Julie Bishop cutting short a long planned trip to the Philippines, seems to suggest something dramatic is mounting within the Liberal Party.
For as Malcolm Turnbull appears unable to control his backbenchers over the proposed gay marriage plebiscite, it therefore seems the Prime Minister has lost control over the Liberal partyroom.
While a potential challenge for the Prime Ministership over this issue is absurd (as Turnbull does not believe in his plebiscite policy), any spill in the leadership would be unfortunate, given our nation’s recent history of overthrowing sitting Prime Ministers.
However, if our federal politics is again defined by another coup, the Liberals choosing Julie Bishop to become the new Prime Minister, would be boundlessly foolish.
Irrespective of personal preferences, Bishop and Turnbull fundamentally remain the same type of leader: globalist, Left of centre figures, who do not adhere to either the conservative or Liberal ideologies of the base.
In the event that Bishop does indeed oust Turnbull to become Prime Minister, ordinary Australians will wonder: what was the point of changing leadership, if the country is not changing in direction?
Regardless of present speculation, if the Liberal Party decides that Malcolm Turnbull must go, they would best be advised in selecting Peter Dutton to be their new leader, in a last-ditch attempt to recover lost conservatives.
The Australian, by Rachel Baxendale, August 2, 2017:
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has cut short a planned visit to the Philippines next week to ensure she is back in time for parliament, Sky News is reporting.
Sky News host and Australian contributing editor Peter van Onselen has speculated that the change of plans may be due to mounting tensions within the Coalition and increasing pressure on Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership over the issue of same sex marriage.
Ms Bishop’s office has confirmed that she will visit Thailand and the Philippines from today, returning next Tuesday August 8, which is the day parliament resumes.
Ms Bishop will meet Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and other senior ministers and political leaders in Bangkok, as well as opening Australia’s new embassy there.
“This will be my second visit to the Philippines this year,” Ms Bishop said in a statement.
“In Manila, I will attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the ASEAN-Australia Ministerial Meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum, in ASEAN’s 50th anniversary year, demonstrating our strong support for ASEAN’s contribution to promoting peace and prosperity in our region.
“The EAS and ASEAN meetings will focus on key regional challenges, including the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula and terrorism. As co-chair of the ASEAN-Australia Ministerial Meeting, I will lead discussion on the historic ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, to be held in Sydney in March 2018.”
Ms Bishop is also set to meet Philippines Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and civil society organisations in Manila, to discuss Australia’s support for the peace process, the response to the situation in Marawi and counter-terrorism cooperation.
The Australian has contacted Ms Bishop’s office to confirm the report that the trip has been cut short.