Its only two sleeps until the 2018 budget. If the Treasurer's cheerful mien and snappy chat are any guide, he must have some serious good news to share. All those jobs, albeit mostly in government employment with zero productivity, must be helping. Plus recovery of commodity prices for reasons even long time commodity experts seem unable to explain. Households seem to be saving more, reducing their gearing as global interest rates begin to rise. Despite being partly mysterious the better news validates Henry's claim that there will be a couple of years of economic sunshine, leaving time partially to fix household and government debt.
With a slight improvement in the polls for the coalition there is even a (still thin) chance of winning another term of office. Peter van Onselen in the Weekend Oz outlines a fiendish plan. A mid-term half-Senate election this year to 'clear out the cross benches', followed by an election for the Reps late in 2019.
I'd add a modest suggestion. Bring Tony Abbott into the cabinet with responsibility for, say, Aboriginal Affairs, plus an unstated mandate to destroy Bill Shorten. His pitch would be simple. 'Bill is an old fashioned socialist. He will raise taxes on the middle class and the wealthy. He will restore the traditional wrecking ball of the unions. He will greatly expand spending on welfare bludgers, the disabled and incompetent school teachers. Taxes will blow out and the debt reduction plan of the Turnbull government will be reversed. Bill will embed low growth for decades. All Australians who want their children and grandchildren to prosper should vote (thinking 'though it hurts to say this') for the Turnbull government.'
With Tabs in the team, there would be a serious chance of the coalition holding power. If the cabinet had the sense to roll back Kelly O'Dwyer's mad plan to tax superannuation - (excuse 'because growth of tax revenue is growing so much faster than predicted') - Liberals would flock back to the party with donations again flowing. I must assert just how much anger and angst there is in Victoria about Kelly's lunatic decision.
Fiona Prior catches Hugo Weaving in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. More here.
Caaarlton! again tried bravely but got flogged by a rampaging Adelaide. Regular readersmay recall Henry's theory that Mick Malthouse was sent to wreck Caaaaarlton! for a generation. Last night, Gibbs, Jacobs and Eddie Betts were helping Adelaide flog us. Richmond have Grigg, Waite at North Melbourne, Tuohy, Troy Menzel and Henderson at Geelong, Kennedy at West coast (a swap for Judd, so this was not , Garlett at Melbourne, Gowers at the Bullies, Bell at Brisbane and 30 others, mostly now superstars.
Imagine the carnage the lost stars would wreck if they played with Kruezer, Cripps, Murphy, Rowe, and a few others from our current fleet of pacy smalls. Can't blame all this on Malthouse. Where was the board when all this talent was thrown away? Sort of like Australia would be under Bill Shorten. What would a Royal Commision reveal?
In an interesting weekend, West Coast beat the so-called 'Power', Cats beat the 'Giants', Bullies beat the Suns, Hawthorn flogged Essendon, who once again collapsed in the third quarter, the Swans were beaten by North Melbourne by 2 points at home, and Richmond seem to be accounting for Freo.
Image of the week - Bill shorten's hero