CHQ Insider: Morrison just won the equivalent of a Big Bash cricket match

Scott Morrison came into office unexpectedly in August 2018, threw together a staff, patched up the ministry, and cobbled together a minority government.

His makeshift team won, thanks to Morrison’s 150 not out. Frydenberg scored a quick 25, Melissa Price a golden duck and Turnbull’s attempt at ball-tampering failed.

But now the game changes.

It’s test match cricket from here.  Morrison needs to pick a team that can win the long game over three years.  He needs to get three key elements right – his ministry, his office and the Party.

The top order is locked.  But there’s choices down the order.  Melissa Price demonstrated she doesn’t have the ability to manage the complexities of climate change.  But Angus Taylor has been ham-fisted in Energy too.  The best talent available should go to this key portfolio – Simon Birmingham is wasted in Trade and should be elevated to a combined climate and energy portfolio (despite potential grumbling from the Right).  He has the nuance to bridge the internal and external divides.  Paul Fletcher is a fish out of water in social policy and should take Communications.  The campaign’s unsung hero, Ben Morton, will get a roving commission.

2019 saw some very talented women elected – but they can’t go straight into the ministry, so it’s a narrower field, with Jane Hume the stand-out up-and-comer.  Linda Reynolds will be an astute Defence Minister.  Marise Payne needs to find her voice.

Morrison must pay attention to his office set-up.  PMs’ offices will always have multiple voices jostling for influence.  The PM needs to hear differing advice, filter it and resolve it.  Abbott over-centralised power and it cost him dearly.  Howard had a quadrumvirate of Nutt, Sinodinos, Conran and O’Leary –  they had their fights, Howard listened, then they got it done together.

In Andrew Hirst, the Party has a fine young leader for many years to come.  The dinosaurs in the State divisions are slowly evolving – did anyone notice the good old boys of the LNP pre-selected an openly-gay female in a safe seat?  And it just wasn’t an issue.  2019 saw a swathe of quality candidates with broad life experiences elected.  But party reform is still needed to ensure pre-selections are not dominated by factional heavyweights or narrow interests.

If Morrison can get these fundamentals right, he can avoid the traps of 1993 and 2004.  A stunning come-from-behind victory can easily be squandered three years later.

Or to put the question another way, will Morrison be an Abbott or a Howard?  Abbott was a superb campaigner but he couldn’t govern.  Howard (as he proved again in 2019) was great at both – he understood test cricket.

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40 Responses to CHQ Insider: Morrison just won the equivalent of a Big Bash cricket match

  1. stackja

    Howard and wife. TA and Peta. Scomo and who ever.

  2. Tiny Dancer

    Dutton should be rewarded for his magnificent efforts with any portfolio that he chooses.

  3. stackja

    Tiny Dancer
    #3023589, posted on May 23, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    Dutton should be rewarded for his magnificent efforts with any portfolio that he chooses.

    Home Affairs. It annoys the most Lefties,

  4. Helen

    did anyone notice the good old boys of the LNP pre-selected an openly-gay female in a safe seat?

    WTF? CLP did this years ago in NT.

  5. Marise Payne needs to find her voice.

    Needs to go to the back bench

  6. Tim Neilson

    Melissa Price demonstrated she doesn’t have the ability to manage the complexities of climate change.

    The ability to tell hysterics, virtue-signallers and rentseekers to fv(k off?

  7. Nob

    Why does any country need a minister for climate?

  8. Penny

    Isn’t Simon Birmingham a climate change alarmist ??

  9. Driftforge

    What would be good to see… i.e where do you want the hardest, and the most capable as ministers?

    A competent, hard-edged, and above all male Defense minister. We cannot go on not being serious about serious matters.

    A competent, hard edged education minister. Education is the root of all evil.

    A competent, hard edged communications minister. Fire. Them. All.

    The rest of it of rather less significance.

  10. teamv

    I’d put Hastie as defence minister and Molan as Foreign Affairs if he gets in.

  11. Petros

    I agree Carpe. Marise Payne needs to go.

