Malcolm Turnbull had a message for Peter Costello at the weekend, says Glenn Milne today in his column in The Australian.

The message was apparently contained in Turnbull’s comment that his ancestors stood up for Governor Bligh back in the early days of the NSW colony.

“You see where this is going, of course,” says Milne.

Um, no, actually. Tell us, Glenn.

“Bligh is Turnbull’s middle name.”

So therefore, um, that makes Peter Costello and his supporters the Rum Corps and Turnbull will fight them.

“Turnbull will not be found cowering under any bed,” Milne added, arguably somewhat redundantly.

Turnbull doesn’t seem the bed-cowering type, should there be any beds on the planet beneath which his head could be comfortably accommodated.

If Turnbull is relying on metaphors from colonial history and his middle name to send messages, he’s in worse trouble than we thought. There are easier ways to send messages. Morse code. Braille. Esperanto.

But maybe Milne missed the real metaphor, which was not the Rum Corp but the Bounty. By Milne’s logic that makes Peter Costello the mutinous Fletcher Christian. Will Turnbull end up cast adrift with a handful of loyal supporters? Could Costello be played by Marlon Brando? Or by Mel Gibson? The latter has similarly weird religious views to Costello. That might mean Turnbull should be played by Charles Laughton, or Anthony Hopkins.

Could Lucy Turnbull be Elsa Lanchester, Bride of Frankenstein? Can we get Sydney Greenstreet to play Joe Hockey? How many degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and Malcolm Turnbull anyway?

“But for now the Liberal Party knows, we know and, more important, Costello knows there will be no meek handover of power by Turnbull.”

The history lesson was four sentences in a lengthy speech that focussed almost entirely on the Government’s handling of the economic crisis.

We now know something, Glenn, but it’s about you, not the people you’re writing about.