Australia's newest Prime minister, Scott ('Scomo') Morrison has been decisive and direct. His new cabinet seems to be performing well but it is of course far too soon to draw conclusions about subjects like these. What is evident that again the 'transactional' cost of firing a leader elected at a general election by one elected by a party room is massive. Leaks on sensitive matters are numerous and damaging and it is reasonable to conclude that at least some are coming direct from New York. 'Scomo' is no doubt spending a fair bit of time fighting fires, time that could usefully be spent devising policies that will present attractive alternatives to Mr Shorten's Labor party.
Shorten's Labor party can be attacked, of course. It has mistaken ideas about inequality and will soak the rich, and the merely well-to-do, reducing incentives of many people who are directly responsible for Australia's commercial success and creating jobs, and who are already shouldering large tax burdens. (Sadly, Kelly O'Dwyer's superannuation snatch has muddied the relevant waters and encourages, and in a way validates, further Labor snatches.) Union bullying and union tax-free income, far larger than it was when numbers of workers in unions were far higher, should be attacked with vigour.
Will Labor promise to retain the tough border controls that the Coalition has created and maintained? Will the Coalition further limit legal immigration until comprehensive and effective infrastructure plans are in place. Labor needs to be forced to declare its policies in this vital matter. How will power prices be forced down by a Coalition government and at what cost to the Paris Accord limiting CO2 emissions? Serious attention to clean coal and development of safe nuclear power stations is in fact the only sensible solution, as many other nations are demonstrating.
To attack Labor with vigor, the Coalition needs to create a set of policies that are obviously different to Labor's policies and create a real contest. The Coalition has no chance of winning without such a set of policies, which is why necessary fire-fighting by the new PM is so costly.
Henry and Mrs T had the privilege of seeing a very funny Italian movie on Friday evening. English subtitles made it possible to follow the action, which featured a very honest cop, and dead grandmother and a lovely young women and her female friends. Called 'Put Nonna in the Freezer', it seems to me to demonstrate all the difficulties of a nation wracked by corruption and incompetence. It comes to Oz as part of the Italian Film Festival for 2018.
The various footy finals are producing some wonderful contests. Melbourne's stirring win over Hawthorn and Collingwood's great efforts to hold off Sydney's Giants were both battles worth the time taken to watch them.
Australia's narrow loss to Argentina in Rugby was disappointing but my technical knowledge is lacking. Do the Wallabies need a new coach, or some other changes in approach. In the AFL, Collingwood seems to me to be playing better and a more relaxed coach seems to be the key change. From personal experience as coach of an underage team in Melbourne's leafy eastern suburbs supports this approach, for what that snippet is worth.
Image of the week - in the freezer