Bookmarked What does the fuel excise cut mean? What happened to the beer excise cut? Five quick questions about the federal budget by Peta Fuller (ABC News)

Want a shortcut guide to the federal budget? Here are the answers to five quick questions from tonight’s announcement.

Listening to or reading discussions on the budget always intrigues me. I am not sure if I have become too cynical, but I always wonder why each decision might be made. I can understand the decision to cut the fuel excise, however this does not actually solve the situation and takes money out of revenue. Overall, it would seem that I am not the only person cynical about the decisions:

And look, even if all the measures announced were fair dinkum and definitely going to happen, this budget is elaborate and messy. It looks like an economic theory having a nervous breakdown in the street.

Josh Frydenberg says this is “a plan” for a strong economy and a stronger future. But it looks more like a weather forecast.

Liked Morrison’s climate ‘plan’ reveals a spectacular new model of political leadership in Australia by Annabel Crabb (ABC News)

Given Morrison’s evisceration of Bill Shorten just three years ago for failing to provide precise modelling for Labor’s proposed emissions targets, how is it that he can now breezily commit to a target 29 years away with the assurance that a substantial amount of the heavy lifting will be done by technological wizardry currently beyond our ken?

Can you trust a man who exempts himself so readily from the standards he imposes on his opponent?

There are other questions: The tidal shift of global finance is not new. There is zero chance that either the Treasurer or the PM was unaware back in 2019 that Australia would be penalised by global markets for clinging to coal. Did the Treasurer just fail to spot this? Did the PM? Or was winning government in 2019 — courtesy of the climate scare — more important than looking after the national interest?

Further: Glasgow has been in the diary for five years now; the Government’s been aware of it for all that time, and it’s the same Government.

How likely is it, honestly, that a Government that leaves a five-year deadline until the Tuesday before is going to make timely, hard decisions to work towards a target with 30 years left on the clock?

Liked ABC Politics with Annabel Crabb (

I’m assuming nobody in Melbourne is reading this because they’re all off getting their roots done or just openly, lasciviously strolling about without the threat of having their collar felt by the Recreation Rozzers. But on behalf of all of us at the ABC, may I convey our congratulations to, and admiration of, the great people of Victoria, who have had an awful lot chucked at them this year. The photo in this account of the Great Reopening is just glorious.

Bookmarked Can a Budget shaped by male leaders hope to deliver for the women hit hardest by this recession? by Annabel Crabb ([object Object])

Indeed. Just like men work in the arts and at universities, and in child care centres and in tourism and health services.

But the gender trends in this Budget are very clear. To argue otherwise is not credible.

Annabel Crabb unpacks the budget and the impact on feminised work.
Liked Throw Another Chair Leg On The Fire, We’re In A Recession by (

Mr Abbott also shared some thoughts on what he termed a “health dictatorship” being run by the Victorian Government, which he argues is needlessly prioritising the life of the elderly over freedom, viz: “Every life is precious and every death is sad, but that’s never stopped families sometimes electing to make elderly relatives as comfortable as possible while nature takes its course,” he told the committee.

Replied to

My vote for an inspiring book would be Annabel Crabb’s The Wife Drought. Maybe not a ‘pedagogical’ book, but definitely thought provoking in regards to how education and schools work.
Bookmarked Chats 10 Looks 3 (

A peripatetic podcast in which Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb discuss what they’re reading, watching, cooking, listening to or irrationally exhilarated by.

One of them likes show tunes and is a monster who chucks books once she’s read them. The other one wrote this.

Came upon Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales’ podcast. Following both Annabel Crabb’s weekly newsletter and Leigh Sales’ work in regards to 730 Report, seems the perfect addition to my feed.
Replied to Victoria: An Online Form Guide (

The nation divided into two classes of person this week: people in Victoria, and people horrifiedly observing what’s going on in Victoria.

A curfew and declaration of a state of disaster, together with Stage 4 lockdown and Stage 11 Online Form Madness, is what Melbourne encountered this week.

Thank you Annabel for reminding me so clearly about the confusing state of affairs we are caught in with such clarity.
Bookmarked Morrison has sailed into treacherous waters that sunk the dreams of those before him (

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 Annabel Crabb (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.