It’s likely Abbott will be overthrown in the next nine days and his successor Dutton, Hunt or Turnbull rapidly and brutally excise Hockey from the Treasury; not certain, but likely.
Why do I say this? Well, in Question Time today he, Tony, was very strange indeed, his face calm but his voice arching upwards huskily into polecat soprano as he asserted repeatedly that ‘not one dollar’ had been cut from Health and Education, though Plibersek waved a government document saying eighty billion dollars had been, and his backbenchers’ faces behind him, and the Ministers’ faces beside him, were melancholy-dire. He seemed mad, and it was clear they’d given up on him, the worst policy-salesman in their history (he had lost, in seven months as PM, 1.3 million votes), and were making frantic plans in hugger-mugger to be rid of him.
A while ago, it was revealed in the Fairfax online papers that no AFP officer had advised him not to go to Deakin lest he be roughed up there; he had made that up; he had lied about it. And here he was, lying again, reconfiguring history as he has this last fortnight, pretending the eighty missing billions were never there in the first place; had never existed; were figments of Shorten’s crazed imagination. No eighty billion; never ever.
This was familiar. This was the Tony who had attempted a punch-up on the floor of the House, and sneered at Bernie Banton in his last week of life, run out on his pregnant bride and broken Joe Hockey’s jaw. He had ‘gone rogue’, as the saying is, perhaps because of some back-pain-relieving drug, or simple angry sleeplessness, or some private crisis, or his Catholic conscience plaguing his dreams. But he was bonkers, innumerate, glitched, crinkle-eyed and repetitive (he urged Labor to ‘axe the Carbon Tax’) as Peter Costello predicted he would be. He had forgotten already the knighthoods due on the Queen’s Birthday. He was on some other planet. He was floating.
I predicted his arrival, and I was alone in doing so, correctly doing so; alone in the nation. I now predict his going.
Thursday or Friday next week.