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IT’S ON: Courageous Kevin Andrews joins the fight for the heart and soul of the Liberal Party

kevinandrews Former Howard Government minister and highly respected conservative figure Kevin Andrews has confirmed this morning on the Alan Jones programme that he is a candidate for Liberal Party leadership.

Sources close to the prospective leader say this is not just stirring the pot, it’s on. Game on, for those hardened patriots from the OC era.

VEXNEWS understands that its current Leader Malcolm Turnbull’s current intention to brazenly tough it out. His strategy is to crash through or crash, not just on the ETS but also in terms of any potential challenge. His plan is just not to call another party room meeting before Christmas and hope the current tensions go away.

As there are no formal rules on these things, it is theoretically possible for Turnbull to do this.

But the politics of it is toxic.

To brazenly ignore a challenger who has publicly announced his intentions would be unprecedented and make for a very long hot summer as the public and party waited for Turnbull to resolve the matter.

Liberal insiders tell VEXNEWS that this debacle has been “tragi-comic” and “completely unexpected for Malcolm to have blown himself up like this.”

Another explained “There were so many compromises offered by Minchin and others. Malcolm stubbornly ignored them all. Why couldn’t he have offered a conscience vote on the issue for backbenchers? That could have worked.”

And while Kevin Andrews is a man of high principle and clearly iron will, it seems that the party will turn to Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey to slug it out as Turnbull’s successor.

Abbott is a conservative, but a pragmatic one and is perhaps the Liberals most impressive performer. It’s just a shame they have to put him up so early in the electoral cycle.

Hockey is much more small ‘l’ liberal than Abbott but did himself no favours by attempting to strong-arm wavering party room members yesterday and appeared to have been revealed as a source by Peter van Onselen on Lateline last night in terms of a planned potential leadership coup against Malcolm next year. Clearly Joe is the smiling assassin of the Liberal party room. Friendly to all but with sharpened dagger hidden in his pocket. The ‘likeable’ types in politics are invariably the most secretly ruthless and amoral. Hockey is no exception.

Any of the three would do better than Malcolm Turnbull’s disgraceful effort yesterday. We admire Turnbull in many respects. But he proved himself unfit to lead by his bizarre and outrageous conduct last night. Running a political party is not the same as running a deal in a Sydney boardroom where a little bullying can go a long way. And we suspect Malcolm Turnbull is about to learn that lesson the hard way.

For the good of the Liberal party, he should resign.

UPDATE: One of Turnbull’s backbenchers Peter Slipper has compared his conduct last night with Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. Oh dear.


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Reports of Turnbull refusing to acknowledge a formal application for a spill are conflicting with reports that Turnbull will resign if the ETS deal is rejected.

    Does that mean Turnbull will resign if the ETS bills are rejected on the floor of the Senate or in the partyroom? Does that mean Turnbull will not turn up the joint partyroom tomorrow?

    Clusterf**king all round …

    Posted by confused | November 25, 2009, 9:53
  2. Go Hockey!

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 10:00
  3. Hockey is lazy and a dullard – Turbull as status quo would be better. is he caucusing with Abbott or Bishop now, the dishonest narcissist?!

    Posted by hockey is the smiling assissin | November 25, 2009, 10:22
  4. I love it, an implosion of magnificent proportions. Andrew’s! It’s called scraping the barrel.

    Posted by Arther conan doyle | November 25, 2009, 10:31
  5. It’s brilliant for Turnbull, because he will whop Andrews so easily in any vote on the leadership, he will look strong again.

    On the other hand, heaven help Turnbull if he has to contest the leadership against anyone of substance.

    Posted by Steven Sensible | November 25, 2009, 10:38
  6. […] any time soon. Vexnews reports though: …Malcolm Turnbull’s current intention to brazenly tough it out. His strategy is to crash through or crash, not just on the ETS but also in terms of any potential […]

    Posted by Right Pulse » Blog Archive » Bring it! | November 25, 2009, 10:42
  7. Andrews may have a poor popular persona but cannot be bullied and has a calming influence over colleagues from both left and right. Yes, unlikely to win but he will be a lightning rod for anger and dismay tomorrow …. if Mal turns up ….. how does that look strong

    Posted by Kevin is substantial | November 25, 2009, 10:44
  8. Go Hockey his the only one that can do it, but he should sit back now and enjoy Andrews, Turnbull rip apart the Libs…great work Hockey

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 10:48
  9. Kevin Andrews? Give me a break. What a loser.