  12. Habib

    Fair go Malcolm, why are you still trying to fuck a “liberal” government? Piss off to NYC and do some blow off strippers arses. Best action would be to do the exact opposite of the advice above, and as to the list of bints given, never heard of any of ‘em, including the one in sensible shoes. Birmingham is a dripping wet dolt, Payne an obese incompetent, and many other Photiosites lurk in the background. A full purge is required, but won’t happen. Defence will get yet another SJW fuckwit who should be involved in a terrible rotor blade accident not long after swearing in. Ideal would be making that gig akin to the drummer in Spinal Tap.

  13. C.L.

    a combined climate and energy portfolio

    Morrison should abolish any and all ministerial remnants of “climate change.”

  14. Tom

    In defence and foreign affairs, Marise Payne has made us a global laughing stock — not to mention the damage done by Pyne and Turnbull. Payne only got the job because she has a vagina to appease the hysterical women in the Liberal Party and the party left — most of whom have now left, thank God.

    If Morrison is serious about restoring Australia’s international reputation, Andrew Hastie must take defence. That leaves just a handful of senior ministers who aren’t turkeys. Mathias Cormann would do a competent job in Foreign Affairs.

    Peter Dutton should stay in home affairs to reinforce the message to smugglers and the Australian left that they lost the war last Saturday on open borders.

    If he wants a new challenge, give him energy. Angus Taylor was a clown and should be sacked from the ministry.

    I’m at a loss about who should take the key job of education. Is there a hard head who won’t take shit from the bureaucracy? Simon Birmingham was a disaster.

    Get serious, ScoMo. Don’t waste your mandate like Abbott did. Purge the remnants of the Photios left. At least you’ve got the luxury of a united party without wreckers and white ants like Turnbull and Sinodinos.

  15. Having a climate minister is indication of the mighty intellects (in their own mind) endowed upon our politicians.

    FMD. How pitiful.

  16. Squirrel

    I noted in the broadcast excerpts of today’s pep talk from the PM to the Canberra department heads, some comments about getting things moving, cutting red tape etc.

    That’s all good sensible stuff, and what you would expect, but a re-elected government with a fairly blank slate which needs to do all it can for a sputtering economy, might like to turn at least some of its attention to the vexed subject of local government. I realise a relevant referendum was rejected some years ago, but with all the carrots and sticks available to the federal government, there should still be opportunities for a federal government to bring to bear influence to appreciably “streamline” local government.

    Aside from so often being doggedly anti-development of any sort (except, perhaps, where mates are involved), local government tends to be an epicentre of petty bureaucracy, which drives the Quiet Australians mad, and is a breeding ground for Labor/Green candidates for state and federal parliament – typically at a somewhat greater rate than it is for Liberals and Nationals.

    So my humble suggestion would be for Local Government responsibilities to be assigned to a shrewd, determined Minister who wants to make a lasting contribution to good government in Australia, not to someone who wants to issue press releases about pork-barrelling and to cut ribbons.

  17. Glynn

    Unfair to say Abbott couldn’t govern. He had people within his party undermining him from day one of his Prime Ministership – Turnbull, Pyne, Bishop, Brandis, Laundy and others. Remember 18C which Abbott wanted repealed but his party room wouldn’t allow. In addition, Clive Palmer tried everything to blow up Abbott, and the Senate was particularly feral, far more so than what Turnbull experienced. Abbott was not given sufficient time before being cut down once and then twice by the assassin from Vaucluse.

  18. Tel

    Linda Reynolds is not a whole lot better than Christopher Pyne. Same game of cornering government money to feed into massive defense contracts, only she feeds the money to WA instead of SA. Arguably WA deserves it more, but the problem of these political contracts remains regardless.

    Her “Modern Slavery Act 2018” is an exercise in Big Paperwork and what does it mean? Slavery is already against the law, people smugglers are hardly going to announce they are in the business. Productive enterprise now has the extra reporting requirement of calculating some meaningless “risk” of slavery in their operation. Yeah, in my job I’m 5.81% at risk of being enslaved by my boss. Oh look, that guy over there is 7.39% at risk … glad I’m not working for his boss.

    I mean really. Empty headed virtue signalling … appearance is everything.

    Here’s a better plan for Morrison, proven to work already: do as little as possible for three years, make vacuous motherhood statements, look concerned every so often, try not to go broke. Don’t raise taxes.

