This is the best they've got?
While Scott Morrison was rooting the country daggy style, with every emergency met with the best stage-managed photo-ops he¹ could afford, he cultivated a cohort of wideboys and carpet baggers, he indulged his cronies and stood over a coterie of nutters, fabulists and no-hopers. Many were dragged behind the cow shed in the Great Cleansing of 21 May 2022 with the surviving dross now charged with reframing the tainted Tory brand.
But, the L/NP machine is so invested in the grift, so committed to quackery and deceit that they won't shift. They can't. There's a consistent theme when it comes to Tories - a resistance to progress motivated by the privilege that is threatened by change. They have a yearning to cling to the past yet have a desperate need to remove the fingerprints of their complicity in it. And they are so intimidated by competent governance that in opposition, rather than seek to emulate it, they've piled on with a campaign to discredit it.
Dave Pope, the Canberra Times
Pending further attrition due to criminal charges there are some prominant contenders for a future Tory regime - the crème de la crime, the semi-sentient and the sociopathic effluvia of a reviled cartel.
Placeholder opposition leader Peter Cuddles Dutton toyed briefly with the notion of smiling in public. After squeaks of alarm from small children he's reverted to his default expression of a rottweiler shown a card trick. Pete's throttled back on the overt racism in favour of undermining the idea that after 200+ years of ostracism and failed paternalism indigenous Australians should have a say in their own future.
Sussan Ley (rapper name LeyZ) has the frantic demeanor of someone who's escaped through a hedge after being attacked by badgers. Histrionics and snark appear to be the style that Suss has elected to run with. She's dipped into the Lib's clutching-straws basket and drawn out Michaelia Cash's puerile 2019 EV fear campaign. Is that really her theme for delivering on her "message to the women of Australia...we're listening. We're talking. And we are determined to earn back your trust and your faith"?
"No one in the world is making an electric ute..."
2IC in the "technology not taxes" party. FMD!
The Tories' strategy of winning back women involves rolling out the strap-ons. Holly Hughes' petulance at Labor's cheek of actually governing comes across as air escaping from the bycatch of a deep-sea trawler's fishing net. Jane Hume, needy and clingy, is not the feminist ideal that right-wingers may imagine. Bang Bang McKenzie, MS Excel super-user and Miss Appropriation 2019 has settled upon an 'up yours' approach to redemption while the sound of shovels scraping on gravel has faded now that Michaelia Cash has foregone many of her screeching engagements.
Being mentored by Barnaby Joyce is not a sign that you're a visionary on top of your game. Matt King Coal Canavan's testicles remain undescended and his mum still irons his jeans. His pontifications on climate and energy are a waft from soiled laundry, redolent of stale socks and undie crust and should be of no importance. His presence in other circumstances would be as consequential as a shiver from a passing breeze. However Matty has dedicated himself to the cause of profit from planetary destruction and hence contributed in no small way to the wipe-out in once safe Lib enclaves across the country. The coalition's response to this is that, as a Nationals oik, he's entitled to say the quiet bits of their manifesto out loud.
As for Bananaby Bender, the fleshy root vegetable and wobbley-booted national embarrassment whose greatest fear is the call for last drinks - he remains on the front bench, a literal and metaphorical hang-over. He's an imbecilic, walking wardrobe malfunction (who let the boob out?). Adorned with a comically large hat for the rube cred, BJ fancies himself as a rustic sage, a champion of the rural underdog, blessed with insights that escape those with an education, an enquiring mind or serviceable IQ. Facts, logic, science, arithmatic, history - all are entirely dispensible to Barns who has accumulated his wisdom from the back of beer coasters, check-out queues at IGAs, backblocks mayors and Wally the servo mechanic who does his dentistry.
Bananaby no doubt maintains a belief that he can yet again regain his rightful position as big knob of the Frackers & Miners but the pork barrel bonanzas he favours as the price of his "best retail politician" gyp have been kyboshed by his exile to opposition. Any ambition of his for resurrection will be vigorously undermined by both his current and previous bosses - dopey Dave (known by his Sioux name of Littleproud) and MickeyMac McCormack, the man in the muddle, a gormless dullard of such bovine vacuity that he's been rejected by rescue dogs as too far gone.
Conjecture has it that Brother Stuie and Fingers Taylor may be too busy inventing alibis and shredding evidence to figure prominantly - other than on wanted posters.
Since failing the Burke and Hare quality test John Howard the beloved icon of the calcified has been kept in cold storage for emergency deployment. Whenever the Tories feel the need to resort to their culture wars Johnnie gets thawed out to stalk the streets of marginal electorates accosting alarmed strangers to remind them of how good the 1950s were. This has never paid off and so we can expect Einstein's maxim to be re-activated some three years hence by the geniuses of the Lib PR unit.
Some of the Tories most vociferous RWNJ cheersquadders have faded from view. When much of the once-prominant queen of confected outrage Alan Gloria Jones' audience began 'pining for the fjords' he retreated to his sprawling southern highlands manor to shout at clouds and restock his butler's pantry. In his absence a chum bucket of Trumpist Fox News wannabes have stepped up to monetise the idiocy at the trailing end of the IQ bell curve. Their powers of persuasion are as sophisticated as their shitty takes - they're shouting down the hallway at those befuddled simpletons who want their opinions to be formed by others.
If this is what Labor (and the Greens and independents) are up against then the Tories will be in opposition for some time yet. Perhaps we can now regain our national dignity.