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157 responses to “Tony Abbott resigns from Liberal frontbench”

  1. Mike

    So the extreme right, a minority faction of a minority party, is to hold a gun to the head of the nation.

    What a disgrace.

  2. Leinad

    This is fatal for Talcum, soo deska?

  3. Leinad

    Mass resignation:

    Erica Betz, Tony Smith, Sophie Mirabella gone from frontbench.

  4. David Irving (no relation)

    This could work out well in the long run. If Turnbull gets rolled, the Libs’ll dump the CPRS.

    That means, with luck, Labor will negotiate a decent scheme with the Greens next time around.

  5. carbonsink

    Climate denialism contributed to Howard’s demise, and now climate denialism is splitting the Liberal Party in two.

    I’ve worked it out. Bolt is still an ALP man!

  6. Mark

    Update: Liberal whips have asked parliamentarians not to leave the House, Sophie Mirabella has also resigned. Follow developments (and a lot of speculation) at Twitter.

  7. Mark

    Update: Eric Abetz and Tony Smith have reportedly also resigned. Talk is of a Tony Abbott/Tony Smith leadership ticket.

  8. Fine

    Now Minchin, Abetz, Mirabella and someone else has resigned from the front bench! Craziness. Mark, I just couldn’t how in the previous thread you could see Turnbull re-building. Though no-one could imagine this amount of chaos. There now seems a doubt whether the ETS will get through the Senate.

  9. Paul Burns

    Have taken the chocolate biscuits out of the fridge, getting ready to pour myself a glass of port (it is pension day) and about to settle down for a news overdose.
    What was it the ancient Greeks used to say? “Those whom the gods destroy they first drive mad” ?

  10. Razor

    You may think it is crazyy.

    Many others think it is rational – how is that a government can bring in a massive new tax and transfer system without taking it to the people ala the GST election? Rudd promised that it wouldn’t cost more than $1 a day – and that is patently a load of rubbish.

    Hopefully there is a change of Liberal leadership, the ETS legislatin is either deferred or defeated and we go to a DD election on it.

  11. Fine

    Razor, don’t you remember there was an election in 2007 in which Labor said they would do this?

  12. Bernice

    Razor #10 – What GST election?? JWH introduced GST after he had spent all of the election campaign saying it wasn’t going to happen on his watch. It was Keating who campaigned pushing for its introduction (and lost I seem to remember)

    Rudd went to the polls in 07 saying he qwould ratify Kyoto and introduce ETS legislation. ETS was also in the Liberal Party bag of tricks. And what government ever meets the costings it promises? That’s why they’re called promises and not commitments ( or anything else vaguely binding…)

  13. Craig Mc

    Fine, and this time they’ll be forced to admit how much it will cost households in expense and employment instead of pretending it’s free.

  14. joe2

    I notice on Twitter the trending topics are Happy Turkey Day and Black Friday.

    Looks like it might well fit in with what’s happening on the local scene, as well.

  15. Razor

    Fine – yes I do – it was only going to cost $1 per day. Neither the economics or the science of the issue were hardly debated. Rudd ran on a economic conservative “what Howard said” platform.

    Hopfully this time there is a leadership spill with a proper candidate.

  16. Fine

    And who is the proper candidate going to be Razor? Name your poison. Abbott, Andrews, Robb, Minchin – Wilson Tuckey perhaps?

  17. Sam

    The Senate is still debating the CPRS. Who is to say the pro ETS Liberals won’t defy this beer hall putsch and pass the CPRS anyway?

  18. Razor

    Anyone else want to support Bernice saying that an election wasn’t fought on the introduction of a GST by Howard??

    What happened to Rollback??

  19. Fine

    Anything can happen Sam. A Twitter rumour is that the Senate will guillotine debate and pass it tonight before they can get rid of Turnbull.

  20. Katz

    Looks like the Kloset Kommando of the Kinky Klatch are donning their armbands and reporting to their Freikorps contingent.

    This party is about to split. There will be blood.

  21. Razor

    Fine – not Andrews. Can’t be Minchin, reality is it has to be a House of Reps bod, the Monk or Shrek would be fine by me.

  22. Phil

    Hopfully this time there is a leadership spill with a proper candidate

    And that would be……?

    The Libs have gifted Rudd with a massive get out of jail free card. Both in terms of winning the next election via a DD or term and he can now throw the CPRS out the window and move on to something serious because it’s achieved its political purpose.

  23. carbonsink

    Its time for two parties:

    – The Liberal Democrats
    – The Australian Conservative Party

    Andrew Bolt you are brilliant, just brilliant! You’ve split the Liberal Party over climate denialism.

  24. Razor

    Sam – unlike the ALP there is nothin to stop them doing that if they want to. Good luck to them if they did – lie with dogs and you get fleas.

  25. Fine

    Razor, Hockey supports the ETS. How can he be a credible anti-ETS candidate? The Mad Monk – puhleeese!

    I so want to see Tuckey as the Shadow Minister for Climate Change.

  26. Mark

    @8, Fine. I honestly didn’t think they were this crazy!

  27. Fine

    No-one did Mark. I just thought they’d wait til next year and dump him then.

  28. Razor

    This is a die in the ditch issue for any economic conservative worth their salt.

    The CPRS doesn’t stack up on environmental side if you truely believe the science, and it doesn’t stack up on the economic side if you either truely believe the science or don’t believe the science. This isn’t a horse designed by a committee – it is truly a dog’s breakfast.

  29. joe2

    It should have been expected. Why would Minchin and Abbott wait around to be sacked?

  30. Mark

    @27 – yep, and I thought it was possible that Turnbull might have re-established some cred between now and when parliament resumes next year. But this mob are out to prove they can only be led by a right winger. Good luck with that when the election comes around. And Abbott has so much baggage.

  31. Razor

    Shrek is supporting the CPRS now because he is the Deputy – that is his job. Have a spill – new leader – new ball game.

  32. Mark

    Julie’s the deputy, Razor. Remember her?