    Posted by Avernaiedl | November 25, 2009, 11:09
  10. Go Hockey, you and John Edwards are my heroes.

    Posted by Warren Hudson | November 25, 2009, 11:14

    Posted by the truth | November 25, 2009, 11:21
  12. totally agree Andrews would lose unlike a real contender like Hockey

    Posted by Hockey will lead | November 25, 2009, 11:23
  13. whos withn who

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 11:24
  14. Why would we want Hockey?

    He’s further left that Turnbull, vote him in and 6 months from now Tuckey and the like will be calling for another spill.

    His speech about lefty Christianity should be enough of a warning for any right winger considering him for leadership.

    Posted by Hockey has a photo of Palestinian terrorist/socialist in his office | November 25, 2009, 11:25
  15. We’re on at 1pm, spill of Leader and Deputy Leader positions.

    What’s the bet this will be like the Keating challenge of Hawke – all position declared vacant but no other nominations – will mean the leadership tension will simmer away.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 11:25
  16. correction

    Posted by Hockey has a photo of Palestinian terrorist/socialist Yasser Arafat in his office | November 25, 2009, 11:25
  17. there are murmurs coming from the party that power hungry megalomaniac Alex Hawke is itching to put his hand up for the top job.

    For all his ambition and drive, Hawke is missing one thing – patience.

    Posted by insider | November 25, 2009, 11:27
  18. Go Kevin!! Save the Liberal Party!!

    Posted by unhappylibgirl | November 25, 2009, 11:35
  19. Ian Macfarlane would be better than Hockey. The last thing the Liberals need is another smiling, smooth bully. Andrews and Abbott would be OK if they had true majority support. Otherwise leave Turbull there to take the flak.

    Posted by cattle farmer | November 25, 2009, 11:37
  20. PM Rudd is a bully so what!

    Posted by Hockey will lead | November 25, 2009, 11:43
  21. That is the last thing Australia needs heading the Liberal Party – a dirty, stinking, rosary bead holding Mick.

    Posted by Chrissy Pyne | November 25, 2009, 11:44
  22. I am angry with Liberal politicians who will not represent the party. Turnbull is Labor, not Liberal. Get rid of him. All the best Kevin Andrews.

    Posted by Angry | November 25, 2009, 12:00
  23. Good call ‘Hockey will lead’, Hockey will certainly lead them to the left of the Labor Party and electoral oblivion. Then it will be Pyne’s turn.

    Posted by Braod church supporter | November 25, 2009, 12:01
  24. In a race between Malcolm and Kevin Andrews, I predict Joe Hockey as the emerging leader.

    As a paid up an passionate Lib, I then want this bullshit to stop!

    I am bloody well sick of the disunity. Whatever happens get behind the leader and let’s start setting the agenda and win the next election.

    Posted by I am a paid up and passionate liberal | November 25, 2009, 12:17
  25. News Ltd online has a poll running on who you think should be Lib Leader – Christopher Pyne is listed, currently 3% support – no doubt the er, alternative lifestyle vote.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 12:27
  26. Julie Bishop looks completely out of her depth – what else can you expect from a barren woman.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 12:37
  27. What about Greg Hunt?

    Posted by Mike Hunt | November 25, 2009, 12:48
  28. Greg Hunt voted for me… alternative lifestyle bloc supporter.

    Posted by Chrissy Pyne | November 25, 2009, 12:51
  29. Looks like the libs will destroy themselves over this another leader gone in 2 years, they don’t have much talent left. And who the f*ck does Wilson Tuckey think he is anyway he is well and truly past it. If the Libs want government back they should start by getting rid of this time serving moron.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 13:11
  30. you must be joking – Greg got the party into this ETS mess in the first place!

