3.00 pm Wednesday
Interesting to see Abbott flailing in defeat and saying ‘a protection racket for the Member for Dobell!’ again, and again withdrawing it; Pyne, more puce and petulant and skinned-feline than ever, yelling at the Speaker and the Speaker yelling back; and Albo moving Pyne be no longer heard. Clearly this column is getting to them; and, of course, Carr’s coup in getting Schapelle an early-mark which Bishop could never do.
Their moment is passed, they are Yesterday’s Men, and they both may go to gaol for conspiracy or be got by the Speaker (who is not their friend any more since they tried to expel, disgrace and imprison him) for deceiving the House, and they know it. They don’t believe it, but they know it. How did it all go so wrong? They were so happy, creating that frenetic blur, that fog of spin, and hoping the Government would fall before it dissipated.
Bishop’s niece the radiant Sky Virgin Ashleigh is on the sound-track averring troubled suspicion that Carr may have traded imprisoned children for Schapelle and how horrible that would be, how horrible; but it isn’t working. Twenty million Australians are in favour of the trade, and only half the Liberal front bench against it.
Albo magnificent, as always, and cut off by the Sky Virgin just when he was proving Pyne a serial story-changer, but giving him enough time to say of Abbott, ‘He’s not a judge, he’s not a legal expert, he’s a hack’; and noting how Abbott, given the chance to join an extendable debate about Craig chose not to, and now he’s in a better mood, wants to do it today instead. Ashleigh is now asking Oakeshott to kill Craig please, pretty please, but he won’t do that.
They’re suffering now, as they’ve suffered before, when the Bakhtiyari boys (now dead) showed up at the British Embassy looking like baseball-hatted little boys, the humanisation of their quarry. Craig flummoxed them by proving to have a Harvard degree, a good record as an advocate for nurses, a husband, a father, and a worried, framed and persecuted man. Their tactics belong in the days of Kill the Bosch and the babies spitted on the bayonets of German devils. Once you see and hear, in motion and living colour, the man you are demonising, it doesn’t work. People have got eyes. They can see. And this is too great a handicap for the Liberals. They need unseen monsters. They need bogeymen. They wanted a Craig that looked like Schwarzennegger. And he looked like Henry Fonda.
Carr did well in all the interviews I saw, a comforting presence, a soother-over of troubling questions. But they keep asking if there was a deal. What do they prefer, that ahe die after years of madness at forty in a place she hates? Or that she comes home in August, and inconvenieces Abbott, who thinks the price for her was too high?
On 7.30 we see Anwar Ibrahim charged again with sodomy by men who want him out of politics. He denies again, after having done seven years for it. The comparrison with Craig is irresistible. Abbott wants to make an Anwar Ibrahim of Craig Thomson, and persecute him into the grave.
And so it goes.