Winners and losers? No, only losers – for now

by | Jun 6, 2022 | Lobbyland

The starting elevens have been named, but we are a long way from the finishing elevens.

The media coverage of the Dutton frontbench fell into the winners-and-losers trope that journalists frequently promise to eschew, a promise they quickly forget. (Not that there’s any real winners when you are pitched into opposition.)

Why would it matter whether Scott Morrison’s wingmen have been demoted? This isn’t the team the Coalition will take back into government, even if there is a boilover result in 2025. It hardly matters that Alex Hawke (the Hawkie nobody wants to have a beer with) and ”that incompetent boob Stuart Robert” (to quote Shaun Micallef) are not front of house in the Dutton team.  Well, Robert is shadow assistant treasurer (I would be the shadow of your shadow, as Jacques Brel put it.)

There are 10 women in the 24-member shadow cabinet, which some outlets would have us believe are the only 10 women who voted for the Coalition on May 21. Another media trope that could use an overhaul.

Dutton will remain a hard sell for a long time, but John Howard and Tony Abbott were a hard sell too.


Mark Sawyer is a journalist with Michael West Media. He has extensive experience in print and digital media in Sydney, Melbourne and rural Australia.

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