What better occasion than Australia Day for the National Party to go off
like a bunch of cheap fireworks?

The story so far: as more rats
prepared to jump the
sinking ship
, stalwart Ron Boswell’s preselection
chances were downgraded to “rat sh*t”, Queensland Nationals president Bruce
Scott and Senator Fiona Nash were threatening mutiny, although De-Anne Kelly was
taking her demotion on chin, no-one else was taking anything lying down,
Barnyard and his new playmate Fiona were stoking up the spectre of crossing the
floor on anything they now dream

And their gallant leader, what of Mark Vaile? Well, he was sipping chardonnay at 30,000
feet on the way to Switzerland, leaving his party to weep blood and the media to
play their new game: Guess The Next Defector.

Vaile’s departure, painted nicely by Sam Maiden in today’s Australian, raises the question: has the party’s new leader given up already
and left the children to squabble?

By the time he returns from Geneva for the party’s crisis meeting, will there even be a party to
return to?

We wonder how the sad
remnants of the formerly great party will greet their roaming Captain when he
returns on Monday. Maybe in the words of Gilbert & Sullivan they’ll rally
round and give: “three cheers, and one cheer more, For the well-bred
Captain of the Nats of yore!”