CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The very public airing of the Liberal Party’s deeply engrained divisions has continued this week, as episode two of the ABC’s NEMESIS documentary series went to broadcast last night.
Both former and current Coalition heavyweights appear on camera to tell the world what the really think about this disastrous 9 years, where not much actual governing got done.
While episode one focused on the 18 months of Tony Abbott’s clunky reign as Prime Minister, episode two was purported to focus on the 3 years that Malcolm Turnbull spent in the job – detailing the petty personal vendettas and culture wars that resulted in two spills against him, as the right-wing of the Coalition did everything they could to hijack his efforts to moderate the party.
The binfire that was the gay marriage plebiscite is thoroughly dissected, as well as the scandal surrounding the Deputy PM’s lovechild – a chaotic turn of events that was arguably the death rattle of Turnbull’s time as leader – and somehow left Barnaby Joyce feeling like a victim.
However, despite a few brutal sledges from his backbenchers, it can be said that Turnbull came off looking a bit better than the Liberal Party leaders that followed him.
For the most part, the episode follows the seemingly Machiavellian scheming of Scott Morrison, who appears to have not only orchestrated Turnbull’s ousting, but also Dutton’s failed leadership spills, and Barnaby Joyce’s fall from grace.
Peter Dutton comes across as a puppet for the jilted Tony Abbott, before being played like a fool by Scotty From Marketing.
Unlike the ABC’s ‘Killing Season’ – which detailed the similar chaos of the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd years – producers of ‘Nemesis’ have decided against even narrating this series, instead letting the MPs and Senators tell the story themselves with chronological soundbites.
While many within the Coalition might say this is a good opportunity to finally drain the bad blood from the party, it does not appear likely that any of these current or former Parliamentarians will ever be able to be in the same room as each other again.
In fact, last night’s episode looks like it might’ve actually destroyed the Liberal Party’s chances at the next election, with 45 minute of scathing soundbites about how Peter Dutton is in no way cut out for leadership and is actually a really bad bloke.
Dutton is described as a ‘thug’ by Turnbull, who is asked to describe the attempted mutineer in one word.
While Ken Wyatt, the only Indigenous MP in the party at this time and one of the architects of the Indigenous Voice referendum, declares that if Dutton had defeated Turnbull as leader in 2018, he would’ve immediately resigned from the party. A timely admission, given the damage Dutton went on to cause during the referendum.
Either way, the Labor Party has a lot to work with for their 2025 election campaign ads.