At last Julie Bishop exits the Shadow Treasurer role

After media speculation that intensified over the weekend, Julie Bishop has just announced she is stepping down from the Shadow Treasurer role, and will take up the Shadow Foreign Affairs job.  No mention yet of what Helen Coonan will do or who will take Bishop’s job.  Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb are the hottest contenders.

Bishop was never suited for the job she insisted on having, as is argued in a piece What should we expect from the Shadow Treasurer? on The Political Sword on October 5.  She’s lasted just over four months. The piece concludes: “The old adage applies: ‘Be careful what you wish for.” and is accompanied by some prescient comments.

UPDATE - .Helen Coonan will take Shadow Finance and Joe Hockey will be Shadow Treasurer.  This gives Joe a big leg up towards Coalition leadership should Malcolm Turnbull falter.  Julie Bishop cannot covet that position- she's fortunate to retain the Deputy Leader job.  Joe Hockey's eligibility for leadership was canvassed on The Political Sword in a piece with a strong naval theme Opposition ships docks for repairs on December 9.  It concludes: "Meanwhile Sub-Lieutenant Hockey shines through as the most plausible, personable, articulate and effective crew member, one who would make a good captain.  With youth on his side, with a mind open to contemporary thinking about strategy and tactics, he might be the answer to the HM Opposition’s yearning for a return to naval power."

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Sir Ian Crisp

16/02/2009I note that Jovial Joe Hockey has replaced Julie Bishop as shadow Treasurer. Things are certainly are desperate in the Lib-NP camorra. It was Jovial Joe who, as Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, was found asleep at the wheel when HIH Insurance went belly up. Peter Costello had set-up APRA to oversee insurance companies and he said APRA would provide “strong prudential regulation to lessen risks” and that APRA represented a paradigmatic leap in prudential regulation and it would also provide “effective intervention to manage a crisis”. After the Royal Commission into the collapse of HIH tabled its report it was apparent that APRA would have been incapable of tracking a bleeding elephant in the snow. The Commission’s report flushed out a potential 56 possible breaches of the Corporations law and the NSW Crimes Act 1900. Why didn’t Joe know about the troubles at HIH or why wasn’t he motivated enough to press APRA to inform him of any irregularities at any insurance company? It was Jovial Joe who, just prior to the introduction of the GST, was asked to explain the new price of a bottle of Coca Cola®™. Joe’s gentle face became a rictus of concentrated emotion as he tried to work out the price of an article which retails for less than $2. Mrs Smith from Mudville who has to work out the family budget could run rings around Jovial Joe.

janice

17/02/2009It is quite obvious that Truffles has little experience in appointing the best personnel to areas of their expertise. Given Julie Bishop's poor performances in the portfolios she has held, both in an out of government, it surprised me no end that he bowed to her 'right' to have a go at the shadow treasurer's job. Talent in the Coalition ranks is pretty thin on the ground so it is a given that Truffles faces a Mt.Everest to climb with a team of ill-equipped and inexperienced climbers. IMO he would serve himself (and his party) better, if he took his eye off the next election and put all his efforts into learning how to recognise potential and then to nurture it with a view to putting together a credible team to contest an election in future. I do not believe Joe Hockey is endowed with a surfeit of grey matter, but I do believe he is basically a compassionate and honest man. If he can resist the urge to score political points un-necessarily and so retain his 'good bloke' image he will be forgiven many of his shortcomings. It is a big ask, and for me at least, it will be interesting to see if Hockey can remain true to himself and put the nation and its people before petty party politics. It is just possible that while Joe Hockey may not be a particularly good shadow treasurer, he could very well turn out to be a leader of some merit.

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17/02/2009Peter van Onselen is at it again with another fierce attack, this time on a previous target, Julie Bishop, whom he sees as damaged goods incapable of properly performing her role as Deputy Leader, and therefore a liability to the Coalition. Read his piece in today’s [i]Australian, Damaged deputy[/i]. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25064112-7583,00.html Is this a left-over from his previous attack on Bishop over his book, or is this a pattern of van Onselen attacks that will continue? On ABC TV’s [i]Lateline[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2493053.htm last night though he was less vitriolic. The transcript is yet to be provided at the time of this post. Joe Hockey is on the airwaves this morning and his two interviews on ABC 774 Melbourne radio provided more coherent argument than Julie Bishop provided in her months as Shadow Treasurer. As usual Joe was loud and advanced the same clichés we’ve heard before – the Government is ‘spending like drunken sailors’, is ‘reckless’, is ‘plunging the country into debt’, ‘talked up inflation’ last year and ‘egged on’ the Reserve Bank to increase interest rates, then ‘talked the economy down’ so Kevin Rudd could come ‘like a knight in shining armour’ to save the country. Pressed by Jon Faine, he quoted some studies and opinions that he said supported the ‘cut taxes approach’ of the Coalition and its aversion to ‘cash handouts’. But most striking was the fact that not once did Hockey mention the global financial crisis until Faine challenged him with this reality. Coalition-speak almost never talks about it, as if it did not really exist. Hockey, Bishop, Malcolm Turnbull, and indeed most of the Coalition seem to be residing in a parallel universe where the GFC is a figment of the imagination; otherwise why would ‘let’s wait and see’ ever be uttered. How well he will do as Shadow Treasurer is debatable. I suspect we will hear many re-runs of the clichés, lots of noise, maybe quotes from a few studies, but not much more. Until he, his leader and the whole Coalition acknowledge the magnitude of the crisis and how it could impact this country, and how the Coalition would tackle it comprehensively, and why, Joe will be regarded, in the words of 1 Corinthians, as ‘sounding brass or a clanging cymbal’. [i]The Piping Shrike[/i] advances the same thought in [i]Empty barrel, most noise[/i]. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2009/02/empty-barrel-most-noise.html

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17/02/2009If you need any convincing that the Coalition is living in a parallel universe about the global financial crisis, read Possum Comitatus’ piece in Crikey today: [i]The coalition got it really, really wrong on the financial crisis.[/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090217-The-coalition-got-it-really-really-wrong-on-the-financial-crisis.html And if you’re in for a giggle, read Crikey’s ‘Walter Slurry' [i]Costello tells: I will challenge. Later.[/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090217-Costello-tells-I-will-challenge-Later.html

janice

18/02/2009The coalition has got themselves into a right old mess. Even their media supporters have formed into a pack of jackals to help them tear themselves asunder. Joe Hockey has opted to ditch his nice guy image which was the only thing he had going for him - he is nought but a windbag full of cliches. I don't read Peter Van Onselen anymore. He appears to me to relish in nasty personal attacks and seeing the gaping wounds his attacks are meant to leave. IMO he is badly in need of physchotherapy.

007b2b

29/03/2009Talent in the Coalition ranks is pretty thin on the ground so it is a given that Truffles faces a Mt.Everest to climb with a team of ill-equipped and inexperienced climbers. IMO he would serve himself (and his party) better, if he took his eye off the next election and put all his efforts into learning how to recognise potential and then to nurture it with a view to putting together a credible team to contest an election in future.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?