    Posted by greg hunt? | November 25, 2009, 13:17
  31. hockey one hockey two hockey three

    Posted by Madam Lash | November 25, 2009, 13:19
  32. Time for McPerton to come back from San Fran and to be parachuted in to Wentworth.

    Only human rights warrior McPerton can save the Federal Liberal Party

    Posted by McPerton for Leader | November 25, 2009, 13:27
  33. 48-35 on the Leadership. Who voted which way ?

    Posted by Anonymous | November 25, 2009, 13:28
  34. Suck eggs skeptics, you irrelevant dinosaurs!

    Posted by a | November 25, 2009, 13:33
  35. At 48-35, there’s a lot of abstentions.

    Can you abstain from a vote such as that?

    Posted by Blue Dog Patriot | November 25, 2009, 13:48
  36. Hahaha Andrew is chief fuck up. I put a lot of our election loss on that fucktard. I doubt any other man alive could have screwed up work choices to the extent he did.

    Posted by Pager | November 25, 2009, 13:59
  37. Thanks Kevin for showing how Turnbull has set back the Liberal party 10 years by supporting Rudd’s ETS. What a win that was for Turnbull – I mean Rudd.

    Posted by Joe | November 25, 2009, 14:10
  38. The last thing we need is Kevin O Never running this country with the Pope as his senior advisor

    Posted by Argus Tuft | November 25, 2009, 14:15
  39. Why didn’t anyone tap Jamie Briggs on the shoulder to step up…?
    What about a double-team act of renewal with Alex Hawke as his deputy…?
    They would be so awesome…

    Posted by ChopChop | November 25, 2009, 14:22
  40. I suppose they couldn’t get any lower in the opinion polls.

    Posted by Clingwrap Kid | November 25, 2009, 14:43
  41. Someone should find me a safe seat

    Posted by John Roskam | November 25, 2009, 15:09
  42. Peter Slipper is a fine politician. He is a “Joh for PM” man.

    Posted by joh | November 25, 2009, 15:10
  43. Howard ’96 – ’98… seven Ministers lost to breaches of the Code of Conduct, sliding opinion polls, notable for no major policy or reform beyond a gun-buyback and riots on the waterfront after illegal action by the Commonwealth.

    Meanwhile, the ALP were united and disciplined under Beazley, earning 51% of the vote in ’98 and rebuilding the party strongly.

    Rudd ’07 – ’05… CPRS passed and on the way to being implemented, Apology given, Fair Work Australia established, approval rating in the 65% – 70% range.

    While the Libs rend themselves asunder.

    Ok, so, tell me again why the ALP is institutionally flawed and its factional system nothing but a stumbling block? Oh, yeah….

    Posted by Blue Dog Patriot | November 25, 2009, 16:13
  44. Kevin is the man – down with Turnbull (and my ex faction head Red Ted)

    Posted by Tony Smell | November 25, 2009, 16:13
  45. I will stop their funding if Kevin is not made leader!!!

    Posted by Julian Glynne | November 25, 2009, 16:15
  46. Turnbull = fucked!

    Posted by It's Simple Really | November 25, 2009, 16:38
  47. Don’t worry Kevin. I am very proud of you.

    Next time I’ll be on the phones for you – then you will win.

    Posted by No More Mercy | November 25, 2009, 16:44
  48. Seriously, if Sandra Mercer Moore had been in Canberra, she would have squirrel gripped those votes for big Kev in five minutes – especially from the NSW Right traitors to the cause – Abbott, Hawke and Morrison!

    Posted by Where was Sandra | November 25, 2009, 17:51
  49. Kevin has my support for the leadership of the opposition

    Posted by Jesus Christ | November 25, 2009, 18:19
  50. He’s got mine as well, as long as he keeps that nasty Fred Nile away from Canberra.

    Posted by The Prophet Muhammad | November 25, 2009, 18:37
  51. ***tell me again why the ALP is institutionally flawed and its factional system nothing but a stumbling block?***

    Because they’re selling the working man down the river, by introducing the ETS. 7000 jobs gone in QLD mining and 9000 in WA, minimum.

