The failure of Frydenberg, Shorten’s expensive speechwriting and what’s behind Nature Positive?

In this episode of New Politics, we explore the reasons behind the significant stir within the conservative mainstream media sparked by rumours of former Liberal Party MP Josh Frydenberg’s potential return to federal politics. Once a key figure as the Treasurer and the representative for Kooyong, Frydenberg’s speculated comeback ignited considerable enthusiasm at News Corporation, almost as though Robert Menzies himself was making the return. However, Josh Frydenberg is no Robert Menzies: his actual influence and the community’s reception starkly contrast with the portrayals on Sky News, which, fortunately, do not represent the views of the electorate.

We examine Frydenberg’s decision not to re-enter the political fray despite persistent media encouragement, particularly from outlets such as the ABC and Sky News. There are reasons why Frydenberg lost his seat to independent Monique Ryan in the 2022 election: he is not as effective as the media would have us believe.

This episode also highlights broader challenges facing the Liberal Party, marked by internal conflicts and leadership challenges in preparation for the post-Peter Dutton era. The upheavals within the Victoria branch of the Liberal Party, infiltrated by religious zealots, highlights its struggle to re-establish itself, especially in upcoming contests such as the one in Kooyong against Monique Ryan, who appears well-established in the seat.

Also, we cast a spotlight on the significant, yet often overshadowed, role of speechwriters in political communication and debate the controversy around the hefty remuneration—$300,000!—for the speechwriter of Minister Bill Shorten. We debate the value of such investments in the context of political efficacy and public perception.

We critique the Labor government’s approach to environmental policy, particularly the newly introduced Nature Positive Bill, questioning its effectiveness and alignment with prior promises and the expectations of progressive constituents. “Nature positive”—is this just spin and political marketing, or is there something substantial behind it?

And is it enough for the Labor government to be slightly better than the Coalition, which was in office from 2013 to 2022 and was arguably one of the worst governments in Australian history? No, it is not: they need to perform much better and be held accountable when they fail to deliver on the key issues they promised from the opposition.

Song listing:

  1. ‘Atomic Moog 2000 (Post Nuclear After life Lounge Mix)’, Coldcut.
  2. ‘Country Folks’, Bubba Sparxxx, with Colt Ford & Danny Boone.
  3. ‘La Femme d’Argent’, Air.
  4. ‘Praise You’, Fat Boy Slim.

Music interludes:

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