How is this week not over yet?
I mean, seriously. Today was a day that made most Australians long for a simpler time, when popular Prime Ministers were knifed overnight and the country could just move on.
I’d laugh if it wasn’t all just so fucking exhausting.
Okay, so as it stands, Malcolm Turnbull is Prime Minister of Australia aaand that’s about all we can say for certain regarding the entire Australian Government.
For a man with a history of gutless concession after gutless concession to his far-right puppet masters, the PM finally managed to find a backbone and stand up to them, demanding they look him in the eye when they plunge their knives.
Turnbull has requested that Peter Dutton and the 43 others claimed have lost confidence in the Prime Minister present him with the rumoured letter calling for him to step down, or at the very least, a party room meeting.
Until that letter appears, Malc isn’t going anywhere.
They also cancelled Parliament for the day, which doesn’t seem like much, but is still fairly significant. Parliament was due to adjourn after today for the next two weeks, but with so many Cabinet Ministers resigning from Government, there really wasn’t any other choice but to call it quits early. Treasurer and former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is said to now be in the running for the leadership of the Liberal Party, and apparently Julie Bishop has put her hand up as well.
To his credit, ScoMo paved the way for Dutton, setting up most of the standard operating procedures now, or until recently, being enforced by old mate Fascist Potato Head. An evangelical Christian, and member of Hillsong, he was long considered to be a future leader of the party, due to his arch-conservative views, right up until he helped Malcolm Turnbull knife Tony Abbott, which soured him for the reactionaries now leading this embarrassing putsch.
JBish is widely regarded as the only member of the Coalition capable of doing their job with any measure of proficiency, and it’s been hard to fault her tenure as Foreign Minister. She has long been seen by voters as the only choice for the next leader of the Liberal Party for this reason. However, she is also a woman in the party that made Tony Abbott leader, so her chances of becoming Prime Minister are slim to none.
In this pundit’s humble opinion, there is no chance of either Morrison or Bishop getting to the top job if and when the spill finally comes. Tony Abbott and his hateful mob have smelt the blood in the water, they won’t stop until they have control of the entire Cabinet, even if it means burning the party to the ground to get there.
They see the growth of One Nation as a major threat to their hegemony, believing this means they need to move even further to the right, to protect their base.
The only problem with this, Australian politics has been trending to the right since Whitlam was ousted in 1975, to the point that the man who removed him from power, Malcolm Fraser, found himself siding with the Greens in his later years, because, as he put it,
No democratic Australia could ever impose penalties on refugees which could match the terror from which most of them flee. Our policies need to change.
The Australian political spectrum has moved so far to the right that some actually view Bill Shorten as being left-wing. And so with this shift, the broader electorate has seen some politicians move beyond their comfort level, with most policies Labor are now advocating being generally popular because they provide some basic progress, with little else to offer beyond that.
Australia is a fairly conservative nation, but generally we will lean into progressive political policies when other major Western nations have already done the same. After all, less than a year ago, this nation legislated in favour of Marriage Equality, with a clear majority supporting it, but only after it was first legislated in Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK, amongst others.
The conservatives fighting against Malcolm Turnbull right now believe that this was the worst thing Australia could have done, that it never should have come to a vote, even though it was their model being voted on. Peter Dutton was the first to propose a non-binding postal survey.
For what it’s worth, Australia’s notional movement on legalising marijuana comes only after Canada and the US started legalising it, despite Australians being amongst the biggest consumers of marijuana in the world.
And speaking of discount Voldemort, apparently there’s a chance that Peter Dutton may not be eligible to sit in Parliament under section 44 of the Constitution, because of some pecuniary interests he has in childcare centres, no not his junior torture chambers on Manus and Nauru, apparently these are legit, and in receipt of Commonwealth funding. So, it’s entirely possible that the Hellraiser himself may have to face the High Court over his conflict of interest, which would put some serious hurt on his career ambitions.
All things considered, I actually blame Malcolm Fraser for the mess we are now facing. If he hadn’t helped to cause the constitutional crisis that ended the Whitlam government in the 1975 Dismissal, then maybe we could have had Bill Shorten work with the Governor General to do the same thing today.
I’m tired of this and I want it to be over. I suspect I am not alone.