Redmond’s rule

The claims by Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond that she has the full support of her Shadow Ministers and backbenchers in the current leadership turmoil enveloping the Party are entirely fanciful.
The ever pragmatic Redmond would agree that no leader lasts forever and rarely is political loyalty complete … particularly one where so many participants are influenced by the intoxicating mix of power and ego.
At some stage even the most loyal of troopers will turn on their leader if they believe they can do a better job and the numbers are in their favor. Hand on heart loyalty statements made by politicians can vanish overnight – a fact about which Ms Redmond is well aware.
Make no mistake, the leadership grumblings within the SA Liberals are real.
There have been too many leaks to the media, refusals to rule out challenges, too many loose statements by MPs and a willingness from senior Party members to speak off the record with the clear intention of disrupting her leadership.
The killer blow is that Ms Redmond was offered a Senate seat following the resignation of Mary Jo Fisher. That says quite clearly that a powerful element within the Liberals wants to be rid of her.
She may have turned the offer down but the stars are beginning to align.
Late yesterday Ms Redmond was reported to have challenged anyone to step forward if they thought they could beat her in a ballot. But a challenger will only reveal themselves once the groundwork has been laid and the numbers sorted out.
Choosing the time of the fight is not her call. People are generally stabbed in the back when they are not looking.
Ms Redmond has risen rapidly since her election in 2002 to become leader in 2009.
She was a breath of fresh air in a political landscape dominated by Mike Rann.
She almost stole the 2010 election largely by being seen as different. The anti-politician tag is one not welcomed by Ms Redmond but it was a positive factor for her in that campaign.
But times have changed. Mr Rann has gone and the point of difference is not as clear between her and the more mild mannered and quietly spoken Jay Weatherill.
Ms Redmond, it has been claimed, is struggling to gain traction in the new political landscape.
But the woman has not changed.
She may be labelled naive but she is honest. She speaks her mind and does not play the slick political game.
Such qualities may not make for the most successful politician.
The big question facing the State Liberals is whether they have a better candidate in mind.