Wanting others to appreciate your importance is a human enough failing for a political adviser. Hiding away in the shadow of a political master or mistress there is often the craving for recognition -- for public acknowledgement that the real brains is not the one delivering the words. Yet that such desires should be curbed if the democratic system is to work smoothly was well illustrated overnight when a member of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's entourage lost discipline and made an ill-judged remark to a travelling journalist. The Melbourne Age reported on differences emerging between the views of Ms Gillard and her Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd over Libya in this way:
Officials from the Prime Minister's department are reportedly concerned Mr Rudd is causing confusion over Australia's position, with one adviser telling Fairfax Media: "He's out of control."
The story was off and running with the ABC leading the way in promoting exactly the kind of story that governments do not need.
The Prime Ministerial grand tour is now well and truly overshadowed. And all thanks to an adviser unable to resist showing how he or she was really in the know.