The Liberal brand and Dutton’s opposition are a smoking ruin

Who’d be a Liberal? Irrelevant in Canberra, falling apart in Sydney, a disaster in Melbourne… the party is suffering serious brand damage, and it may become permanent.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and other opposition members in Parliament House during passage of Labor’s climate bill (Image: AAP /Mick Tsikas)

In a famous photograph by Alex Ellinghausen from June 2014, delighted Liberals celebrate on the floor of the House of Representatives after abolishing the Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme — a low-cost, low-impact and efficient mechanism that lowered Australia’s emissions. A delighted Greg Hunt is being congratulated by Kelly O’Dwyer and Christopher Pyne. All three, of course, have now exited politics, Hunt at the most recent election.

Hunt’s legacy consists of a reputation for shredding his principles, the discredited “soil magic” Emissions Reduction Fund, wildly overestimating his popularity with his colleagues and presiding over the disasters of the vaccine rollout and aged care crisis.

The other figure in the photo still in politics, standing with a motley group of colleagues — all men — in a photo by Mick Tsikas from yesterday (featured above), is Peter Dutton, standing with his defeated colleagues during the amendments stage of the passage of Labor’s climate bill through the house.

Read more about how the Liberal brand is in tatters.

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