  33. Razor

    yooohoo – Bernice – ducked over to Wikipedia – that font of all lefty knowledge, to look up GST introduction and maybe 1998 election????

  34. Lefty E

    Yes, with their impeccable sense of timing the Libs are dying in a ditch just as it all Obama deals the USA back into Copenhagen. And however lame the deal is, it’ll be stronger than our ultralame 5%.

    Which almost certainly means the Australian target will be going up. That yoke the Liberal party just put on is only going to get heavier, and there wont be any international cover for their silly rubbish.

  35. Razor

    Mark – you are absolutely correct – I meant Shadow Treasurer.

    I am in Julie’s electorate and actually like her.

    That’s what happens when you are trying to work and type at the same time.

  36. Razor

    I beleive it is terribly unfortunate for the Libs that Robb realised he was sick and bowed outof the lead negotiation role. If he had of retained the lead this wouldn’t have happened.

  37. Bernice

    Razor #18 – you’re right – Howard swore no GST prior to 96, but campaigned for it ’98. But had I used wikipedia instead of memory, I wouldn’t have made the mistake… :-)

  38. Razor

    i before e except after c.

    My email system has a cool function that checks spelling when you hit send. When will blogs get that?

  39. anthony

    With a frontbench like that, who needs backbenches?

  40. Katz

    So, was Kevin Andrews’ exploding vest suicide attack part of a larger plan, or are the Howardistas making this up as they go along?

  41. Sam

    If I were Rudd I’d be tempted to go the Governor General tonight, dissolve parliament and call an election for December 19.

    Of course we’d then be unrepresented at Copenhagen.

  42. wpd

    Well the Mad Monk did argue the need for differentiation. Now the ‘owners’ of the Party will simply sack the CEO.

  43. Razor

    Bernice – yes, he changed his mind because the facts changed and then went to the people.

    Peopele think State Governmemnts are loads of Krudd at themoment – they would have been far worse if the GST reforms hadn’t happened.

    Even George Monbiot has admitted that the science of AGW appears to have been manipulated and not necessarily accurate. The facts are changing on AGW and it isn’t in the direction supporting a CPRS.

  44. Razor

    Sam – good idea – worked well for Carpenter over here in WA.

    Bring it on!

  45. Sam

    Razor, as I recall, the WA Libs weren’t tearing each other’s throats out during the campaign.

  46. Chris

    Razor @ 38 – Firefox will do that for you for all text entry fields on any website. Kind of want that all done client side anyway.

  47. Razor

    Sam – they were right up until the day before the election was called when a new (recycled – how green of them) leader was elected. Carpenter thought he could hide a four week campaign behind two weeks of the Olympics and a new lib leader with “no traction”.

    As I say – Bring it on!

  48. John Ryan

    Dear O dear Razor, the Liberals are getting more desperate and silly by the day,like their right wing followers,why not see if Palin and Beck are not doing much.
    The Liberal party led by the Right wing nutcases,this gets better and better,the lot that resigned are not worth 2 bob,and the Libs will be better off if they left Parliament altogether.
    Mind you with a bit of luck they might, along with a lot of other libs especially WA ones,a greater pack of lightweights you would have to go a long way to find,whats up Razor aint the local Libs turning WA into a police state fast enough,you want OZ to turn into a Catholic version of IRAN

  49. Lefty E

    LOL – they’re all jumping ship! Mirabella has resigned, Tony Smith, rumours of Abetz as well. Minchin bound to follow.

    What a pathetic Rabble. This is what happens when Howardian anti-matter and the future are placed in the same test tube – KAPOW.

  50. Razor

    Chris – I need IE for work and couldn’t be ratted having two browsers and having to switch all the time.

    Thanks for the tip, though.

  51. Quoll

    Razor – “Even George Monbiot has admitted that the science of AGW appears to have been manipulated and not necessarily accurate. The facts are changing on AGW and it isn’t in the direction supporting a CPRS.”

    Hehehe, sure is amusing to see how many apparent deniers have completely missed the satire and irony of the Knights Carbonic email from George Monbiot.
    Seen it raised on a few forums and blogs as further evidence of how it’s all unravelling for the ‘science’ of global warming… it’s amazing to see such non-comprehension of what people write and imagine they are reading.

    Certainly one of the most humourus online meltdowns I can ever remember by the various forms of human foolishness trading under the conservative/AGW-denier banner.
    If only we didn’t have to share a rapidly altering planet with them, because of us and them, it would be pure entertainment.

  52. Ken Lovell

    I do smile at the charming naivety of people who imagine this all has something to do with either the science or the economics of climate change. It’s a bit like believing redneck wingnuts in the USA are concerned purely with Obama’s policies.

    I imagine the trogs in the Liberal party have simply come to loathe Turnbull to the depths of their being, to the extent that they can no longer stomach having him as their leader regardless of the consequences. He treats them like the ignorant morons they are and they can’t deal with it.

  53. Razor

    Dear Mr Ryan,

    As an Atheist who is a lapsed Protestant I don’t give fat rat’s clacker about Catholicism. I don’t give a toss what religion anyone is as long as they don’t force it on others.

    I actually am oppossed to the new stop and search laws and think the Police Minister is a dill. But it isn’t a die in the ditch issue like the CPRS.

    As for the personal insults – grow up.

  54. Rockstar Philosopher

    It’s 1987 all over again, wets vs dries.

    With any luck, the end result of all of this will be a more liberal Liberal party. The hard right in this country have a meaningful constituancy and deserve a voice in parliament. However, they deserve that voice to be a minor party that better represents their actual numbers in the population rather than being able to railroad the Liberal party. It’s time for the Nats to walk out so they can get back to properly representing the bush and the right wing libs can walk off a plank.

  55. Bernice

    Turnbull to give press conf 7pm in party room.

  56. Mark

    Update: Malcolm Turnbull will give a press conference at 7pm AEDT. Barnaby Joyce has told Sky News he expects Turnbull to step down.

