What’s happened to Josh Frydenberg?
As many have commented, Frydenberg’s vicious attack on Victoria’s Premier, Dan Andrews, came as a surprise. It’s intensity was extraordinary. Why?
Only he would know. We can but surmise. What did you conclude?
Here’s my assessment:
First, here are his acerbic words:
”Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg labelled the premier's handling of the (COVID-19) crisis as 'the biggest public policy failure by a state government in living memory'”.
Josh Frydenberg is ambitious. He hopes one day to become PM. He knew that his very public attack on Andrews would propel him into the public limelight and portray him as a strong future leader. Was Morrison watching ? Did he feel the need to protect his
back? Or was he so sure of himself that he thought he could allow Frydenberg to go out as an attack dog to do his dirty work?
And Dan Andrews was the ideal target - a Labor figure who has been attacked from all sides of the conservative spectrum. Andrews’ daily press reports on the status of COVID -19 in Victoria have been helpful and informative. He stays put at the rostrum until every question has been addressed. You can imagine how irritating his opponents find him! Some express their distaste of him in florid terms in the social media: “I can’t stand the sight of him”
. Frydenberg knew that attacking Andrews would draw enthusiastic support from his conservative colleagues.
Frydenberg is politically smart. He knew that any attack he mounted would need to be dressed up in economic garb to give it authenticity. This was easy for him - being Treasurer, he has an abundance of economic bullets in his armoury. But his bullets we not aimed simply at wounding Andrews’ economic credentials; they were intended to wound him personally. The venom of Frydenberg’s words is testimony to that. If you’re sceptical about this assessment of his intentions, read his words again.
So why is this piece titled Frydenberg’s folly
Because in one fell swoop he has morphed his image as a credible commentator on the nation’s accounts into just another partisan attack dog. He has replaced his reputation in the area of finance with what we have come to despise so profoundly.
That is his folly!