The government brought forward the budget so it could call an election straight afterwards and springboard off the tax cuts. None of this will amount to a hill of beans if the Nationals – and the Liberals – are still tearing each other apart.
The common denominator is coal, which has become the Coalition’s kryptonite. It precipitated Malcolm Turnbull’s demise, Morrison has run a mile from it, and it’s the point of differentiation used by the Queensland Nationals to differentiate themselves from the Liberals and save their seats.
Barnaby Joyce has joined in as part of his leadership push against Michael McCormack. McCormack put Joyce in his box on Monday with his barbed reference to being able to maintain a marriage, supposedly a reference to keeping the Coalition together.
There was considerable doubt as to whether McCormack meant to be so acerbic but, like Eddie the Eagle landing on his feet, he claimed it.
When you’re being burned by McCormack, it might be time to reassess.