Alan Tudge is leaving Parliament. As he put it, “It’s not been an easy decision for me but it is necessary for my health and for my family, amongst other reasons.”
Ok, health and family, notwithstanding, I can’t help but wonder why he felt it necessary to be a man of mystery with unspecific “other reasons”. I mean, is he referring to his reclusive desire not to appear in his electorate for fear that he’ll be recognised, or his fear that were he to appear in his electorate after such minimal campaigning that he wouldn’t be?
Or is there some other less obvious reason like the fact that – after his testimony at the Royal Commission last week – a large number of people think that he’s a nasty piece of work. Of course, not everyone shares this view. Some people think that he was just following orders and that he can’t be held responsible because “just following orders” is a fine defence and…
Oh wait, I knew I’d heard it somewhere before.
Anyway, after the Royal Commission testimony some people thought that he was a nasty, vicious operator, while others believed him and thought that he was just someone who was out of his depth and that his inability to check the legality of the scheme or remember what he’d done or even the question that the Counsel Assisting asked him indicated a man clearly suffering from Long Covid or Arthur Sinodinitis where one’s recall is affected to the point that one can’t remember any reason for one’s appointment to a role because one has done nothing nor remembered exactly what one was doing when certain practices occurred. Although he did suggest that the cashless debit card and his time as Education Minister were the highlights of his career so one truly hopes that there’s something else that he’d forgotten…
While some saw this as an opportunity for Josh Frydenberg to re-enter Federal Parliament and become Alternative Opposition Leader, which given the frequency with which Dutton is referred to as the “alternative Prime Minister” must surely be a thing now. Whatever, sometimes there are no alternatives. Anyway, Josh confirmed that he wasn’t interested in the seat because if all the private school educated voters of Kooyong rejected him what hope did he have in an electorate which he couldn’t even find on a map, assuming he’d ever had a need to travel that far from Kew… I understand he said some along the lines of how much distance it was from that suburb and someone distinctly heard him mumble something about “Far Kew”.
Whatever, the Aston by-election will be interesting because of the large number of unknowns. For a start, we don’t know whether the incumbent member factor was what got Tudge over the line in 2022, or whether it was his personal standing that accounted for the large swing against him.
Then, of course, there’s the traditional swing against governments in by-elections which has to be balanced by the Albanese Government’s high standing in the polls. At the moment the main thing that’s likely to cause a swing is the interest rate rises because of inflation.
When it comes to the economy, there are an infinite number of things that any government can do which won’t fix anything. When you compare this to the handful of things that will actually work it’s amazing that we’re not in a bigger mess. If you listen to economists, you’ll find that they exclude of a lot of things that will work simply because they’ll only work in a limited way… And by limited way, I mean that they’ll only work in a way that shows that everything the economist has been saying for the previous twenty years was completely wrong, so nobody should do anything else just in case it works.
Take Phil Lowe.
Go on, after September nobody else will.
Anyway, after making an unnecessary and inaccurate prediction on interest rates, he now admits that he was wrong but it’s ok because he knows that raising interest rates will suppress demand and once nobody can buy anything prices will come down. Unfortunately, the rise in interest rates is also putting up rents which feeds into inflation, as well stoking demands for higher wages which also feeds into inflation, as well as giving more money to people who have money in savings which also stokes demand and…
But if you keep rising interest rates nobody can accusing you of ignoring the problem. Ok, you didn’t fix it but you did do something. And you did tell everyone that interest rates will keep rising and we should all listen because you got the prediction about no rises before 2024 so right!!!
So will Aston be people upset with Alan Tudge for leaving them, upset with the rising cost of living, upset that Dan Andrews isn’t PM, or upset that Josh wouldn’t stand for them?
Who knows, but we live in interesting times!
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