Win TV had footage of the venerable / vulnerable Chief Minister tonight saying “I have been leader of the Liberal Party for several years now”. The journos could be heard giggling in the background.
Given that he has upset so many groups with bad decision making and sanctimonious lecturing, this may be a cunning attempt to wriggle out of a tight spot ahead of the 2008 election. If the Libs are ahead in the polls then why not mount a takeover of their leadership? Labor has a majority in the Assembly, so if he really wanted to Stanhope could legislate himself into the Liberal leadership. This week has seen Labor’s majority used to make it illegal for a Labor backbencher to employ her husband, so why not go the next step and legislate to interfere in Liberal affairs as well?
Then again, it may be that Stanhope is simply suffering from a telling Beazley moment (like confusing Karl Rove and Rove McManus). Stanhope is looking ten years older than he looked a year ago and he has a bad week after being expelled by his colleagues from the parliament and
censured criticised in a committee report signed by one Labor colleague.
[ED – Anyone else hear/see this? Sadly my recording of WIN died tonight. But wait, here’s the late news run]