    That’s why.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | November 25, 2009, 20:24
  52. ***looks like the libs will destroy themselves over this another leader gone in 2 years***

    What nonsense. Now is the ideal time to ditch the Wets.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | November 25, 2009, 20:24
  53. LOL @ Byron

    I suppose the ALP also let down the working man in years gone past by removing tariffs? Or perhaps they betrayed farriers by refusing to legislate against the increasing use of the motorcar?

    Pure, unadulterated horse hockey, my good fellow.

    Labor’s legislation reflects the reality of the world we live in. You can’t make water flow uphill, and you can’t simply close your eyes and pretend that climate change isn’t happening.

    The laws of science be a harsh mistress…

    Posted by Blue Dog Patriot | November 25, 2009, 21:17
  54. David Clarke for Leader……

    Whoops, sorry, wrong Parliament….

    Posted by Chad Sydler | November 25, 2009, 23:09
  55. ***Labor’s legislation reflects the reality of the world we live in***

    He! You got that right. Rudd spends Australia into $158bn of debt, with $630m in interest payments each month, while Combet uses a hot day in Melbourne to excuse the intentional loss of 16000 jobs in the mining industry. Where are you CFMEU types spending the holidays this year, Paris or New York? Raise a glass of champagne to your members facing the sack, won’t you.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | November 26, 2009, 7:52
  56. What are you, the Mayor of Non Sequitur Town?

    Take your discredited Friedman-eqsue nonsense elsewhere, my quota for economic vandalism is all full up after listening to Costello the other night. As is my quota for crocodile tears, humbug and newly acquired sympathy for the working class.

    Posted by Blue Dog Patriot | November 26, 2009, 10:50
  57. Hitler for leader.

    Woops Hitler is dead. Peace be upon the Fuhrer.

    Posted by Adrian von Prykenburg | November 26, 2009, 11:00
  58. Sacked or washed away in a tsunami, i know what i prefer. You flat earther’s are unbearable.

    Posted by Arther conan doyle | November 26, 2009, 12:23
  59. Steven Sensible, are you all there that smart alec Comrade Rudd has whipped Malcolm’s butt, good and proper, and Malcolm and 47 other liberals just signed off on the liberal party as we once knew it what a pack of idiots the whole country hates Malcolm for something that Kevin Rudd initiated Rudd will probably smell like a rose thanks to you liberals WHAT planet are you all on all I can say I hope the National party breaks away from the libs because I for one will never vote for them again they have turned into a communist party.
    cheesed off cheryl

    Posted by cheryl young | November 26, 2009, 13:19
  60. on shabs

    Posted by julia gillard | November 27, 2009, 2:37
  61. I am writing this on the following Saturday (28/11); at a time where Malcolm has imploded – effectively dead but won’t lie down. As if it was not enuff to deliberately “mis-count” the party room numbers when considering the package on Wednesday and call them incorrectly. His outright lie about this was arrogant and untenable, and this action MUST BE CORRECTED. And his behaviour since is not only unconscionable (but he WON’T GET AWAY WITH IT THIS TIME); it is like a “death or glory” deathwish, effectively saying, “if you bring me down I will ‘bugger up’ the party for the future”. Or, like Rudd, saying “look at me – look at me”.
    He now realises that his tenure in politics is finished, and brought about by his own self-serving and unctious actions. Kevin Andrews didn’t win on Wednesday; but what he did will go down in history as a great unselfish act to not only protect his party from a huge mistake, a trap that Rudd led him ointo, but everyday “mums and dads”: from the worst effects of an iniquitious additional tax burden, resulting in the shredding of tens of thousands of jobs, whether here in Australia alone or by transferring many offshore to countries that couldn’t give a “continental” about their heavy polluted industries. And all of this with NO impact statement let alone agreement from other countries who either will not OR will ever agree with any real controls. All that is caused by Rudd’s incredible ego-maniacal push to become “a leading global figure” at Copenhagen and beyond.

    Kevin Andrews, I salute you. You, together with Andrew Robb, were the only real Liberals in parliament to initially stand up and fight when it was needed, and your party will forever be grateful for your honourable and unselfish actions. Thank you.

    Posted by Graeme | November 28, 2009, 9:36