When Scott Morrison led the Liberal-National Coalition to victory in the last federal election in May, he was greeted as some kind of superman, mainly because all the polls had predicted a Labor win, and by a substantial margin too.
All the political pundits crowed that this win gave the Australian Prime Minister complete authority to govern as he wished, and the chance to implement policies of his liking.
Nobody pointed out that after the dust had settled, Morrison still only had a majority of two, just one more than his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull enjoyed for much of his tenure.
And that two-seat majority is the reason why Morrison has seemed to be deaf, dumb and blind to the horrific fires that have swept the country and that will continue to do so for a couple of months more.
He cannot even entertain the thought of making a neutral statement on the question of climate change as he fears that could well open the door to another leadership challenge and the loss of the prime ministership.
One is unsure why mainstream political writers have not noticed this simple fact. The group of MPs who are closely tied to the coal industry and who have been behind the Coalition’s leadership woes in 2018 are still very much there.
Tony Abbott may have gone but everyone else is around and they are more than ready to rise up and agitate again if Morrison even breathes a word about energy policy.
So Morrison has no choice but to pretend that nothing has changed from his earlier stance that there is no definite evidence that climate change is responsible for the intensity of the fires that have been seen.
As a marketing man, his responses have been crude, but then that is par for the course. When have you seen someone in marketing act in a manner that can be called empathetic?
Leadership hopefuls like Christian Porter and Peter Dutton may well be taking the temperature of the party and one should not be surprised if another leadership challenge is seen once the politicians return to Canberra.
Everyone wants to be prime minister. Whether anyone can actually lead is an entirely different question.