Tuesday 7th of February 2023

on the road to perdition ...

on the road to perdition ...

The revolving door that is the Australian prime ministership revolved yet again in September 2018 deposing Malcolm Turnbull and replacing him with former treasurer Scott Morrison. Australia thus had its seventh prime minister since John Howard lost office in 2007. Only two of those changes were the result of electoral decisions: 2007 and 2013.

Morrison immediately proposed himself as leader of a ‘new generation’ of leadership. The basis of that claim remains obscure. Morrison himself would have been at school at the same time as Turnbull. The cabinet positions were mostly filled by the same people as in Turnbull’s cabinet, albeit with different portfolios in a number of cases. The reshuffle was forced by Turnbull’s resignation, obviously, but also the voluntary departure to the backbenches of Julie Bishop, the former Foreign Minister and one of the few popular and relatively successful members of the Turnbull administration.

The word “relatively” is used because it could not be argued that the bar was set very high. Bishop’s tenure as foreign minister was marked by Australia’s continued adherence to a number of foreign policy initiatives that could only be described as a failure and an embarrassment. To be fair to her, those policies were the collective responsibility of the government and it would be unkind to shoot the messenger when the message itself was so seriously flawed.

 

Understanding the irrationality of Australia's Foreign Policies