Cartoon by Nicholson.
I have had an extremely low opinion of the leader of the Australian opposition pretty much ever since he was elected to that position, however I have only just begun to realize that he is not on his own in his incompetence. Indeed he has ably surrounded himself with a front bench of hopeless cases whose main aim is to protect their own positions at the expense of the electorate.
I had not understood just how bad they were until Four Corners ran a program, “Malcolm and the Malcontents,” with Sarah Ferguson as compare. The link is to a transcript of the show, which highlights the divisions between the principled members of the opposition and those on the frontbench who aim to avoid an election at any cost.
Take this exchange for example:
SARAH FERGUSON: Like Britain's resurgent conservative opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull is convinced you can be conservative and green - out with old guard, and in with the new.
IAN MACFARLANE, MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOURCES: Well Malcolm's shown, wants to show that we are a modern Party, it's part of the change, the evolution from John Howard to Malcolm Turnbull.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: If there was an election held in the near future and the polls remained where they were, we obviously wouldn't win. …..
SARAH FERGUSON: His closest allies supported his analysis then and do so now.
IAN MACFARLANE: Electorally difficult would be an understatement, I mean a double dissolution on this issue would be very hard for us in terms of an election to fight.
BILL HASSELL, FMR LEADER OF WA STATE LIBERAL PARTY: I never thought I'd live long enough to hear a federal leader suggest that he didn't want to take a stance because there might be an election.
NICK MINCHIN, SENATOR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE:: I've never felt that we should be constrained in examining this matter by fear of double dissolutions. …
SARAH FERGUSON: The calls for unity fell on deaf ears, the back bench was becoming increasingly bolshie about the prospect of negotiations with the Government before Copenhagen.
JULIAN MCGAURAN: The Liberal Party did have a position but it got messed up by a whole lot of nervous nellies on the front bench I should add, who just believed you know we've got to avoid an election, a double dissolution. They had this fit in their head, they've mucked up the politics for us all. They've mucked up our chance. They've almost made it self-fulfilling and to speak about it publicly is nothing short of dumb, it's a folly.
If the warmist wing of the Liberal Party, attempt to dismiss the interests of Australia in order to secure their own future the party will suffer far worse consequences from doing so. By allowing Rudd to arrive in Copenhagen waving the Ration-N-Tax Scheme bill like some sort of Neville Chamberlain returning from his compromise with Hitler, Australians are being set up for economic disaster.
By compromising with Labor they are setting themselves up to take the blame.