A new party desperate for credibility and three defectors desperate for revenge. When ego’s collide…
Yesterday I broke the story of three members of the Morrison government that were looking to defect to The New Liberals Party.
The article was met with both hope and glee that this could spell the end of Morrison and his regime of rorters extraordinaire. It was also met with a healthy dose of scepticism and doubt.
I have to admit when I was first informed of the intended defection I had to check that it wasn’t the 1st of April, so I completely understand those who didn’t believe.
Fortunately, the Leader of the New Liberals, Victor Kline, last night confirmed the story via Twitter.
This is true. Or at least it was true. I made the mistake of telling Tony Bourke in an attempt to get the ALP to change their mind on supporting the Bill to deregister us. He has obviously leaked it to Wicks. #TNL https://t.co/VLTuUzNOt8
— Victor Kline (@victorklineTNL) August 20, 2021
Not only did he confirm the intentions of the three unnamed Liberals but he also confirmed that he had been talking about it with Labor’s Tony Burke by falsely claiming that Burke had leaked the story to Wixxyleaks.
As much as I appreciate Kline’s confidence in my reach I’m reasonably certain that if the Leader of Opposition Business was aware of three defecting members of the government and the possibility of the government collapsing he might aim just a little higher than a blogsite with a few followers.
So where does that leave things?
According to Kline, who has yet to respond to my queries, he is now attacking Burke and myself for apparently sending the whole thing down the gurgler.
Kline seems to be of the frankly bizarre belief that three Liberals who were so disgruntled at their own party they would bring down a government in order to defect, have suddenly fallen back in love with their party in the last 24 hours and will continue to serve and support the party they hated yesterday. And this abrupt change of heart was brought on by a blog that did not even name them.
For what it’s worth here’s what I suspect.
Never underestimate the power of a politicians self-interests.
The Liberal Party is in a state of internal chaos, the wheels are falling off the Morrison Marketing bus, and lurking in the shadows are Josh Frydenberg and Peter Dutton. With an election looming there is likely a lot of manoeuvring going on within the party by leadership contenders to shore up support for their bid. This may also include Morrison who is no doubt keen to hang on as leader.
So we know that there are three disgruntled Liberals looking to do damage.
I suspect these three have been targeted locally by branch stacking that will see them lose their endorsement after a pre-selection they are aware they can’t win.
Their best chance of winning is by cutting and running early so that they have time to make their electorates comfortable with their decision. It would also be advantageous come election time to have their name attached to a party with the word ‘Liberal’ in its name.
It would also screw over those that are currently screwing them over. Although I’m sure in politics ego never comes into the decision making process. Much.
The same self-interest logic applies to the New Liberals. Many have queried why a left-wing party like the New Liberals would endorse three former conservatives.
It’s simple really. Ideology and principles be damned, endorsing the three defecting members would have given the New Liberals three sitting members without even running a campaign.
Kline on Twitter talks about how he was offering to “deliver government to the ALP”, a big claim from someone who is yet to even have a member elected to local council. It’s also a demonstration of someone with limited political knowledge, as only voters can deliver a government, the best he could hope for would be that the three defectors trigger an election. I suspect he saw this apparent defection as being ‘delivered’ three MP’s.
In what will no doubt come as a blow to his new members Kline has confirmed his lack of principles by openly letting his left wing supporters know he’s happy to endorse conservatives.
With this demonstrated lack of integrity and willingness to embrace opportunism perhaps the New Liberals are the perfect fit for three disgruntled former conservatives.