Weekends are reserved in government PR circles for announcing those issues that would not usually rate highly, or which are controversial. Part of the logic is that if they are announced on weekends, they won’t get noticed in news bulletins, amid the fires and sport.
And so it was this weekend (the Easter long weekend) when Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon struck with an announcement on Sunday that we need more women in uniform, and in higher positions. Hardly news.
FItzgibbon must be kidding if he thinks a few hundred women in more operational positions will solves the military’s recruitments problems.
Sure, elements of macho culture exist within Defence. But let’s be honest; the sharp end of the military is no place for the feint-hearted. If that fosters a macho culture, then so be it.
I have served in the army for 20 years and have worked for he air force. There are Rambos out there, but you get this in any walk of life. Having fewer women on the front line will certainly skew the options for them reaching higher rank. Maybe that’s not fair. But then, there’s nothing fair about war.
Because this was announced on a weekend, I’m assuming the government PR boffins took the view this was something that should best escape under the radar.
Rather than playing the populist, I’d suggest the Minister start getting tough with the people who have been responsible for major blunders with Defence equipment contracts (Abrahams tanks, helicopters, jet fighters, destroyers), which have cost us billions.
More PR comment at http://www.prlab.com.au