Prime Minister Scott Morrison just a kid

Scott Morrison

It’s a sign of ageing, but Scott Morrison is the first Prime Minister of Australia to be younger than me.

I’ll be 52 in January. Morrison is 50, born in May 1968. If we’d gone to school together I probably wouldn’t have spoken to the kid in the playground, him being a grade below me. We might have played under 12 football together, but that’s about it.

This pointless trivia marks the passage of time. I remember when football players started being younger than me. Adam Gilchrist (born 1971) was the first Australian cricket captain to make me feel old. I’ve stopped observing how young the doctors and dentists are.

Morrison isn’t the youngest-ever Prime Minister. Wikipedia faithfully records the age of the 29 men and one woman who have held that office in 117 years.

The youngest was Chris Watson (37 years, 18 days) and the oldest John McEwen (67 years, 265 days). Curiously, the median age of a Prime Minister on the first day of their first term is 52 years and 353 days which falls between Joseph Cook and Billy Hughes.

Australia has had 46 Test cricket captains, 36 since Federation in 1901. Prime Ministers only last slightly longer in the job.

Insurgents should depart

Like most Australians, I was appalled by the week’s events; the “insurgency” as Malcolm Turnbull called it. Morrison wasn’t an active schemer until the second challenge was imminent, so I reserve judgement on him and hope he manages to rebuild the Government so it’s at least competitive at the next election.

The reactionary right of the Liberal Party is a disgrace. The sooner that people like Tony Abbott, Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz leave Parliament the better.

Commentators claim that Peter Dutton’s rise would have assisted the Coalition in Queensland. I doubt it. The LNP’s problems are of its own making. The Liberal and National parties should never have merged.

Until they realise that and demerge, they will continue to struggle, bleeding votes to One Nation in the bush and the Greens in Brisbane. I think Dutton will probably lose his seat.

 

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