair should involve a much-more transparent process, involving genuine consultation with opposition parties and hearings before the appropriate Parliamentary committee. In that way, we might avoid a future man-on-the-make and actually give SIRC greater credibility and clout.

Wesley Wark: The rise and fall of Arthur Porter

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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