Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-06-26
With the oohs and uughs over the putsch and what not, a cabinet reshuffle on the way, I thought I’d put together the sort of cabinet that I’d actually want running the country, a dream team if you will. Trying to put this list together, choosing from those I’ve actually seen in action, it makes me realize what a poor lot of pollies we’ve had over the last decade, and what a talented bunch was in the Hawke/(Keating) ministries.
First I’ll pick the ones that have special fit to a ministry… then provide a bunch of pollies that can be almost randomly assigned the rest of the portfolios. Note that there are quite a few names missing that you might expect to be in a dream team.
- Prime Minister: Gough Whitlam (ALP) – A no-brainer really.
- Deputy Prime Minister: John Gorton (Lib) – Don’t know what portfolio though, gets Deputy PM as he provided an ouverture to Gough’s vision of independence and removal of the cultural cringe.
- Treasurer: Bob McMullan (ALP) – just pipping Bill Hayden
- Attorney General: Ian McPhee (Lib) – Would suit a number of portfolios actually, put here because he has been a good Auditor General, and Gareth Evans got Foreign Affairs… deserves to be in wikipedia
- Foreign Affairs: Gareth Evans (ALP)
- Finance and Administration: Lindsay Tanner (ALP)
- Health: Neal Blewett (ALP)
- Industry: John Button (ALP)
- Science and Education: Barry Jones (ALP) – "Ministry of the Future" would be a better spot (see his prophetic and sadly ignored "Sleepers, Wake!") – but a bit Walt Disney name for a portfolio even for a dream team.
- Agriculture/Primary Industry: Tim Fischer (Nat) – Just pipping John Kerin (ALP);
- Immigration: Mal Fraser (Lib) – an idiosyncratic choice, but one he’d have done well in
- Defence: Kim Beazley Jr (ALP)
Other ministers that could be assigned to the rest of the portfolios: (alphabetical)
- Don Chipp (Lib/Dem);
Peter Cook (ALP);
Craig Emerson (ALP);
John Fahey (Lib);
John Faulkner (ALP);
Janine Haines (Dem);
Bill Hayden (ALP) – who’d be backup Treasurer
Andrew Murray (Dem);
Susan Ryan (ALP);
William Wentworth (Lib);
Yes, some famous names are missing – Hawke, Keating, Costello. Some were never really senior ministers, or never a minister at all. Most are not really politicians, or at least, less concerned with party politics than using their minds to do something useful.