And so it came to pass that the post-election crisis that has seen the Liberal Party flounder in and a by whatever measure of public opinion one cares to name caused by Dr Brendan ‘The Locum’ Nelson scoring spectacular own goals with the bullet riddled feet wrenched from his own copious jawbone with such priceless acts of political absurdity as loudly demanding that the government follow a certain course of action that he then, with his very next breath, declared that he would never follow were he ever Prime Minister, is over; The Locum, the ex-ALP Liberal Party try-hard that Libs had suckered into being ‘leader’ while they indulged in hissy-fits various, stabbed each other in the back and licked their wounds, has been sent back to where he so rightfully belongs, i.e. the backbenches, to contemplate what it’s like to be had while the rest of the chaps get on with being serious again.
Yes, it’s all change as Big Mal Turnbull, the Valcuse battler squillionaire barrister, merchant banker and scourge of concerned conservatives everywhere proves that money can, indeed, buy anything if one tries, and has, enough. Big Mal tried to purchase the presidency when he hijacked the Australian Republican Movement and, when that little balloon was punctured by Mal’s nemesis, the erstwhile Liberal and extremely conservative Prime Minister ‘Honest’ John Howard, Mal popped out and bought himself a seat in the House of Representatives with an eye to becoming PM himself. Now it's his party, which he'll buy if he has to, Ambitious? Mal? He will be king, goddamn it! Whatever it takes.
Surprised? Not if you read Let’s Ask Elroy!™, but will Mal make it all the way to The Lodge? Not so fast, Elroy, not so fast. For a start there is the man himself, a gung-ho hip-slinger who shoots first and finds out who’s dead later and who also flirted with the ALP when it suited him; Big Mal is a lone wolf who has all the propensity for consensus and collaboration as Pol Pot, is what other electorates in other places call a ‘maverick’, is a bull-dozer who sweeps all before him, colleagues and all.
And this will not please his peers – remember, even though The Locum’s poll ratings were lower than his shoe size, and he is not a big man, Big Mal only got four (4), count ‘em, four more votes than The Locum, so it’s either fight against every fibre of his being and – eww! – consult with his colleagues or spend the next year making the eventual ascension of The Smirking Wimp a mere formality.
And who, pray, be The Smirking Wimp? Why, it’s none other than the riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma and available in hardcopy from that remainder shop near the station, Peter Costello! It has occurred to Elroy that he who dares not has not, as yet, actually exited stage right – he is still mooching around the backbenches, possibly sharing play-lunch with The Locum, and taking solace from the tales of such titans that played the long game and spent their years in the wilderness as Winston Churchill, Bob Menzies and – eek! – John Howard himself.
It took eons for these legislative leviathans’ parties to whack themselves on their collective foreheads and see the light, so stay tuned – The Wimp is going nowhere but the members’ bar to wait for the Liberals’ faceless men to come beg, nay plead, nay, demand that the smirkster lead them to victory come whenever.
Mal has ambition and cash to burn, but his head is just as super-heated who has only just arrived; he has only been in parliament four years – our own Obama/Palin – while The Wimp is a lot more battle-scarred and has endured plenty of downtime in the house in which to study his well-thumbed Machiavelli.
Costello maybe lazy, he may suffer from delusions of grandeur and a sense of entitlement that would make Prince Charles squirm, but he is not entirely stupid; he knew there would be a bloodbath if the Liberals lost the election and so has contrived, via the excuse that he was ‘working on his memoirs’, to remain above the fray and await the call when all other contenders are dead in a ditch.
If there is one thing The Smirking Wimp hates more than the Australian workforce it is Honest John Winston Howard, and he will be buggered if he will let Johnny deprive him of his birthright. Revenge being a dish best served chilled with a light Chianti, the Whimpy one is merely on ice – waiting, waiting, waiting – as the fat lady has not yet even finished her lunch. Watch this space.
Petting Who? - First Published in The Skinny, 1 November, 2009 After a few hours of joyful motoring you might remember to let Oscar the trusty black Labrador-X out to do ...
8 years ago