It seems we’ve misunderestimated Malcolm. On Monday we lamented:

His passing … it seems inevitable now … is a sad one. Sad for Turnbull, sad for the Liberals and sad for public life in this country.

There he goes, we swooned, striding purposefully into the parliamentary sunset, one hand in Lucy’s, the other tenderly cradling that poor, partially blind, three legged dog. Dignity, writ large. A man who had taken a stand, who had tried to save the world, and the Liberal Party, from itself.

Maybe not.

First came his blog post on the Senate vote. Then came Joe Hockey’s assertion that Turnbull has said he wouldn’t stand if the spill motion was successful. Turnbull replied: “I came to the view that if there was only one other vote for me, I didn’t want to deny that person the opportunity to vote for me.” Mmmm.

And now the Turnbull/Bishop shitfight. He says he saw Julie write Tony’s name down in the final vote. She says she wrote his. Hence a lofty email exchange betwixt the two, in which the felled Liberal leader writes of the disparity between Julie’s public support for Tony and:

“… what you were saying to us last night in our apartment … your scathing attacks on him and his character… You would have been far better advised not to accept that role … Too many people know what you think of him, and what he thinks of you.”

Crikey has so far been unable to obtain a copy of the original email exchange, but believe it can be summarised thus:

But you said.

But na. But yeah. But you never.

Ner.

Ner nee ner ner.

Sadly it seems Turnbull excels at primary school politics. He’s promised this morning to behave himself. But we still feel sucked in.

Meanwhile, not one to let the Liberal Party and the Rees government have all the fun, Crikey indulged in our own spill this week. The upshot? Departing editor Jonathan Green will ride off into the sunset (sans dog) tomorrow, and Sophie Black has agreed to sip from the coveted chalice of new Crikey editor. Read all about it here.

Peter Fray

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