O’Brien attacks fellow MP instead of Labor
In an uncharacteristically zesty spray, Michael O’Brien, leader of the Victorian State Opposition has made a press conference attack on his colleague Bev McArthur MP calling her views “ridiculous”.
Beverley McArthur has been strongly campaigning that the federal government should not be coerced into providing additional welfare for Victorian workers who may be suffering due to Victoria’s COVID mismanagement and ongoing lockdowns.
Mr O’Brien, who is in furious agreement with the Labor Party on various policy issues, including on their approach to COVID-19, has angered many Liberal Party members who have been pleading with the Opposition Leader to step down.
In the peppery atmosphere of internal Liberal Party politics, Mr O’Brien publicly attacked Mrs McArthur and said there is a reason why she is not on the front bench. This deeply personal and highly emotional smear by Michael O’Brien indicates to what extent he is out of step with his own party, and to what degree he is willing to engage in petty factional politics which has ended up being reported in the Fairfax press.
Several Liberal Party rank and file members have come out calling Mr O’Brien’s attacks “disgraceful”. One senior member said that Party members have been urging either Matthew Guy or Brad Battin “to do something to put an end to this shambolic non-opposition”. A common theme among grassroots Liberal members is that there is currently a lack of leadership in their state branch of the Party.
“A few decades ago Mrs McArthur was a polarising figure in the Party,” another Party powerbroker said. “Today she speaks for the Party. What ‘Moby’ said is absolutely disgraceful. Mate, he might be back peddling a million miles an hour at the moment, but it’s too late.”
Mr O’Brien publicly called Beverley McArthur’s media statements “a ridiculous suggestion” even though Mrs McArthur’s views are those traditionally held by the Liberals and align with the federal government’s approach toward sound economic management.
Mr O’Brien further claimed that Mrs McArthur’s views were not “Liberal Party policy”, though he has failed to elaborate for over two years whether the Liberal Party actually has any policy.
“We now have the case where the wet lettuce leaf leader is publicly berating a female MP for standing for something Liberals believe in,” the senior source said.
It is understood that Mrs McArthur is being praised in Liberal Party members’ private discussions for almost single handedly running the real opposition in Victoria.