On a day when the Climate Institute begins a gamble on the power of celebrity (Cate Blanchett) to help create the support needed for a carbon tax, (cue Pavlovian attack by Murdoch press, as David Horton says) we have more on the Abbott (sceptic/direct actioner) versus Turnbull (patrician/trading scheme supporting) spat.
This, about the leaked chastisement of Turnbull et al for missing votes in the Housefrom the Age, is extraordinary. (Or perhaps not extraordinary at all, which is the problem.)
A parliamentary steward ferried the draft version of the email to Mr Abbott before the end of question time. The rest of the leadership group – Mr Pyne, Mr Hockey and Deputy Leader Julie Bishop – quickly became aware of its contents.
Mr Pyne and Mr Abbott examined the document before Mr Abbott walked the piece of paper to his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, who was seated in the Opposition Leader’s adviser’s box.
The growing tension between the Liberal Party’s most senior members reignites earlier leadership rivalry. Mr Hockey had been the favourite in a three-cornered leadership contest in November 2009, but he lost out when Mr Abbott deposed the then leader, Mr Turnbull, by a margin of only one vote. A source said the once-fractured relationship between Mr Turnbull and Mr Hockey had improved significantly in recent months.
Holy Cow. And this clown (Abbott) sees himself as Prime Minister material? This, this is his statesmanship?
Meanwhile, the Imperial masters have sighed knowingly at the behavior of the colonials. The Economist writes
The reformers who laid the basis of Australia’s present success had the intelligence and courage to take action when it was needed. Will the same be said of the current generation of politicians? It is by no means certain.
Asked for a response, former Green Senator Natasha Stott Despoya said that it was unfair to call the interactions between Labor and Liberals Punch and Judy. Unfair to Punch and Judy that is, since “At least Punch and Judy had a narrative. There were lessons for children in it. It’s a morality tale. That’s more than you can say about Australian politics right now. Certainly, in terms of a lack of vision, a lack of long-term visionary approaches to seemingly intractable social, political, economic, environmental problems – yes, The Economist has probably got it right.”
I’ll leave the last word to Laura Tingle, the Australian Financial Review’s excellent (e.g here) political editor. She concludes her May 26 piece “Long and the short of PM’s game” with the following observation.
“The two sides of politics are a bit like punch drunk boxers flailing wildly at each other and most often landing punches on themselves. on drunk people landing most punches on themselves…”