The failure of the Dutton campaign has left its architects denying it was their own work. Asked on Tuesday about what happened the week before, Victorian Liberal Michael Sukkar told Sky News said this: “All of us, including me, went into last week thinking it would be a perhaps lively but unexceptional week in Parliament, in all honesty.”
Yet this is the core argument now being made to excuse the shambolic coup: that the Dutton camp were not organising until Turnbull called the vote on the Tuesday.
“There’s a lot of rewriting of history going on,” says one Liberal.
Another is more blunt: “It’s complete bullshit.”
Says a third: “The idea they hit Tuesday from a standing start is fanciful.”
It is easier to wreck than rebuild in Australian politics. The nonchalant claims from ministers that they can all move on, that the public has no interesting in “tea-leaf gazing” over the spill, is a glaring false confidence about their ability to unify their party.
This may be the biggest myth of all from the spill: the idea that Morrison can “heal the wounds” in time for the election.