  57. Mark

    If Turnbull quits Parliament, I couldn’t see an Abbott led Liberal party holding Wentworth in a by-election. Of course, if Turnbull goes, Hockey might throw his hat in the ring.

  58. Mark
  59. tigtog

    Loving following #spill on Twitter:

    @julie_posetti: Speaking of Hogwarts…is it just me or does this #spill resemble the return of the Death Eaters?

  60. deconst

    I think that Turnbull will send himself to political wilderness, he’ll fight to keep Wentworth at the next couple of elections while a carousel of Liberal MPs take their turn at the poison chalice, and return to ascendancy in 2014 to lead the Liberals to victory in 2016? Can we bear it?

  61. Razor

    Mr Lovell,

    I don’t “loathe Turnbull to the depths of (my) being, to the extent that (I) can no longer stomach having him as leader regardless of the consequences”. In fact I have a huge deal of respect for him. He is one of the most intelligent individuals I have ever had the honour of meeting with. I truely believe that he could be a brilliant PM and it is unfortunate we have such economic illiterates as Rudd and Swan running the economy at this time. Turnbull has forgotten more about economics than Swan will ever learn. Having discussed the issue with him I understand why he is so passionate about the position that he has taken on AGW and the CPRS but I disagree with him and think that time will prove him and the others wrong.

    As for he being the leader, I believe that he will always be hamstrung by the Tall Poppy syndrome both becasue of his utterly charming demeanour, deportment, grooming and elocution and his well known wealth. Perception is the reality in politics and the silver spoon toff from East Sydney just isn’t going to cut it with the swinging Aussie battler voter. While the CPRS shouldn’t be about his leadership, it has become one and something needs to be done, and the sooner the better.

  62. Bernice

    “Perception is the reality in politics and the silver spoon toff from East Sydney just isn’t going to cut it with the swinging Aussie battler voter.”

    I don’t the swinging voter is the problem – its his own party room who seem not to appreciate his “utterly charming demeanour, deportment, grooming and elocution and his well known wealth.”

  63. Mark

    Update: Turnbull has dug in, and thrown down the gauntlet to ‘climate skeptics’, saying no credible party can have a do-nothing stance on climate change. A strong performance in his press conference.

  64. carbonsink

    Malcolm’s hanging tough. Good speech. Come on, you have to give the guy credit. He really gives a damn about climate change, in a way that many politicians, even on the ALP side don’t.

  65. Leinad
  66. Sam

    By calling his opponents, ‘climate sceptics’, Turnbull is not just hanging tough, he has declared nuclear war on at least half of his party.

    I don’t think Australian politics has seen this since Billy Hughes tried to get conscription up in WW1. If that is an exaggeration, it certainly is like Evatt in 1954.

  67. Elbogrease

    Sits back, cracks a beer and grabs the popcorn.
    This is gunna be more fun than a Klan lynching.

  68. Mark

    Update: Minchin has resigned, but will stay on until the end of this parliamentary session. Turnbull says that enough Liberal senators will vote for the CPRS to ensure its passage.

  69. Fine

    Turnbull did well, but the Libs are just cactus after this.

  70. Razor

    A typically convincing performance from Mr Turnbull.

    His point about insurance is a moot one. Many insure against things because they do not have the ability to self insure in the way Goverments can afford to. Governments don’t insure things with other people – they self insure.

    The problem as I see it is the probabilty that the the science is right multiplied by the probabilty that the economics is right multiplied by the probability that the rest of the world envoromentaly and economically does the right thing. I am actually more confident in the science than the rest oif the variables in the equation and can’t see the upside in the CPRS and th rest of the market distorting carbon reduction/alternative energy policies.

  71. Mark

    Update: The front bench will be reshuffled after Parliament rises.

  72. David_h

    yeah I agree Mark Crazy Brave, very electable. I said it before he should be welcomed by KRudd an Co!

  73. Mark

    Update: Liking Turnbull’s crazy brave stance. Someone had to stand up to the madness of the Howardian Liberal right wing. Politics is unpredictable! Turnbull might still prevail. Can anyone actually imagine an Abbott led opposition committed to inaction on climate change, Workchoices redux, etc?

  74. Mark

    Update: On Sky News, David Speers read out a text message from a Liberal MP comparing Turnbull to Hitler. I’ll make the point I made last night – we’re seeing epic Liberal right wing FAIL. They’re showing their completely nutty and unelectable face.

  75. Sam

    Being an extremely wealthy man, Turnbull doesn’t have to worry about his career, his income or his super. He can do what he likes, and he is. This creates a different dynamic.

  76. Bernice

    The Hitler response has popped infamously up re NSW Libs earlier this year – do they really think loopy rightwing Republic Beck-like tactics will work in Aust?

  77. Mark

    I think they live in an alternative universe, Bernice. They’re just nuts.

  78. Sam

    “a text message from a Liberal MP comparing Turnbull to Hitler”.

    Not to mention Mugabe.

    Tell us again, Razor, how the Liberals, led by Malcolm Turnbull, would win an election which was called tomorrow.

  79. _RAAF_Stupot

    Update: On Sky News, David Speers read out a text message from a Liberal MP comparing Turnbull to Hitler. I’ll make the point I made last night – we’re seeing epic Liberal right wing FAIL. They’re showing their completely nutty and unelectable face.

    Well I suppose that MP loses the argument automatically by invoking Godwin’s Law. Bound to happen sooner or later.

    Hopefully something positive will come out of all this.

    The Libs should split into (a) a credible centre-right opposition, with (b) the dinosaur rump perhaps merging with the Nats (the Nats don’t really represent The Country any more) and slowly descending into electoral oblivion.

    Frankly, I think it is inevitable. If the ‘nominal Lib leader’ is in fact leading the rump, it will just take a little bit longer to eventuate.

    I was impressed by Turnbull’s speech delivered a short time ago.

  80. tigtog

    Ha from @clembastow on twitpic:

    Come on, boys, kiss and make up – together you can rule the galaxy! #spill

    Come to the Dark Side, Talc – you know you want to!

