The Daily Telegraph Seems Real Mad That Independent Pollie Tony Windsor Is Making A Comeback

You okay, Daily Telegraph?

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At a press conference in Canberra scheduled for 10 o’clock this morning, former independent federal MP Tony Windsor announced he’ll be relaunching his political career by challenging Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce for the rural NSW seat of New England.

Normally a retired independent politician coming back for a redux wouldn’t be huge news, but Windsor’s return is a fairly big deal. Polling shows that Windsor has a very good chance of unseating Joyce if he decides to run in New England, and his return to federal politics would be a signal that the issues he’s likely to run on, like opposing mining and coal-seam gas drilling on farmland, have a lot more sway with voters than any of the major parties seem to realise.

If you needed any proof that the prospect of Windsor coming back is making certain people nervous, the front page of the Daily Telegraph today depicting him as some kind of zombie punk biker Goth chewing on the souls of the damned should put those doubts to rest.

The hostility the Telegraph is so clearly feeling can largely be explained by Windsor’s role as as one of the most high-profile and divisive figures of the Gillard coalition government. Along with fellow rural indie Rob Oakeshott, Windsor handed the Prime Ministership to Julia Gillard over Tony Abbott after the 2010 election produced no clear winner, and spent the next three years being blamed for any and all of the government’s failures. Given that he spared us from Prime Minister Tony Abbott for as long as he could, in hindsight he’s probably due some kind of medal.

Windsor retired before the 2013 election, but has been making noises about running for his old seat for a while. On ABC Radio National this morning, he mentioned he’d ticked off one of the major reasons he retired in the first place: taking his son to Africa.

I bring that point up solely as an excuse to embed this incredible video.