The importance of being Earnest

Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, independent to the last. Picture via The Australian.

Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, independent to the last. Picture via The Australian.

Honour, smarts and a sprinkling of rat cunning – the best in the business.

So said the earnest Rob Oakeshott about his fellow country independent Tony Windsor, as they announced their decisions to retire on the same day. But really, both of these pollies would fit the description.

Their impact on this Parliament has been formidable and like Johnny Cash, they have walked the line.

As the two most high profile independents retired, the contrast between them and the major parties was never so stark.

The media is whipping itself into a lather over the Labor leadership – egged on by not-so-deep throats in both the Rudd and Gillard camps while the Coalition is locked away with their finest legal minds studying constitutional law in the event of a challenge.

Bob Katter announced he would back Kevin Rudd in the Parliament in the event of a leadership change and a no-confidence vote while Tony Windsor suggested he could vote with Tony Abbott as the “second place getter” in negotiations for the hung Parliament in 2010.

Minutes before Question Time, reports were stating a petition was being circulating for a special caucus meeting to enable a Rudd challenge.

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