    [damn, the silly pic won’t embed at the larger size]

  81. Rob

    “Being an extremely wealthy man, Turnbull doesn’t have to worry about his career, his income or his super. He can do what he likes, and he is. This creates a different dynamic.”

    Australia being a democracy, is this supposed to be a recommendation? I hope not.

  82. Bernice

    When is the ETS legislation to come up for a vote in the Senate? Can anyone confirm a likely time?

  83. Daphon

    3.45pm tomorrow, Bernice, which apparently was the ALP/Lib agreement. The govt has said they will not use the guillotine.

  84. mitchell porter

    Perhaps we could keep Rudd as PM and make Turnbull president.

  85. Bernice

    Its kinda sweet that all the MSM journos are holed up at the Walkleys this evening. Must say, yet again, the tweets have been sweet as well.

  86. Zarquon

    So Abbott wiill go on to lead the Democratic Liberal Party.

  87. Casey

    his utterly charming demeanour, deportment, grooming and elocution and his well known wealth.

    Razor, you sound fairly afflicted. Far be it from me, etc, etc, but I never at all saw him but passing by as you have. But I agree that clean teeth are important.

    It is disconcerting to watch the Libs fracturing over this particular issue. One would have hoped that the debate would have been had by now. But since they have totally gone frakkin crazy, I agree that Wilson Tuckey should have a prominent role in the new shadow cabinet. It is quite a shame that Alex Hawke is not Emperor Palpatine’s handmaid anymore. That would have been a blast.

  88. David_h

    What a hilarious circus, Richard Farmer’s speculation of a split are wishful thinking. Freakin idiots, the climate’s the issue, not their personal vanities. I can’t believe that if our political leaders were women we would be seeing the same level of stupidity.

  89. Mark

    Stupidity for sure, David. The Libs are not Republicans and this is not America. We’re seeing John Howard’s legacy to his party today.

  90. Bernice

    If our political leaders were women… well I hear Julie Bishop is available. Though I can well imagine the clink of glasses and mad cheering in Gillard’s office at the moment.

  91. CMMC

    They have gone totally batshit, wingnut crazy.

    They have been infected with Glenn Beck/Fox News insanity and have collectively said “Hey, that’s a good line to pursue”.

    They think that talback radio stooges will deliver them some kind of effective wedge against the online, smartypants pundits.

    I say forget them. Bring on a meaningful dialogue between Labor and the Greens.

  92. Peter Kemp

    Liking Turnbull’s crazy brave stance….

    Hear hear. The man has courage.

    But let the games begin. If Turnbull is gone, may someone have mercy on their hard right souls cos the electors most likely won’t.

    What is it about the hard right? Can’t get their way so are prepared to tear the house down? Something like a foul political brain destroying virus from Howard which makes the brain live in a time warp 2003-2007?

    And that principled line from Turnbull, one of the first perhaps from a liberal almost in living memory: a deal is a deal, “offer and acceptance”. (The ALP would have a field day with that at the next election if the neo-Howardista faction gets control)

  93. joe2

    Yes, it has to be conceded that Mal has clean teeth. For sake of Razor and carbonsink.

  94. Andrew Reynolds

    Sorry to rain on the ALP triumphalism, but I think Turnbull has just beaten the wedge attempt from Rudd. It may not last forever, but he has just made the CPRS a non-issue for the long term. If he can survive the next fews weeks (big if) then he has moved the L.ibs into the mainstream on this issue – removing it as a long term problem.
    Personally, I think this will kill the issue internally within the Libs and they should (after a few weeks) get back to normal – just with a few of the more right wing off the front bench.
    If he survives I can’t see much downside..

  95. Ken Lovell

    LOL Razor I didn’t realise you had a vote for the Liberal leadership … sorry if I offended you.

  96. Sam

    “Julie Bishop is available”

    Speaking of whom, she’s been very quiet for the past few days, almost invisible, seeing as how she is Deputy Leader. Which side is she on?

  97. Nickws

    Rockstar Philospher @ 54: It’s 1987 all over again, wets vs dries.

    I disagree about this being like any recent Liberal stoush. In the eighties the likes of Ian McPhee (& the youngish Ruddock!) weren’t in or headed for the leadership; Peacock versus Howard was a fight where the combatants didn’t peg themselves to serious manifesto-like political positions; Howard was never mad enough to stake his leadership to his controversial opinions of immigration.

    What we have now, ideologically, is huge.

    The analogy I see is Whitlam and Calwell being at each other’s throats over Vietnam policy in the lead-up to the 1966 election—that is, I can’t find a conservative analogy for this war from the recent past (Joh? Chipp? They were all outside the tent pissing in, not inside pissing out.) I can only come up with examples of Labor being at odds with itself in the past.

    If the Coalition can’t reconcile themselves to fighting AGW then they are stuffed. This is an issue which the warring factions are not going to just let go.

  98. Ken Lovell

    Good god the delusions are flying thick and fast. A good chunk of the front bench has resigned to demonstrate lack of confidence in the leader, the Nats are in open rebellion, and … after a few weeks everything will be apples?

    Sure, Abbott Minchin Mirabella Abetz and the rest will all become loyal foot soldiers in the Turnbull army and the conservatives will make Inconvenient Truth ver.2 to show how committed they are to fighting AGW.

    ALP supporters are capable of some pretty impressive self-deception at times but I can’t recall them reaching heights like we are seeing now from the Lib hard core.

  99. Eddy's mum

    And it puts the Greens on the same side as Minchin and Abbott – who’d have thought?

    Will a Green vote for the bill to thwart them?

  100. Sam

    Andrew 94, you are assuming that Abbott, Minchin, Abetz etc will just go away quietly. It’s not really their style. A more likely scenario is that they will act like the Serbians in the hills around Sarajevo in 1994, dropping bombs in the marketplace, creating much chaos and bloodshed.

