Tell me I’m never happy, accuse me of delight at hearing the door slam behind Malcolm Turnbull only to whine about what, in my estimation, is the lacklustre Cabinet assembled by his successor. And call me a dreamer as well, because this is the all-star front bench that occupies my reveries
That outstanding Dis-con, John Stone, has pronounced himself a “glass half-full man” in relation to Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party’s electoral prospects. Mind you, in classic Stonian style, he then proceeded to list a goodly number of disappointments and worries. I remain a glass half-empty man in relation to Morrison. To date, it might well be argued that he is more SloMo than ScoMo.
Upon his appointment, there were three clear challenges, not only to turn his party’s electoral fortunes around, but, far more importantly for the Australian people, to repair the badly leaking ship of state. These were: to select an outstanding Cabinet team; to enact policies that aid Australia, rather than contributing to its destruction; and to clean out the Liberal Party organisation, starting in the Factional State (aka New South Wales). To repeat, the game is not just to win the next election and keep Labor out. It is to govern well.
Now, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It is too early to tell whether SloMo has the desire, the will or the political capital to evict the spivs who control the Party in NSW, and once again give decent conservatives a reason to join or indeed remain. On the policy question, there are some signs of hope. That is all. To date, SloMo has preferred circuses to bread, with forays into the unwinnable debate over Australia Day, ill-considered broadcasts from church and a bunch of proposed inquiries. As Tony Abbott might say, he has hit the ground reviewing.
The brings us back to the Cabinet picks. Whoa! What a crock. If not the worst Cabinet ever, it is surely in the running. No room for the aforementioned Abbott, of course. Hat tip to the NSW machine, the Photios Industrial Complex. Then there is the realm of foreign relations, currently in the hands of Pyne and Payne. The glimmer twins, you might say. Has there ever been a worse combo? Could there be?
Josh Frydenberg? The former minister for NEG. Nearly as bad as the last Treasurer. The one who started fiddling with our superannuation, sat idly by as deficit and debt grew, connived in vanity projects like the Snowy 2.0 nonsense, and put up the brilliant idea of cutting company tax at the same time our banks and their offsiders were being shown to be overpaid crooks and charlatans for whom “customer focus” remains a completely foreign concept.
Dan Teahan is a good man, and education isn’t short of things to get stuck on into. There is hope there.
Christian Porter, far from being the hope of the side, has made appalling judgements in relation to the “reform” of the Family Court and, far worse, he has driven a spear into the heart of Catholicism with his monstrous attack on the confessional seal.
Angus Taylor is spoken of highly, and his brief goes to the heart of the Liberal Party schism over the climate scam. He has a bit to do. Paris is totemic and would be red meat for the base. Let us see how he goes.
Creating pretend jobs for the estimable Abbott and the forgivable Joyce are weak-as. Appalling stuff.
Most of the others, no one has heard of.
The Cabinet picks bespeak slovenliness, above all else. Anyone would think that all is needed is to do a bit of repair work, slightly re-steer the ship and set sail with what looks very much like the Howard D Team. Alas, the swamp to be drained in Canberra is deep and very, very fetid, and the bunch we have now give no indication they remotely understand the extent of the hole in which this country finds itself. The crisis in education, the disaster that is the public broadcaster, the ever increasing reach of political correctness, the train crash that represents the meeting of mass migration and the welfare state, the infrastructure deficit, the continuing poisoning of the economy by climate change religion, the deep leftism of the public sector at all levels of government, collapsed federalism. And so on. And so on.
What is needed is a sharpish outfit to set about putting things right. If only we could just import a Cabinet and give it two years to clean up the mess — a Cabinet for hire, if you will, with the best of the best brought in to make Australian public policy great again.
Which names would a star prime minister take to Governor-General Tony Abbott in such a scenario? Who ya gonna call?
Well, let’s get rid of Josh for a start. A solid pick for Treasurer would be Sir Bill English. Outstanding form across the Ditch, ridiculously removed from office not by the actual voters of New Zealand but by a zany and quite undemocratic electoral system and a bunch of self-regarding nonentities. Bill was the star of the OECD as a finance minister. He made the massively overrated ‘wet’ John Key look good, while Key went about pursuing vanity projects like (unsuccessfully) changing the Kiwi flag and (inevitably) instituting same-sex marriage.
Minister for Education. Easy, Michael Gove. He was a winner until the egregious Dave Cameron sacked him. Also, he hugely annoyed the right people, which is important.
Minister for Climate Change (aka Clexit). My pick would be Lord Lawson, Thatcherite to the core and Chair of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which, under the guidance of the wonderful Benny Peiser, has brought truth to power over many years. His assistant minister would be Scott Pruitt, sadly relieved of his ministerial duties stateside and an absolute hero to climate realists for decimating the EPA. This is a good approach, and Minister Lawson might commence by sending Martin Parkinson back to his former department to begin the dismemberment.
Minister for Foreign Affairs. Another no-brainer, Nigel Farage. Proven record in standing up to supranational bodies and bringing the punters along with him. Immensely annoying to members of the European Parliament, who richly deserve the aggravation.
Minister for Immigration. The frontrunner would be Viktor Orban. Clearly sees the disastrous impact of mass immigration by the wrong people and of inviting terrorists, jihadists and assorted economic rent seekers from failed states to take up residence. Douglas Murray would approve. The new Italian guy would be a good assistant minister.
Minister for Defence. Whoever it is, his or her first task would be to recommend that the present occupant of the position be made Australia’s ambassador to Iceland. Or Madagascar. Or Chad. We could do far worse than Mad Dog Mattis. (Even to use the words Mattis and Pyne in the one sentence would be a travesty).
Attorney General. I would think that the new British AG, one Geoffrey Cox, might make a good choice, going by his recent outstanding performance at the Tories’ conference, managing somehow to make Theresa May look like she has a plan, and giving red meat to the Brexiteers. If he is too busy, we could try luring Trey Gowdy from his many Washington swamp clearing duties.
Minister for the ABC. Someone who can re-align the incentives of the staff cartel that runs the joint, enforce the charter, select a smart board, make the appropriate budget adjustments, and so on. A bit of an Al Dunlap type. Someone with publishing and media experience. Someone who would enjoy, no, relish, the enormity of the challenge and who would give ABC types the irrits. In short, Boris. You must always find room for someone for whom a surname is not needed.
Minister for Free Speech. This role is critical. Oversighting the Human Rights Commission, erasing political correctness, eliminating anything that attacks the right to believe or say what we believe to be true. Lindsey Graham has sudden promise. Another Kiwi, Don Brash, has longstanding form too.
Finally, Special Minister of State. With a broad brief to hover over all the various suspect activities of government. Jacob Rees-Mogg would annoy the right people and would bring a touch of effortless gravitas, indeed panache, to the role.
A Cabinet needs a leader. In view of the recent happenings in the US, with the Supreme Court sorted (at last), the economy revved up and unemployment at historic lows, I would have thought that the choice of Prime Minister would be self-selecting.
Oh, incidentally, the idea of an international group taking over the running of Australia should have natural appeal for the globalist left and the Newtown and Fitzroy elites. They like that sort of thing, I believe.