You know when a political party or a government is on the nose. Members of parliament from that party start to distance themselves from the government in very public ways.
We saw it when Barnaby Joyce ranted on social media about getting "government" out of his (and by implication your) life. At that point, if we did not already know, we could see that the Morrison government was in trouble.
We have seen it at elections when the posters and handouts from various candidates have not mentioned the party they are representing.
The latest incarnation of this phenomenon is a petition in the Northern Tablelands electorate sponsored by local Nationals MP Adam Marshall.
The petition, which I support by the way, calls for Hunter New England Health to be split up so that New England would have its own health district and bureaucracy.
It is like the moves to de-amalgamate some of the councils that were forced to amalgamate by this coalition state government ... you know ... the state government that Adam Marshall is a part of.
At the same time that the state coalition government is falling into disarray, and starting to look increasingly unelectable, partly because of the antics of his former leader John Barilaro and Deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres, Adam is doing everything in his power to distance himself from the government.
Despite having held two ministerial positions in this same government he is now saying ... "It ain't me".
In a similar vein to Barnaby a couple of years ago, Adam is trying to deflect blame from himself, as a part of the government of the day, despite having sat around the tables of power where decisions were and are being made about things like ... I don't know ... health services in regional and rural NSW.
There has recently been a parliamentary inquiry into regional and rural health which heard horror stories about the neglect of regional and rural health services, and the suffering of local people as a result.
What about, rather than trying to play politics with the issue, Adam just stood up and said: "I will pressure the state government, of which I am part, to implement the recommendations of the inquiry".
If we need to raise petitions to get our needs addressed in such a fundamental policy area as health in a seat held comfortably by the government, then why should we stay with the Nationals.
Think about that as the NSW state election in March 2023 approaches.
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