A very canny Liberal in NSW told a few backbenchers the facts of life last week : ‘get over the Messiah complex and do some bloody work’. So where does the problem lie – with the indians or the chiefs ?

There is actually nothing wrong with Chickers except the team she leads is off on one of their tangents, searching for answers, instead of doing what oppositions are supposed to do – make ’em up and blame the guvvermunt.

Maybe the problem with Chickers is that she isn’t kicking the lazy members of her shadow cabinet out, and replacing them with loyal, hardworking and intelligent contributors to public policy. Or maybe there aren’t any loyal supporters left.

At the very least Chickers could be kicking some heads and stop being driven by those terrible ‘power brokers’. Could you see Thatcher being treated the way Chickers is being treated? Not on your iron undies.

Or maybe the unruly and childish backbenchers think they’re already in government and they have to slam the Liberal leader who is the human face of the State opposition? It would explain their blatant disloyalty and rampant stupidity.

One thing is perfectly clear, most of the elected Liberals who remain – the ones lucky enough who had a double digit margin prior to March 1999 (the election where voters gave the Liberals and Nationals the double digit salute) – think they’re so great they can say and do nothing and just wait for government to be bestowed on them.

Maybe they’re waiting for the sword to come out of the lake, although I don’t think they have a lake in Sydney. It might come out of the Harbour. Or maybe Broggers thinks the sword will come out of the ocean, after all he’s on the coast isn’t he? It’s an illogical thought really because that means that being the ‘chosen’ one is really a matter of location, location, location.

(Well it is Sydney after all, and why should leadership be based on good real estate?)

Maybe the sword is just a fairytale and it won’t happen and what will give the Liberals government is solid policy development and some good runs on the board.

Don’t be bloody stupid.

Meanwhile Chickers is on the front line, wearing the blame for her members’ inaction. Editorial after editorial saying the NSW Liberals are adrift in a sea of confusion (there’s that bloody water thing again) and desperately waiting for the right man to come along.

It’s a sad indictment that, again, men are leaving all the work to the woman. The NSW Liberals are like the type of marriage where the woman works 80 hours a week only to come home and clean the toilet because he won’t do it.

Ok, if you want a more blokey analogy, imagine St George with one player who runs all over the field while the rest of players stand around the sidelines sucking oranges, offering useless advice on how to kick a goal and tackle at the same time. Exhausted and frustrated, the star player sits on the bench after the match while the rest of the team bitches about what a terrible game she played.

Then you replace the one football player who was actually playing football. But again you all stand around the sidelines sucking oranges and offering advice and again lose the game.

Why? It’s a team sport, that’s why.

I’m sorry if I’m being simplistic about this, and maybe some of the shadow spokesindividuals are doing quite good work, but the polls indicate otherwise.

Yeah, yeah. Oppositions don’t win, governments lose. But governments don’t lose unless there is an effective opposition. Bla bla bla.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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