O’Brien to be removed
“Flip flop” and “dead man walking” are just a few of the labels the media has ascribed to Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien.
According to several recent media reports, pressure continues to mount from multiple quarters, with the Herald Sun reporting that Mr O’Brien has just weeks left in the top job.
Liberal Party leaders not aligned to the current dominant faction of the party have revealed that State MPs are extremely angry with Mr O’Brien’s strange, hot and cold and anti-Liberal statements regarding the response to COVID.
Party members are unhappy that Mr O’Brien has advocated for imprisonment, ankle bracelets and interrogations of people who are suspected of having information about COVID infected people, and the implication that this would be extended to those who refuse to be COVID tested, refuse vaccinations or defy stay at home orders.
Even the Victorian Premier “Chairman Dan”, The Age and the ABC have expressed surprise at Mr O’Brien’s desire for such extreme measures as instant full hard border closures.
State MPs are themselves unable and unwilling to defend Mr O’Brien’s absurdly draconian measures.
“It was stupid. There is literally no other way to describe it,” one MP said, according to a well sourced story in the Herald Sun by Shannon Deery. “None of it is philosophically consistent.”
The MPs have said that Mr O’Brien’s comments are not gaffes, but are expressions of Mr O’Brien’s heart’s desires, that is, to be more Labor than the Labor Party. Mr O’Brien’s doubling down on his comments in the face of widespread criticism has not only surprised MPs but shocked them as Mr O’Brien’s continuing comments are far out of line with the Liberal Party’s official position.
“I can’t understand why he did it,” one MP said to the Herald Sun. “He’s tried to have a positive thought bubble every day, but he’s just not cutting through.”
Other senior party sources were more scathing and downright damning of Mr O’Brien’s poor judgment, lack of leadership and collapsing electoral connectivity.
“Party members discuss things in private fora, including multiple WhatsApp, facebook messenger and signal chat groups,” one party insider revealed. “The internal consensus is that O’Brien has failed. Even O’Brien’s strongest apologists utter nary a peep.”
Since secretive negotiations among MPs at a meeting near Geelong and discussions mediated through Ryan Smith, there is now enough support among MPs to topple Mr O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien will be encouraged to stand down from the top job. Unfortunately, a small band of left leaning MPs and party factional leaders, made up of Robert Clark, Ian Quick, Georgie Crozier and a few others are resolute in keeping Mr O’Brien in power.
However, as one young turk wrote, “The writing is on the wall.”
Mr O’Brien will almost certainly face a leadership challenge in August when State parliament returns after the winter break. He will lose.