When, in the dying weeks of his prime ministership, Tony Abbott -- oh google him, people, we can't footnote everything -- protected the career of Joe Hockey, many saw it as a gallant act. It was, but it was more remarkable for something else, being the first time in recorded history that a human had saved an airbag. Joe Benedict Hockey is not so much departing politics, trailing clouds of glory, as deflating slowly and blowing away, the departure of a man who appeared to aspire to ineffectuality. He has been the least striking treasurer for a generation, a man who came into the office following Bowen, Swan, Costello, Willis, Keating and Howard. Say what you like about these men, they had an agenda. Only Willis has been equally ineffective, largely a result of the fact that Keating was virtually a dual PM-treasurer (and I've left out a couple of brief placeholders).