Irony may not be his strongest suit

From The Oz, Subsgate: Malcolm Turnbull fires shot across Tony Abbott’s bow. It begins:

Malcolm Turnbull has fired a warning shot at Tony Abbott over the growing disunity within government ranks, calling in the federal police to investigate a ­security leak as MPs worry about the political damage from the former leader’s actions.

Despite Mr Abbott’s denying he leaked classified documents, his colleagues criticised him for lending weight to a report in The Australian yesterday that highlighted delays in the development of a new submarine fleet.

Liberals warned that the “sniping” from the former leader had turned into a “full-frontal ­attack” that could lead to the ­destruction of the Turnbull government if it continued into an election campaign.

“This is not about a return to power, as with Kevin Rudd, this is a full-frontal attack,” said one MP, who believed Mr Abbott was intent on “blowing the place up” even if that meant the polit­ical death of his colleagues.

The thing is, these are issues people such as myself look on as high priority. And while you cannot entirely trust the author of the leaked story to be telling the truth, maybe he is:

The author of the report, The Australian’s foreign editor Greg Sheridan, told Sky News Mr ­Abbott was not his source.

“I can say this much to you … the source wasn’t Tony Abbott,’’ Sheridan said. “I went to Tony Abbott with my information and interviewed him on the record and, as he says, what he says is on the record.”

It is possible that the community does prefer an extra $10 a week than a stronger national defence, or maybe it doesn’t. But whichever it is, there is no percentage in hiding the debate until the election. What is clear, of course, is that the delay in building our submarine fleet is not universally popular, which is why there are those who would prefer to avoid the entire issue altogether.

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