The Time For The Government To Save Itself Has Nearly Passed
There's something positively dystopian about the Canberra bubble.
I'm yet to decide if the Liberal partyroom elected Scott Morrison leader because he's most likely to deliver it an unlikely victory, or because some Hogwarts-esque sorting hat settled over his meaty shoulders and panicked backbenchers cheered.
Either way, September is half gone, Christmas will soon be here and the time for the Government to save itself has nearly passed.
Great battles are won with speed and momentum.
Sco-Mo though is no General Patton -- not yet anyway.
Having opened a dangerous new beachhead against Labor, the coalition has now lost all momentum -- it’s heavy guns are spinning in their tracks, firing on themselves.
Worse -- there's a 'madness' in the ranks and its the type that's almost impossible to contain.
Malcolm Turnbull's intervention this week read like a Shakespearian plot; a jaded King, dethroned, sits bitter and forsaken, planning revenge from a far; much like the man he toppled and despised. Who needs parliament, or 2GB for that matter, when you can lob grenades from New York.
A Minister told me this week how Malcolm Turnbull knew he was sunk well before they dragged him from the Lodge with the carpet still under his nails, recounting having watched him mutter and shift awkwardly as he tried to back out of his energy policy to spare himself the hangman's noose.
Another Minister talked of wishing they had a dog to 'round up' the lose sheep stampeding in the wrong direction, spooked by a wolf who had the intention, but never the numbers.
The problem the coalition has now is direction and discipline.
For MPs and ex-ministers accustomed to cameras, it's all too easy to justify indiscretions and outbursts, when one’s leader has been knifed.
Everything from quotas, to bullying, to by-elections and even Peter Dutton -- all are distractions dragging the coalition further into the mud.
Having originally fretted at the shift in PM, and he did, you can only imagine Bill Shorten's new found delight.
No longer are Barnaby Joyce and dewy Nationals Leader, Michael McCormack, considered the chinks in the Government's armour.
Instead, there is now a whole front bench to mock, prod and poke. Labor's vaudevillian laughter echoes from Question Time each day as Mr Shorten spins merrily in his chair.
By contrast, the once calculated Treasurer come leader, suddenly believes his best bet is showing the nation the real him -- flipping eggs, donning footy jerseys and ratcheting up the ocker puns.
His latest bizarre social media video screams of a man more worried that people might not know who he is on Election Day, than why they should vote for him at all.
All is not lost for the coalition though, not yet anyway. Liberal, Keith Pitt told me on Tuesday, "Where there's Bill, there's hope," which says a lot about the government’s mangled mindset -- its greatest chance of success lies with public thinking the opposition leader is somehow worse than any of the three prime ministers it has presented to the electorate in just five years.
There is something positively dystopian about the Canberra bubble.
That Michael McCormack would list, “ambition and Newspolls… and opportunity,” as the reasons why Malcolm Turnbull was dragged to the hangman’s gallows, says much about the self-serving interests of those we choose to lead.
Of course, it could all just be the fault of that sorting hat – in which case, what do I know. ‘Stupefy’ them all.