    See if he can get that simply task completed.

  19. Mark M

    Let the Paris climate deal die. It was never good for anything, anyway …

    https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/let-the-paris-climate-deal-die-it-was-never-good-for-anything-anyway

    “Two weeks of climate talks in Bonn ended last week without agreement on a draft negotiating text, the Washington Post reports.
    Developing countries demanded to know when the US$100-billion package promised to them as part of the Paris climate agreement would be forthcoming.

    Hopefully, the answer will be “never” and that will lead to the end of the deal.”

    >> Let’s go Scomo, let’s get out of this pointless and costly hoax.

  20. Tracey

    Craig Kelly would make some heads explode. I would also like to see a promotion for Amanda Stoker. They probably exhibit too much common sense though.

  21. My ministry

    Defence – Someone wih a military background who has a genuine enthusiasm for the ADF and stopping the PC dross currently infecting it.

    Finance – An economic nutbuster who is prepared to reign in the funding to the quangos and grant hooverers. Legislates for unions to pay tax.

    Education – A reformist who will gut the department and R/V funding arrangements with the Finance minister.

    Health – See above

    Energy – A minister who will focus on HELE power plants or a nuke plant, scraps renewball subsidies.

    Gerbil Warmening/Da Klimate – Left Vacant as a fvk you to warmanistas.

  22. Treasurer – Puts in a GST 1:1 to all states so the mendicant states are forced to lift their game.

  23. Dr Fred Lenin

    Mark m why are we buying the “developing countries for 100 billion ? personally I dont think they are worth more than a few hundred bucks ,who will the money be paid to ? will themoney end up in the Cayman islands next to turnbulls ? These bloody con artists in the climate scam have more front than myers ,a lot of very long jail sentences are in order here , perhaps a few gallows in prominent locations ,the biggest con frauds ever invented , up there with marxist socialism mand modern “democracy “ with compulory voting and preferences .

  24. Roger

    Simon Birmingham is wasted in Trade and should be elevated to a combined climate and energy portfolio …

    CHQ is Birmingham’s dad?

  25. Empire 5:5

    Same, same, but same.

  26. Mark

    ScoMo needs to scorch the earth while he can, I don’t think AnAl is going to make too many inroads for a long time.

  27. Entropy

    there should still be opportunities for a federal government to bring to bear influence to appreciably “streamline” local government.

    Aside from so often being doggedly anti-development of any sort (except, perhaps, where mates are involved), local government tends to be an epicentre of petty bureaucracy, which drives the Quiet Australians mad, and is a breeding ground for Labor/Green candidates for state and federal parliament – typically at a somewhat greater rate than it is for Liberals and Nationals.

    So my humble suggestion would be for Local Government responsibilities to be assigned to a shrewd, determined Minister who wants to make a lasting contribution to good government in Australia, not to someone who wants to issue press releases about pork-barrelling and to cut ribbons.

    There should be zero role for the federal government in local government. None. At. All. Local government is an instrument of state governments. All that would happen is the rivers of federal gold would end up in the very hands of those you despise.

  28. Driftforge

    There should be zero role for the federal government in local government. None. At. All. Local government is an instrument of state governments. All that would happen is the rivers of federal gold would end up in the very hands of those you despise.

    Absolutely correct.

  29. Entropy

    Birmingham is useless.

  30. jupes

    The idiot who wrote this gives me zero confidence in SloMo’s government’s ability to govern.

    Why the fuck are the SFLs having anything to do with climate change? Seriously. NOW is the moment to drop the insanity.

    He needs to get three key elements right – his ministry, his office and the Party.

    No. Those elements are energy policy, immigration policy and fiscal policy. SloMo needs to lead and set the agenda, not be lead by the stupid lefties in the party.

    … Simon Birmingham is wasted in Trade and should be elevated to a combined climate and energy portfolio

    Yeah right. Let’s put a climate change loon in charge of “climate” … Give me strength.

    … Linda Reynolds will be an astute Defence Minister.

    Who? What? FMD

    Marise Payne needs to find her voice.

    No she needs to find a diet and a gym. Then quit politics and stay there.

    … The dinosaurs in the State divisions are slowly evolving – did anyone notice the good old boys of the LNP pre-selected an openly-gay female in a safe seat?

