Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (Image: AAP/Daniel Pockett)

Eagle-eyed Crikey readers, and anyone who likes to indulge in a little Australian Financial Review, will be all too aware of Josh Frydenberg’s recent declaration of war on public company shareholders, via an attack on proxy advisers, as documented by Stephen Mayne last month.

The proposal is a bizarre attempt to stifle free speech on behalf of the most privileged class in Australia: public company CEOs and directors. Its timing seemed designed to cast doubt on Frydenberg's nemesis Ownership Matters, which humiliated the treasurer with an independent analysis of public company rorts through JobKeeper.

But first, let’s take a step back: what the hell is a proxy adviser?