Today’s Guest Author is Aguirre (see – told you I’d get a thread-starter out of you one of these days . . . ). As we at The Pub know, Aguirre is a fine analyst of politics and – as importantly – policies. In my opinion (and that of at least one other, Your Royal Leonine Majesty) his ability to get to the heart of the matter is better than almost every mainstream journalist, and the equal of the best of the fifth estate. Thank you again, Aguirre, for permission to republish.
Well, we all know Abbott’s MO is to survive the next thing, whether it be an interview, a party room meeting, a presser or a session of Parliament. He’s happy to sacrifice all future credibility anything one of his colleagues might have said, any promise he might have made, even the workability of his own party, just as long as he survives that next thing. He’s made promises to WA that shaft Tasmania, and then gone straight to Tasmania to make promises that shaft WA, just so he could survive each of those particular speeches. He’s gone on TV and actually called himself a liar, simply because there was no other way out of that line of questioning, and then pretty much gone straight out into the community and said “Trust me.” He did an NPC speech a couple of years ago where he came out with all sorts of wonderful policy promises, his ‘new direction’ or whatever it was, and we watched him back away from all of them within a half hour of questions. Just because there was no other way out. If he needs his wife an daughters to act as a buffer against curly questioning, no worries, out they trot. Just as long as he gets through the next hour, the next meeting, the next day, the next interview.
So the next thing is the spill. You can bet he’ll go around to each of the backbenchers, individually, and promise them whatever it is they want from him, hand on heart. They’ll be different promises to each backbencher, and the promises will all contradict each other. A lot of them won’t believe him, but given he’ll have some support already, and given there could be three of four candidates and Bishop and Turnbull might split their votes, he probably only needs to con 15-20 of the backbench. He’d be thinking he could win a three-way contest. Just. But just is enough.
Maybe he’ll tell some of them he’s confident he has the numbers, and there’ll be retribution for those who don’t back him. Maybe he’ll tell others they’re close to a ministry position so just hang in there. Maybe he’ll tell others he’s begging them for the stability of the party, don’t change horses mid-stream. Whatever pushes their buttons.