Image for A Reference for David Bartlett

Vice Chancellor
Griffith University
QLD 4222
Re David John Bartlett

Dear Sir,

Further to your telephone request, we are writing to advise as follows.

We have known the applicant David since 2002.

David’s education was interrupted by a few years’ schooling which culminated in a Degree in Computer Science and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Management. The latter qualification had little lasting impact on young David, as there has been no evidence of ‘professionalism’ in any of his subsequent dealings.

Meanwhile David’s education continued with time spent in the theatre which proved to be invaluable in his future brief career as Leader of the State.

He also quickly learnt that a disingenuous obsequious manner amongst his growing circle of acquaintances in the ALP was not regarded as an impediment.

The reverse was true; it was an advantage.

David’s lack of passion for anything for any length of time was first displayed in 2002 when he ditched his career and chose to run as a candidate for the ALP who accepted his repeated fawning references to Labor values and achievements as evidence of his bona fides.

David failed at the 2002 election but the political apparatchiks earmarked David as future parliamentary material and found him a cosy job as Senior Advisor to the Treasurer, a job for which he had little experience and absolutely no academic qualifications.

David’s fleeting passion was evident as part of a team which worked assiduously to grant Federal Hotels an extension to its exclusive license to rob the poor.

Further good fortune followed young David as he was elected to Parliament coincidentally on April Fool’s Day, following a recount in 2004 resulting from Jim Bacon’s resignation.

Hindsight will record this as the worst April Fool’s joke in living memory.

David quickly found himself as Minister for Education, a move that would eventually cost the State of Tasmania $50 million by the time his ill thought out and poorly executed changes to post Year 10 education were finally reversed.

The ALP was at the time a festering assortment of opportunists, incompetents and plain old fashioned crooks.

David as new kid on the block stood out like a White Knight. When Paul Lennon’s passion and popularity deserted him the leadership fell into David’s lap.

David is a classic example of the Peter Principle at work, a man promoted way beyond his level of competence.

The effects of a meteoric rise on such a mediocre man soon manifested itself.

David’s self confidence grew as he discovered the ability to make vacuous promises with little or no intention of fulfilment.

He felt empowered.

He quickly developed a smug dismissive, at times uncaring attitude to anyone in his path.

At other times David displayed a surly visage, but this probably masked the devious demeanour which surfaced and was put to good use during and just after the 2010 State election when he easily wrong footed his dim-witted opponent to retain the Premiership.

Many Tasmanians felt uneasy about David’s display at that time and wondered, quite presciently, if it happened once then what would prevent further bouts of deceit.

One of David’s first tasks as Premier in a minority Government was to prepare a Budget. He celebrated his good fortune by committing the State to draining its cash reserves completely by 2014, a decision which will ensure his place in the history of wanton recklessness.

David’s passion for spending other people’s money disappeared as fast as the pile of money.

In January 2011 he resigned as Premier, citing the demands of parenthood. Not everyone blithely accepted this excuse. One sceptical national editorialist said at the time….“it is stretching credulity to suggest that the challenges of combining a demanding career with parenthood have only just dawned on Mr Bartlett, or that he could not have found more time to spend with his children with better planning and prioritisation.”

David broke with tradition by brazenly and publicly using his children as an excuse to escape from a job made difficult due only to his own actions.

David was given another chance, this time to rearrange his work life balance.

David’s offer which was accepted was to work as a Minister with a much reduced workload until the next election in 2014.

However young David was still restless. Loyalty was a low priority. Self interest was the only consideration. A possible breach of contract with electors was ignored.

David resigned as a Minister this time citing the lack of passion. He wanted to continue to freeload as a backbencher for months but public outrage quickly led to his resignation as a Member of Parliament.

David will be remembered as a single minded arrogant spendthrift Premier.

David will almost certainly be elected unopposed to the Edmund Rouse Hall of Fame for the most outstanding contribution in 2011 to the erosion of our fragile system of government.

Yours sincerely
Voters of Tasmania
15TH May 2011
cc David Bartlett