“I want to go to shops!”
“Sorry, Timmy, but Mr Andrews has said that we’re not allowed until this COVID-19 is under control.”
“Pah, I don’t like that Mr Andrews. Who said that he could be boss?”
“The voters of Victoria actually elected him.”
“Silly voters. Well, I don’t like it and I’m going to tell my mummy when I see her this Sunday and…”
“Sorry but you can’t see your mother this Sunday unless it’s a carer’s visit. It’s not allowed in Victoria.”
“No fair. I want my mummy.”
“Timmy, stand up. You know that nobody likes you when you throw yourself on the floor like that.”
“I will not! That Dan Andrews is a nasty man, and I hope that he gets told off by my mate, Scottie. Scottie is really in charge and he says that we can do what we like.”
“Now Timmy, you know that Scottie’s plan is to let people die so that he can save money on these franking credit refunds because he can’t get rid of them any other way.”
“Come on, Timmy. If you stop sulking Uncle Rupert will let you pretend that you’re going to be Prime Minister one day.”
“Of course, I’m going to be Prime Minister. Who else have they got. Josh? We all know what’s wrong with him!”
“Timmy, be careful.”
“He’s bald. And he looks like Peter Dutton.”
“Come on Timmy, Mr Andrews said that he’d make an announcement on Monday.”
“But I want him to make it NOW!”
“Now, now, we can’t always have what we want.”
“You might not, but I do. And I want that bossy boots to let me see my mum.”
Ok, it might not sound like Tim Wilson is establishing his credentials to be the next leader of the Liberal Party, but you clearly haven’t looked at their recent history. No, I don’t mean preselection for Eden-Monaro where they seem to have established a consensus that Harold Holt would make the ideal candidate.
Take Tony Abbott. He just complained and whinged and sulked and called people names until there was no option but to make him the leader. Then Malcolm Turnbull said that he couldn’t serve under Tony, before Dutton threw a tantrum and forced the spill that gave us Morrison…
Actually, you can go back to the eighties and look at how John Howard undermined every attempt to make any Liberal leader PM but him.
So even though, Wilson is attacking Dan Andrews it’s actually about the internal workings of the Liberal Party. On one hand, it’s been suggested that the various Liberals complaining that Victoria is out of step with Morrison’s announcement that states would be setting their own timetables is Scott Morrison’s way of putting pressure on Andrews to reduce restrictions and enable more economic activity. This makes some sense because – as Morrison told us – we can expect more COVID-19 cases but we need to get things going because if there’s one thing more important than people dying it’s people losing their job. Particularly if that job happens to be PM. So we want the economy doing a V-shaped recovery and the Budget to be in the sort of position where they can announce that once again they’ve got it back in surplus next year… After the election.
But I think that credits Morrison with too much planning skill. After all, didn’t he tell us that he wasn’t doing the numbers and that he was ambitious for Malcolm and he didn’t even think of standing until sometime after his allies told him that he had it in the bag? How could a man that incompetent plan to put pressure on a state premier?
No, I think that they’re all just practising on Dan Andrews as a forerunner for when they say that Scottie has lost his way and he’s behaving like a dictator and the time has come to call for a spill and who cares about the new rules that prevents it happening, they can still muster enough votes on the floor of the House to bring down the government if Parliament ever sits again.
Similarly, Tim Smith – a Victorian Liberal MP – said that his attacks on the Premier “transcend politics” and when you read his tweets you’d have to think that he’s not trying to appeal to any swinging voter. By referring to the Queensland premier as “that dunce” and Andrews as “Chairman Dan”, you’d have to conclude that he’s certainly not playing politics. It’s clearly an attempt to impress his colleagues that he’s the sort of man who’d be able to rise to the role of statesman should he be given the great honour of facing the people as leader in an election campaign. This shouldn’t be viewed as partisan politics, but rather as an audition for the role of Opposition Leader in Victoria.
To believe that it’s a coordinated attack gives the current Liberals far more credit for organisation than anything in their past would suggest. Now I do understand that it’s hard for those who wanted to give their mother something special on Mother’s Day like coronavirus, I think that there’s a certain amount of false sentimentality going on here. Either you’re in regular contact with your mother for reasons of care because she’s elderly, in which case today is just one more day when you have to use social distancing when visiting, or this is the one day of the year when you make the effort and it’s going to upset her that you’re not here today because she knows that you won’t bother to visit her any other day… Ok, it’s probably somewhere in between, but wherever it is, you can probably visit next week or the week after and get her a bigger bunch of flowers because they’ll be on special.
Whatever, the restrictions won’t kill anybody’s mother. We certainly can’t say that about relaxing them too soon.
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