Mike Rann, former national president of the Labor Party and long serving SA Premier is apparently quite friendly with Tony Blair.
Former British PM Tony Blair appointed Mike Rann to the International Leadership Council of the Climate Group early in 2012. He's also the Chairman of Low Carbon Australia.
Apparently Mike Rann and Tony Blair think highly of each other. Mr Rann says that he values the policy views of Tony Blair's former adviser John McTernan. So much so that Mr Rann made Mr McTernan a South Australian Thinker in Residence in 2011. Not to give political advice for Labor, no, McTernan was engaged to do the nuts and bolts thinking about how to make a visit to the Roads and Traffic Authority less draining, or the aged care ward more, well, caring, or the relationship between parents, teachers and students more "innovative".
McTernan started to think in residence in February, 2011. Here's his diary for the first month. It sort of stopped then, the diary that is. The thinking, we're told, continued for a while.
Mr McTernan thought until about November, 2011 when he gave what was billed as his "Final Speech". He probably started thinking about other things in September, 2011, when he started his job as Communications Director for the Prime Minister of Australia.
From November, 2011, until the last day or so, John McTernan has been officially "writing his report" to the South Australian people about his time thinking in residence in SA.
Well in the last day or so, it's been released. Funny old time to release a much-vaunted and anticipated report that's designed to give South Australian's the benefit of a master thinker's grand plan for improved public service delivery! Everyone's on holidays, including most of the media. Whose terrible idea was that, to hide so important a piece of work?
So, what were they hiding? Judge for yourself. I don't now how much Mr McTernan was paid to think in residence, but I'd be querying the invoice if it came across my desk.
Here are a few of the first pages - you can download the entire report by clicking the link at the bottom.
I like his filing cabinet tank. And he had the good grace to thank South Australia's wine industry at the end of the report.
But how come South Australia had to import a Brit to write motherhood statements about South Australia? We've got plenty of lousy writers here who could have done the job.
Anyone know the going rate for 10 months of thinking in South Australia? I think I'll give it a whirl.