IN CASE YOU MIGHT EMBARRASS YOUR EMPLOYER – In September 2005, I had a tough decision to make: should I accept a job offer to work as an assistant adviser for a federal minister if it meant closing down my original blog (Chrenkoff on Blogspot), after a year and a half of an unexpectedly successful run? I tried to negotiate by big-noting myself, arguing that anyone from the then Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to CENTCOM in Iraq was relying on me daily to fight the good fight, but the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff would not make any exceptions: when you work on ministerial staff you cannot write and publish anything under your own name, lest you create a controversy and embarrass the government. I didn’t want to argue that governments do good enough job embarrassing themselves and they don’t need my help, and with a heavy heart I said goodbye to the blog – it was fun and a privilege but it didn’t pay my bills and it wasn’t a career.

I understand that not much had changed at the top echelons of government; you still can’t write – but then there is this:

Why does Malcolm Turnbull employ as a staffer the mayor of the council which argued that a new synagogue should be banned as a terrorism risk for neighbours? And why has Turnbull, the local member, said nothing about this scandal?

I wish I were a Lord Mayor.

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