In reality, Abbott’s ‘challenge’ to Rudd has always been as much a media construct as is Gillard’s current ‘challenge’ to Rudd or was Costello’s ‘challenge’ to Howard.
At no time has the party ever had its leadership calculations so openly determined by their complete loss of confidence in their ability to recover government in the foreseeable future.
Now when Turnbull, the only one in the Liberal Party who seems to have actually wanted to lead it over the last few years, is gone, the vacuum is likely to come back with a vengeance.
Costello said on Monday night that Turnbull has had a far easier ride than Nelson, but this blog is now not so sure. There seems no other way to explain the Liberals’ extraordinary behaviour over the last few days.
Christian Kerr thought senior Liberals on Monday were ‘rallying’ to Turnbull. Lord knows what he thinks ‘left swinging in the breeze’ looks like.
So by the end we got to the real nature of Costello’s ‘pretensions’ to the leadership, less about his ambitions than about a media and a political party refusing to face the vacuum in front of their eyes.
Treasury’s unusual move in projecting growth at a higher trend and for a longer forward projection is necessary to provide a guide path out of the downturn that does not come from the economic programs of the political class.
The Liberal party is being driven with one eye on the road in front and one on the rear view mirror – and it is getting increasingly confused which is which.
The media’s refusal to see the depths of the Liberals’ political problems is why they keep getting the leadership dynamics wrong.
The ‘chasm’ between these two political supremos neatly summed up by the ease with which Pyne has flitted between both.