Tanya Plibersek underlined her leadership credential by buttonholing backbencher Craig Kelly in the Press Gallery corridors today, making sure journalists captured her vituperative rant.
The ABC was exultant and ran the story that the Prime Minister had slapped down an outspoken Liberal in prime time. The other usual suspects also rejoiced, while all the time those ‘silent Australians’ that Scomo lauded last election are seething with unspoken annoyance, even rage, at the public humiliation of a man who speaks for many of their number — and if he doesn’t still has in this country the right to be heard.
Craig Kelly, the Member for Hughes, was always going to be a pebble in the Prime Ministerial shoe, a splinter in his skin. Yet he’s loyal, as loyal as an outspoken Liberal can be. Morrison needs to remember that. Kelly’s target is the Pharisees of the political and media establishment. Many voters don’t care who goes against their preaching and how, as long as they simply do it.
Every political party needs stirrers, the shaker-uppers, the men and women who are not afraid to step out of the pack and stand strong for what they believe. The ABC and the usual members of the media mob have been gunning for Craig Kelly because free speech is anything but free in the eyes of the Left. They want to decide what we think, but they need to remember that the voters of Hughes — not them — decide who they should have as their MP.
Australians are watching and learning — mostly with trepidation — what is happening overseas. And they don’t like it. If an election is to be held this year, possibly as early as August, the Prime Minister has just over six months to show Australians that he stands with them.
Or they won’t stand for him.
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