Bill Shorten and Kimberley Kitching (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)
Bill Shorten and Kimberley Kitching (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Scott Morrison and his government are running ten points behind on Newspoll and the Libs have just taken a shellacking in South Australia. They probably won't win in May. Should they somehow do so, one major reason why would be the front page of Saturday's Tele and Herald Sun -- where Health Workers Union secretary Diana Asmar, Kimberley Kitching's friend and factional mate, unloads on Anthony Albanese in the strongest terms to date, claiming Kitching was a "nervous wreck" at the sight of Penny Wong and others, all but claiming she was a dead woman walking.

As Kitching's funeral starts this afternoon -- at St Patrick's Cathedral, a privately arranged affair to look like a state occasion -- we can reflect on just how far the people around her are willing to go in their war against their own party, weeks out from a federal election. 

Make no mistake about it. If somehow Morrison can use this to his advantage and win -- and it's one of the few things he's got at the moment -- then what Bill Shorten and his shrunken sub-faction are doing now will rank as one of the greatest betrayals of the Australian Labor Party in its one hundred and thirty year history. In a wilful connivance with News Corp and parts of Nine, a group angry at being squeezed from party power is building the conditions for a surprise defeat as we speak.