After a week when the Liberals took decisive action to reduce their political footprint Joe Hockey is sitting snugly between ‘Someone Else’ and ‘Don’t Know’ as the preferred Liberal leader.
If politics really is Hollywood for ugly people, then this week’s Essential Report shows Joe is about to slip on the political swimsuit and start strutting his stuff by default.
The polling confirms what we all supected – the nation is over Malcolm Turnbull, it can’t abide Tony Abbott and it doesn’t really know who Julie Bishop or Andrew Robb are. As for Kevin Andrews, like his own party, we didn’t bother to ask. This leaves just three credible options for the Liberals: Don’t Know, Someone Else and Joe Hockey.
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The next 24 hours are critical for the bitterly divided Liberal Party. The Punch’s Tory Maguire is in Canberra and the team will be posting updates here through the day. Times are AEDT. Refresh this page for updates.
7.21pm: If he is elected as leader tomorrow, Abbott will ask for the ETS to be deferred, and if not deferred, rejected. “The party has a clear choice. It can vote for Malcolm and we will support the legislation. It can vote for me and we will reject the legislation. Or they can vote for Joe and we’ll have a conscience vote”.
7.19pm: Tony Abbott says he’s spent most of the day in discussions with Joe, says…
“It now seems pretty clear we could change the leader to Joe and these offensive bills could still go through the parliament. I will be a candidate for the leadership tomorrow.”
7.17pm: Ian “Macca” Macfarlane says he’s in the dark - “they’re not telling me anything”
7pm: Nick Minchin has just released this statement:
Speculation tonight by Laurie Oakes on Channel 9 news that I support the proposition that Labor’s CPRS Bill pass through the Senate upon a change of leadership are inaccurate. I continue to support the proposition that the Bill should be referred to a Senate Inquiry, to report back after the Copenhagen conference.
6.35pm: ABC news reporting the deal to install Hockey as leader includes Liberal Senators being allowed a conscience vote on the ETS, meaning it would pass. But David Speers at Sky says it’s being discussed, no decision yet.
6.10pm: Nine’s Laurie Oakes says there’s mutterings Nick Minchin may agree to pass the ETS tomorrow once Turnbull is gone as leader.
5.52am: Back in the Senate - 70 amendments done, only 140 to go. By the time it’s complete Parliament House could have ocean views.
5.45pm: Now reported Family First Senator Steve Fielding is in Joe Hockey’s office with Mr Hockey, Nick Minchin and Peter Dutton - discussing the Royal Commission? Probably not.
4:59pm: AAP reports key figures from the left and right are meeting to sort things out before tomorrow’s meeting. Meeting in Joe Hockey’s office reportedly includes: Federal Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane, and MPs Greg Hunt, Christopher Pyne, Andrew Robb, Nick Minchin, Julie Bishop, Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton.
4.49pm: Bronwyn Bishop writes for The Punch: Malcolm, we want the leadership back please.
Mr Turnbull was careful in how he explained the outcome of his leadership meeting with Mr Hockey this afternoon.
He said: “He (Mr Hockey) said he would support me in the spill movement. He said he would vote against the spill.”
3.46pm: Steve Fielding walked into the media scrum immediately after Turnbull had finished speaking and called for a Royal Commission into climate science. Seriously.
3.37pm: Recap: Turnbull says Hockey has assured him of his support in a vote on a leadership spill in the partyroom tomorrow morning. If the partyroom votes to declare the leadership vacant, then Turnbull says he will stand for re-election. It is still unclear if Hockey will run against Turnbull but he is widely expected to.
A strong line of argument Hockey could use is that with Turnbull’s leadership doomed, it is Hockey’s duty as a committed moderate to run against right-winger Tony Abbott.
3.36pm: From Turnbull:
Joe came to see me for a chat.
We actually had a meeting on the weekend that didn’t make it into the press because neither of us rang up a journalist beforehand.
Joe and I are very good friends.
