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Cracks appear in fragile Liberal Party unity

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Are there cracks appearing in the fragile façade of Liberal Party unity? Senior correspondent Barry Everingham says they're bigger than the Grand Canyon.

The cracks in the Liberal Party are causing Tony Abbott real worry – so much so he’s leaking material which he hopes will embarrass Malcolm Turnbull.

Well Tony isn’t leaking – he doesn’t have the guts to do that himself – he’s handed that grimy job to the Opposition Whip, Warren Entsch.

Abbott is seething that Turnbull dropped the bucket on him on Q&A few weeks ago — which of course Turnbull denied, but it has to be said he was smiling as he denied he did anything wrong.



The climate change believers in the Liberal Party must have been relieved that Turnbull showed the mettle for which he has become so justly famous – the facts that climate change needs to address is becoming more obvious as the days go on and the deniers are becoming desperate.

The deniers are being fed a line of crap, which Abbott goes along with dragging the dregs of his party with him.

Abbott is losing on two fronts — climate change and smoking.

The latter is getting him into real mess as Gillard was happy to reveal in the last Question Time of the week

Barely able to hide her glee, the Prime Minister quoted a remark Abbott made: both my parents are smokers and that hasn’t hurt me!

The guy just doesn’t get it — he takes money from big tobacco, so he owes them.

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Will he allow plain packaging legislation through the House?

Depends, I guess, on what his big business bankers say.

Awkward meeting between Abbott and Turnbull today

Back to the leaks orchestrated by Abbott against five of his MP’s who missed a division.

Turnbull, Ian Macfarlane, Alby Schultz, John Forrest and Luke Hartsuyker.

The five were slapped in a memo from Abbott which soon found its way into the Press Gallery boxes.

Abbott is a political piece of work, ably assisted by the detritus of the once great party – the remnants in the main, of the Howard years.

Kevin Andrews; Phil Ruddock; the appalling foul-mouthed Sophie Mirabella; Bronwyn Bishop; Cory Bernardi; Eric Abetz; the ridiculous Barnaby Joyce; and, the worst of them all, Nick Minchin.

There are others.

It was Minchin who orchestrated the downfall of Brendan Nelson, who was knifed make room for Turnbull who was deposed – with a margin of just one vote (had Fran Bailey been in Canberra Abbott would never have got up) – by Minchin to make room for Abbott.

Old Liberal Party hands know what divisions like the current ones can do – they remember the Gorton/McMahon years.

Gorton, like Turnbull, was a man of honour.

McMahon, like Abbott, was a political nothing.

In the end neither man won — but the ALP did.

Is there a message there for Abbott?  
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