Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Posts Tagged ‘Federal Liberals’

Give the Liberals a bullet

Posted by occidentprone on July 23, 2008

The Liberals are a mess. From the backbench an old blue-blood threatens the leader, says he’ll quit and jeopardises stability. Today’s leader fears for his tenure, made all the worse by bad press and poor polls. Meanwhile, the Labor government has a blank cheque to do whatever it wants because voters can’t stomach the alternative.

WA Libs or the federal party? Well, both.

In the west, Troy Buswell had a meeting with former leader Colin Barnett “as speculation grew of a change in the Liberal leadership before the looming State election”, according to The West.

With Mr Barnett declaring that the “door was still ajar” for him to return to the leadership, Mr Buswell refused to reveal what was discussed at the hour-long meeting in Mr Barnett’s Stirling Highway office.

On a day when senior Liberals split over who should lead the party to the election in the wake of a damning Westpoll that put Mr Buswell’s standing as preferred premier at just 12 per cent, the Opposition Leader was adamant he would not stand aside for Mr Barnett.

After the meeting, which Mr Buswell said was organised on Monday and before columnist Paul Murray called in The West Australian for the Vasse MP to step aside, Mr Buswell said it was still “his understanding” that Mr Barnett intended to retire at the coming election.

“As far as I’m concerned, it was a private conversation and I don’t feel compelled to discuss it with The West Australian,” Mr Buswell said. “It was a wide-ranging conversation.”

Earlier, Mr Barnett accepted that he had not fully closed the door on a return to the leadership despite announcing his retirement and the party endorsing former Chamber of Commerce and Industry lawyer Deidre Willmott for his seat of Cottesloe.

It’s a spooky parallel of what’s happening in Canberra. Brendan Nelson scoffs at any suggestion he’s ready to stand aside as leader for Peter Costello, says The Australian.

Couldabeen Costello would be on the frontbench “with a bullet”, Nelson says. Curious choice of words from Nelson. As a doctor and ex defence minister he is surely across the damage bullets can do.

With some Costello supporters fanning suggestions in recent days that he would stay on and seek the Liberal Party leadership, Dr Nelson told The Australian he intended to lead the Opposition to the next federal election, due in 2010.

He said Mr Costello was entitled to announce his future in his own time.

“He and his family have earned the right to make a decision which is in their best interest and that of the people of(his electorate of) Higgins,” Dr Nelson said.

“Peter will announce his decision in due course. I will be very happy if Peter chooses to stay, but I will respect his decision if he chooses to go.

Nelson says all this while whistling “I’m not scared, what a beautiful day”.

What is it with the Libs letting the party haemorrhage in the polls while dithering over leadership? A good leader is worth gold but if you haven’t got that, go for stability, loyalty, unity. Voters love these things too.

Posted in Australian politics, Politics, West Australian politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Troy who?

Posted by occidentprone on July 9, 2008

Liberal heavyweights were in Perth last night as ex PM John Howard gave the gracious farewell speech we’ve all been waiting for.

Howard’s craw aside, WA’s most senior Liberal Troy Buswell – remember him, leader of the opposition – was either snubbed or dismissed as an unknown on the federal Lib radar, depending on the media you read.

The West Australian‘s paper edition (but not on its website) said Alexander Downer passed comment that he didn’t know Buswell and The Australian said he was ignored altogether:

Although a state election is looming, the party’s scandal-plagued West Australian leader Troy Buswell was all but ignored. Seated several tables away from Mr Howard, he did not rate a comment from any of the Liberal stalwarts who took the stage, including deputy federal Liberal leader Julie Bishop and retiring former foreign minister Alexander Downer.

Is the national tier of the party deliberately distancing itself from Buswell because they don’t want to be tainted by his poor behaviour?

Or do they think he’ll not last long enough to be a real player (that is, in government)?

Or is the rarefied Canberra air such that the state parties don’t rate?

Or have Howard and Downer forgotten about politics already and are looking to other enriching experiences (even though Downer is still an MP)?

If I were Buswell I would be taking this very personally.

Posted in Australian politics, Perth, Politics, West Australian politics | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

All care, no responsibility

Posted by occidentprone on June 16, 2008

Two WA Federal Liberal MPs are outraged by Robert Mugabe and his undemocratic actions which are defiling Zimbabwe. It’s disgraceful and disgusting, Don Randall and ex-South African Dennis Jensen say.

 “A lot of people are very concerned about it, I’m personally concerned about it,” Liberal MP and former South African Dennis Jensen told reporters today.

“I just find the situation in Zimbabwe disgraceful. What Mugabe has got to do is just go for the sake of his own people.

“When it comes down to it, it’s war against his own people.”
Fellow WA Liberal Don Randall told reporters “there’s an absolute disgust at Mugabe trying to steal back a democratically-elected result”. (Source: WA Today)

Opposition is a very cushy role because you don’t have to take a lot of responsibility, except for a beating straight after an election. Unless you are Morgan Tsvangirai, then you have to take a lot of responsibility and a beating.

Postscript: Post updated further to Dr Jensen’s edifying comments – apologies extended and post amended.

Posted in Australian politics, Foreign affairs, Politics | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »