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This May Be The Last Thing I Write On The Liberals’ Leadership Crisis

The phrase “unresolved sexual tension” springs to mind. I mean in terms of the way in which certain TV shows keep the audience interested when it’s clear to everyone that there’s an attraction between two people and we keep watching in the expectation that, sooner or later, it’ll happen.

Yes, I know that some of you will be thinking why would anyone care, but I think it strikes that chord in us all where, just like real life, those of us out of the situation can see more clearly what’s going on. You know, the total lack of surprise when the man she met on the Internet didn’t end up using the money she sent for the airfare because he needed it suddenly for his mother’s operation, turns out to be unable to use the second lot she sent because he’s now in jail for Internet scams. Or when he discovers that there is no yoga class that finishes after midnight because that’s the time when your energy is at its peak, and she, in fact, has been practising an entirely different kind of muscular stretching and relaxation!

So, with all the Leadership Speculation, I can’t help but feel that it’s not just going to suddenly go away. It’s not the way it works, any more than the “unresolved sexual tension” plot device could be stopped by the couple agreeing to just be friends. Let’s consider the most far-fetched scenario I can imagine – that all the Liberals actually believe Tony when he says that his mistakes are all behind him and from hereonin, it’s a brand new day. Let’s try to believe, for just one moment, that the press totally exaggerated the ambitions of many of the protagonists in this little familiar soap opera.

Tomorrow we hear the following:

Julie Bishop: “I’m a woman, and I don’t believe that it’s proper for a woman to lead. After all, I made it very clear I’m not a feminist, and you only have to look at what I said when Julia was PM, to realise that I don’t see it as a woman’s job to be in charge. Of course I’d never challenge Tony!”

Malcolm Turnbull: “I had my turn at leading the Liberal Party and look at what a disastrous mess that was. No, I only stayed around to be part of a team doing things that I really believe in. From Direct Action to Our Faster NBN to keeping marriage between a man and a woman, this is a party that I feel is doing exciting things, and I’m just happy to help a superior leader – no, a superior man, cause after all, Tony is so much more a man than me – fulfill his aims and ambitions for this country.”

Scott Morrison: “I don’t want to be PM, because then I’d occasionally have to be nice to people, and the last time I smiled it hurt.”

Joe Hockey: “I prefer to do what I do best which is hang it on Labor for my inability to deliver a surplus. Let’s face it, when I’m asked about anything that doesn’t have to do with figures, I can’t number out what to say. And they’d want me to stop with the cigars, but nobody mentions Bill Clinton at this point!”

Bronwyn Bishop: “I only moved down from the Senate to be PM, but I suspect my time has passed and I give Tony the same loyal support I’ve always given him as Speaker!”

Christopher Pyne: “I wish someone would say that I had sex appeal, like Fiona whatshername.”

Mal Brough: “This is about as credible as me meeting with James Ashby… Which I did, but even thought I did nothing wrong apart from lie about it, that’s forever tainted me, and I have less chance than Arthur Sinodinos of being put back on the front bench.”

Arthur Sinodinos; “I have no recollection of being elected, or even why I was elected, let alone anyone who may have ever asked me anything.”

So, no challenge. And as far-fetched as the above non-existent quotes may be (actually the Christopher Pyne one is pretty close to what he actually said just before the election), can you imagine the media just giving up? Or would it be more likely to be something like this:

“In announcing the sudden death of his mother, XXX, refused to take questions on the leadership tensions within the Liberal Party, and tried to deflect attention to his ‘personal situation’, when questions persisted, XXX turned away and brought the press conference to an abrupt end. This consistent with the line that all Liberals are taking. It seems that ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is the line that they’re all going to hold, in spite of the fact that there’s ample evidence from our phone hacking that some of them are actually talking to each other.”

No, this fire will only be doused with a spill. We all know that. It’s foolish of the Liberals to pretend otherwise. This is Howard/Costello with the slight difference that nobody’s gullible enough – unlike Peter – to believe that the PM will stand down for the good of the party. If Abbott wins the spill, he’ll have some breathing space, but only until his next stuff-up. If he loses, the press will stalk him, waiting for the cracks to appear, but the new leader will at least have a moment or two to suggest a different direction for the government.

Of course, Abbott could call an election to clear the air. He may believe that would force them all, Rupert included, to forget the past and all fall into line behind him. And well, with their support, he may even win, giving him the sort of power he thought that he already had. And if he loses, well, serves them all right!

Not that he’d think like that!

Surely . . .



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  1. keerti

    Nice solution and if the o’buttuary had any balls, then that is what he would do, but he is a bully leading a bully of a government. So he won’t. Pity!

  2. my say

    And Julie bishop won’t do anything she is just hanging around waiting to see who is going to cause the spill then take sides,Bishop is to the Liberal Party,what Rudd was to the Labor Party,, she hasn’t a clue on local issues,send her packing to China

  3. Annie B

    Rossleigh –

    You have one helluva huge hammer to hit nails on heads with. 🙂

    Good onya. …… Always telling it as it is – with humour and satire thrown in for good measure.

    At least we get a good giggle and relax a bit, even though the situation is diabolical in politics today.

    Ta muchly for your great articles.

  4. CMMC

    Abbott Fail

    Coalition Civil War

  5. Chinaplatemate

    What an excellent summary of the situation

  6. Kerri

    As for those twitchy backbenchers?? I am sure they could get a certain Chief of Staff out of the way for a while and find that certain paper on British Citizenship somewhere in her office, and bring the whole thing to a head without spilling a drop!

  7. Kyran

    I really thought Tones had you done and dusted for satire. Whatever you parodied, his next utterance would make you look like a luminary. Then, on the 2nd Feb, you conceded February to the cretin! Thank goodness, a few days is a long time in satire. I can’t help but note, the unresolved sexual tensions appears to refer to a group of eight, maybe six of which may be male. I then misread the line “his mistakes are all behind him and from hereonin, it’s a brand new day”. I thought you wrote “heroin”, in which case who cares what’s behind you and something is always brand new! As for the observation, “No, this fire will only be doused with a spill”, absolutely. I suspect though, he may yet reclaim February, because this git will probably spill petrol. Thankyou rossleigh, for keeping satire above politics, regardless of what the cretins throw at you. Take care

  8. lawrencewinder

    I think you nailed it. This is a devilish plot to keep Rabid-the-Hun on the straight and narrow by threatening to take away his Prime Miniatureship. Eat your vegies Tones or there’ll be no sweets.. sort of discipline.
    A faint hope but they obviously think it’s worth a burl.

    BTW, I thought Clarke & Dawe’s “Duck” episode last night one of the most quietly savage pieces of satire that this ruling rabble and Rabid-the-Hun have ever inspired.

  9. Hotspringer

    The only thing that can save you now, dear Tony, is an early election. I can assure you we all love you and will vote for you, you will romp in with a landslide majority and can be our PM for life. Please, just do it, call an election, stand on your record and show all those Malcontents who is the only true leader.

  10. Angus McTavish

    Thank you Rossleigh, great to start the day with a laugh! This gub’mint has launched so many jokes and hilariously accurate descriptions by creative posters and commenters. Lawrence, loved the “Prime Minatureship” and the sting in the tail Clarke and Dawe…

  11. DanDark

    Tones is no different than any other abuser, he has attacked everyone and everything,
    Belted the voters around, threatened, ridiculed, Victorians are “absent minded”
    because we kicked Naptime to the curb, we didn’t hear properly at the election, that wasn’t t a promise they declared after the election, the country has been living on egg shells, waiting for Tones next attack on us

    The fear of what they are doing is palpable in the country and the damage they are doing
    yep so now he wants another chance, and he will be better and more caring in the future about families and jobs, have we heard all this before from the Tones, yes just as recently, as “scraping the barnacles” presser, after the co payment debacle….the signs of a true abuser\s are all there..
    I can’t wipe the smile off my dial now that Tones is going down quicker than a turd in a long drop dunny 🙂

  12. stephentardrew

    One thing has always disturbed me. This lot like cruelty and punishment as methods for dealing with problems of poverty hardship and inequality. To think that beating up on people whose lives are in distress and turmoil would do more than send them further into hardship and despair is truly dysfunctional. Seeing the underlying paradigm is so twisted there is absolutely no hope of finding a reasonable and rational mind amongst them. This bullshit that there must be some nice conservatives in there somewhere is just stupid.

    The media is not playing a moral game, or a game of consideration for their fellow human beings, they are simply riding the waves of dysfunction regardless of the causes and consequences.

    Only a fool would have voted for, and supported Abbott, so the truth is coming home to roost. So they all hide behind blame rather than admit they are complicit in this farce. They are all fools because Abbot and Co fooled them so conservatives must eventually face truth.

    They are unreasoning gullible fools.

    You know evidence and all that rational logical science stuff.

    Responsibility and accountability is anathema to conservative thinking so they all quickly point to the other one hoping against hope that their enemies, or pretend friends, will fall.

    No amount of compromise will change the underlying immorality and cruelty implicit in conservative dogma. God has given them the right to judge and blame and by heavens they are going to use it to feather their own nests.

    Time to put a great big line through the list and send them packing.


  13. Anomander

    @stephentardrew. Conservatives love responsibility and accountability – for everyone else that is.

  14. silkworm

    Stephen Tardrew, well spoken. I hop you don’t mind but I have ripped off your comments and posted them on my Facebook page.

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