    It’s all very well saying that Turnbull has moved the Liberals into the msinstream on climate change, but all he’ll have really done is moved his hand picked shadow cabinet. The parliamentary party is divided down the middle, and the party branches are burning him in effigy as I write.

    Then there is the National Party, which will probably leave the coalition tomorrow.

    And you reckon things will soon get back to normal?

  101. Nickws

    The Libs are not Republicans and this is not America. We’re seeing John Howard’s legacy to his party today.

    Paul Keating was wrong to ever compare J.Ho to Richard Nixon.

    Nixon built a fairly cohesive (if not necessarily coherent) political structure that dominated America for a generation after he lost power.

  102. murph the surf.

    “Can anyone actually imagine an Abbott led opposition committed to inaction on climate change, Workchoices redux, etc?”
    Nor can I imagine a Minchin assisted , Hockey led or Bishop led gaggle doing anything but confirming their isolation from modern thought , recent science and rational decision making.
    They are becoming the head down , eyes closed ,arms flailing about reverse perambulation party par excellence.
    If Turnbull survives he should clean this lot out pronto.

  103. joe2

    I’m not completely sure whether ming had nice teeth.

  104. jo

    Wow. Wow.

    Lucius Minchin has taken his Death Eaters off to the back bench to keep alive Lord Howard’s legacy….to gather strength and bide their time…will they defeat Malcolm Snape and that boy wizard Kevin Potter?

    What dastardly tricks will Sophie Lastrange & Draco Abbott conjure up next!

  105. Mark

    Elsewhere: Rundle and Keane at The Stump, Public Opinion, Hoyden About Town New Matilda, Politically Homeless and Greens Blog on the CPRS legislation’s passage.

  106. Casey

    Howard most certainly did not. Well, not before the veneers anyway.

  107. Ginja

    I remember saying to mates around the time of Tampa that John Howard would drag the Libs so far to the Right that eventually he would turn it into a joke party just as Margaret Thatcher did for the UK Tories.

    It seems his loyal followers are now completeing his work.

    What I shake my head over is that it’s only now dawning on the media just how nutty and extreme the Libs have become. Who were they reporting on all this time?

  108. Peter Kemp

    So Abbott wiill go on to lead the Democratic Liberal Party.

    Nah, the Revolutionary Democratic Christian Front.
    Patron saint: Lucretia Borgia.
    Party Spiritual advisers: Fred Nile for the Proddos and Ratzo for the Catholics. (Abdul Nacer Benbrika for any other brand of theists)
    Party whips: Kim Jong-il supervising the NSW liberal party sky fairy crazies.
    Foreign party affiliations with the Sarah Palin Party.
    Speechwriters foreign affairs: Bill O’Reilly, Glen Beck.
    Military adviser: MarkL
    Economic Policy and Mining under People’s Houses adviser: The Bird.

  109. Ginja

    …completing, sorry.

    What an implosion.

  110. Katz

    This is no ordinary leadership stoush.

    This isn’t about personality politics and egos gone wild.

    This is about the soul of the Liberal Party.

    To put it quite plainly we are watching an irretrievable breakdown in a difficult marriage.

    The losers in the coming ballot will not be able to live with the winners.

    Several Liberals will resign from the party after this vote.

  111. robbo

    Well done to Turnbull for taking a stance, as for the rest of the rabble that declare their allegiance to the tory party, bloody glad you aren’t representing me.

    For all that some of us feel somewhat amused/vindicated/or even apopleptic, this is no bloody good! We do need an effectual opposition and we certainly don’t have one.

    One can only hope that the lying rodent and the smirk are truly feeling satisfied with the legacy that they have left behind.

  112. Polyquats

    Jo at 104
    Best analysis so far.
    This is just so much fun. Haven’t wasted so much time on Twitter and blogs since the Grech weekend. Never thought I would be able to in my new job.

    What are they thinking? Can any of them really think there is a way out of this?

  113. Craig Mc

    Well this is the heart of the problem – Malcolm would rather be popular here than represent his constituents. Good riddance. He should never have had the job in the first place.

  114. deconst

    See what an effectual opposition did in this parliament! They simply said ‘No’ on most things then went ‘Ohh… Okay’ on the second reading. An ALP majority would’ve passed a much better range of policies – especially in the first term when all the MPs would have been on their best behaviour and before entropy sets in.
    It would be even better if the ALP had the Greens as an option to pass bills but we can’t hope for everything.

  115. joe2

    “This is about the soul of the Liberal Party.”

    Stop exaggerating Katz. They don’t have one.

  116. Leinad

    I think Uhlmann was right to say it’s a bit of both – Turnbull is a polarising figure and his style was well known well before he took the job. It’s true he and his allies are small l but some of their opponents are as well. What will bring him down will be the currents of Howardism and discontent with his managerial style.

  117. Lefty E

    This is fantastic viewing folks.

    I rate climate change my number 1 political priority – by miles – and as such I am happy to applaud Turnbull’s pluck and courage here. Stick a stake through those idiot f*ckers’ hearts!! Nowhere to run, losers!!!

    Howard’s legacy was killed tonight. This is the old wets returning from the dead.

  118. Mark

    @116 – This “managerial style” thing is actually proxy for acting like a leader. Turnbull wants to set a direction and gets called “arrogant”. In fact, all the talk of consultation and so on just means that the Liberal right refuses to be led by someone who won’t totally adopt their position.

  119. hannah's dad

    Essential Report
    “Who should lead the Libs?” [paraphrase]

    July 09 August 09

    Joe 17 16
    Mal 12 12
    Tony 7 7
    Julie 8 6

    Someone else 23 26
    Dunno 33 33

    Just seemed relevant to look at this.

  120. Nickws

    I think Uhlmann was right to say it’s a bit of both

    I would take everything he says with a grain of salt—Chris Uhlmann is an Abbott man a climate change `skeptic’.

    Oh, and why are straight political reporters giving us opinions (whether ABC or not)?

  121. mick

    Ahhhhh!!!! Stupid timezones. I’ve missed all the fun this week.

