Sad news yesterday that my former colleague Paul Fletcher had lost the pre-selection battle for Cook 82-70.
While I think the Liberal party will suffer because (from personal experience) Paul would make a fantastic MP, the geater loss is the extent of the takeover of the Liberal party by the right.
The winner, Michael Towke, won using what is now a well worn Liberal party technique - the branch stack. But it was the modern "stack with twist". Moderates thought the stack was designed to support the incumbent and were surprised at the end by the nomination of Towke and the fact these votes would support him.
This is now familiar ground and follows what happened in Epping and Hawkesbury at the State election; and what happened with Alex Hawke getting pre-selected in Mitchell.
Howard doesn't know which way to turn. This is the party he has created - or rather this is the end stage of John Howard destroying the party Menzies created. The parallels between the Liberal Party today and the UAP of the 1940s are quite large.
It is not how Howard wanted to be remembered.