One of the great ironies of Australia is that people often get done for something other than what they did.
Ken Henry should have been sacked by the Howard government in early 2007.
He wasn’t and there has been a lot of blood under the bridge since then.
But, to his credit, Ken Henry spoke truth to power when he appeared at the Banking Royal Commission late last year. Yes, he was arrogant – treating the Commission with the contempt that it deserved being as it was a political hit job by the Labor and National parties. If he had been addressing Senate estimates most of the gallery would have approved of his approach to the Commission. Yes, he spoke some nonsense about shareholder capitalism that annoyed Judith so much.
But … he also more or less told them that there are so many complex and overlapping regulations that banks have to comply with that they couldn’t actually be fully compliant at all times.
But private sector managers are held to a higher standard than are public sector managers and the very people who lionised him when he was Treasury Secretary howled for his blood.
Today they got it.