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SAVING PETER DUTTON: Two long-time Queensland MPs considered for bullet to make room for Lib leadership hopeful

libstargetted With the open safe seat of Wright “belonging” to the Nats part of the LNP, his marginal seat of Dickson now a complete write-off after a failed preselection campaign elsewhere, the easy options for saving senior Coalition front-bencher Peter Dutton’s political career seem very few and far between.

Liberal insiders tell VEXNEWS there are two good options, just to Brisbane’s north.

SLEEPERS WAKE
Two Liberal backbenchers Peter Slipper and Alex Somlyay somnolently occupy two comfy safe seats in the heavenly Sunshine Coast region north of Brisbane where many Victorians love to thaw of a winter. Slipper has a crack on China/Tibet so we have a spot for the quirky chap but Somlyay seems to have well and truly passed his use-by date.

Slipper was first elected to Club Fed in 1984 and Somlyay in 1990. Unseating either of them would not be easy, both enjoying a strong follower among local members who’d be even less welcoming of a Brisvegas refugee than the Gold Coasters in McPherson were.

Both would put up a fight, insiders say, Somlyay is better connected in Canberra, being chief opposition whip, while Peter Slipper would almost certainly make the biggest noise if bumped off. The quirky ones always do and few are as quirky as Slipper, who once put Aussie servicemen at risk when visiting the troops in the Persian Gulf and using the sat phone to ring home and tell everyone where he was.

Slipper would be struggling to use his mobile phone any more though, with him racking up a $14,764 bill in 2008 for taxpayers.

One Liberal patriot worried about Dutton’s quest for survival told VEXNEWS this morning Slipper was as “nutty as a macadamia plantation.” Not normally a disqualification from public office but he certainly is not cut from the traditional boring cloth of the politico.

Somlyay is in his 60s, Slipper is planning his 60th birthday celebration next year. 60 is the new 40 baby boomers would have it so age won’t necessarily prompt their removal but going nowhere longevity probably does.

Somlyay is believed to have previously thought about retiring and may be capable of being persuaded to “take one for the team.” Slipper on the other hand believes he’s just beginning to shine 25 years after his first arrival at Club Fed and would take great umbrage at any suggestion he make way for a heavier-hitter.

If Malcolm Turnbull is serious about saving Dutton, he’ll tap either of these blokes on the shoulder. The question is whether the bravado specialist feels like he’s got enough authority left to give it a go.

Otherwise, it is not difficult to imagine Kevin Rudd scanning through a list of foreign Embassies, laughing off the pain of gallstones, by giving Peter Dutton some valuable job seeker assistance.

Discussion

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  1. Peter is a goner…

    Posted by Cya Slippery | October 5, 2009, 7:54
  2. Worked with both. Sooooo second rate. They really are passengers in every respect. The really funny thing is Slipper has cards on himself. Laughable pair of dolts.

    Posted by Disenfranchised | October 5, 2009, 7:54
  3. I hear there might be a vacancy in Wentworth.

    Posted by Mrs T. | October 5, 2009, 8:09
  4. Are they mad?
    Peter Dutton is has the intellect of a gnat. Rudd would not be dumb enough to use a precious position for a light weight.
    It is offensive that either Slipper and especially Somlyay should be tapped to make room for this guy. Someone in the Liberal Party is in need of a frontal lobe adjustment if they think so. Malcolm really needs to re-think positions in his own office if any of his staffers are offering thisstupidity as advice.
    Clearly the Liberal Party stopped testing for IQ some years ago.
    Wearing a suit, putting a serious intellectual look on your face and having puppet-like qualities should never be a substitute for substance that is needed to create and *understand* policy in order to put them back into power. The Liberals deserve wilderness if they just do not let him go.
    As for Rudd, don’t you dare waste a perfectly good position anywhere on this guy, and then claim to care about public service reform and valuing intellect and solid education. Dutton is no Nelson, that’s for sure.

    Posted by Sober up Liberals | October 5, 2009, 9:32
  5. Does Malcolm really think that Dutton is the silver bullet that will win this next election? That is just madness. Losing Dutton make no negative impact, but certainly will have a positive impact.
    MT needs to focus on the issues and winning the election rather than contemplating the ridiculous of asking Alex Somlyay to step aside. Measure both men up in terms of their solid knowledge, education and experience. It’s a no brainer, Dutton didn’t belong in politics in the first place.

