• Fiona Prior

Sunday Sanity Break, 26 August 2018 - political upsets downunder


Australia has been called a gold medal coupist country. At least no blood has been spilled as in countries where traditional coups are conducted. Bruised egos certainly, but in my view a necessary changing of the 'Liberal' guard. Scomo as PM and my one-time political opponent Josh Freydenberg as Treasurer are a good start in the creation of a new, younger team and have 6 to 8 months to convince Coalition voters they have a government focussed on us, the voters.

Personally, I hope Tony Abbott is included in Scomo's thinking, in some important but largely political task, ideally with the unofficial title of wrecking Bill Shorten's political future. Good to see Barnaby Joyce given the task of helping with drought relief. Glad to see Peter Dutton remains Minister for Home Affairs, a job for which he seems perfectly suited. Julie Bishop could have been able to spend her remaining career in Foreign Affairs but apparently wants to retire, leaving her plum job for Marise Payne. I was not counting but it seems the PM's new cabinet will be larger, younger and include some from the conservative wing of the party.

I offered some ideas about policy a week ago and have noted signs of agreement in plans hinted at since then. To have any chance of winning the next election, the government needs a set of policies clearly articulated and mostly different from Labor's snatch and grab plan. Continued growth of official and private (household) debt are two trends that are unsustainable, and indeed official debt needs to be reduced not just prevented from growing. Good to see Josh having coffee with Peter Costello on Sunday. As the last Australian not just to reduce but eliminate Australia's Commomwealth debt he is the person best qualified to offer advice on this vital matter.

There is a lot of work needed to Save Australia's economic sunshine. We are experiencing a brief period of economic sunshine but before long our growing debt, lack of productivity (and therefore wage) growth, outrageous power costs and systematic and extreme corporate greed (eg banks and power companies) will cause us great trouble.

Kulture

Fiona Prior reports from Paris on 'Picasso and Dance'. A welcome respite from gloomy thoughts about greedy corporate cultures and fears that economic sunshine will fade.

Read on here.

Sporting life

The regular season is over, the final eight is settled and we have what looks like a wonderful set of finalists to provide thrills and spills (of non political type) in the coming month. Richmond look clear favourites but have not been playing with their top form lately. But West Coast, Collingwood, Hawthorn, even Geelong on recent form could spring an upset,

Caaarlton! finished last with another dismal day at the office. Lots of good young players provide hope but in my view footy is developing a new style that means that young players need to grow up quickly.

What is wrong with our Rugby team? Another thrashing in NZ with doubts now if the current coach and players can ever beat the powerful blokes from the Shakey

Isles.

Image of the week - Turnbull and Scomo


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