Who should be Turnbull’s Treasurer?

From Crikey:

The substitution of Turnbull for Abbott will at least provide some basic certainty for business — though not if he runs to an election straight away — and will likely provide consumers with a confidence boost. Turnbull is a far more popular figure than Abbott with appeal across the partisan divide. But the economy needs a short-term confidence boost, and that’s where the selection of treasurer becomes important. Courtesy of Abbott’s idiotic partisanship, we currently have a new head of Treasury who is yet to find his feet. A new treasurer and a new Treasury secretary at one of the more critical junctures in Australia’s economic fortunes in recent years is an alarming prospect. Morrison does have an economics background — he studied it at university — but is a deeply polarising figure who will carry the profound antipathy of many progressives into the treasurership. His communication style is also profoundly abrasive and he appears to have an abiding hatred of transparency — all bad news for a treasurer who needs to provide reassurance to both business and consumers.

Andrew Robb would be a better prospect. He’s one of the few ministers who have performed creditably in the Abbott government, as Trade Minister. He has a very strong economics background, and he has forged good international connections in the last 18 months. Many of course complain that he’s not the most charismatic figure.

Robb is about as much fun a rap in the balls with a bike chain but he’s the natural choice. A dour hand is steady too. He’s a card carrying loon ponder which would placate the brown shirts and offer some hope of unity and also mean a lively tension between PM and Treasurer but that’s been survived before. It could give the party a sense of evolution back to the centre not a more radical leap.

Morrison is an economic nobody.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. Yeah, Robb, good choice.

    He’ll probably cave in to business interests the same way he caves in on trade agreements.

    • Jesus, what a small stagnant pool from which to choose.

      I cannot think of ANY minister in this Government who impressed.

      Says a lot about Australians when that vicious toad Morrison is widely viewed as promotion material.

      • Mark HeydonMEMBER

        Agreed. Why is it that ministers must be chosen from elected parliamentarians? The skill set and knowledge to be a good minister is completely different to that needed to get elected. It isn’t really surprising there are so few good ministers.

      • “Why is it that ministers must be chosen from elected parliamentarians?”

        So they’re accountable to voters (in theory)?

      • “Says a lot about Australians when that vicious toad Morrison is widely viewed as promotion material.”

        Nah, it says far more about the Coaltion partyroom given how little support he has in opinion polls.

      • “Why is it that ministers must be chosen from elected parliamentarians? The skill set and knowledge to be a good minister is completely different to that needed to get elected. It isn’t really surprising there are so few good ministers.”

        Under the Swiss system of democratic government, the Federal Cabinet is chosen by Parliament (for a four year term following each parliamentary election) but parliamentarians themselves cannot be Cabinet ministers.

        The seven person Cabinet comprises ministers drawn from all the major parties (currently five) across the political spectrum. It is not unknown for a Swiss Cabinet minister to be charged with implementing a policy contrary to his or her party’s own platform.

        There is no “Government” and “Opposition” with macho contests to see which monkeys have the biggest balls.

        There’s just quiet administration of the country on behalf of the People.

        But that would require the People being able to choose the form of government they prefer for their country.

      • So they’re accountable to voters (in theory)?

        Under the corrupt system of purely elective government, politicians are barely accountable at all to the People.

        The theory has been retro-fitted to justify the realpolitik.

        As Anne Twomey explained on The Conversation the other day:

        “Section 64 of the Commonwealth Constitution states that “no Minister of State shall hold office for a longer period than three months unless he is or becomes a senator or a member of the House of Representatives”.

        Historically the Westminster system has no such requirement. But ever since Parliament gained control of government through its control of money bills (supply and taxation), parliamentarians (who are adversely selected to be megalomaniacs) have insisted that the positions of power be awarded to themselves.

        Those who drafted the Australian Constitution codified their own megalomania in it.

    • Arbetz….now THERE’s a sound fellow………

      Can you say ‘sound fellow’ these days?

      I mean is it PC to say ‘sound fellow’?

      I mean, what if he isn’t ‘sound’?

      Or, indeed, a ‘fellow’?

      • Abetz will write a letter a day asking for the job – demonstration of his ‘get up and go’ spirit for the role.

  2. Typical liberal Crikey, ridiculous analysis – in reality, they are rooting for the opposition…

      • No – I think Robb is very good. And seriously unrecognised. Prefers to get the job done than have people sing his parses – he actually reminds me of a John Button, whom while Keating sought the glory, JB just preferred to get the job done with as little fuss as possible.

        Like him loath him, Scott Morrison is as tough as nails – and smiles while he gets messy in the pit. never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it. He lets nothing get in his way – which is a first in the Liberal Party at present.

        Malcom Turnbull on the other hand has fluffed the NBM as communications minister, he was a hopeless opposition leader, does not capture the imagination of the political centre who perceive him as an elitist. Which he clearly is – he is only interested in other inner city liberals (small l).

        We will need someone like Scott Morrison in seven or eight years to turn this country around. I accept we are going to have a Labour PM for at least most of that time in the interim. We need to flesh this guy out now.. make him bleed a bit, thicken his skin. Because the time for a leader will be in a decade or so. When we hit rock bottom and we enter a new paradigm.