    Restore some dignity and value to experience and capacity, return to a meritorious system that will yield the party the policy, strategic and intellectual rigour and might it needs to return to power, rather than wasting time on a deserved loss.

    Posted by Get some focus Malcolm | October 5, 2009, 9:43
  6. So, the Liberals are courting underachievers now are they? yeh, keep the inads and turf the smart ones…reallly smart guys.
    No more lacklustre blow-ins!

    Posted by Let Dutton go | October 5, 2009, 9:45
  7. I would have thought that Malcolm would be spending this weekend wondering about the party position on climate change, rather than Dutton’s lack of position. If Malcolm considers someone very mediocre like Dutton worthy of attention at a time like this, then the Libs really are in a sad state.
    For a man who spent so much time tending to his own intellectual & knowledge development, I would have thought that Malcolm would have actively pursued it in his own ranks and office as a means of policy development and a Liberal win. Winning takes hard work and knowledge, not just the ability to work the numbers internally. It’s the public that ultimately vote you in.

    Posted by Dutton, it's time to goooooooooooo | October 5, 2009, 9:52
  8. Above posts were clearly written by the same person.

    Posted by Try a different format | October 5, 2009, 10:30
  9. Well I only wrote one of them. So there.

    Posted by Let Dutton go | October 5, 2009, 10:33
  10. Dutton should go quickly and quietly, he has contributed very little in public office and he is an intellectual lightweight.

    Posted by anonymous | October 5, 2009, 10:38
  11. Surely I’m the most hopeless Queensland MP in federal parliament?

    Posted by Michael Johnson MP | October 5, 2009, 11:04
  12. Johnson got it right about himself in one.

    Posted by anonski | October 5, 2009, 11:25
  13. Yes Michael, but your rank incompetence as an MP has so eroded the margin of your blue ribbon seat that you couldn’t give it away if you tried.

    Posted by Bob Harper | October 5, 2009, 11:46
  14. another dumb cop, must be part of the jason woodie brigade

    Posted by dickhead detector | October 5, 2009, 12:55
  15. Dutton still has a seat but its been redrawn after and an AEC boundary review.

    From the political prospective Dutton should contest his current seat and if he is any good he could win it.

    But from the moral prospective being a 2003 Howard era MP with the blood of 100,000 Iraqi civilians on his hands this hardly an impressive statistic to have on ones CV.

    I wonder if this stat will appear on his CV when he is looking for a real job if he looses at the next election

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 5, 2009, 13:26
  16. Every time a promising politician pops up, people from the opposite side of their position try to chop them down. Dutton is no future Prime Minister in my opinion but he is a very solid member of parliament, who has a wide range of experiences in the real world, including as a business owner. One thing I know for sure is that he would have more smarts and life experience than all the nameless no-hopers who have nothing better to do than denigrate him on the internet.

    Posted by Alby | October 5, 2009, 13:29
  17. The result reflected commonsense. Would the self-interested minority show some respect for democracy and wear it.

    Posted by Commonsense | October 5, 2009, 14:13
  18. Dinigrate, Alby? No, that’s free speech at work, just as democracy was at work to remove Dutton.

    Posted by Alby mangled? | October 5, 2009, 14:15
  19. Dinigrate, Alby? No, that’s free speech at work, just as democracy was at work to remove Dutton. No-hopers are those that operation of free speech and democracy.

    Posted by Alby mangled? | October 5, 2009, 14:16
  20. Dinigrate, Alby? No, that’s free speech at work, just as democracy was at work to remove Dutton. No-hopers are those that oppose operation of free speech and democracy.

    Posted by Alby mangled? | October 5, 2009, 14:16
  21. Did Peter Dutton even ever visit the electorate before preselection?

    http://www.aec.gov.au/pdf/profiles/2007/d/dickson.pdf

    Fisher – knock out Slippery Pete … its right next to Dickson …

    Posted by I smell something Fishy | October 5, 2009, 14:22
  22. Maybe I could become a Janitor, anyone need their lavatory cleaned and polished?

