“John Howard has put off major decisions on the direction of the
defence force and the defence budget until next year, prompting renewed
speculation about the departure of the minister, Robert Hill,” the
front page of The Australian claims today . Really?

A more accurate page one yarn might read something like this:

Oddly, the Liberal Senate team is lead by two South
Australians, Robert Hill and his deputy, Nick Minchin. Minchin’s
factional mate from the South Australian right, Alexander Downer,
entertains delusions that he may be able to become deputy leader – or,
when these fevers are particularly bad, regain the top job – when a
certain J W Howard retires.

You can’t have three blokes from a state that is an economic, social
and cultural non-event in the top four positions of a political party.
This means the two right wingers and their minions are briefing against
the moderate.

Yes, yes. I used to work for Hilly and I’m still fond of the old
b*gger, so you can call me biased. But this is a week when Australians
usually have a flutter – so I’m prepared to lay money on the table that
says Hill is going nowhere.