This is not so much a blog as it is an incredulous rant.
Just what is going on with the Libs? Let’s look at the last week:
• Tony Abbott struck dumb on camera.
• Julie Bishop openly defied her leader on foreign aid.
• Andrew Robb took up swimming – and ran interference for Abbott.
• Scott Morrison spat an unpopular dummy on asylum seek funerals.
• Joe Hockey openly defied Morrison.
• Christopher Pyne was all over the Good Weekend magazine.
My Twitter feed is alive with “the spill is on”, but I’m not going to believe that until I see it from @latikambourke.
We can only guess why Tony Abbott resp0nded like a block of flats when questioned about his comment in Afghanistan. It wasn’t Shit Happens that created the media storm; it was his reaction. Its last week’s news, but continues to bounce off walls above water coolers in offices all over.
Meanwhile, the Australian, which leaps tall buildings in a single bound rather than saying negative things about the Libs, ran Greg Sheridan’s piece smacking Julie Bishop for being, well, herself. “She has produced not a single sentence of substance or originality while in the portfolio.”
I disagree. She warned Abbott and Andrew Robb that she would not be “a party to a One Nation policy platform.” That’s a statement with substance, surely?
Speaking of Andrew Robb, with his new 1500m/day swimming regime, he seems to be preparing for something bigger than being Tony’s mate. The Herald-Sun is reporting that Rob wants Joe Hockey’s job, although the conversation between Shadows was not recent and predictably less blunt than the Hun portrays it.
But it’s Scott Morrison who has had quite the day, jamming both feet into his mouth at once with his heartless comments regarding the government’s decision to fly the relatives of deceased asylum seekers to Sydney for their funerals.
“Any other Australian who would have wanted to go to the funeral of someone close to them, they would have paid for themselves to get on a plane and go there,” Mr Morrison said.
That statement speaks for itself, but in case it doesn’t have a large enough microphone, Joe Hockey chose to illuminate it by differentiating himself and his values from those displayed by Mr Morrison. Hockey is Twitter’s Hero of the Day for openly defying Morrison with words of gentle reason:
“It is perfectly appropriate for the Department of Immigration and the Australian Federal Police to make the arrangements that they have. I think it is unfortunate that Mr Morrison would choose to politicise these arrangements.”
As off-the-charts harsh as Morrison’s comments were, Joe Hockey’s contradiction of Morrison’s position just bumps the story higher up the bulletin, and adds credence to the rumour that a Libspill’s a-coming.
And where is Tony while Morrison and Hockey and Robb and Bishop are fighting over exactly where to put the French Onion Dip and Jatz at LibDrinks tonight?
The Leader of the Opposition was asking the Government why they chose to pay for the 20-odd grieving relatives of the Christmas Island disaster to attend funerals in Sydney. Nice look, Tony. Do you need someone to explain the concept of compassion to you? Yes, it even applies to people who might not be (a) Christian, (b) white and (c) arrived unexpectedly on a boat, pleading for refuge. I liked him better when he was speechless.
And then there was Christopher Pyne, with his smug mug plastered all over the cover of something slightly glossy. Pointless.
So let me just recap the state of the Lib’s senior ministers:
Abbott – Prone to temporary bouts of speechlessness
Bishop - Prone to frequent bouts of stupidity
Robb – Ambitious, would probably take any promotion that’s offered
Morrison – Spawn of the devil
Hockey – Liberal’s one redeeming feature
Turnbull – riding a bus somewhere and tweeting like Tony Burke
Pyne - Pointless
And yet, both the Libs and Abbott are gaining ground, if you believe the latest Neilson poll.
Perhaps we should prepare some spill-related hashtags in advance?