Personally, I was cheering on Peter Dutton. So it’s with a degree of objectivity I now admit Scott Morrison may, in fact, be the best outcome that was possible from this whole shemozzle. In fact, if this had have been designed from the beginning, it may have even been brilliant.
You would never guess it by watching the ABC, now tearing their robes and smearing ashes all over themselves, lamenting the influence of conservative commentators such as Peta Credlin and Paul Murray, but Turnbull had, in fact, dragged the Liberal Party to the left – a long way. Come to think of it, their grief and resentment at a coup they had less part in than usual may be all the evidence that is needed.
Turnbull and his backers are who wrecked the Liberal Party, they and they alone set the bar so terribly low in the recent and ignoble traditions of Labor. If not for Turnbull’s very liberal policies of ballistic borrowing and spending, undefining marriage, taxing the temperature, and abandoning traditional freedoms of religion and speech; then certainly his precedent of knifing a sitting Prime Minister in the back brought us to where we are today.
If Dutton was the only one who had the conviction to risk it all and say enough is enough, I’m glad at least he eventually did – even though the idea of the uncertainty of leadership we now live with since Rudd-Gillard-Rudd is reprehensible in itself. If Dutton’s plan was mutually assured destruction with Turnbull, allowing a better man, a man capable of at least being heard by all Liberal factions to pull a Bradbury and sail through the fallen to become the leader, it may not have been the best election campaign strategy, but it may yet be the perfect strategy to rebuild a party for the future – accidental or not.
Scott Morrison has the values that conservatives cherish and the actual kind of “broad church” pragmatism John Howard perfected to an art. Turnbull and other lefty “moderate” Liberals abused that value and made it a thin veneer to camouflage their convictionless compromise. I sincerely hope Prime Minister-designate Scott Morrison can aspire to the kind of leadership and unification that Howard achieved, even if needing a term or two in opposition (though preferably from government), and will abandon entirely the morally bankrupt example of his immediate predecessor, Turnbull.
There are many things more to be said about this week in Australian politics, but let it not be said that any Liberal Party member or MP did not now give Scott Morrison their full support and every opportunity and assistance to bind the party’s wounds and build a fearsome campaign to utterly destroy the regressive ambitions of Bill Shorten.
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