Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg rooming at The Lodge together make for odd housemates

The item of that paranoia is of study course the Defence Minister, Peter Dutton.

In political parlour activity parlance, if Morrison experienced fallen under a bus months back, Frydenberg was the obvious successor. He began to loosen up, assured he experienced seen off the opposition.

Josh Frydenberg sees Peter Dutton (pictured) as his major rival for the top rated occupation.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

Christian Porter, when touted as primary ministerial material, experienced been taken out, his occupation wrecked. Sometimes absurd fantasies circulated about Peta Credlin moving into federal Parliament to turn into leader. Frydenberg assiduously inspired a distinctive, equally absurd fantasy – that Credlin would do better in state politics exactly where she could turn out to be Victorian premier.

Frydenberg prides himself on in no way showing up to be at odds with Morrison. He thinks it a virtue that he has under no circumstances criticised Morrison both as deputy or as treasurer. Not so fellow cabinet ministers and backbenchers whose irritation with Frydenberg has grown in proportion to their disillusionment with Morrison. Several of them who voted for Morrison have due to the fact privately regretted not voting for Dutton.

Frydenberg is charming, but unusual as it seems to outsiders, so is Dutton, and Dutton’s general performance more than many years has received him a loyal, solid pursuing in conservative ranks.

When this columnist described elsewhere that restless govt MPs hoped Dutton would area as the common-bearer for conservative causes which they consider have been betrayed by the govt, it despatched Frydenberg into around-generate. Now, even progressives imagine Dutton would be a lot more proactive on climate adjust than Morrison since he needs the problem “off the table”.

Frydenberg prides himself on never having been at odds with the Prime Minister.

Frydenberg prides himself on never ever getting been at odds with the Primary Minister. Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

Dutton has lifted Defence into larger prominence and according to cupboard colleagues presents alternate sights in cupboard and on the expenditure evaluation committee, wherever the razors have been confiscated and replaced by Television set remote controls and La-Z-Boy recliners.

Frydenberg would be even far more agitated to know that a number of Victorian MPs, after terrified of finding wiped out beneath Dutton, who you would imagine would relish the prospect to elect a Victorian as chief, give a swift “no” or “nah” to concerns about Frydenberg’s prospective as a leader.

They want him to be fewer submissive to Morrison. They want him to talk out much more, at minimum privately, due to the fact they know, and background displays, resourceful tension amongst the key minister and the treasurer is vital for far better federal government and improved coverage, even at the price of the relationship.

If – even now a large if – Morrison loses the election, Liberals will want a chief ready to hold the celebration together as it goes as a result of its pending, inescapable existential crisis.

Much better than predicted expansion figures presented a welcome reprieve, having said that Liberals dread longer-phrase problems to their manufacturer as the far better financial supervisors from the substantial accumulation of debt and deficit and to promises of competence if Labor pins quarantine and vaccination failures on Morrison.

If Morrison wins, the Liberals’ identification disaster will deepen.

For three many years the Liberals have lacked a coherent policy agenda and determination to any result in outside of surviving the information cycle. As a single senior Liberal noticed: “Morrison doesn’t want any one with a robust reform agenda. He does not have 1, and he doesn’t want any one beside him to have one. Morrison is a ruthless campaigner. Josh demands everyone to like him.

“There is no clash of concepts or reform route. Josh is about taking care of expectations, taking care of interactions and handling stakeholders. So indeed, they would be quite cozy living collectively.”

Frydenberg and Morrison are tied jointly by their apron strings now, but there is no recognizing how or when it will finish.


In 2018 Frydenberg welched on a deal with very best good friend Greg Hunt to run for the deputy leadership which he received handsomely. He can be a mongrel when advancement beckons.

In the to start with leadership ballot, plenty of of Morrison’s “God Squad” voted for Dutton to ensure Malcolm Turnbull’s destruction. It did not cease Morrison throwing his arm close to “my Prime Minister” Turnbull in entrance of cameras to deflect thoughts about his personal ambition.

All that is worth remembering when picturing Frydenberg and Morrison in their ugg boots and trakky daks settling in to view The Croods and Sure, Primary Minister, then doing work out their technique to body, blame or coerce the premiers. Then to imagine about what may possibly observe if it falls aside.

Niki Savva is a common columnist.

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