Contributed by Joe Montero
Just one week and the Scott Morrison is already showing signs of being in trouble. Given the depth of division within the government, no one was going to buy the initial show of unity. But the cracks have resurfaced sooner than most people had expected. After all, there is usually a honeymoon period for a new government, and it was not to be this time.
With the rise of the au pair issue, Peter Dutton resumed his role as a divisive figure. The issuing of visas in this case, took on the look of a deal done for a mate, when the government is supposed to be taking a tough stance on those seeking to enter into Australia. It seems that the rules apply to some and not to others. It has been damaging to Scott Morrison, as he stumbles to put on a show of being in control.
Julia Banks quit parliament in spectacular fashion, calling out serious allegations on bullying of female Liberal members of parliament, pushed to toe the political line of the hardliners.
Insider leaks are telling that the atmosphere within the party room is toxic.
Compounding this, is that from the day of the tossing out of Malcom Turnbull, the public standing of the Coalition government has plummeted from an already low level. Instead of working to resolve the problem of a terminal government, it is likely to have grabbed the end more securely.
Achieving a victory at the next election, has now given way to securing control after an expected drubbing at the polls. The factions are manoeuvering, and no blood spilling is being spared. Central to this is how the Liberal Party is to be remade.
In line with this, big business leaders are becoming louder in putting their list of demands they expect to be delivered during the remaining life of the Morrison administration. The latest has been the Australian Industry Group, calling for the fast tracking of labour market reform, further casualisation of work and cementing in and extending the reduction in penalty rates and entitlements. They want the unions neutralised.
A terminal government provides an opportunity, to push through changes without having to bother to sell them, and it positions to rebuild the new party more securely along the lines called by big business. In other words, this is about radicalising the Liberals.
There is no assurance however that any of this will work. The main difficulty is that the growing concern of the Australian community can not be ignored. Few want to go down this road, and there are definite signs of fighting back. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Change the Rules Campaign, is a clear part of this.
Scott Morrison is in an unenviable position. He is not going to last long.