21 July 2005

Stanhope's view of the Liberal leadership non-fight

| Kerces
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This press release came out of the CM’s office a few hours ago.

21 July 2005
“Opposition Leader Brendan Smyth hangs on to the Liberal Party leadership on the strength of his own vote, and knows that every time he opens his mouth from now on, 50 per cent of his party room is waiting for him to make a mistake,” Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.

“Mr Smyth knows that when he speaks in future, he speaks for just half of the Parliamentary Liberal Party in the ACT. History tells us that it is not an entirely comfortable sensation. Nor is it one that can be borne for long. It is hard not to draw parallels with Federal Liberal Leader John Gorton, who eventually brought a similar predicament to a head by voting against himself in a party-room challenge, becoming the first Australian Prime Minister to vote himself out of office.”
Mr Stanhope said the fact that today’s Liberal party-room meeting ended without a formal challenge or a reshuffle would do nothing to quell leadership speculation, though it might give leadership pretender Richard Mulcahy’s supporters pause for thought.
“After allowing speculation to flow untrammelled for days, it seems that Mr Mulcahy experienced an uncharacteristic flash of self-doubt at the last moment. But no-one, inside or outside the party, will believe that today’s meeting is the end of the matter,” Mr Stanhope said.

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Methinks the delightful (sarcasm intended) Mr Mulcahy’s ambitions don’t stop at being Opposition Leader. After a stint as Opposition Leader, in which he builds up his credibility within Canberra, he will be in a position to possibly make a tilt at the Bearded One’s Senate seat. And with allies within the upper echelons of the ACT party organisation, who will be in a position to provide any sort of a block to him?

Judging only by last night’s TV news report, Mulcahy came across as more credible and a better performer than the Dear Comrade, who is sounding increasingly shriler and jumpier by the week.

Wow, insider, you’re really showing your true colours there, do you know they guy? I’d say that Mulcahy’s performance (or what little I saw of it, it seems it was so uninspiring as to get almost no press) both in Estimates and in setting up the Estimates committee show’s just how rubbish he’d be as a leader. I’d also guessing that the ALP would look forward to him becoming leader as he’d push the Lib far to the right, which as we all know is completely unelectable in the ACT.

Thumper makes a good point. Stanhope would shit himself if Mulcahy became leader. Mulcahy’s performances in Estimates show he has a good eye for detail and he is a polished media performer.

The Dear Comrade is taking his role a little too far, isn’t he, now commenting on changes within the Opposition ? Quite a contrast to his deafening silence on Foskey’s Yarralumla residence. No flaggellation there !

I can think of almost no activity in which I wouldn’t rather be opposed by Smyth than Mulcahy.

Brendan’s great distinguishing feature is gross deceit in the implementation of government policy (50km speed zone “trials” leap to mind). Not something which should qualify him for higher office.

Mulcahy is scary but he will do two good things:

1) Hold the government accountable
2) Move the Liberals to the right, creating room for genuine centrist independents. (possibly assisted by Jim Murphy)

Well it’s good to see someone’s having fun!

Obviously mulcahy doesn’t have the numbers yet, and brendan is too scared of his altered party machinery to move against him.

I’m not sure why mulcahy would want to be opposition leader now, but i guess the extra bit of money and the bigger office is all they’re really worried about.

certainly brendan has given no sign whatsoever of forming a credible alternate government.

not that the presence of vicki dunne in the Mulcahy camp inspires much confidence in them.

U called it Thumper. Personally I couldn’t care less as they are all as bad as each other.

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