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Former premier John Brumby’s insights into political life

Former premier John Brumby has conceded the political system is ‘pretty close to broken’ and says ministers should be given better training.

Neil Mitchell said he’s had his fair share of back-stabbing, but Mr Brumby’s new book The Long Haul: Lessons from Public Life is all about looking forward. 

‘The only profession that hasn’t modernised, that hasn’t invested in training and skills development and governance improvement, is politics,’ he said.

He’s also critical of the adversarial culture emerging in politics.

‘The best debates we had in state parliament were on things like stem cells and decriminalising abortion,’ he said.

‘Where a speech you could make could actually change someone’s mind and it was heartfelt, and they were respectful debates.’

MPs and ministers should be given compulsory training, he said.