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AT vs PB – Coalition leadership speculation

leadership speculation
Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas

TBS Publisher Alexandra Tselios has her say


When writer and Labor cheerleader Bob Ellis predicted the demise of Tony Abbott’s leadership and published claims that he will be replaced by someone within the Liberal party, the Internet went crazy. The countdown on Bob Ellis’ blog has generated a social media frenzy with some approaching it as fact, rather than what it actually is – speculative prophecies and convoluted guesswork. Doing so was almost like somebody threw the utterly appalled and confused a bone, with many claiming that Tony Abbott’s personal biases are far too intrusive for even the most conservative voters (sorry, Cory Bernardi doesn’t count).

Yes, they say, there needs to be change and many, myself included, see the desperate need for a shake-up in many of Australia’s systematic frameworks  – but WTF? Chaplains? Ballerinas? Red-herrings…

Never forget that one of the strongest selling points for the Liberal party during the 2013 election campaign was to consistently remind voters of the factions within the Labor government. Did Australia really want to re-elect a government whose own leaders were “back-stabbing” each other?

Yep, that very attractive sales pitch. Ironically, it seems to be the very thing that the Liberal government needs to do right now.

But it seems hard to debate, question and discuss right now in this climate with many throwing around fast sarcastic slogans and “savvy” comebacks with no actual weight behind their firm political stance. I almost always zone out when this happens, and reading the commentary on a Bob Ellis post fast becomes simply a challenge of who can insult hash-tag-Tony the best. I would even refer to Malcolm Turnbull’s comments towards Alan Jones yesterday during a very heated discussion posing the question that if you do in fact want someone out of the way (in this context, Clive Palmer), is abusing them really the best and most effective method?

In fact, for that reason, I think the person doing one of the best jobs in the current climate to assert his dissatisfaction with the coalition is actually Bob himself –  done so, not by hurling abuse, but with suggestive and divisive words that have quickly permeated into everyone’s news feeds, sowing seeds of doubt about agendas and alliances.

I can understand why people are angry and want to cling to speculative theories that sound too good to be true (with a countdown and everything!) and I can also understand why many aren’t speaking out in support of the current government. Many would love to see a different Liberal leader at the moment, perhaps one with greater understanding about the segments of the Australians they are representing. Although, the words of Malcolm Turnbull to Alan Jones just yesterday reiterating the party’s unity just reinforces his words in 2013: “Of course there’s a lot of people out there who think I should be leader and prefer me to Tony Abbott. But that’s not going to happen.”

Whether or not Bob Ellis is on the money, I don’t know, but I sure hope so.


TBS Editor-in-Chief Paul Bugeja has his say


Didn’t the week kick off with a bit of a BANG for the Coalition government…at least in terms of a variety of commentators banging on about Coalition leadership speculation?



From Ellis to Bolt to Jones, rumours began swirling that Abbott’s days were numbered (just four days from last Sunday, at least according to Bob Ellis), and no doubt the rumblings will continue after another dire Newspoll showing the coalition at its lowest primary vote in four years.



Leadership speculation or no, Tony boy is safe, now and for the foreseeable future.

During the “Gillard Years,” I once fell under the spell of Bob Ellis as “the Ghost of Labor past,” quoting his predictions to other political nerds like me who laughed their heads off in mirth at my naivety. Bob is just being his old ‘ornery, if without doubt, entertaining self, and stirring the pot in the same way his counterparts on the right do.

Which takes me to Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones.

Actually, no, I’m not going there. Neither are worth the space.

The reason Abbott won’t be #gawn is because, as much as all the sooky lala wet conservatives want Malcolm Turnbull to rule Oz, his party doesn’t. Sure, Malky lost that 2009 party room vote by just a single vote (who was the naughty Liberal pollie who voted informally? tut tut), and he no doubt still has some support amongst his colleagues, but it ain’t nowhere enough to whip them up into a frenzy and turf Tony.

However, more tellingly about this government and how it perceives itself, Tone will rule supreme for some time yet, at least until the end of the year, a double dissolution or right up until the potentially doom-laden 2016 Federal Election – which, if current polling is anything to go by, would see Mr Abbott booted out under the ignominious Twitter tag #OneTermTony.


His front bench’s unflappable “born to rule” mentality.

In fact, despite Treasurer Joe Hockey disputing there is any such thing in his party, if the Coalition front bench were a rock band, they would be called “The Kings of Entitlement.”

Bottom line, to appropriate a slogan I don’t think Mr Abbott would be too happy about it – Tone’s here, he’s queer (don’t worry Bernardi, not that kind of queer…) and he ain’t going nowhere.

Despite leadership speculation, ye of lefty-faith, have a good old laugh at the dire predictions of Bob, Bolt and Jones, and fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

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  1. yv said:

    They say you can tell someone by who they hang out with. Well take a look at who Alexandra hangs out with. One is a morally corrupt Australian artist who is famously friends with Hugh Hefner and the other one is trash from the Real Housewives of Melbourne she is friends with these types of people! Read the comments between Alex and Christa Billich she is one of them!

