Morrison government on a knife-edge

Caption: (L-R) Kerryn Phelps, Dave Sharma and PM Scott Morrison.

The joke doing the rounds in Australia is that it?s only two prime ministers until Christmas. With Scott Morrison facing a possible humiliating defeat and accompanying loss of majority in the upcoming Wentworth by-election, it suddenly seems less of a joke.

Of course, even if the Liberals really do lose Wentworth, it isn?t necessarily the downfall of the Morrison government, but these days nothing is certain. Malcolm Turnbull?s post-leadership bastardry has queered Morrison?s already rough pitch. A feral media have sledged the government mercilessly and unfairly ? for instance, hammering them over religious-exemption rules that were actually put in place by the last Labor government.

That the independent front-runner in Wentworth is basically Turnbull in a dress, former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps only deepens the minefield. Quote:

Kerryn Phelps has left open the prospect of voting against the government in a motion of no confidence if she wins Malcolm Turnbull?s former seat of Wentworth tomorrow.

The independent candidate is rated a strong chance of causing an upset in the traditional Liberal stronghold in Sydney?s east in the by-election, costing the Morrison government its one-seat majority?Yesterday, Dr Phelps said she believed governments should generally run their full three-year terms, but during an interview on Sky News she repeatedly refused to rule out a vote against the ?Morrison government on a motion of no confidence and dismissed the suggestion she could ?create a fair bit of chaos?.

?We have chaos now,? she said. ?The government has gone from confusion to chaos.? End of quote.

This is self-serving rubbish. The perception of ‘chaos’ is mostly in the fevered imaginations of the incestuous circle-jerk that is the Canberra press gallery, which mercilessly harps on every fault ? real or imagined ? of the government, while giving the sleazy Shorten opposition a free pass at every turn. The government?s fumbling of Pauline Hanson?s ?It?s OK to be white? motion wasn?t a good look, but it was frankly a sideshow ? and, of course, the blatant bigotry the motion exposed in the opposition was again let pass: mostly because the media share the same bigotry.

All the same, the Morrison government is in trouble. Mostly because it is still struggling to deal with the fallout of the disastrous Turnbull leadership. Quote:

The Morrison government will be left with 75 seats out of 150 in the House of Represen?tatives if Dr Phelps wins tomorrow, creating a hung parliament. The government would most likely hang on to power with the support of Queenslander Bob Katter, Victorian independent Cathy McGowan, the Centre ?Alliance?s Rebekha Sharkie and possibly Dr Phelps.

But its majority would be precarious in every vote in the chamber, forcing negotiations with crossbenchers and making it wary of a no-confidence motion. End of quote.

As former PM John Howard says, the only beneficiary from this will be the thoroughly undeserving Shorten: Australia?s answer to Jeremy Corbyn. Quote:

Mr Howard said the loss of Wentworth, would ?rob? the Morrison government of a parliamentary majority and destabilise it, inculcate a sense of defeat that would carry through to the general election and result in a ?left wing, union-led, Shorten Labor government? that would axe retirees? dividend imputation income and introduce ?savage new taxes?.

The Liberal Party claims it is at long odds to retain the seat. End of quote.

The biggest villain in all this is Turnbull, who has handled his leadership loss with all the grace of a child flipping a Monopoly board. Quote:

Malcolm Turnbull is demonstrating all the faults that caused him to lose his job.

From his plush abode in New York Turnbull has offered little comfort to the Prime Minister, even though Morrison loyally stuck with him long after it was fashionable to so do. Turnbull?s meanness of spirit is being felt as he refuses to lift a finger for Dave Sharma, the Liberal candidate in his old seat. A half-baked tweet a week ago is all he has offered. What?s more, his son Alex has asked voters to choose anyone but Sharma. End of quote.

The apple doesn?t fall far from the poison tree but that doesn?t mean that it should be watered and manured by a gleeful media, handing a political nobody a national soapbox.

No wonder Shorten is campaigning so hard to protect the ABC?s left-wing closed shop: they?re the Labor party media unit.