Malcolm Turnbull’s Reportedly Been Ringing Around Liberal MPs For Support

Look, we’re fully aware of how much Tony Abbott bashing we do around the traps here at PEDESTRIAN.TV. We’re fully aware of our regular Liberal-leaning commenters who seem to have certain phrases burned into their Google Alerts who appear every time we post an article on the topic, not at all unlike some sort of conservative Bat Signal, who repeatedly bleat black-and-blue about “bad journalism” and “clear bias.”

But the umbrage we take with those criticisms is that we’re not journalists per se. We’re bloggers, media commentators, writers, people with strong opinions about stuff and the ability to communicate those opinions with thought, research, and assertion. And it’s our assertion that we do not like Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.
We think he is a bullish, opportunistic, old-world bulldog of a man who wanted the Prime Ministership for the sake of having it first and foremost, with any and all legislative idealism a far distant second. We also feel that his performance as a policy maker has been well below par at best, and at worst has displayed an uncaring, unsympathetic, xenophobic, needlessly harsh, at times bafflingly individualistic side of a man whose only Governmental desires were to build a platform upon which re-election slogans can be based.
We do not dislike Tony Abbott blindly. We have very specific, defined reasons for doing so.
That’s what makes this whole Libspill saga that’s currently unfurling all the more interesting. Is it better for left-wing voters to bay for blood and wish for him to be deposed? And will the resulting change to a much more moderate Liberal leader result in the spotlight being shifted back to the fact that the Labor party remains, in its present form, entirely unelectable? Or is one more year of legislative stagnation and frustration worth it for the likely giant swing against the party should Abbott remain and lead the Coalition into the 2016 Federal Election?
Fortunately, it seems answers to that quandary are closer than they may seem. The past 24 hours have seen the issue gone from one of mere media pressure and speculation to what appears to be actual movement at the station. For word is now passing around that moderate Liberal, ETS champion, and devout Republican Malcolm Turnbull has reportedly been ringing around Liberal MPs asking for their support should he challenge for the party leadership.
The ABC‘s Julia Baird further stirred up the humming hornets nest that is the Liberal Party’s Canberra offices by posting as much to Twitter a little earlier today.

Naturally, Turnbull’s office has outwardly been denying any such developments, and Turnbull himself was in a cabinet meeting with other ministers at the time of Tweeting. But nevertheless, the media speculation has ramped up tenfold.

For what it’s worth, The Guardian speculates that the “confirming” to media may be part of a counter-offensive on the behalf of the Prime Minister‘s office, much in the same manner that culminated in Foreign Minister Julie Bishop being more-or-less forced to front the media late yesterday and re-affirm her allegiances to Tony Abbott as PM; outwardly questioning her loyalty, which in an industry where deceit and politicking hang as thick in the air as the smell of Parliament House’s catered sandwiches, is an oddly sacrosanct personality trait.
And yet, the media circus continues. Even after deriding him over the Knightmare scandal, Andrew Bolt has bashed Liberal backbench MPs for needlessly stirring things up by publicly speaking against the Prime Minister, using the extremely carefully chosen word “malcontents” to lambast them.
But perhaps the most summarily apt thing to come out of today’s developments is Abbott’s own accidental coining of the phrase “doing an Abbott,” in reference to going out on your own limb without consultation and fucking things up royally.
The bottom line here is that it seems increasingly likely that all this will come to a head over the course of the next few days. It’s entirely likely that by this time next week we’ll either have a new Prime Minister, or the Liberal party – traditionally quite reticent to change course mid-Governmental term – will have re-confirmed Tony Abbott as leader and Prime Minister.
For now at least, it’s most certainly, absolutely, well and truly on.
Photo: Stefan Postles via Getty Images.