The Game of de-Throning a PM

I'm pretty sure Malcolm Turnbull had a good solid rush of blood to his nether-regions last Wednesday night.

As the Labor Party leadership coup unfolded in Canberra, Sydney ABC radio host Richard Glover rather wittily borrowed from A Game of Thrones' character Daenerys Targaryen tweeting "Breaking. Rudd. 'A fortnight ago I had no army. A year ago I had no dragons.'"

For you non-Game of Throners, Daenerys is an exiled princess in the fantasy fiction TV series, who's been slowly putting together the pieces of her return to claim the Iron Throne and the seven kingdoms of Westeros.

First she was gifted dragons (it's fantasy), then she stole an army. It's awesome stuff if you're into a bit of bloody escapism, which pretty much describes Australian parliament at the moment.

Extending that metaphor just a little further, I reckon Malcolm Turnbull is our Daenerys and he just got himself some dragons in a battle that will be as ugly as any we've ever seen in Australian politics: Who Will Be Our Next King?

As much as I admired many of Queen Gillard's qualities, it seems obvious she was leading her party to an electoral defeat that might have locked Labor out of power for at least three, perhaps as long as nine years.

So she, too, has now been exiled. At least she kept her head.

Tony Abbott was going to walk into the Lodge and the ALP knew it.

It's totally possible once in office, the fickle Australian voting public would go off Abbott as Prime Minister as quickly as it did both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and he might also be dispatched mid-term.

However, it's fair to say he'll be much harder to pry out of the Liberal National Party throne as PM than as Opposition leader.

Malcolm Turnbull knows this as well as anybody, so as much as he might enjoy the thought of being Australia's next Minister for Communications and delivering us all faster porn and illegal Game of Thrones downloads, his big-picture ambitions of being PM are weakened, the stronger Abbott is.

And without any credible opposition, Abbott was King bar the crown. Now he has to face Rudd again, I'd say he's feeling a little more princely and much less cocky about the election outcome.

On Friday, at a news conference Abbott went out of his way to flatter Turnbull saying "he virtually invented the internet in this country".

While some news outlets painted this as a gaffe, it was an obvious gag.

At first blush, it also looks like a legitimate contender for PM shoring up the credentials of his team, but something tells me Abbott was also sending his rival and others in the LNP a subtle message: "This is his little castle and he stays in it. I will win us this war and rule."

Abbott knows better than anyone if Rudd stretches out the date until the election (he has until November 30) and his own polling starts to plummet, he could follow Julia Gillard into the dungeons, replaced by Turnbull, his dragons and army.

Pure fantasy fiction?

All I'll say is "Winter is coming, Tony." 

Feel free to share any other Game of Thrones/Australian politics similarities.

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