... An opportunist would have encouraged this; a statesman would not and did not ...
It was the day the Opposition leader moved a motion in support of a Labor MP and quite possibly saved Gillard. Make no mistake, a crises it was, one that saw an unscripted Tony Abbott act first and, for just over 7 minutes, spoke with a good measure of noble authority, statesmanship and praiseworthy forbearance. As it turned out, he might just have saved the Government when without hesitation, he rose and announced:
"Mr speaker I move that this house has confidence in your speakership"
Of course, a shaken Gillard had to second the motion to save the Speaker and perhaps, her government.
The extraordinary incident and Tony Abbotts unequivocal response showed a highly professional side to Opposition leader, one which would come as a revelation to mainstream electorate. This would suggest that there is far more substance to Abbott than he is credited for.
The video is worth a look at.
As Professor David Flint noted:
But for the quick action of Tony Abbott, the Leader of the Opposition, we could have entered into a period of potential instability, with the possibility that the government could have lost its majority. An opportunist would have encouraged this; a statesman would not and did not ... No doubt to the delight of the government, and the reassurance of the Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Tony Abbott, without hesitation, moved a vote of confidence in the Speaker. Read more here
Said Harry Jenkins after declaring that he would not resign.
"The Speaker recognises the very generous vote of confidence in the chair by the house and will leave the matter at that …"