December 11, 2015 — George Pell “too unwell” to appear before Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Cardinal George Pell’s legal team communicated to the Royal Commission on this date that he was too unwell to travel to Australia from the Vatican in order to give evidence in person. It’s possible that Pell was actually ill – he was quite old, and had had medical problems in the previous few years – but it was widely viewed as a stalling tactic by the general public in Australia.

And given that when he did finally testify he was charged with several crimes, it’s hard to think that it was anything else.

September 14, 2015 — Tony Abbott loses the Prime Ministership to Malcolm Turnbull

The stated reason for the knifing of Tony Abbott was that he had lost “30 Newspolls in a row” – which was true, but also somewhat beside the point. But Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t going to be denied. The man who would be Prime Minister had waited a long, long time for the top job, and clearly believed that revenge was a dish best served at zero Kelvin.

So it was that Malcolm Turnbull became the 29th Prime Minister of Australia, while Abbott took over his role as backbencher and miserable ghost in Parliament.

Julie Bishop’s tenure as Deputy Leader continued under the new leader.