By TPS Newsbot
Bob Carr unexpectedly outing Peter Dutton has the mystery texter has many predicting the leadership challenge is nigh. But is it?
Last night, a hefty slab of beef was unexpectedly slammed on the table, as Bob Carr (of all people) named Peter Dutton as the mystery author of the text messages that criticised Scott Morrison early last week.
On Twitter, Carr wrote: “The minister who shared the text with van Onselen and gave permission to use it was Peter Dutton. If PM Morrison has one more week in free fall the prospect of a leadership change pre-election is real. Party rules don’t count if most MPs think you will lead them to defeat.”
The tweet (of course) kicked off a wave of speculation on the platform, as users wondered a) does this mean the spill is upon us and b) why would Bob Carr know?
It mattered little, as the provocation pulled Peter Dutton out of hiding, tagging Carr, saying: ” @bobjcarr’s tweet is baseless, untrue and should be deleted.”
Hahahaha yeah put Dutton up, that’ll fix the polls hahahahahaha
— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) February 6, 2022
So, is the spill incoming, and can Peter Dutton win? The answer comes in the wake of the leadership spill he lost to Scott Morrison in 2018.
At a news conference after the ballot, Malcolm Turnbull lashed out at the “determined insurgency from a number of people both in the party room and backed by voices, powerful voices, in the media” that brought him down.
“Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott and others, who chose to deliberately attack the government from within – they did so because they wanted to bring the government down, they wanted to bring my prime ministership down,” Turnbull said.
The motion for a spill of the leadership was carried 45-40, an unexpectedly close margin and an indication that Malcolm Turnbull retained substantial support even amid the chaos. Turnbull, prime minister since he deposed Tony Abbott in 2015, had promised not to contest the subsequent ballot if the spill was carried.
At the time political analyst Michelle Grattan noted that; “…the result is a massive rebuff for Peter Dutton and his conservative backers who have consistently undermined Turnbull’s leadership. Abbott, who backed Dutton and believes Morrison betrayed him in the 2015 leadership coup, declared: ‘We have lost the Prime Minister, there is a government to save’.”
In the press conference that followed, Scott Morrison labelled himself; “the future of Liberal leadership”, before sharing his most notorious fallacy: “If you have a go in this country, you will get a go. There is a fair go for those who have a go. That is what fairness in Australia means.”
In December of the same year, the population was out for blood. Scott Morrison disappeared (for the first time) while New South Wales was on fire, and without an election on the horizon, many were clamouring for another spill to undo the last one.
Yet, a week later, Morrison unexpectedly called upon his flock to toggle the rules, thereby making it harder for a sitting leader to be knifed behind a curtain. It would now take a two-thirds majority to bring about the Ides of March and topple a leader.
In his own words, it was a move inspired by “listening to the Australian people”, with Morrison believing that the problem at the top was invalidating our votes. Therefore, he was doing us a favour by making it harder to remove him, who, at the time, wasn’t actually chosen by the people.
This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.
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