Aug 19, 2014

Coalition’s recovery levels off — and a Hockey return to form is needed

The Coalition's polling recovery in the wake of the MH17 tragedy has left it just shy of Labor; it still needs a boost to recover its lead.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Tony Abbott needs a Julia — and right now Treasurer Joe Hockey ain’t it.

One of the problems that Julia Gillard had when she was prime minister was that she had no Julia Gillard backing her up in Parliament. She was an able deputy to Kevin Rudd; Dorothy Dixers to the then-deputy PM induced groans of despair from Coalition ranks; the government lost nothing when she filled in for Kevin 747; she and Lindsay Tanner more than made up for Wayne Swan’s approach as treasurer — as Swan admits in his book, his initial parliamentary performance as treasurer was “fairly ordinary” and he preferred to be analytical rather than go for one-liners (a bit rich coming from the bloke who must have said “sloppy Joe” several hundred times, but anyway). With Tanner gone and Swan her deputy, as prime minister Gillard had to do her own savaging of the opposition, mainly helped by Anthony Albanese.

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25 thoughts on “Coalition’s recovery levels off — and a Hockey return to form is needed

  1. Peter Hannigan

    Nice comment about the party organ. Why not just tell the whole truth and rename it The Australian Pravda.

  2. rossco

    “One more serious stuff-up and that will be the end of the Treasurer” may well be true, but who would replace him? The only person on the front bench who could do the job is Turnbull and that is not going to happen under Abbott. Cormann is in the Senate so that rules him out. Julie Bishop was badly exposed in her short stint as Shadow Treasurer. I think the govt (and us) are stuck with Hockey for the foreseeable future

  3. Alan

    Sorry Bernard, enough [email protected] I generally like your pieces, but your support for Abbott baffles me.
    All I see is a negative, slogan shouting neocon, who will argue that black is white, then backflip.
    A man who does not backup members of his own team (see Joe Hockey).
    A man who is unable or unwilling to negotiate with anyone.
    A man who has NO leadership abilities,

    Sorry but the longer this Abbott experiment goes on, the more damage is done to the moral fibre of this country.

  4. Draco Houston

    Soon enough it will be end of financial year and nothing will have been done.

    I’m not sure what the top of Hockey’s game is meant to look like. He’s always been like this, where did all the Joe The Everyman stuff in the media come from?

  5. Popeye

    I’m baffled by Bernie’s continuing support for Hockey. I know that he fancied Hockey as a man who showed promise as a Treasurer, but that was before he actually got the job. Hockey was never right for the job. As Treasurer he’s shown himself up as a dill, and the sooner he’s dumped the better. The country doesn’t need a great economist as Treasurer, but it would be really good to have someone in the post who knew something of how an economy works.

  6. Karen

    Agree with Popeye, Hockey aint a Keating.

  7. cairns50

    a hockey return to form needed? dont you even get in bernard, hockey has form and its lying and bad # you are kidding writing this shite

  8. Rais

    Peter – “Why not just tell the whole truth and rename it The Australian Pravda.” Why not? Because the Russian word Pravda means True!

  9. Duncan Gilbey

    Just waiting for Abbott to blame Labor for Hockey

  10. zut alors

    ‘…a Hockey return to form’…

    Bernard, it’s glaringly evident this is his form.

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