A good mate of mine who was a chief of staff to a Liberal cabinet Minister once said to me that staffers can be the political death of a Minister. He was talking about the type of staffers who are self appointed gate keepers, standing in the way of backbenchers, donors and grass roots party supporters from having access to Ministers. They do their Minister no favours and only serve to antagonise people, creating the impression that the Minister is aloof, disinterested in hearing their views or helping them with any problems. What’s worse is that many Ministers allow their staffers to do this and think that it is a smart way to run their office. What they don’t realise is that it only serves to get people offside, people who are often crucial to that Minister’s success and their retaining their ministerial portfolio. Getting backbenchers offside is especially dumb and why a Minister would allow this to happen is beyond me, it shows a distinct lack of even basic political nous. Likewise those who have been financial supporters, as rest assured they won’t be so generous come the next election. There are an increasing number of Ministers in the Abbott government who have fallen into this trap and they and the rest of the government are destined to learn the hard way.
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