Via the AFR:
Labor’s economic team is to be gutted in a post-election shake-out that shifts Chris Bowen to a non-financial portfolio and dumps shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh from the frontbench altogether because he lacks factional support.
Shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers is the firm favourite to replace Mr Bowen as shadow treasurer.
Mr Bowen, who carried some of the blame for Labor’s election loss because of the franking credits policy, is tipped to take another senior portfolio such as infrastructure, industry and innovation, or even resources.
A time in the wilderness for some of Labor’s best talent. We’re not upset to see the back of Andrew Leigh, despite his credentials and good work in some areas such as competition policy. He is simply far too big a mass immigration nut to be viable in the Quexit new normal. As for Chris Bowen, he’ll be back. Too much talent to waste.
On Jim Chalmers I know little. Here is a bit of Q&A:
— Jim Chalmers MP (@JEChalmers) July 31, 2018
That makes sense enough. Here’s his bio:
Jim Chalmers is the Executive Director of the Chifley Research Centre, following a long stint as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan. He has worked for the federal Labor Party in various senior roles for more than a decade, and was a key adviser from the first day of the Rudd Government in 2007 until his departure from the Gillard Government in early 2013. Dr Chalmers has also been a senior aide to Kim Beazley and Morris Iemma, and National Research Manager for the Australian Labor Party. He has a first class honours degree in public policy from Griffith University and a PhD in political science and international relations from the Australian National University. He lives and works in Logan City to the south of Brisbane, Queensland.
That he’s a Queenslander tells you everything.
Meanwhile, Kevin07 weighs in on that front:
The former Labor leader told ABC’s 7.30 he had seen a lot of commentary about the election loss, including about “quexit” to cut Queensland lose from the rest of Australia, but said it was a “whole load of baloney”.
Mr Rudd, whose own former electorate was located in the Sunshine State, pointed out there had been a state Labor government in power in Queensland for about 25 of the last 30 years.
“So the idea that this place is unwelcoming of centre-left progressive governments is a nonsense,” he said.
When it came to Labor’s loss, Mr Rudd said he thought there had been some national factors that contributed as well as those specific to Queensland.
Mr Rudd said for the Labor Party to succeed at a national level, it had to address two fundamental issues: fairness for working families but also a future for aspirational Australians who want to build their own businesses.
When it comes to Queensland-centric factors, Mr Rudd pointed to it being a big state that was deeply decentralised so the role of government was important.
“It’s also a mining state where people who support the mining industry are not bad people,” he said. “It’s a question of managing carbon transition over time.”
Small business must also be catered to, he said.
“If we as the Labor Party and alternative government of Australia don’t have a strong message for those aspiring to build their own businesses, then it won’t resonate,” he said.Religion was another factor that was “part and parcel” of the fabric in the state.
“We in the centre-left have to understand that in what we say and how we conduct ourselves and the policies we bring to bear, that this community of faith is out there as well,” he said.
Not entirely “baloney”. Not all centre-left governments are the same. QLD just wholeheartedly rejected the Shorten version. But another more traditional iteration would still appeal via greater economic nationalism, lower immigration, actually investing in education, climate policy that addressed the loss of coal, inclusive social policy that had a much wider focus than high profile groups like LGBTI. It can and should still be economically liberal.
In short, Quexit values.
As for whether or not the new team is better than the old team, I’ll leave you with Bernard Keane:
Don’t assume that Labor’s discipline of the last six years — a stunning turnaround from the garbage of 2010-13 — is going to last. The ascendancy of a leader from the Left (albeit what passes for the Left in the NSW branch) and the general despair occasioned by losing an unloseable election may yet unleash a lot of pent-up anger and factional manoeuvring put on hold for the sake of securing power.
Compare the Liberals after 1993. Having studiously avoided the internecine wars of the 1980s, they briefly kept faith with Hewson, between 1990 and 1993, then flicked him for Boy Mulcaster, before returning to John Howard. That ended happily, of course. As did Morrison’s ousting of Malcolm Turnbull. Voters seem to care far less about internal disunity than they tell pollsters.
At the moment within Labor, it’s the Right causing difficulties, doubtless out of angst that the Left now has the leadership. That the Labor Right in states outside NSW couldn’t find a deputy better than Richard Marles — exemplar of the truism that a mediocre man is always at his best — augurs poorly for Labor in terms of both talent and stability. That South Australian right-winger Don Farrell will continue, as seems likely, as deputy Senate leader defies explanation.
Farrell has contributed virtually nothing to public life in his times in the Senate beyond counting numbers (the reason why he will likely keep his spot). His crowning political achievement was to help roll Kevin Rudd in 2010. As shadow special minister of state, Farrell was in a position to lead the charge against a government that has been the most openly corrupt and anti-transparency outfit of recent generations, and few outside the press gallery would be able to even identify him. The Liberals would surely be delighted if Farrell retained that portfolio for three more years, rather than seeing it used by someone who might effectively pursue a government devoted to cover-ups and dodgy deals with mates.
Meantime, Kristina Keneally is suffering the unusual fate of having her hard work to get Bill Shorten elected used against her, with Labor Right MPs leaking against her to Nine journaliststhat she’s too ambitious (no other Labor MPs are ambitious, and certainly not any male MPs). In one of the single dumbest things I have seen in 40 years of watching politics, Keneally was attacked for changing her Twitter background picture from her with then-leader Shorten to one of her with new leader Albo, with that touted as evidence of why she shouldn’t be promoted — and the claim reported completely straight by the journalist concerned. This is politics in 2019.