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With our new PM Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership challenge to Tony Abbott done and dusted, TBS remembers Abbott’s moves in 2009.
The other shoe has dropped, accompanying the sharpened stiletto which had been resting on the cabinet floor collecting dust since 2009. In that Calendar year, with Turnbull’s leadership waning over the Emissions Trading Scheme, Tony Abbott (then a mere piece on the board) was accompanied by another, Sen. Nick Minchin, approaching Caesar’s office, hands turned upward, showing support for Malcolm Turnbull’s stance on the ETS; later revealing to the media “…I’d be very very happy to support Malcolm Turnbull”.
Turnbull survives the ensuing spill for all the biscuits on the top of the Liberal tabletop. Abbott, soon thereafter, wheels around, brandishing the knife of opposition, raining criticism of the ETS, felling Turnbull with the dagger of populist defeat by the narrowest of margins. (42 to 41 Party votes).
Turnbull, bleeding, slipped into the chaired hills of politics, internalising his promises of vengeance.
Tony, in channeling noble Brutus, was, in his mind, acting for the good of Rome. He was concerned of the economic damage wrought upon by the ETS before others toed the potentially scolding bathwater. Foe bested, Tony discarded the knife. But it was that same blade that was gripped by Turnbull this afternoon, as he drove it into the spine of Abbott’s Leadership; motivated by Democratic concern, with the ghosts of the past twisting the blade.
While Abbott stated that he’d fight for the position that he earned, these two Gladiators will recommence battle. One wielding the double-edged sword of ‘Greater Democratic responsibility’ and the other gripping the rusted whip of ‘Democratic Process’, we are to witness the conclusion of a fight that began in 2009.
Ultimately Malcolm won tonight, with 54 votes to Tony’s 44, and we see yet another Prime Minister losing their grip as PM mid-term.
*Updated at 10pm, 14th September 2015.