Bookmarked Morrison has sailed into treacherous waters that sunk the dreams of those before him (abc.net.au)

Usually it’s brand new prime ministers still high on the dopamine surge of winning an election whose thoughts stray to reforming the Federation. But Morrison has a different sort of political capital, writes Annabel Crabb.

With Scott Morrison’s decision to retain the National Cabinet in place of COAG, Annabel Crabb takes a look at the history of federalism in Australia beginning with the decision with the decision during World War II to consolidate income tax in the Commonwealth’s coffers. She talks about the continual negotiations that occur and the temptations to link this to certain conditions.

The temptation for federal governments to attach ideologically-driven conditions to these payments is nearly irresistible, as is the temptation to dive into what are ordinarily state government responsibilities.

This is something that has a significant impact on education.

Replied to ABC Politics with Annabel Crabb

If in 2015 I’d received a visit from some Future Fairy who’d told me: “Morning Annabel. Five years from now you’ll wake up to the news that Boris Johnson, who’s now the Prime Minister of Britain and living at Number 10 with the mother of his pending love-child, has been admitted to intensive care suffering from a pandemic virus which started in China with someone eating a bat sandwich and has since shut down New York and occasioned daily two-hour press conferences by Donald Trump (who is now the President of the United States) urging Americans to take lupus pills. Also, Cardinal George Pell will be released from prison after the High Court reverses his conviction on child sex offences,” I would have felt… well. Reinforced in my reflexive scepticism about Future Fairies, at the very least.

Enjoying your thoughts and perspective on the coronavirus Annabel. I have been thinking a lot lately about ‘the wife drought’ and how this current situation lays bare many family situations and the traditional expectations. Scraping through summer is one thing, because you can fluff your way through a family holiday, but being contained at home while still trying to sustain any semblance of normalcy is something else.
Bookmarked Every day that passes brings a new political wonder you’d have never thought possible (ABC News)

Every day as the scale of this present coal-black cloud grows across the globe, it’s harder to spot a silver lining, but perhaps in this country it might be this; that in a time of crisis we formed a national decision-making body roughly half of which came from each of our two major parties, and decisions were made that were well outside the orthodox political comfort zone of the people making them, and that some loud voices shut up for a minute, in recognition that the situation was bigger than their own need never to give an inch.

Annabel Crabb reflects on the ability in times of crisis for people and politics to get things done.

Getting private hospitals to work hand in glove with the public system?

Asking vast chunks of the schools sector to educate children remotely? Publishing newspapers from empty newsrooms? Whole companies working from home? Turning over hotels to homeless people?

All of this would have seemed impossible just weeks ago.

Bookmarked ABC Politics with Annabel Crabb

This week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg adjusted his soundtrack from “Back In Black” to “Back In Balance”, a phrase whose resolute non-catchiness probably explains why it was discarded at the whiteboard stage by AC/DC.
Mr Frydenberg unwisely employed the present tense on Budget night last year when pre-announcing the “Back in Black” surplus of 2020/21.

I love Annabel Crabb’s turn of phrase, always so poignant and witty.
Bookmarked Triumph holds an epic warning for Morrison by an author (ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation))

Naturally, Labor’s shock loss has left the party reeling. But Scott Morrison, too, should heed the warning it sends for his party’s third term.

Annabel Crabb explains that Australia is actually very much the same as it was before the election. The reason for the ferocity of response is simply expectation. Labor tried to do too much. It tried to change the government and get a mandate for massive change at the same time. Crabb explains that in the last 50 years there have been five similar attempts, with only Whitlam in 1972 being successful. On the flip side, three of the governments that survived against the odds were gone at the next election. As Ross Gittins’ has also touched on, Morrison now has the challenge of putting together an agenda that was largely missing during his campaign.