I did a 4WD training course recently and it's uncanny how the lessons learned can be appy to politics.
I found out about a thing called "transmission wind-up", which is what you get when you engage your diff and drive round in circles on high traction surfaces.
Pauline Hanson does it a lot when she talks about family law reform , climate change - anything really - because she hardly seems to know the diff. Transmission wind-up is bad because your chassis can wind-up like a rubber band and snap, a bit like Michaelia Cash from time to time.
Interestingly, it's not a problem if you forge ahead in a straight line, like Boris Johnson tried to do with Brexit this week. Unfortunately the High Court ruled pro-roguing Parliament was illegal and now Boris seems stuck, again.
Luckily for him, and 4wd-ers the world over, there's a thing called "the heirarchy of recovery" that can help when you're out of your depth. The hierarchy lists ways to get out of senseless trouble you drive yourself into, starting with "preferred" means and moving up to "last resort".
At the base of the hierarchy is a shovel which you should always use in first instance, if you can, because it probably means you can still dig. You dig?
You just need a shovel, which literal-minded people may prefer to call a spade, or if you're Anthony Albanese dealing with rogue union boss John Setka, you might call a coping mechanism.
Just be wary of digging the proverbial hole deeper, which is generally not a problem in 4wd recovery, but which can have implications when you're trying to assert your leadership credentials.
Next in line up the heirarchy of recovery are drive tracks. These are planks that many politicians feel compelled to walk, but which are often better placed under your wheels if you can't get traction. Tony Abbott tried to use them this week at an anti-abortion rally. Whether his political career continues to stall remains to be seen.
One step further up the hierarchy of recovery is getting towed. A pivotal moment because you move past self-reliance and now need someone else's help.
Liberal senator Gladys Liu knows all about getting stuck in the political donations mud. Luckily people will lend a hand if they have the right gear. Just ask the Chinese Communist Party. But getting towed is potentially dangerous if your safety line snaps.
This brings us to the apex of the heirarchy of recovery - the snatch strap. The least-preferred lifeline and another rubber band-like thing which can get you out of trouble when deployed properly, but which can also result in a towball to the back of the head.
The parallels between 4wd training and politics are uncanny, particularly if you engage low gear. And what other gear is there to engage in politics?
The dangers of transmission wind-up remain ever present and from a hierarchy of recovery point of view, it's probably better to whack it in reverse early, so that once back on the road you can pump your tyres up and hopefully not leave too many skid marks.