By Andrew Bolt ~
It’s not fair to say Tuesday’s census fiasco was all the fault of this bumbling Turnbull Government, but when was politics fair?
For most Australians, the “agile” Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is responsible for what government does. Simple.
So his government will pay a high price for the cyber attacks that shut down the Australian Bureau of Statistics computers on Tuesday.
For a start, Turnbull has been made a laughing stock. Just minutes before the ABS computers collapsed, he tweeted: “We filled in the @ABSCensus tonight online — v easy to do.”
But over the next few hours millions of Australians found it not v easy at all.
They wasted hours trying to access the downed site, with many filling in Census forms that promptly vanished.
Those are millions of voters who got a sharp reminder that governments stuff up.
They will now mock the PM who, on the day he got the job, burbled incoherently: “The disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility in change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it.”
Yet we’ve just seen a government clearly not “agile and smart enough” to deal with a “disruption … driven by technology”.
Of course, it’s hardly Turnbull’s fault the ABS didn’t build enough safeguards to protect its system from the worst of Tuesday’s four “denial-of-service” attacks.
But this is a publicity disaster made worse by Turnbull’s leadership vacuum.
It was because Turnbull has had no agenda and nothing to talk about that the Census became a ludicrously controversial topic for nearly a week, with showboat politicians claiming Census information was insecure.
That forced the ABS to repeatedly argue its system had never been hacked — just the challenge that attracts cyber warriors.
They still couldn’t hack the system, but they did force the ABS to shut it.
The government’s scrambling yesterday only highlighted Turnbull’s faffing around. Michael McCormack, the minister responsible for the Census, ducked blame by pointing out he’d had the job for just three weeks.
Former minister Alex Hawke could similarly say he’d had the job for just 10 months. See, Turnbull turned the Liberals into a Lazy Susan, and many voters might now demand another spin — and another leader.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.