Flat White

There’s still an elephant in the room, Prime Minister

18 January 2017

11:27 AM

18 January 2017

11:27 AM

Parliament Resumes Following Tony Smith's Election To Speaker Of The HouseSo we have a new ministry. Or an amended ministry, anyway.

But there’s still an elephant in the room. Or rather, an ex-prime minister. An ex-prime minister who isn’t in the Cabinet Room.

Victorian MP Michael Sukkar has been promoted to the position of Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.

That’s a leg-up for a member of the conservative wing of the party; a leg-up Malcolm Turnbull will be hoping will lessen some of the pressure on his right flank.

But it still doesn’t solve the issue of Tony Abbott. The Tony Abbott who won’t shut up — the search for MH370 is the latest sensitive issue he’s bought into — and won’t go away.

The man who toppled him won’t give him a job. And Abbott won’t give an inch, either.

It’s impossible not to have sympathy for the former prime minister; a much misunderstood man but one who clearly believes he has a vocation to serve the commonweal — and much to offer.

But it’s also impossible to ignore the damage the standoff is doing to both the government and the Liberal Party as a whole.

That is unless you’ve given up on both of them. Or the first, anyhow.

And that should be worrying to anyone who doesn’t want a left-populist government led by Bill Shorten and his union mates, pushed and pulled by the Greens in the Senate.


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