Australian Politics, Mark II


#4705

Right? Ol’ GG Cosgrove would watch ten of them walk to the cross bench and still not dissolve it.


#4706

Lol. The intervention to save Kelly from his own electorate members has worked. RWNJs win again.


#4707

Craig Kelly walked into the gymnastics club a man under pressure. Within minutes he was swearing at the local mayor.

Craig Kelly walked into the Engadine Gymnastics Club on Sunday night a man under pressure.

The embattled Liberal Party backbencher spotted a group of local politicians who had also been invited to hand out awards to excited children. The group included Lee Evans, a Liberal member of the NSW Parliament, and Carmelo Pesce, the Liberal Party’s mayor for the Sutherland Shire Council.

Kelly put out his hand to greet the mayor. Pesce put his hand behind his back.

“You’re a f—ing prick!” Kelly shouted at Pesce. “Are you f—ing kidding me? You’re not going to f—ing shake my hand?”

Pesce refused to speak but Kelly - who had spent much of Sunday trying to save his career - didn’t take the hint: “What? Do you mean you’re not going to f—ing shake my hand.”

Pesce relented and told Kelly he could not stomach the thought of shaking his hand.

“You’re a disgrace for what you’re doing to the party,” Pesce told Kelly.

“You’re the disgrace,” Kelly shot back. Gymnastics coach Graham Spooner intervened and told the men to cool it. So did Evans.

Kelly confirmed the encounter when contacted by Fairfax Media on Sunday night but declined to comment. Pesce refused to talk but Evans confirmed the exchange: “This is not how you behave in public,” he said of Kelly.

The incident capped off another bad day for Kelly and the Liberal Party, which is riven by bad blood and infighting ahead of a federal election next year.

Just a few hours earlier Kelly thought a deal had been done to save him from losing a preselection challenge by local councillor Kent Johns for his safe southern Sydney seat of Hughes.

A preselection defeat would be a disaster for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who needs to keep Kelly’s conservative faction happy and do whatever it takes to keep the unpredictable backbencher from shifting to the crossbench.

A plan was hatched over the weekend to fix it all. Morrison’s powerbrokers decided the best way to handle a tough preselection fight was to cancel the preselection altogether. The NSW Liberal Party’s 23-member state executive would be asked to use its emergency powers to automatically endorse all sitting MPs, including Kelly.

The proposal initially received the support of some members of the moderate faction, who loathe Kelly for his role in the demise of Malcolm Turnbull but were prepared to suck it up for Morrison and party unity.

But as the day went on the backlash grew. Several moderate state executive members resisted enormous pressure from some of the most senior figures in the Morrison government to get on board and save Kelly. By 5pm it was clear the plan to cancel preselections would never get through the state executive. Kelly would likely have to face preselection after all - a reality that hit just before he strode into the Engadine Gymnastics Club.

An intervention by Malcolm Turnbull proved crucial. Turnbull hit the roof when he found out about the peace proposal and telephoned state executive members, including Matt Kean, a minister in Gladys Berejiklian’s government, to urge them to vote against it.

Turnbull couldn’t believe Kelly and his conservative allies were backing a plan to suspend preselections when they’d campaigned so hard over recent years for reforms to give grassroots members more power in selecting candidates.

In a series of tweets, the former prime minister went public: "It has been put to me that Mr Kelly has threatened to go to the crossbench and ‘bring down the government’. If indeed he has made that threat, it is not one that should result in a capitulation. Indeed it would be the worst and weakest response to such a threat.

“It is time for the Liberal Party members in Hughes to have their say about their local member and decide who they want to represent them.”

Turnbull felt he had no choice but to reveal he got involved on Sunday because News Corp publications were preparing to publish stories he believed did not reflect what actually went on.

Rightly or wrongly, his intervention has been interpreted as a direct repudiation of Morrison and will stoke new tensions inside the deeply divided party at the start of the final sitting week of the year.

MPs can’t believe the final week has started as badly as the last one ended and are bracing for what comes next. Despite publicly claiming it’s business-as-usual following Julia Bank’s sensational defection to the crossbench last Tuesday, the Coalition is deeply rattled over its grip on power in the House of Representatives. The audacious bid to snub members and save Kelly is proof of that.


#4708

I’m not sure the ALP are all that much better. But yes. Pigs at the trough.


#4709

Not too many on either side that I’d trust to run a sausage sizzle at bunnings let alone govern the country.


#4710

Abbott still the PM


#4711

Bill Shorten could have a lobotomy and still run a more effective government than this rabble.

The only stability in Australian politics at the moment is all on the left; Labor, the Greens and even the Animal Justice Party are all functional parties working together to get their messages across. I can’t point to any party on the right that isn’t in the midst of an internal power struggle.


#4712

ScuMo acting scummy. Wants to raise the drawbridge before the other Tory RWNJs have a go at him.

So to ScuMo, the #1 priority is ScuMo. It’s not like he has got a country to run or anything.


#4713

The rule changes only protect a Lib PM who actually won a general election. So Scummo is still entirely challengeable at any time.

Nobody will do it though. Abbott and everyone are just waiting for him to get crushed at the next election and hoping to waltz in as the Last Best Hope. Nobody wants to become PM just in time to give a concession speech and resign from parliament in humiliation.


#4714

So this could actually increase the liklihood a Dutton or Abbott would have a tilt before the next election. They get in and are effectively locked in. If Morrison gets in they are effectively locked out. Fantastic.


#4715

No it only applies to a PM, it will be on for young and old if they loose.


#4716

That’s what I mean. Yeah, they’d have to believe they were a chance to win. I reckon Abbott might be crazy enough to believe he can win it.

Also, it was just pointed out to me that it still only takes a party majority to just change the rule back to the way it was. So, it’s potentially just useless sentiment anyway.


#4717

As per most Tory policies


#4718

John Hewson on ScottMorrison:

“Morrison’s problem is he’s basically a marketing PR type guy. He’s got a pocket full of slogans. You ask him a question he gives you a slogan. On a good day it’s a 3 word slogan. On a more sophisticated day it’s a four word slogan.”


#4719

Don’t forget, that 2, 3 or 4 word slogan is repeated two or three times


#4720

Two or three times.


#4721

Two or three times.


#4722

“Go Sharkies”


#4723

Labor claims Hawthorn.
They have held Hawthorn only once before, 1952-1955


#4724