WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE… Andrew Bolt has got a tape recording of a speech delivered by the Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne at the annual Black Hand dinner (a social gathering of the left-wing faction of the Liberal Party), on which Pyne is heard suggesting same-sex marriage might become a reality soon, presumably without first going to a national referendum, i.e. in breach of an election commitment. I have written about same-sex marriage elsewhere, so I won’t repeat myself here, but other quotes from the tape caught my attention:

“Two years ago… Malcolm Turnbull was the communications minister and now he’s the Prime Minister…

“I would say that our fortunes are pretty good at the moment. And most of your senior Cabinet ministers, George Brandis, Marise Payne, yours truly, quite a few of us are very senior ministers in a Turnbull government.

“Now there was a time when people said it wouldn’t happen, but George and I kept the faith. We voted for Malcolm Turnbull in every ballot he’s ever been in.”

I’m old enough (that is not old at all) to remember when Christopher and George were Tony Abbott’s supposed best friends when the opposition leader and then as the Prime Minister, his closest advisers and consiglieri, his praetorian guard, a human wall between Tony and his party colleagues. Imagine my shocked face at the moment – how could this be? Six years as a ruse and a lie! Who would have thought such thing possible.

Any second thoughts, Tony and Peta?