Malcolm Turnbull is addressing the media.
I am sitting at the kitchen table in the dining room of my parent’s home in Sydney’s south-west, my mother is in the living room watching a murder mystery on ABC One titled “Vera” when the program is interrupted by a “flash” of news, news that Malcolm Turnbull will shortly be addressing the media.
He will be challenging the incumbent Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, for the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party, and for the Prime Ministership of the country. He will be challenging tonight.
This “flash” of news becomes rolling coverage and keeps a-rolling for the rest of the night, thoroughly pissing off my mother who shall now never know who murdered who or why in the show she was watching, and she makes her feelings about this known to me more than once over the next few hours (as mothers are wont to do), whilst I am left to my own thoughts, chief amongst them this, “He (Malcolm) would not be doing this if wasn’t absolutely certain he had the numbers.”
He has the numbers.
I feel a sense of relief at this turn of events, a great sense of relief, and, about 11.30pm, I finally bed down for the night to the baying of various callers on ABC Radio 702 lulling me to satisfied slumber with howls of betrayal and outrage and anger over what has been done to “their” Tony, and how none of them, ever, ever again, will be able to bring themselves to vote for the Liberal Party, ever, ever again, not after this, and I think, “So, you’ll all be switching to Labor and the Greens now, will you?”, how I wish they’d take their oh-so-righteous, instant knee-jerk apoplexy and moral “outrage”, shove it and shut up.
So precious. So very delicate.
I do not own a computer, and my phone is not smart, and I am in Sydney for two weeks (unexpectedly) “managing” my elderly parents, one of whom is in hospital, so I am spared the incessant white noise of social media during all of this, and I am spared the views of people whose views don’t count to me; I am spared tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of words explaining to me what has just happened and why, what context I must place it, how I must feel, and who I must feel it for, and instead, all I am left with is a sense of relief.
What has just happened and why?
A tiresome and tedious fool has been expelled from the Palace, banished from the Kingdom, he had no hand to eye co-ordination, his slapstick was shit, and every time he flicked the switch to vaudeville, the auditorium exploded.
Tony was a silent movie star playing to a dark theatre, and the rest of us had all long ago fled to the talkies.
Tony was a fucking idiot, and he had to go.
It was reported, by whom I cannot recall, that upon being told he was to be challenged for the leadership by Turnbull, Abbott asked, “What do you think I should do?”, and this, this forlorn and bootless plea, this pitiable yelp alone stands as a simple, yet exquisite measure of this “man” made as he always was and always will be, in the image of a child.
“What do you think I should do?”
“You’re in charge. Don’t you know?”
The tabloids fired up Photoshop after his deposition, doing a few tricky things with Turnbull, with Shorten, and they cranked up their pun generator for a couple days, but overall, it really did feel as if their hearts were not truly in it, and now that their boy was gone, not only did Rupert have no one to order around anymore, neither did they have to continue their desperate defences of Abbott’s unrelenting talent for saying and doing things that made both him, and the country, a laughing stock and embarrassment across the globe.
The obituaries have not been kind …
“He will not be missed. He should not be praised. He was a failure selfishly wishing that the world would fail with him. We can only hope his like will not be seen again.” The Saturday Paper, Editorial
There will be more of them, at least of the ones that matter, but it may take some time for these to fully develop, to ripen, for all the tawdry facts and fantastic fictions of these last two years to be laid bare, and to fully explore his failure as a man, and as a government, to do him the justice he so truly and richly deserves, to dish back at him the contempt he so freely and frequently dished out at us, a contempt ably illustrated by his assuming the portfolio of “Minister for Women”, a ministry he did nothing with, but claimed purely as a juvenile, middle-finger “Fuck You” to every woman in his past personal and political life who had ever dared take issue with his infantile brand of lip-smacking, nod-and-wink patriarchy.
That’s Abbott, the little fella in the kitchen banging away on a saucepan with a wooden spoon, driving the adults crazy but they won’t shut him up lest he have a tantrum; his entire life and political career one long, continuous “Fuck You” to anyone or anything that challenged his view of himself as some Golden God on high, wise, noble, all-knowing and just, infallible, in charge or taking over, and, as former PM Paul Keating once noted, “wrecking the joint if you don’t give him the job”, then proceeding to wreck it anyway because he can’t think of anything else to do.
“The man does not want to be who he is, and thus, when he can do anything he wants, he became a force of destruction and failure.” Guy Rundle, Crikey
Thank God that’s over.
Of course, there are some in the media, print media mostly, who have been moved to decry his fate, the usual suspects; they have turned to poetry and prose, hymns, elegies, and soaring symphonies of praise they have offered up in honour of their favoured saviour, but nobody with eyes or ears or who has been conscious in this world over this brief time is buying that shit anymore, not least without laughing a lot. Andrew Bolt, the Herald-Sun’s resident expert on Andrew Bolt, went all Jodi Picault a couple days ago and made himself cry.
People laughed a lot.
Former Liberal Minister For Something I’ve now forgotten, Eric Abetz, marked the occasion of Abbott’s removal by declaring “The King is dead, long live the King”.
Rather, let’s grab a shovel, dig him a hole, and dance on his fucking grave.
Fuck you, Tony Abbott.
You were shit.