Kevin Andrews ever so reluctantly prepared to be PM
AS OBNOXIOUS blues and reds flashed in the stinging eyes of a graveyard shift paramedic and a determined mother clutched her ailing infant to her young breast, Australia's true hero was yet to emerge.
The sacrifices of the little people, unremarkable and duty-bound societal cogs that they were, would always be too slight to change the machine.
That required an engineer - a man of vast intellect and persuasion to swan dive into the flames for the good of the oblivious masses.
And so it was when Kevin Andrews wrested himself from beneath the Coalition dumping pile and nobly declared he was "prepared" to take over the prime ministership, in the same manner a sandpaper-tongued castaway might be prepared to slug down a gallon of chilled, sterile water.
His fortunes had taken a thrashing since his Defence Ministry days, but the backbench-dwelling casualty of the Coalition civil war was willing, reluctantly, to take the throne. Ever so reluctantly, of course.
Andrews had failed to purloin the Deputy Prime Minister's slot from Julie Bishop the previous year, and suffered defeat when he stood against Malcolm Turnbull for Liberal leadership in 2009.
"It has never been my burning ambition to be the leader of the party, but if circumstances arose - which they did in both of those instances, where I thought there should be a change or a contest - I am prepared to do it," he declared this time around to the Manningham Leader.
Of course, he later qualified his comments as hypothetical, but there had never been much love lost between Terrible Turnbull and our gallant saviour.
Andrews had long been a Tony Abbott loyalist, as evidenced by current seating arrangements placing him way back in the infernal wilderness of the Coalition lunch room with the other schoolyard misfits.
He was a staunch Christian of the conservative variety whose book, Maybe 'I do': Modern Marriage and the Pursuit of Happiness, measured the breakdown of marriages as the greatest threat against the western world - above global warming and radical Islam.
Political divorce was presumably fair game.
What made Andrews' willingness to altruistically become Australia's commander-in-chief all the more remarkable was that he must have been aware that he was a wholly uncaptivating politician.
Someone must surely have told him.
Not unlikeable, like Turnbull, but hardly an inspired and inspiring commander of hearts and minds like Tony Abbott.
But the world can be a callous place, as euphoric Opposition Leader Bill Shorten proved through his mocking words to reporters in Perth.
"When Mr Andrews says he wants to run for leadership, you know the Liberal Party's in trouble," he said.
"Now I never thought I'd say this, but maybe the Liberal Party should have a look at Kevin Andrews.
"He couldn't be any worse than Malcolm Turnbull's proven to be."
The nerve of that spiteful little man!
Those heckling jeers would stop dead in his mouth when Kevin Andrews harnessed all the charisma of a curtain rod and became prime minister.
Reluctantly, of course. - ARM NEWSDESK
Strange Politics is a satire column.