(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

The inevitable implosion of now-resigned NSW Liberal deputy leader Stuart Ayres’ career this week offers a salient lesson for all those seeking to play the game of thrones. When you’re sinking in the quicksand, listen very carefully to what your colleagues say and the way they say it. Crikey satirist Tom Red decodes the sordid syntax of hugger-mugger politics.

What they say: “This is my leader and I’m ambitious for him.”

What they mean: “You still wake up sometimes, don't you, Clarice? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.”