Less than a fortnight after releasing his first plan, Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced another plan.
Two weeks ago, Chalmers published a lengthy essay on his plans for a radical intervention in the Australian economy to reshape capitalism. The brilliant Johannes Leak, leading cartoonist with the Australian newspaper, responded the following day with this:
Today Jim writes in the Australian about his new three point plan to fight inflation. I’d normally summarise the plan for readers, but trust me, it’s just an incoherent bunch of vague waffle.
My Friend the Chocolate Cake remains a popular band in the genre of folk pop and indie music. Thirty years ago they released a song called “I’ve got a Plan”. Opening with a fresh new big idea to make things better, the first lines went like this:
I got a plan
Let’s take off in the blue station wagon
And find the open road to salvation
Was Jim playing that song as he crafted his first essay? Maybe, maybe not, for it is a song of frustration. It starts with the need to find a new way, change patterns, start afresh. Yet, frustration returns as plans fail to materialise and new ones are made. The chorus lines:
I’ve got another plan – this time it’ll work
Yeah, I’ve got another plan – this time it’ll work
Or I’ll be struck down, struck down
I hope the band members do not mind me saying so, but from here on I will associate that song with Junior Jim Chalmers and his incoherent plans. How long before the next one, I wonder.