Hail to our next chief!

Can anyone guess who will most likely be Australia’s next long-serving Liberal Prime Minister after our current Father of the Nation and the best Wartime Leader We Might Still Have finally calls it a day after years of burning for Australia and making sure that those who have a go get a go?

Hands up if you said Josh Frydenberg? Well done, you, if that’s the case. Because Josh is the next great thing, according the some tosh written by Peter Hartcher in Saturday’s SMH Review section.

You see, each morning in his office, Josh pedals away on his exercise bike while gazing at a photo of his great hero, General John Monash of First World War fame.

Here’s Peter: “So the Australian Treasurer begins the day with his eyes fixed on greatness. He is not in that class. Not yet at least.”

Much of Hartcher’s article praises Frydenberg for steering the ill-fated National Energy Guarantee to its eventual oblivion, winning his fight with Facebook (very debatable) and accepting the Treasury’s most expensive response to battling COVID-19. All and good.

Hartcher as usual never misses an opportunity to praise Morrison and Frydenberg who “can take credit for a successful national economic response to the pandemic”.Hartcher could write a colour piece on a visit to his proctologist and work that line in.

When you’re writing LNP propaganda, it’s important never to mention that both men argued long and hard for the nation to remain open as it fought the virus and constantly slammed Labor state governments for lockdowns and border closures that put lives before profits. You’ll never hear Hartcher say the death toll over the past 12 months would have been much, much higher if those two men had had their way. And it would have been.

But the general thrust of the piece is that while Scott Morrison is “enjoying his job and is going nowhere” – an assessment The Glass House could easily agree with – Frydenberg “makes no secret of his intention to be leader of the post-Morrison Liberal Party”.

But Peter does very much anoint him even if he won’t use the PM word. But it’s a given; Josh will only continue to do amazing things if in the years ahead he’s either Treasurer or the top dog. It’s unstated by Hartcher but we all know he thinks an LNP win at the next election is both God’s and nature’s way. It’s the logical order of Australian politics.

He adds of Frydenberg: “At 49, he has a great deal of time and energy yet.

“We do know that his eyes are fixed on greatness,” Hartcher concludes.

So there we have it, folks. A prime minister and a Treasurer who dragged Australia into a technical recession before COVID-19 hit with their mixture of discredited trickle-down economics and the deliberate repression of workers’ wages, and who both declared the nation’s books were “back in black” more than a year before any such evidence would possibly appear, once again lauded by Hartcher.

And when you’re writing LNP propaganda, it’s absolutely crucial to totally ignore the fact that Morrison could very easily lose the next federal election the way he’s going at the moment and good old Josh – the fixer with his eyes on greatness – might be an opposition leader for quite some time. He wouldn’t be doing too many great things from there. Just ask Anthony Albanese.