Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Political Party Suicides, In Slow Motion

By Darryl Mason

Devastating. What a headline from the ABC :

Is it still dirty, rotten, ABC Lefty Bias when it's also the stone cold truth?

Chris Ulhman
Mr Hockey has never actively sought the leadership, having made the quite astute decision some time ago that now is not a good time to be leader of the Opposition.

But since Mr Turnbull declared last week that his party should back him or sack him over his push to propose amendments to the Government's emissions trading plan he has completely lost control of events.

A growing group within his party is now desperate to see the back of him, declaring it's time to put an end to what some mockingly dubbed "the Turnbull experiment". For them ETS has become the "eliminate Turnbull scheme".

Yesterday one senior Liberal crystalised the views of many with whom I spoke.

"There is broad consensus in all parts of the party that it's over," he said. "It is just a matter of time. It's just not working."

And all the Liberals I have spoken to about this - even Mr Turnbull's supporters - lay the blame for the unwinding of his position squarely at his feet.

Turnbull will soon be gone. It can't last more than a few weeks. The daily humiliation is clearly eating away at him. When he steps down, presumably due to "health problems", in November, his attempt to lead the Liberal Party out of the 20th century will have cost him (depending on who you believe) $10-50 million out of his own pocket.

Will Joe Hockey step up before Christmas? Losing one election is not an unshakable curse, but if he doesn't take the leadership, Tony Abbott will and once Abbott has done his best to storm up a national vortex of peak-stupidity, by campaigning on a score of Andrew Bolt-approved conspiracy theories, there may not be much of a viable Liberal Party left for Joe Hockey to lead.

But Turnbull's insistence on all but fully agreeing with the Rudd government on the ETS, even as it turns the full force of the Liberal Party backbench against him, and sinks his poll numbers even further, has to make you wonder who Turnbull's political masters really are, and how many more major missions he has other than to get Australia signed on to an ETS and the seemingly inevitable worldwide carbon tax that would follow.

Then again, what the hell would I know? I announced the resignation of Malcolm Turnbull back in early August, while anticipating the return of Brendan Nelson.

And when Turnbull's resignation does come, Brendan Nelson will probably weep tears of laughter.

November 2007 : Listen Up Turnbull, This Is How It's Going To Be

How The Australian's Caroline Overington Tried To Help Malcolm Turnbull Win Wenworth

January 2009 : Turnbull's Problems With Coalition Climate Change Doubters Break Into The Open When Barnaby Joyce Says He Refuses To "Goose Step" Around Liberal Party Offices

July 2009 : In a Monty Python-esque Moment Of Doubt, Turnbull Almost Admits The Liberals Will Lose An Election Fought Over Climate Change Policies.