Bronwyn Bishop and the Valkyrie Winter

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How long can Tony Abbott stick with his "mad" fatally wounded Speaker?

The Bronwyn Bishop affair will all end in tears — and not just for 'Chopper' Bishop, writes Bob Ellis.

THE BISHOP "Choppergate" affair has no precedent in our history, and will end, as John Hewson says, "in tears for a lot of people" if Abbott continues to refuse to "intervene".

Bit by bit it will be shown that she spent a luxurious fortune — on limousines in Europe; cocktail parties in her enormous quarters for Liberal donors she was by definition, as Speaker, not to be seen to be favouring with largesse; kickbacks for road transport to Liberal associates — that can be seen as corruption at the highest level.

On top of this is how she will be treated in the House.

Will they obey her when she says, "Order"? 

Will they leave when she bids them to? How, precisely, will she react, and the Sergeant-at-Arms react, when the song 'Hey, Big Spender' is sung when she comes in? How many dissensions from her rulings will be moved? How long will that take?

It is hard, after that, to see what might happen. Will Abbott sack her? Will he then resign? Will his people support him if he does not? What will his numbers be by mid-August if he retains her? In what words can he justify, till then, keeping her on?

It is certain she will not go of her own accord.

I have had some dealings with her and she is very, very mad. She sought the prime ministership and was well on the way to it when I brought her undone. She will not give up this last, grasped prize, not ever.

And we will see what we shall see.

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