Michael Pascoe writes:

At first glance, you might think another
problem looming for the AWB’s single desk wheat export monopoly would be the
National Party’s fading political power. Don’t bet on it.

Let’s just imagine for a minute that the Nats
think logically about their future (they won’t) and pull out of the formal
coalition. As it’s generally perceived that it’s been the Nationals giving the
wheat farmers what the majority want on the single desk, you might think those
market forces Liberal types would happily dump it. That’s the sort of noise
Wilson Tuckey makes anyway.

But I don’t think so. John Howard, the fella
with the Akubra that doesn’t wear him
very well, would turn on agrarian socialists in a minute to win National seats. The
single desk would be perfectly safe as long as most farmers want it, right or

Indeed, a Liberal v National battle for
the rural and regional seats would make the last election’s pork barrelling
look like mere bacon rind. You’ve got a creek that doesn’t need dredging or a
bankrupt railway or an oval that needs mowing, go see Akubra John.

But a coalition split won’t happen anyway
for the simple reason that too many Nats have their nose in the trough of
government. You don’t choose to drop from a Minister’s wage to a backbencher’s
if you can possibly avoid it – whatever the longer term future of your party or