    Posted by Peter Dutton | October 5, 2009, 14:44
  23. you can buff my chassi with your tongue any time Peter.

    Posted by Pissy Chryne | October 5, 2009, 17:20
  24. Andrew, the problem with your blog is that it has become a vehicle for anyone with an axe to grind on any particular individual/issue to blast away, irrespective of the truth or merit. A bit like Crikey it its early days. I don’t have a solution for you, which brings me back to this story. Dutton’s loss is the product of a series of matters. First, his handling of a change from Dickson was a study in inepitude. Instead of engaging the electorate office-holders and having them announce that they wanted him, he unilateraly pronounced that he was the next member! this is the seat whih rejected Sally anne Atkinson at the height of her populrity!
    Secondly, the Turnbull factor was a major issue. Dutton was torn apart on the issue. The stark reality is that Liberal Party memebrs (ans Nationals) are almost universally opposed to the ETS. Dutton defended the Party line _ hence Turnbull. This was political suicide. All the speculation about Somlyay and Slipper amounts to ill-informed comment: it is not about their hold on their electorates, or the Nats vs the Libs. – it has more to do withth the direction of the Coalition. The irony is that Dutton has little time for Turnbull, but he was punished for supporting the Party line. He should have differentiated himself (along with his actaul belief) and he may have prevailed. His problem now is that he is probably un-preselectable in any electorate in Quennsland – because of Malcolm.
    Maybe it will finally unite the conservative majority in the Coalition to call Malcolm’s bluff.
    If not, the Coalition’s fate is worse than the result of a DD.
    McPherson was just a playing out of the problems that the Opposition face: not Lib vs Nat as the media would have it, butof the fundamental direction of the Coalition.
    Finally, if any of your usual suspects wish to comment on this entry, can we have some intelligent discussion, and not the usual character assasinations and factional warfare. If Liberals cannot recognise that the future of the party is under a cloud, and engage in juvenile attacks rather than serious discussion, the Coalition will be in opposiiton for many years to come.

    Posted by Simon | October 5, 2009, 21:09
  25. Chrissy Pyne just offered to make me his personal hairdresser.

    I’ll see you club fed losers later.

    Posted by Peter Dutton | October 5, 2009, 21:42
  26. Get out now Turnbull and save us from further consternation about your hopeless leadership. If Dutton is so good then why wasn’t he just offered a safe seat. Moves to get him one now make you Mr Turnbull look like a complete idiot…but I suppose they take the heat off your kamikaze effort last week…a good opposition makes for good governance…your days are numbered….

    Posted by Madam Lash | October 5, 2009, 22:52
  27. Why save a lightweight?

    Dutton’s a dud, we all know it.

    Posted by Close to the storm | October 6, 2009, 6:39
  28. Come to NSW Peter. If you turn out to be a total failure you can come and “work” for “Johnson and Johnson” like me.

    Posted by Nick Campbell | October 6, 2009, 7:12
  29. Simon (Oct 5 2009 21:09). If you have a problem with this blog, then the first thing you could do is f### off and not bore us with your first year uni psuedo-analysis. You’re nearly as big a dipshit as me…

    Posted by Caesar Jamie (Not James...) Briggs - but you may call me 'tubbylardarse'... | October 6, 2009, 9:47
  30. It could be worse, at least my popularity is better than Turnbull’s. He is about as wanted as a turd on a rug. Speaking of turds does anyone know where Barnaby is today?

    Posted by Peter Dutton | October 6, 2009, 10:36
  31. Only Peter Dutton thinks he’s a leadership hopeful

    Posted by I smell something Fishy | October 6, 2009, 10:43
  32. Dutton should go back to McPherson, work his butt off and retain the seat.

    Its call hard work!

    Posted by Do the work | October 6, 2009, 12:25
  33. Hard work? Just because a business pays your salary it doesn’t mean you have to actually work for them!

    Posted by Nick Campbell from Johnson and Johnson | October 6, 2009, 13:19
  34. I’ve never been too keen on hard work, but I love cutting ribbons and opening important things.

    Posted by Peter Dutton | October 6, 2009, 13:56
  35. Peter you should get Chrissy Pyne to give his special genital ‘polish’.

    Posted by C Pearce | October 6, 2009, 19:33