The Coalition's yellow stockings

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Bob Ellis says Tony Abbott and the Coalition have been painted into their own ‘shock horror’ corner ― and now have nowhere left to go.

Have the Opposition reached outrage overload?

Abbott was hard put accusing a female Prime Minister of misogyny yesterday, and Peter Slipper of ‘staining’ the parliament with his presence in it, while seeking his vote as a respected fellow conservative hereafter. He did not see, and he did not suspect, how silly he looked and sounded and how he was being gulled.

Like Malvolio, he was wearing the yellow stockings of political correctness and the cross-gartering of wowser-feminism; and, like Malvolio, he looked like a strutting, simpering dill.

For he did not understand he has no Slipper issue now, and no Nauru issue now, and therefore no boat-people issue now; and he must therefore soon explain, if he can, and of course he can’t, what seventy billion dollars’ worth of lost jobs will do to the nation hereinafter. He must begin to do his sums, the poor sad ranting klutz, and he can’t.

And he must now release his text-messages; and Pyne’s; and Heffernan’s. He must explain why John Howard says ‘boongs’. He must explain why Peter Reith said Australian citizens tried to drown their children, or apologise if he can’t. He has troubled his own house, as Ecclesiastes once slyly put it, and he will inherit the wind.

What Albo has been up to of late – I think – is a ‘scorched earth’ policy: being seen to retreat from the field, but leaving the enemy with nothing to feed on. Thomson is no longer a Labor Party member. Slipper is no longer Speaker, enjoying lush trips, contemptibly, overseas. Bob Carr is outclassing Julie Bishop – and Kevin Rudd – at every turn. Alan Jones is haemorrhaging sponsors, and Abbott standing by him. Murdoch is tweaking Newspolls, but Katter is gaining, and Oakeshott and Windsor and Bandt and Wilkie gaining, new credibility every day. Oakeshott’s grandfather was beheaded for staying, as a doctor, with his POW patients after VJ Day ― and Oakeshott will lose that retiree seat? Come on.

No, what Albo and McTernan and Gillard have done is force Pyne, Bishop, Hockey and Abbott into a throbbing seizure of hot-flush hypocrisy they cannot sustain, in their present yellow stockings and cross-gartering, without seeming ludicrous half-cocked busted flushes by this afternoon, or Thursday, or next Monday, when Slipper votes with them and they accept his vote; or, worse, Thomson votes with them and they do not scurry like hares from the chamber shrieking ‘unclean, unclean’.

They have been painted into their own ‘shock horror’ corner and they’re losing; losing comprehensively.

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