  122. Katz

    “This is about the soul of the Liberal Party.”

    Stop exaggerating Katz. They don’t have one.

    Yes the do.

    They sold it and then leased it back under a highly tax advantaged scheme.

  123. Leinad

    Mark – I think that’s part of it, but this is Turnbull we’re talking.

    He has form.

    Remember the Crabb biography? Utegate? The Republic? The rumblings about his personality clashing with the party started back in 2002. He’s misjudged the numbers, in and outside of parliament and the evidence is pretty clear, starting with his belief on Tues that he had the numbers 60/40.

  124. Sacha

    These have been the maddest days in politics in the last 20 years – exceeding the Keating/Hawke leadership stoush in ’91 and possibly the craziness on the coalition side in ’87 (it’s difficult to remember politics in ’87 as I was in yr 9).

    How long until a by-election in Wentworth? Malcolm will resign from Parliament if he’s no longer leader.

  125. David Irving (no relation)

    I’m actually starting to have some respect (and – almost – sympathy) for Malcolm. His wish to stick to a deal that’s been agreed to is quite admirable.

  126. Andrew Reynolds

    No – I do not imagine they will become loyal footsoldiers. The CPRS issue, however, was going to hang around the Libs like a really bad smell. Rudd would be able to use it to wedge them at will – as he has been for the last few months. The whole reason Rudd re-introduced when he did was directed at a wedge. There was no other reason.
    The ALP used to circle around these issues for years and it lost them several elections (GST rollback anyone?) as they tried to come to some sort of a workable outcome.
    Once the legislation is passed, however bad it is, Rudd will have to find another wedge issue to take to an election. I can’t see one now that he has comprehensively gone Howardian on the asylum issue.
    Turnbull had to do this to have a shot at the next election. If he had not then Rudd would have been able to take cheap shots at him virtually at will. Now it is (just about) done he has a chance of putting it behind them and moving on.
    Perhaps it will all blow up in his face, but even if it does and there is a spill he has given the few senators that may have wanted to vote for this the chance to do so – which, whoever the leader is at the next election, means that the issue is now a virtual non-issue.

  127. Robert Merkel

    Craig Mc: as a matter of practical politics, Malcolm’s constituents (or more to the point, the right of Alby Schulz’s constituents) might agree with you, but you’re in a too small minority..

    Trying to win an election on a “climate change doesn’t exist” policy is about as likely to work as Labor getting to the next election with a policy of “the socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.”

  128. joe2

    Jesus, don’t you start now, DI(nr).

  129. Martin B

    you are assuming that Abbott, Minchin, Abetz etc will just go away quietly. It’s not really their style. A more likely scenario is that they will act like the Serbians in the hills around Sarajevo in 1994, dropping bombs in the marketplace, creating much chaos and bloodshed.

    Indeed. Even if Turnbull can somehow survive to lead the Libs to inevitable defeat in the next election, is it not certain that these will use this defeat as a further weapon against him? Turnbull’s chances of being the first Liberal leader since since 1949 to lead the party for the full term after an election loss – already low – must now be infinitesimal.

  130. Mark

    Update: New post – Five propositions on the Liberal Right’s week of FAIL.

  131. Lefty E

    My favourite part of all this: the paleo-Libs really dont seem to realise or care that Turnbull is the only thing between them and complete electoral oblivion, 1996 style. Safe seats falling left, right, centre – it’ll be a massacre.

    Imagine Abbott’s campaign: with images of Howard committing to an ETS in 2007, and Turnbull in 2009. Libs: zero integrity welchers led by a crazed religious fundy.

    Welcome to the base vote test, 2010. hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

    The thing is: I reckon they’re stupid enough to do it. And that the other legacy at stake – the rise of a cadres of compliant morons under Howard. He liked ’em that way – loyal, and dumb as two short planks. With no ideas, an no ability to adjust to changing realities.

    Welcome to the payoff, chumps.

  132. robbo

    Mark, the liberal right refuse to acknowledge that they are the OPPOSITION. They continue to behave in a manner that reflects the lack of ability to cope with no longer being in charge.Hence the inability to cope with Turnbull when he has the hide to actually make a decision. One that the electorate is hanging out for.But not one that the lying rodent would have made unless an election was due,in which case these duplicitous bastards would have been more than happy to go along with yet another non-core promise.

  133. Nickws

    Andrew Reynolds @ 126: The whole reason Rudd re-introduced [the ETS] when he did was directed at a wedge. There was no other reason.

    Really? You don’t think wedging the Opposition was just one of the objectives?

    I’d argue the government have done what they’ve done just so they can have a range of options. They might want to fight a DD, but then again they may not. They realise that Copenhagen isn’t a real obstacle to the pragmatists in the Liberal Party—while Copenhagen means jackshit to the denialist including the entire National Party.

    Of course it helps that doing this now means forcing the Libs to make a decision at the exact moment that conventional wisdom in Oz politics says is the latest a party can change leaders before an election (before we move into the calendar year of the scheduled election, that is).

    They (the ALP) just haven’t wanted to close any doors, IMO. Can’t blame them for the denialists being the only true conviction politicians RE climate change in either of the major parties (which is a point that every good progressive has been making here for months, no?)

    I’d argue that Rudd & co may well be kicking themselves tomorrow if Turnbull is rolled in the morning and the Coalition senators vote en masse to oppose the CPRS bill in the afternoon and not enough moderates cross the floor to allow the legislation to pass.

    They may just want a bill more than they want to divide and conquer the Opposition…

  134. Ambigulous

    I wish to advise that the Victorian Branch of the ALP was run by a tiny faction (in terms of its appeal to voters) for many long years – while its State and Federal candidates did very poorly. This lamentable position was removed by crazy brave Opposition Leader E.G. Whitlam, with the assistance of courageous individuals including John Button.

    Sometimes a leader just has to try to clean out the Augean stables. Horse sh*t is generally not saleable, politically; not to the wider public in any case, a.k.a. “the voters”.

