The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why John Hewson could have made a great conservative Prime Minister

A fantastic op-ed from Dr John Hewson over at ABC's Drum today on the rot that is undermining our system of political governance. Hewie hits multiple nails on their heads. It really is refreshing and a case-study in frank communication that many of our political masters would be well advised to take on board. Hewie hammers on about the leadership deficiencies that exist on both sides of politics. I have discussed this at length recently here.

As I have noted before, one historical curiosity is the deep animus between Hewie and his former employer, the RBA, throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s over monetary policy. The fact is that Hewie was the single most important public voice arguing for making the RBA independent of political (viz., Paul Keating's) influence. He also publicly led the debate encouraging the RBA to adopt an inflation target. Yet for some reason the relationship between the two parties seriously deteriorated. At the time, the RBA simply seemed to have a problem with overt criticism of its actions, much of which, ironically, the RBA eventually came to accept (there was one relatively small dispute over the exact inflation target). And until someone can educate me otherwise about the backstory between the parties, I put Hewie on the high side of the fight.