    Alexandra is such an uppity bitch.

  2. Rainer the cabbie said:

    They obviously sing behind hidden walls and are not sponsored by the mining industry. Please don’t call me Sir, that’s Tonys pet horse, mate will do.

  3. Rainer the cabbie said:

    Talking of brainwashed, if it’s the last days you might as well knock yourself off and save us from reading the crap you write.
    Also how dare you call Alex as a whore you fuckwit. The only subliminal message that mankind has turned on itself is idiots like you crapping on about Jesus this, Jesus that, all day long.

    Just watch your back, some dogs have a vicious streak ( the Devil of cause) and you’ll end up like a Christian surfer being eaten by a shark.

  4. Daniel Guillen said:

    Couple things to consider first of all Bob Ellis is as you quite rightly commented, is spreading discourse which has resulted in a domino affect. Knowing Andrew Bolt personally I doubt he would want turnbull in any way our new prime minister. If there were any whispers of that he would shit all over it. There is far too much focus on turnbull is anyone watching the friendship between Clive andalcolm it’s not about fucking Peking duck.

    Another thing, it’s not in Tony’s best interest to come out claiming that he is friends with both Alan and Andrew. That does nothing to support his relationship with Malcolm. Turnbull is furious and running around crying ‘unity’ as (and well picked up Ms Tselios, was his cash card pre-election) so this is quite a slap in the face for him. Where does Julie Bishop sit in all this I wonder? Based on the body language I suspect she would cross the floor to support an over throwing of Tony. Scott Morrison would be enjoying this I imagine.

  5. Jelly Bean said:

    Thank you Paul and Alexanndra this was a lot of good reading this week don’t know why Christians get involved (even though I am one!) 🙂

  6. Identifier said:

    Please don’t try to justify something that is incorrect.

  7. Rainer the cabbie said:

    I agree with your sentiment Phantom.

    Not that I support the LNP, but what we are seeing is a Tea Party movement in disguise. Time to drag this party back to a reality that befits old Liberal values and the only one capable of that is Malcolm Turnbull. So one hopes anyway.

  8. Phantom said:

    Problem with the prediction is it fails to recognise characters within the party who are not as deranged as Abbott. That is your failure sir Rainer. Don’t be so stuck on your anti-Abbott song that you forget there are other singers in the choir.

  9. Phantom said:

    One other thing I gleaned is that you (2nd speaker) are suggesting that the liberal party won’t do whatever it takes to keep them in power including kick out Tony when the time is right. As 1st speaker said, they would do this only when the time is right due to their claimants in the yester-year. Also to cheer everyone up from a rainy political Friday I serve you this:

  10. Rainer the cabbie said:

    I always had a soft spot for Bob Ellis, having helped him with finance to get rid of Bronwyn Bishop. (true story, that was my pleasure Bob ). Glad to see how that one panned out Bob. Never underestimate the power of Tories and the ability to fill your body up with liquid Botox for breakfast.
    I think his prediction is a bit premature, Paul made a good point, these troops are dug in and are ready to throw mustard gas at anyone who threatens them.

    Tony Abbott and his brown nosing top end of town treasurer are as popular as pimples on a teenager right now but we must remember that Tone is a street fighter, one that is not afraid to punch walls to make his point. And he has God on his side.
    What this Jones and Bolt rubbish is all about is a preemptive strike to destabilise any backbench support for Turnbull, who is in a good place to work the numbers and crawl back to the top dog position.

    Rather than a leadership spill, what I can see next is a slight reshuffle in which Malcolm will be moved onto a portfolio that is miles away from the ABC, his unofficial election campaign voice box and one he is willing to protect for the sake of the community.
    Christopher Pain will be much more suitable to deal with those socialist and Malcolm will be lost somewhere in the wilderness.

    This is my prediction and if I put up mine against Bobs, I’ll wager him five bucks on the outcome.

  11. Phantom said:

    Yep. Australian Liberal Democracy…Bob Ellis is a CHAMPION and Aussie LEGEND but a nutter no one should take that bloke seriously. Give credit where credit’s due, and it’s due to Mr.Turnbull. I take offense to your calling those of us who support him inadvertent morons 2nd speaker. At least our medicare isn’t ObamaCare

  12. Jelly Bean said:

    More stuff like this please!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^-^

  13. DomainName001 said:

    Out of all the criticisms you could offer about something you oppose, you chose an immature verbal tirade more like a teenage hoodlum Paul. Alexandra my criticism to you is you could be more critical of Bob Ellis and his discourse as you seem to know more than you let on we are not as dumb as we appear. Seems like the public are getting mad when the government isn’t acting like THEY want it to. They were all for a new government until that government didn’t have the same views the majority did. To-knee-Abbotoir is an embarrassing ambassador for our country

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