How Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Penny Wong photobombed the Liberal leadership saga
|16/04/2019||Posted by admin under 南京夜网||
Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Senator Penny Wong walk past the Liberal partyroom meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 9 February 2015. Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe Pulse: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from ParliamentMark Kenny: Tony Abbott’s removal not a case of if, but whenMichael Gordon: Tony Abbott’s demise is inevitableWhat Tony Abbott promised his angry troops
It was a moment as choreographed as Swan Lake, as brassy as a Salvation Army marching band.
Only minutes after the Liberal Party’s leadership spill ballot on Monday morning, Labor’s three most senior figures were photographed strutting past the media pack waiting outside the Liberal’s party room.
Coffees in hand and beaming, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, deputy Tanya Plibersek and Senate leader Penny Wong were an image of unity and good cheer. (Labor’s deputy Senate leader Stephen Conroy was there too but evaded the photographers’ gaze.)
One could forget it was a mere 18 months ago that they were at the heart of their own leadership storm, as Labor tossed aside Julia Gillard for Kevin Rudd mark 2.
Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson hailed the result – a 61-39 defeat for the spill motion – on television as the “perfect result for Labor”. It was hard to find anyone in Parliament House who disagreed with him.
The result Labor most feared – a return to Malcolm Turnbull as leader – did not come to pass. Yet.
Instead, Tony Abbott stays on as a wounded Prime Minister after nearly 40 per cent of his colleagues effectively declared no confidence in him and the latest Newspoll showed him to be the most unpopular leader since Paul Keating two decades ago.
He also, at least for now, retains Joe Hockey as Treasurer, Peta Credlin as his chief of staff, and controversial changes to health and education as official policy.
Labor’s satisfaction at the result was tempered only by the suspicion that Mr Abbott might still not last the week.
“Tony Abbott promised he would run a stable and united government. This is his biggest broken promise yet,” Mr Shorten said.
“The Liberal government is in paralysis – and Australian families and the Australian economy are paying the price for chaos.
“The Prime Minister and his ministers should be protecting the living standards and jobs of all Australians but they’re only interested in their own jobs.”
Installing Mr Turnbull as prime minister would make life far tougher for Mr Shorten. A bounce in the polls for the government would inevitably follow. Suddenly he would be face-to-face with a popular opponent. Cringe-worthy zingers and crude oppositionism would no longer cut it.
Underperforming ministers could be axed, unpopular policies could be thrown overboard and the government could make a fresh start on relations with the Senate crossbench.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie on Monday called for Mr Turnbull to be made prime minister.
“He is a gentleman, he is a statesman, he looks the part, he plays the part and I think it’s about time he had his turn,” she said.
Enigmatic as ever, Nick Xenophon said he favoured Peter Costello in any leadership challenge.
“I have not had a problem with the PM per se but I have had a problem with his policies,” he said.
“They could put my best mates in cabinet, it wouldn’t convince me to vote differently on a number of key aspects of policy which I think are not good policy and fundamental broken promises.”
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.