    I agree with DI(nr) and others that Viscount Turnbull’s speech tonight was strong and admirable.

    For once a leadership battle is being fought out on an important area of policy, not “who the Premier slept with”, et cetera, ad nauseam

  135. Sam

    Andrew 126

    it’s wrong to assume that just because the official Liberal position will be to support the CPRS (assuming that Turnbull survives) that he will havwe neutralised the issue. The fight within the Liberal Party to make policy officially denialist (something it has never been) has already begun. Rudd will be able to say that Turnbull is a minority in his own party, which will be objectively true, and that his party is just itching to go denialist; also true.

    If you want an historical analogy, for decades after Chifley’s failed bank nationalisation, there were forces within the ALP who agitated for it, long after it ceased to be party policy. The Liberals successfully branded Labor as closet nationalisers.

  136. Zorronsky

    Sceptics, Denialists, RWDB’s, Ultra-Conservatives Big L Liberals or whatever you like to call them are death to the Party in the long term. Howard excised true liberalism but for a very few. Wear it with pride Johnny, you have exposed the real achilles heal of conservatism, a tremendous aid to their [i before e except after c lol], future [if they have one] but I wont be holding my breath, history is probably not true in the same way AGW isn’t. Ha ha.

  137. Nickws

    Ambigulous @ 134, the Whitlamites and the Participants took on the 2nd generation of the hard Left who’d shanghaied Victorian Labor after the Split.

    That is, they waited until after a whole cadre of ’em died first.

    Tony Abbott is a vigorous man.

  138. jo

    c) There has been a softening on the AGW position across the electorate and it suits the Govt… as much as Malcolm to get this passed quickly. According to Possum’s post on recent ETS polling:

    If they pass the ETS, 45% of their voters (Libs) will disagree with the party’s actions, while if they prevent the legislation from passing, 37% of their voters will disagree with their actions

    (Together with ALP/Green voters..there is still a majority across the electorate in favour of the legislation, so no probs for the Govt. 50/31 at the mo, and the rest don’t understand/care.)

    But it’s a big Lib minority if you count the don’t knows/care with the approves w/ the approves, who are agin it, and that’s what Lucius Minchin and Co. are using as their credibility shield, because they don’t have any other…business…science.. blah, nil. But where were these 45% going to go anyway…nowhere, and this is either the insanity or more likely the cynicism of holding up their rusted-on’s as representative of anything else but their own base.

    And why Turnbull’s position is the smarter position electorally if it.wasn’t for the minority as Mark keeps pointing out – the minority of their partyroom on both the bill and the leadership spill, chucking the biggest dummy spit evah. What bit of losing a vote don’t they get?

    That said, I’d be surprised if Malcolm gets a bounce in the polls. So much shit flying, some of it going to stick to him surely, which is a shame if he’s not rewarded by the wider electorate for sticking it to the Trogs, but it’s not a ride where everyone gets a go.

    In respect of the email deluge….apparently the Parrot/2GB and Steve Price/2UE etc were all rabid today and demanding everyone email their Libs MP’s…the demographics of their audience probably mirrors the 45% almost exactly. So nothing to see there. However, they certainly all have their ducks lined up in terms of being on-message – it’s just a tax, Rudd just wants to big note himself and so on.

    e) Depending on the quality of the ALP candidate and Green preferences, I’d put money on a Abbott-led Opposition losing the slightly cursed jewel of Wentworth in a by-election, (finally). Which would be some sweet revenge for Turnbull if it panned out that way.

  139. jo

    posted on the wrong thread. doh!

  140. feral sparrowhawk

    I’m a little confused about the numbers. If Turnbull won 48-35, then that would seem to suggest 35 as the minimum denialist vote. Now the Nationals have 13 MPs, so if they all voted against the ETS that should have made for a draw. And we were told there were some people who were anti-ETS but loyal to Turnbull.

    This suggests to me that there must be some people who were pro the ETS who voted for the spill. WTF? Are they people who just thought the spill should happen, or are there people who are pro-ETS AND pro-Andrews?

    Sorry if this has already been discussed, I missed a fair bit of this.

  141. Fran Barlow

    I suppose it’s too much to hope that the decision by the coalition to support the deal will be bucked by the Liberals in the senate.

    I think the time may have come for a bit of mischief making.

    I think maybe posing as capital c-conservatives and writing to pro-CPRS senators may put the final nail in this rotten deal and send the conservative forces into the wilderness at the same time.

    What’s not to like about that?

    Time for a visit to the Andrew Bolt/Piers Akerman blogs …

    PS Feral Sparrowhawk

    The Nationals didn’t get to vote in the spill motion — Liberals only.

  142. Nickws

    feral sparrowhawk, I think it’s because the only solidarity ‘pledge’ the Liberals have is the traditional cabinet (in this case shadow cabinet) solidarity rules.

    The anti-ETS forces blame Turnbull for winning half of the frontbench over to his way of thinking vis-à-vis the communist plot to de-industrialise Australia.

    A sound leader would not support the plot against America Australia.

    (The leadership spill was a secret ballot, presumably the denialists who resigned today all voted for a spill the other day.)

  143. jane

    Why would Kevin Rudd need to bother wedging the Libs when they’re doing it very successfully all by themselves.

  144. feral sparrowhawk

    Ahh thank you Nickws, that makes sense.

  145. Chookie

    In terms of performance, not philosophy, will this leave the Coalition in much of a hole? Opposition has two jobs: to (re)formulate their policies to improve their electoral chances, and to pursue the Government for errors and missteps. Shadow Cabinet should be more of the former.

    Can’t help thinking that Mirabella and Abetz aren’t much loss from the front bench. Abbott’s and Minchin’s experience might have been useful, or was it merely stopping the Opposition from realising that they were in opposition? Is Parry easily replaced as Whip? The Deputy Opposition Whip is a denialist, so might not inherit the job. Tony Smith — well, with a name like that he’s probably pretty interchangeable with one of the other youngsters.

