How things change.
Just a few weeks ago, Prime Minister Turnbull seemed relatively secure with a functioning government that seemed to be making some progress. Then came his collapse on the National Energy Guarantee followed immediately by his decision to call a Liberal leadership spill with the aim of shoring up his position against the emerging Dutton challenge. From this came the confusing fiasco of the subsequent Dutton challenge that saw Mr Morrison become Prime Minister with Mr Turnbull exiting politics.In the end, everybody, including many Liberal and National Party Parliamentarians, was left wondering what was all that about!
I'm not fond of Mr Dutton. I dislike what I perceive to be his policies and indeed his values. I was also deeply distrustful about the creation of Border Force and the militarisation of previous civil functions. I make this point because it affects my judgments. Accepting this, I would make two points.
The first is that many in the Liberal Party must be feeling a sense of relief that Mr Dutton's challenge failed. Imagine how the Government would be coping now if Mr Dutton were PM instead of a just a Minister.
My second point is that I struggle to see how Mr Dutton can survive as Minister. I am not talking here about the visa issues including Mr Quaedvlieg's attacks. I think Mr Dutton could have survived this, although it is yet another unwelcome distraction for the Government. However. now that he has got down in the ditch to pick up scoops of mud to throw at Mr Quaedvlieg he has lost all the benefits of the high ground. I may be wrong, but I don't think that he can survive that.