Take the John Howard lid off the pressure cooker and it all comes out.
Bruce Flegg, Liberal leader with no future in Queensland, refuses to accept a spill motion in his own party of eight. Goner.
In the West, Paul Omodei, Australia’s own Dick (Shooter) Cheney, threatens to hang punches on any of his colleagues who come to his office and ask him to quit. Goner.
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Tony Abbott sets himself up as the custodian of the Howard legacy and the internal opposition to Malcolm Turnbull. Watch your back, Malcolm.
What can Kevin Rudd learn from this? That he has no real fear of an opposition in the immediate future as it consumes its own, and that Abbott will be watching his new leader at every turn departing, as he must, from the electorally disastrous Howard legacy, and denouncing him publicly and privately.
Politics is bastardry, but reserving the right to challenge a leader even before the leader is elected is unprecedented. The party organisation should tell Abbott to go, as he is the instability of tomorrow that the party needs like the proverbial hole in the head. But it won’t.
The Liberal Party’s task ahead is immense. Whether it has the capacity to regenerate is problematic; whether it even survives in its present form is far from certain.
How can it even hope to be a conservative party when Rudd Labor is just that?
Don’t expect a constructive opposition just yet. It has some private butchery to do first – and it won’t be pretty. (Definitely for mature audiences only).