    I wonder has Turnbull been lying awake at night thinking of his dream team…

  146. Craig Mc

    Trying to win an election on a “climate change doesn’t exist” policy is about as likely to work as Labor getting to the next election with a policy of “the socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.”

    OTOH, trashing your party in some inane hijack attempt to capture green voters who will never vote for you anyway is as likely to work as well as, well, Turnbull predictably has. This, after all, is a man who couldn’t be trusted to change a light bulb.

    The ETS boondoggle is as anathematic to the party of economic rationalism as WorkChoices was to the party of unionism. You might think either is a good idea, but you’re probably in the wrong party if you do.

  147. Asha Leu

    Kevin Rudd must be laughing his ass off.

    But, honestly, why on earth would anyone actually want the Liberal leadership at the moment? Surely any prospective leaders are far better waiting the year or so until the next election and then taking up the reigns when they actually have some sort of chance of winning.

  148. Craig Mc

    Trying to win an election on a “climate change doesn’t exist” policy is about as likely to work as Labor getting to the next election with a policy of “the socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.”

    BTW, this will be Labor’s policy at the next election. It’s exactly what the ETS is.

  149. Nickws

    Craig Mc, if John Howard wanted to turn us into NZ with Workchoices, why shouldn’t Malcolm Turnbull do the same with an ETS? John Key’s amendments to the existing Labour legislation sound suspiciously like what the Lib leader here has worked out with the ALP.

  150. Ambigulous


    That’s true about Victorian ALP. My point was merely that
    i) internecine warfare
    ii) consequent electoral failure, and
    iii) die-hard, tiny minority hijackings of major parties
    are none of them the exclusive preserve or playground of right wing dingbats. Some posters seemed to be suggesting it’s only the far right that’s populated by the loopy.

    Never was, never will be.

    BTW (others), to say that Viscount Turnbull “declared nuclear war on his Party opponents” is a little unfair, considering that his Senate leader Sen. Minchin tossed a grenade publicly by saying that even if a compromise were reached, the Libs might not vote for an amended ETS.

    They may not, ultimately, but that was disloyalty and bastardry of the highest order, Senator. Has any previous Liberal Senate leader acted in similar fashion?

  151. GG

    For all those people who voted Labour SUFFER, because you will!!
    Chairman KRUDD is on a mission for sainthood!

  152. Zorronsky

    @151..Godwin read the Senate report into utegate.

  153. Katz

    Serious question now:

    The ETS boondoggle is as anathematic to the party of economic rationalism as WorkChoices was to the party of unionism. You might think either is a good idea, but you’re probably in the wrong party if you do.

    The blogosphere is full of commenters saying more or less precisely this.

    Yet it appears that either a large minority or a small minority of Liberal Party parliamentarians disagree with this. These parliamentarians are political operators whose primary function is to survive the hurly burly of party politics with its faction fights, its pre-selection struggles, its political knifings and its ultimate purpose of getting 50% plus one vote of the TPP ticked in their column on the ballot paper.

    Why do the rightist commenters on the blogosphere think they know more about these games than the professional practitioners of it whom they so roundly criticise?

    And on a related theme, it is clear that Liberal senators are disproportionately represented among the deniers and the anti-Turnbullites. Could it be that these rebels, either coming from smaller states and/or not immediately answerable to the voters of a specific electorate, do not feel the heat of popular support for some sort of genuine action on AGW? Thus these anti-Turnbullite rebels feel they can oppose with impunity.

    Whereas, members of the H of R are overwhelmingly from the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne — educated, middle-class electorates. It is the disposition of these electorates that determines which party wins government. (Have the Right already forgotten what happened to their little hero John Howard in leafy Bennelong?

    The Right appears to be prepared to alienate these folks living in the leafy suburbs of our two greatest cities in a quixotic quest for ideological purity.

  154. Fran Barlow

    Caraig [email protected] reckons that the ALP will restore the socialist objective for the next election …

    Really? I’d love to see that. Hell — it might even vote for them in such circumstances

  155. Paul Burns

    Among the many things I find distasteful with the current Liberal Party shenanigans, in which I must admit I am delighting in on an hourly basis, is that its startiong to distract me from my writing. Yet another reason not to vote for them.

  156. Zorronsky

    According to the dingbats, reaching outcomes democratically is bullying! The “majority” is bullying the poor minority rightwingers and Rudd’s behind it all. And isn’t the parliament aware that the ” born to rule” must prevail even in minority.
    What’s more they are surely within their rights to unprincipled behavior, lying, breaking agreements and acting as if they had never lost Government two years ago.
    The longer this continues the more dingbat deniers emerge from under the lying facade of “Liberalism.”

  157. Baraholka

    Katz @19 on the thread that spawned the thread that spawned this thread:

    You said:

    This is the end of The Party that Ratty Made.

    It is important to recall how Ratty made his party — by means of back-stabbing and faction-driven branch-stacking. Standing on a pile of political corpses…

    Your quote summarizes an argument in the paper “‘You lucky, lucky bastard!’. The Extent Of John Howard’s Political Genius.’ by Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen. It was presented at the John Howard Decade Conference at ANU in March 2006. An extract appears on-line under the far less spicy title of ‘Howard The Ideologue’.

    Errington and van Onselen wrote:

    While [Howard’s championing of the ideological right] doesn’t seem to have done much harm in terms of the harmony and discipline of the party in government, a less successful federal Liberal Party may reap the whirlwind of the divisive practices of the Howard years.

    And further:

    The extent of damage caused by Howard’s factional warfare will only be known well after he has retired, and will likely cause some reassessment of his political skills

    Surveying the Liberal Party in advanced factional rabble mode must be causing Errington and van Onselen to emit quite a glow of professional satisfaction as their predictions settle nicely into history, and Howard himself must be getting severe indigestion as he quaffs the case of complimentary Claret from the American Enterprise Institute and wonders how to blame somebody else (that Minchin perhaps) for the ruin now unfolding.

    I blogged it here