Scott Morrison – The frailty of the acting Prime Minister has been exposed
When Josh Frydenberg was asked how Michael McCormack was handling the role as acting prime minister in the Treasurer replied “well”.
Colleagues were worried. Opponents expectant.
“Well, Michael McCormack is in charge this week, what could possibly go wrong?” Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers was quoted as saying.
The frailty of the acting Prime Minister was exposed.
“I tell you what. I would much sooner live in Australia than anywhere else in the nation,” Mr McCormack posed during question time last week.
But so was his passion. Speaker Tony Smith forced him to withdraw comments labelling Greens MP Adam Bandt “treasonous” in question time.
Mr McCormack’s real enemies are behind him in his 21-strong National Party, where deep discontent with his leadership has fuelled internal chatter that he might face a challenge tomorrow.
“There is a plague of disloyalty in the National Party,” Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said.
Barnaby Joyce led the last challenge in February 2020 and fell short. A return to his combative style would destabilise the government.
“These are matters for the National Party,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.
But the chief complaint about Mr McCormack is that he doesn’t stand up to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and they cite the Prime Minister’s crabwalk to cutting carbon emissions.
“The destination is clear. I’ve made it very clear that we are moving towards net-zero,” Mr Morrison said during his UK visit for the G7 Summit on June 13.
The junior partner in the Coalition Government says that is not yet an official policy.
“We have not committed to net-zero by 2050. That would require the agreement of the Nationals. That agreement has not been reached or sought,” Resources Minister Keith Pitt said.
Private talk about leadership spills often evaporates in public, but in Canberra’s killing season you never say never.
In the final sitting week before the long winter break Labor wants to keep the focus on the vaccine rollout and quarantine.
“The Liberal and National Government have failed to deal with the two big tasks they had this year,” Mr Albanese said.
While the Government embraces an economy running red hot.
“The Australian economy is roaring back,” Mr Frydenberg said.
And Monday will tell if the National Party roars or whimpers.