    He says this as if it’s a good thing. The SFLs should leave identity politics for the Greens. Idiots.

    … A stunning come-from-behind victory can easily be squandered three years later.

    And no doubt will be if SloMo takes the advice of the gormless twit who wrote this article.

  31. None

    What does CHQ stand for? Cuckoo HQ? Anyone who thinks Birmingham is effective is nuts. If you think Payne shoud use her voice you are even more nuts. She is a noyhing burger and should be booted. (The one time I will agree with Alice Workman on that). And so now electing a lesbian is good candidate selection? Because veing a homsexual condpfers special privileges? GLBTQ are OVER REPRESENTED in parliament. The Libs are sounding like Homosexual Central and can’t tell when they are being targetted by a long term leftyncampaign (Hint: they are. See Ireland. 10 years and it was done over. Tasmania just took one homosexualist sucking up to the AG for a few years to get the dominoes falling). Every single one of their homosexualists is neither conservative or liberal. As many have said, we only managed a stay of execution.

  32. None

    Correct Glynn.Abbott was fighting too many fronts including his own party.

  33. Win

    If CHQ is an insider Scomos cactus,and why would CHQ write ,in view of this blogs commentariat a troll peice? Unless of course our esteemed and revered host is having a go after yesterday’s unkind and hurtful remarks re his misplaced ,in our opinion ,loyalty the Wentworth fallen.

  34. PoliticoNT

    Guest Author – I think you need to make a forensic reading of all things Linda (‘I was a Brigadier’) Reynolds. ‘Astute’ is not really the world that springs to mind. We need a hard head in Defence. (Note also that our strategic policy stocks in Russell Offices are long overrun with useless, PhD-bearing children.).

    And Payne…..? Whatever her initial motivations for getting into Parliament, she long ago morphed into a comfortable existence of life focused on the taxpayer trough.

    (Helen – are you talking about Kezia? To the Manor Born and without the brains to boot unfortunately. Although I guess your point is how you swing is not an issue up here so couldn’t the rest of you fuckers grow up.)

  35. Entropy

    Reading this list of recommendations again I hope ScoMo ignores every bit.

  36. Iampeter

    His makeshift team won, thanks to Morrison’s 150 not out. Frydenberg scored a quick 25, Melissa Price a golden duck and Turnbull’s attempt at ball-tampering failed.

    No, that’s not why Morrison won. To understand why he won requires understanding of politics, not cricket analogies.

    Or to put the question another way, will Morrison be an Abbott or a Howard? Abbott was a superb campaigner but he couldn’t govern. Howard (as he proved again in 2019) was great at both – he understood test cricket.

    Um, you do understand that as bad as Abbott was Howard was much, much worse?
    If you think Howard was good at governing then I can’t imagine why you would oppose Labor. Or even the Greens. That seems to be good governance in your book.

  37. PB

    Morrison has a remarkable opportunity here to place the Liberals in government for a generation. Can’t wait to see how he goes about missing it.

  38. Buccaneer

    He can’t purge the Photios termites, there’s a reason Turnbull stalled for so long to get signatures when Dutton called for a spill, it was to help Morrison beat Dutton.

  39. Deplorable

    Fair go Malcolm, why are you still trying to fuck a “liberal” government? Piss off to NYC and do some blow off strippers arses. Best action would be to do the exact opposite of the advice above, and as to the list of bints given, never heard of any of ‘em, including the one in sensible shoes. Birmingham is a dripping wet dolt, Payne an obese incompetent, and many other Photiosites lurk in the background. A full purge is required, but won’t happen. Defence will get yet another SJW fuckwit who should be involved in a terrible rotor blade accident not long after swearing in. Ideal would be making that gig akin to the drummer in Spinal Tap.
    Couldn’t agree more, I thought it was from a far left person when I read it so you are on the money.

  40. Deplorable

    Craig Kelly would make some heads explode. I would also like to see a promotion for Amanda Stoker. They probably exhibit too much common sense though.

    Amanda Stoker seems most impressive in her Senate inquiry performances. Sharp intellect and straight talking, definitely one for the ministry. Dump Payne and Birmingham

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