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At the Walkley Awards last Thursday night one of the biggest cheers of the evening was reserved for Tracy Grimshaw, who won the gong for broadcast interviewing.
As the A Current Affair host made her way to the stage, the big screen behind the presenters played an excerpt from one of the interviews Grimshaw was being honoured for - her excruciating chat with former NRL star Matthew Johns.
There 10 times larger than life was a visibly distraught Johns, flanked by his wife Trish, responding to explosive claims about group sex in the NRL contained in a 4 Corners report - another Walkley winner. Half the media executives in the country were in the room watching Grimshaw accept the well-deserved award.
About the same time, according to yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, Seven and Ten were engaged in a bidding war to see who can sign Johns to spearhead their NRL coverage. These network bosses sure do have short memories.
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A roundup of key coverage from this morning’s newspapers and websites is over the jump.
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The so-called “festive season” needs a new name.
Because as it stands right now with it’s smug connotations of happiness, relaxation and general mirth-it’s terrifically misleading.
Take for instance, this incident one night last week.
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Not since Carrie Bradshaw tapped away at her laptop has a column started with a dafter question, but here goes: Could Germaine Greer be single-handedly responsible for the complete destruction of a society and its culture?
And not just any old society, the one that has exported its language, manners and mores to the rest of the world more than any other. The British.
As ridiculous as it sounds, our expat Sheila-in-chief has been accused of bringing Britain to its knees by one of the country’s most widely-read commentators.
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Earlier this week, Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina got hit with a $3000 fine for saying his team still had a chance of making the finals “because all the teams around us are pretty s**t as well.”
But that pain in the wallet won’t be so nasty after the Jets mugged Sydney FC 3-1 yesterday afternoon at Sydney Football Stadium.
The fact that the team in ninth place can hand out such a heavy defeat to the second-placed team illustrates the A-League’s great strength and biggest weakness.
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“Australia generates 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse emissions and this ETS will reduce world levels by the smallest sliver, which self-evidently will have nil effect on global climate whether you believe in climate warming or not.” Barnaby Joyce – The Innate Problems With Labor’s Emissions Trading Scheme, 17/12/2008.
Using numbers to lend credibility to a flimsy argument is not a new tactic. In the case of those opposing serious action on climate change however, one statistic about Australia’s proportionate global emissions forms the central flimsy plank of their argument. The argument goes that given Australia is responsible for only 1.5% of global emissions, anything we do to reduce CO2 levels is hardly going to make a dent globally. We can’t save the Great Barrier Reef, so the rest of the world is going to have to.
It must test well in focus groups because everyone opposing action on climate change has been trotting it out ever since the debate began. And let’s be honest, as a message it is working.
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A few weeks ago we ran a column here on The Punch examining the emergence of an angry core of Australian blokes who use cyberspace as a forum to unload on how women have done them wrong.
The piece documented how even the most innocent columns on breast cancer, maternity leave, childcare or body image become a vehicle whereby crotchety men can bemoan the apparent neglect of men’s health issues, the economic pressures which single dads face, the raw deal they get from the courts.
The article had the unsurprising effect of attracting, well, an angry core of Australian blokes who use cyberspace as a forum to unload on how women have done them wrong. There was a depressingly pertinent example of this mindset last week and it’s worth pinging the perpetrators over it, as it demonstrated all the nonsensical self-pity of the men-are-victims-too brigade.
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IT is almost two months to the day since Malcolm Turnbull defiantly proclaimed he could not lead a party that failed to act on climate change.
It could well be his epitaph because it looks increasingly likely they will be his famous last words. His war-like comments in a radio interview on October 1 will come back to haunt him tomorrow when a leadership challenge is expected to try to finally resolve the Liberal Party’s internal angst and division over the Emissions Trading Scheme.
Aside from internal manoeuvrings and mutinous rumblings within the party, the Liberals have a bigger problem. They are sending mixed signals to the electorate about where they stand on climate change and this is worse than death by a thousand swords for a party hoping to win Government at the next election.
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