Sunday, May 26, 2013

Treasurer independence

Many prime ministers have succumbed to the desire to hold the country's purse strings, but it's instructive to see how many state leaders took to the task and how quickly WA's premiere premier would hold the post a number of times and end up, as we see on his link, be reported reigning in the states.

Where you might find the Attorney General's Department lousy with lawyers, so the Treasury is bursting with accountants. Many of whom aspire to be head bean counter.

Economists tell us the expected effect of a Budget, financiers grumble in private consortia.
Households and businesses feel the real effect.

But is it the Treasurer or the government who dictate the state of the economy? At best they buffer certain sectors from the worst impact and make it more difficult for some practices to take place that are harmful to the hip pocket nerve.

It's a different job to that of some of the massive drivers of our economy: your Adelaide Steamship Company, BHP, Coles Myer, or Lend Lease.
The Treasurer is not meant to lock horns with entrepreneurs or prevent invention.

Given the two party system, it's not always one side or the other that makes financial decisions on the voter's behalf in a consistent fashion. The Hawkeating years are marked by such measures as floating the dollar and selling off the Commonwealth Bank. Though Bob only gave himself the job for a day, and Gough a couple of weeks, which rather defines the tumultuous tenure.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Buried treasurers (and the living ledger)

Sir George Turner
Chris Watson
Sir John Forrest
Sir William Lyne
Andrew Fisher
William Higgs
Alexander Poynton
William Watt
Sir Joseph Cook
Stanley Bruce
Dr Earle Page
Ted Theodore
James Scullin
Joseph Lyons
Richard Casey
Robert Menzies
Percy Spender
Arthur Fadden
Ben Chifley
Harold Holt
William McMahon
Leslie Bury
Billy Snedden
Gough Whitlam
Frank Crean
Dr Jim Cairns
Bill Hayden
Phillip Lynch
John Howard
Paul Keating
Bob Hawke
John Kerin
Ralph Willis
John Dawkins
Peter Costello
Wayne Swan

Sunday, May 05, 2013


There is some diversity in our legal politicos, with the solid Johns and the, intriguing in our Brit-inheritance way rather than exotic, Littleton and Garfield.

The political impetus has encompassed the direct influence of the founder of the Liberal Party and the 'Crash through or crash' leader with his passionate supporters and passionate detractors.

We finally got a female law dog at the end of 2011 and she lasted in the job for just over a year.

There was going to be quips about an early minister not needing to worry about cyber crime, and way of affixing the copyright symbol to someone else's entry. In the end, the only one I regretted not being able to provide for was Henry Higgins. "Justice you weight Henry Higgins" "Just, you wait, Henry Higgins"

I'm assuming most legal eagles would be familiar with the Pygmalion (or, since it's a musical number I'm quoting, My Fair Lady) reference.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Attorneys General

According to the Parliamentary Education Office 'A parliament is an assembly of elected representatives of a people or a nation, which forms the supreme legislative (law-making) authority for that people or nation.'
This explains why the chief lawmaker, the Attorney General, is such a senior figure. Here is a list of all the Attorneys General for the Commonwealth of Australia:

Alfred Deakin
James Drake
Henry Higgins
Josiah Symon
Isaac Isaacs
Littleton Groom
William Morris (Billy) Hughes
Patrick McMahon (Paddy) Glynn
John Latham
Francis (Frank) Brennan
Robert Menzies
Herbert Evatt
John Beasley
John Spicer
Michael Neil O'Sullivan
Garfield Barwick
William McMahon
Billy Snedden
Gordon Freeth
Nigel Bowen
Ivor Greenwood
Gough Whitlam
Lionel Murphy
Kep Enderby
Bob Ellicott
Peter Durack
Gareth Evans
Lionel Bowen
Michael Duffy
Duncan Kerr
Michael Lavarch
Daryl Williams
Philip Ruddock
Robert McClelland
Nicola Roxon
Mark Dreyfus