letter, first off the rank, in the paper this morning. I imagine it is going to upset a few people - including some of the regular columnists. I named two and I could have named more. Perhaps I should have named more.
I am, quite simply, fed up with what has become a vicious campaign to try and remove an elected Prime Minister. Oh yes, the media has done it before. They have done it recently. We had the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd debacle and that ended in tears for the Labor party. Why the media did it I am not sure - I suspect it had something to do with internal dissension and the intense dislike of Rudd within his own party. He was known as a bully. When it became clear that his replacement wasn't going to win another election the media perhaps thought that Rudd's popularity with the electorate (who clearly didn't know him like his colleagues) would allow Labor to win.
The same is not true this time round. The current PM is not detested or even disliked by his colleagues. Some of them may be frustrated or irritated by his style at times but, apart from the man who would be leader, they support him. And, interestingly, that man did not put his hand up. He is probably biding his time but he could have put his hand up and would have won - although probably only by a narrow margin. He probably believes he can win by a bigger margin later. Perhaps he can. He will not make a good Prime Minister but he may be able to win another election - if the media decides that is what they want.
But, as someone else pointed out this morning, the media is playing a dangerous game. There is a great deal of press freedom in Australia. For all the grumbles about censorship the journalists and the columnists can get away with saying almost anything. As long as it isn't actually libellous they will probably get away with it. In the past few days that line has come, at very least, close to being crossed if not actually crossed.
The media is now in the awkward position of having failed to have the PM removed at a time of their choosing. They don't want to fail so they will be watching every move. They will criticise everything they think they can get away with and yes, in the end, they will almost certainly succeed.
The problem with all of this is that it is not democracy. When enough politicians realise this then the media may find itself under review and possibly restraint. If that happens then the rest of us lose as well.