A BRIDGE TOO FAR
... and it's over troubled waters
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Tony Abbott should call for a vote of confidence in his leadership at the Party meeting next week. It’s a perilous gamble he may not be prepared to take because he no longer has the numbers but it’s a gamble he must take or his Party will slowly implode.
If he does call for a vote of confidence he will almost certainly lose, all bets will be off, the leadership will then be declared vacant and a new leader elected. Well, that’s what should happen and phones will already be running hot garnering numbers in anticipation.
There is no turning back now. Once a challenge has been denied amid the guff of, “he has my full support, blah blah blah”, once a Prime Minister, even a good man like Abbott, needs to confirm public support from Cabinet Ministers, it’s all over.
An Abbott-hating media already smells blood in the water and every move he, and every likely challenger, makes from now on will be seen in terms of a looming assassination.
The media must be denied a prolonged feeding frenzy. A change in the Prime Ministership must be made as quickly and as seamlessly as possible without a nobody called Mal Brough and others further muddying the waters.
But there’s a problem... all politicians who finally attain their dreams of reigning as great leaders have one thing in common; obstinacy! They will cling to power with bleeding fingernails, defying reason and denying the inevitable for as long as possible. Abbott will be no different. In the interim the Party’s interests will, as usual, run a long last.
Calls to give Abbott until the budget session to get his act together will hopefully fall on deaf ears.
The damage is terminal. Prolonging the pain will only play into the media’s eager hands.
Witness the damaging battles between Fraser and Gorton, McMahon and Gorton, Keating and Hawke, Howard and Costello, Rudd and Gillard and now Abbott and... who knows. On each and every occasion the Party lost ground to personal ambition.
But this scenario is a strange one and not the norm, a challenger is yet to be found! It’s just that Abbott has finally and categorically proved himself unelectable.
The malevolent media hounds are still baying for bloody vengeance over the slaying of their beloved Gillard. But the fox is cornered, battle lines are drawn, a top dog will emerge from the pack and the fox will suffer an ignominious death, the only question remaining is when.
But the longer the barking continues the more already-thin skin the Party will lose.