When you separate this story, a lot of people have talked to Craig Kelly in the last few weeks. It’s interesting, so let’s go through the list.
Scott Morrison spoke with the open MP after he had a pretty fight with Tanja Plibersek in the hallway of the press gallery on February 3rd. According to Kelly, Morrison told him to stop working freely on unproven Covid-19 therapies and also to “look at his office.”
Kelly understood Morrison’s observation of the “office” as if he should look at Frank Zumba – a counselor who is currently the subject of imprisonment and allegations of inappropriate behavior by young trainees.
Kelly says Morrison’s signal about Zumba was indirect. The MP also says that he does not remember specifically that Morrison ever raised Zumba with him before that conversation, although he cannot be sure.
If true, this would indicate a studious (some might consider it common) lack of prime ministerial curiosity about the culture of government offices. Morrison, after all, holds a neighboring electorate in the southern suburbs of Sydney, and some of the charges against Zumba have been reported locally.
But if the first prime ministerial addition about Zumba was indirect, likely to alleviate a potentially volatile situation (such as Kelly’s anger and going on track), the second addition was unequivocal.
Jaron Finkelstein, one of Morrison’s senior political advisers, called Kelly last week. The call came amid an escalating crisis over whether the government had done the proper job of caring for Brittany Higgins – a young clerk who allegedly sexually assaulted a colleague from Linda Reynolds’ office in early 2019.
Finkelstein called Kelly because the office recorded a bunch of questions from the Guardian Australia about Zumba and various allegations.
“Jaron was stronger,” Kelly says. “He said about the current evidence that you should stand up [the adviser] down “. Kelly says he resisted that instruction. He felt that there was not enough evidence to dismiss him.
Kelly says he told Finkelstein, “Your obligation to the staff includes not throwing yourself under the bus for political purposes.”
Apart from Morrison’s overtures – which can be summed up as an attempt to neutralize Kelly’s various problems without giving a reason to switch from a serial rainbow to a political martyr – Energy Minister Angus Taylor also chased the MP.
Taylor was trying to dissuade Kelly from supporting an amendment to government legislation that would allow Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in coal.
Barnaby Joice, without warning, filed an amendment for coal in the lower house late on Tuesday, February 16 – which is an audience “raised towards you” by the current leader of the citizens, Michael McCormack. Kelly has publicly signaled that he likes the look of Joice’s amendment.
That Kelly signal triggered Taylor, who should be a whisperer to the right faction when it comes to climate policy issues. The Minister of Energy tried to bring Kelly back to the tent with the CEFC legislation, because the citizens who are going under one problem, and the liberals are completely different.
Quite regardless of whether Kelly could be persuaded or persuaded to support the amendment, Joice’s crew also courted Kelly for a completely different purpose. Joice and his associates want Kelly to apply for the Nationals.
All of these worlds finally collided on Tuesday, when Kelly stood up at a regular meeting of the coalition party and announced that he was leaving the Liberal Party to sit on the bench.
Morrison was not warned beforehand. Liberals absorbed Kelly’s runaway live in stunned silence.
The MP to whom Morrison saved his pre-election before the 2019 elections in the middle of the pandemic started his own party – reducing the government majority to one seat. Kelly says his theatrical signing happened for two reasons.
He says that when Cori Bernardi left the Liberal Party in 2017, he never confronted his colleagues. This was “a little weak,” says Kelly. “I felt I owed it to the people in the party room to keep an eye on them.” He says he would have told Morrison in advance, the news would have leaked to the media before he had a chance to talk to colleagues.
Kelly says he was considering leaving the Liberals last week as Morrison publicly separated from his views. But in the end, he sat firmly until the next available meeting in the entertainment room.
So what about the effort to recruit Kelly for citizens? Deputies believe Joice’s crew is courting Kelly as an extra number.
Joice has not given up on returning to the leadership of the Nationals, and returns in the Lazarus style in torn entertainment rooms obviously require numbers.
If Joice could bring Kelly, if that political coup could take place, would McCormack really throw out another number for the Nationals party room if it was Joice’s number? Something a great dilemma, that.
Kelly obviously enjoys all the tweets, but he is currently on the lookout for whether citizen tagging works for him.
“I’m not sure if the pair of RM Williams and the great Acubra and Driza-Bone will necessarily work in Sutherland,” said the MP.
“I am currently on the bench, I intend to fight. I will consider all the different options about the best way I can fight forward.
“There is no good plan for the departure of citizens or anyone else. Not at the moment, but I can’t 100% predict what the future will be like. At the moment, I want to speak honestly, without hesitation. “