TONY, SURELY NOT YOU!
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.
Samantha Maiden is one of the better political journos around and a terrific sheila but it appears she has been pushed to come up with an exclusive on Abbott... and she has. Unfortunately it’s an exclusive that makes no sense and to be honest, I don’t believe it.
“The Sunday Telegraph can reveal (that means we reckon) that several cabinet ministers (that means no-one) have urged the Prime Minister to replace Joe Hockey with Malcolm Turnbull to forestall a spill motion.
“These Ministers”, says Ms Maiden, “include Ms Bishop, who urged Mr Abbott to take action over Mr Hockey’s performance in private talks before Christmas”. What a load of frog droppings!
Ms Maiden also suggested Senate leader Eric Abetz was yesterday accused (accused by whom? A bloody cab driver?) of ringing conservative MPs to say that Abbott would be prepared to dump Mr Hockey to save his leadership. More bullshit!
Ms Maiden continued, “Senator Abetz last night issued an emphatic denial, saying, ‘I continue to support the leadership team and all ministerial colleagues’, a spokesman said”.
Oh okay, so a “spokesman” said that Eric Abetz had issued an emphatic denial, eh? If an emphatic denial had been issued, why the hell the need to quote, “a spokesman”? This is appalling stuff even for a tabloid rag like the Sunday Telegraph.
I understand that circulation figures are at a premium, but for Christ’s sake an “exclusive” needs a little more meat on the bone than, “a spokesman said”, “we can reveal”, “sources suggest”, or “someone was accused of”. At least Fairfax garbage is predictably opinionated.
The strongest supporter of Abbott has been Treasurer Joe Hockey. To suggest that Abbott would replace him with Turnbull in a Cabinet reshuffle to forestall a Turnbull challenge is nothing short of ridiculous. Turnbull’s eyes are firmly on the top job and Abbott would be in a far worse position than he is now if he publicly wasted a close ally to save his own skin.
As suggested here last week, Abbott should bite the bullet, kill the spill motion and confront the Party room demanding a vote of confidence in his leadership, otherwise there will be blood all over the walls with spatter analysts forensically guessing where it came from for the next decade.
The sandgropers who intend to call this spill motion are simply handing out AK47s and chucking hand grenades.
If Abbott loses a vote of confidence in his leadership, it’s all over for him anyway. The Prime Minister’s position will then be declared vacant and an orderly vote will be taken to replace him.
If he wins a confidence vote (and there’s a good chance he will if he catches them on the hop) the Party can immediately get on with normal business and the sharks, for now, can go home hungry.
If Abbott refuses to call for a vote of confidence in his leadership and a spill motion succeeds, a show of hands or even a secret ballot will divide the Party into factional camps of winners and losers with long memories. The scribes will have a field day conjecturing as to who was up who. The Party will be damaged further.
But if Abbott is successful in disallowing a spill motion, it will be a pyrrhic victory, nothing will have been resolved, it will be same place, same time, same contenders in a few weeks time.
Let’s face it, Abbott is damaged goods, but let’s see if he is the good man they say he is and puts his Party before his broken ambitions.