Team Australia: The tipping point

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(Image via @geekrulz)

Something in the mood of today’s papers, hard to put a finger on, suggests that word has got through to some editors and a lot of journos that the Abbott Project has failed and the Liberals are in trouble all over.

Andrew Cornwell admits he took a bribe, but he won’t quit his seat (though today he changed him mind and said he would not recontest it).

Christopher Pyne is "prepared to talk" about his bizarre plan to make women pay much more than men for their degrees, on lower wages.

Unemployment goes up to its highest in twelve years. Employment Minister Eric Abetz links abortion to breast cancer, then swears he didn’t.

Julie Bishop pulls out of the search for MH17, then pretends she hasn’t. Putin bans Australian meat from Russian fridges and is not, any more, it seems, excluded from the pleasures of Brisbane. Abbott tells a national commemoration "there’s a time to die".

Joe Hockey curses the business community. The business community calls him a whinger.

Andrew Bolt attacks the government for its cowardice. IPA plans an advertisement, cursing it.


It turns out the boats were stopped, but thousands were getting in another way and unfairly stealing the jobs of ordinary Australians.

The nation openly mocks its top law officer for not being across his brief.

And that was just yesterday.

An impression of, not chaos, but habitual incompetence, washes through every column of the media lately. Richo writes that 18C, just two days dead, was never going to fly. To emphasise it, drunken kids yell "kill the Jews" on a school bus — something Brandis on Monday was still asserting they had a sacred right to do.

And that was just yesterday.

We have an old Jewish saying:

‘When it looks like an elephant, and it smells like an elephant…’

It does not, as a rule, require completion.

Where will this elephant now go?

Well, Abbott may make a 'captain's pick' and sack Hockey, Brandis, Pyne and Morrison and put in some women and Frydenberg and Wyatt Roy, and make Turnbull Treasurer. He may offer a Cabinet post to Palmer.

Like deserting his pregnant bride at the altar, he won’t find it hard to do this, any of it, if he has to.

He has let friends down before. He will shake Putin’s hand in Brisbane. He may let in the Tamils and give witness to Morrison’s craziness at his trial. He may say there was no Budget Emergency, he trusted Joe, and was wrong to. He is capable of that.

Some echo of this was present yesterday – some fogged bewhispered foreboding – when he had the funeral and called off the search.

He said:

"Nothing we can do can bring them back..."

denying the resurrection, and the life, and the Sea of Glass on which rejoicing souls will see their loved ones again and sing Holy, Holy, Holy.

He wasn’t serving his Christ any more. He was hunkering down for the long haul, in unpleasant, earthly reality.

It may well be he can get by for a few more months in this way, and it may well be Turnbull will let him.

But Turnbull could move a motion of No Confidence in him, or threaten to. And Pyne could second it. And Turnbull could be Prime Minister by October, and Abbott gone from parliament by Christmas, and rejoining the priesthood, and sobbing on Kathy Donnelly’s grave.

But one way or another the ‘adults’ aren’t looking much like adults any more.

And all over the country – even in New South Wales, where even under Robbo Labor may win – the Liberals are cascading into past history. The adventure is over. The journey is done. The ash can is looming. Kerplunk.

And yesterday was the tipping point. And we felt it.

Or perhaps you disagree.

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