Flat White

Time to put Andrew Hastie in the frontline

12 March 2021

3:54 PM

12 March 2021

3:54 PM

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Defence Minister Linda Reynolds may be unable to continue in her role, with her problems continuing to mount. That creates problems for the Prime Minister, too. It involves replacing a key member of the national security team and, as the media and Twitter will immediately start shrieking, issues of the representation of women in the cabinet.

But the man – and, yes, it’s a man, — most Australians would pick without hesitation is one with boots-on-the-ground lived experience, the Member for Canning, Andrew Hastie.

Hastie speaks army because he’s been there, done that, from bureaucratic Canberra to the dust storms of Uruzghan in Afghanistan, fighting a war that has taken Australian lives and devastated families at home.

Hastie is no chocolate soldier, and we need men of his calibre because – if you haven’t noticed – we are moving towards a serious Cold War situation just beyond our borders (but don’t mention it and maybe the threat will go away.

Gender play politics is rankling with middle Australia who neither know nor care about the angsts of the soy latte set in inner-city suburbs.

Scott Morrison, who has stood strong in his refusal to throw his Attorney-General to the wolves, may wish to listen to the quiet Australians who are, now, wondering what the future holds for themselves and their children in the face of an ever more belligerent China.

Bringing a seasoned defence veteran into the cabinet, if the portfolio were to become vacant, would be a popular move with the people who actually voted for the Coalition, if not those who do not.

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