Some months ago, when Cory Bernardi jumped the Liberal ship and formed the Australian Conservatives, several Liberal MPs were scathing in their criticism of Bernardi. One, Michael Sukkar, said that it would be “dishonest and unscrupulous” and a “betrayal” of voters who voted for him while he was on the Liberal Senate ticket for South Australia1. Bernardi was also pictured on the front of some Murdoch rags with rat’s ears, incisors and whiskers.
Fast forward 5 months, and Saint Bernardi has seemingly had his excommunication overturned and has been invited to speak at a function put on by the Roseville Branch of the Liberal Party. The flyer sent out for the event promotes it as ‘an evening with Cory Bernardi’, with the topic being ‘Is the party over?’ A photo of Bernardi looking like a constipated schoolboy also adorns the flyer. Of course all the Liberal politicians interviewed stated that it was a matter for the Roseville Branch, and that robust discussions are ‘how we improve’2.
You can bet any money you like that Bernardi will be trawling for members for the Australian Conservatives while he is there and the fact that a Liberal ‘rat’ has been invited to speak indicates there is some disaffection with the direction the Liberal Party is going among the Roseville upper crust (their median income is over twice the national median)3. Bernardi has in the past suggested that Abbott would be welcome in the Australian Conservatives, but it is likely that Abbott will remain in the Liberal Party, at least until he can see Turnbull given the boot as Prime Minster.
Recently, the sharks have started circling in Abbott’s Warringah Liberal Party Branch, with some members attempting to find someone to run against him for preselection. This would be a sad day for Abbott if he was given the bum’s rush, as politics is all he as ever had any form of success at; besides, it would deprive normal people of much entertainment. A symptom of how self-absorbed the Liberal Party is with all this fannying about, is that it was difficult to find much in the way of commentary except from the Liberal Party’s Murdoch mouthpieces1,2,4.
Now for the punchline. Are you sitting down? Miranda Devine, the laughably unpleasant Murdoch hack, has suggested that to stop this internecine struggle, Malcolm Turnbull should install Tony Abbott as Governor General4! While I burst out laughing when I first read this, to install Abbott as GG would be dangerous, because Abbott is so inarticulate, so unjustifiably full of himself, so lacking in self control and so devoid of common sense, he would end up being a titular Trumpian figure of ridicule, something that would demean the position. If Turnbull does this, it will make very clear whether he puts himself or the nation first. But perhaps we already know that.