      • Sorry – can you replace the above please – I couldn’t edit

        ****

        No – I think Robb is very good. And seriously unrecognised. Prefers to get the job done than have people sing his praises – he actually reminds me of a John Button in the labour from the 1980’s. While Keating sought the glory, JB just preferred to get the job done with as little fuss as possible. It is not a recognised fact that Button did more to structurally change Australian industry and commerce than Keating ever did. And while I am here – you have commend Hawke, who displayed such leadership to allowed these giants of Australian politics the freedom to implement necessary changes that would directly hurt their own political constituents than the more well off in society – all for the greater good.

        Like him loath him, Scott Morrison is as tough as nails – and smiles while he gets messy in the pit. Never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it. He lets nothing get in his way – which is a first in the Liberal Party at present. The rest are sheep – with maybe the exception of Bishop – who lets be honest, is a mediocre/average leader (not brilliant – not bad).

        Malcom Turnbull on the other hand has fluffed the NBM as communications minister, he was hopeless as opposition leader, does not capture the imagination of the political centre, whom perceive him as an elitist. Which he clearly is – he is only interested in other inner city liberals (small l) – not the nation as a whole.

        We will need someone like Scott Morrison in seven or eight years to turn this country around. I accept we are going to have a Labour PM for at least most of that time in the interim. We need to flesh this guy out now.. make him bleed a bit, thicken his skin. Because the time for a true Australian leader will be in a decade or so. When we hit rock bottom and we enter a new paradigm – and the populace will do anything, even the hard things, to get this country back running agin.

      • Fifteen minutes to be exact… and I need that time – because when i write I know what I am saying, but it never comes out on the page. Often I read what I write and think… bloody hell, I wrote better prose in 95 than that – how this this possible???? Not only that – my 9 year old kid spells better than I. And even worse – the spell checker on Microsoft Office has either regressed – or I have slowly become worse – because it no longer understands the spelling I try different combination!!! Worries me a bit actually.. I not actually that old…

      • ceteris paribus

        Didn’t Robb trick and betray Malcolm in the party room and then boast about it in writing when Abbott came to power?

        Hardly the basis for a trusting PM and treasurer relationship.

      • “We will need someone like Scott Morrison in seven or eight years to turn this country around. ”

        And which particular skills of his will we need exactly?

  3. Jacqui Lambie adds her voice to those calling for Turnbull, but wants Scott Morrison installed as Treasurer:

    Senator Lambie would like to see Social Services Minister Scott Morrison promoted to Treasurer and backbencher Mal Brough, who this week backed her calls for a better pay deal for defence personnel, appointed Defence Minister.

    Listen to your Senators.

      • Morrison protecting the borders from unproductive capital flows?

        With the right programming anything is possible.

        “…We will decide the capital flows and the circumstances in which they come..”

        Not bad.

        He and Alan – brothers with arms.

  4. Mark HeydonMEMBER

    “Morrison does have an economics background — he studied it at university”
    FFS – Abbott has a BEc. Clearly BEc.s aren’t worth shit. (disclosure- I have a BEc.)

    And Robb “one of the few ministers who have performed creditably in the Abbott government”?! If selling out your country on bogus “free trade” agreements is performing, then I guess he has.

    Turnbull is the only one in the LNP ranks I’d give any economic credibility to. Treasurer and PM?

    • + Finance + Foreign Minister + Trade + Communications + AG. The other clowns just get in the way. Just let Malcolm run the whole show.

    • I studied economics at uni too. Had to forget it all to understand what was really going on as i got older. Jesus Christ, an ‘economics degree’, what an endorsement.

  5. Andrew Robb for treasurer? eh?

    Pros: Is not sloppy joe.

    Cons:
    The most expert panderer to overseas interests in the current ministry.
    Economic troglodyte on a par with Abetz.
    Climate denier.

    Sounds perfect…if they want to keep on the same path as they currently are.

  6. Latika Bourke @latikambourke · 13 minutes ago
    My intel says the most likely scenario is PM – Turnbull. DPM – Bishop. Tsr – Morrison. (Hockey to remain in Cabinet). #libspill

  7. How about Warren Entsch?
    Come budget night he’d look straight down the camera and tell us the way it needs to be.
    No pussyfooting about with that character.

    (Sure, I’m not taking the question seriously, but if Crikey isn’t then why should I. Andrew Robb!?)

  8. John Hewson treasurer. Lindsay Tanner minister for finance. Christopher Pyne should be dropped off at a boarding kennel.

  9. Turnbull would clearly be better option for big businesses, not so for average Australians.

    corrupt xx Goldman banker is the last thing this country needs

    • Bishop is a FF TV skit accoutrement to the misogynistic party’s burnishing PR marketing campaign.

      Heavy on the campaign but lite on the credentials.

      Skippy… pays great but no actual power…

  10. A govt of National Unity/ Emergency
    Comprising the best of all parties in the Parliament.
    Might as well do it now, cos we’ll need it pretty soon.