Editorial on Malcolm Turnbull from Sunday Night 22/10 — 2CH 1170 9 – midnight
I wasn’t going to mention the polls, there’s no need to really.
But after all, in a slo mo, car crash kind of way, it’s difficult to avert your gaze and not talk about the polls and the state of the nation. Or rather, the state of the Liberal Party
The problem for the Liberals or rather the problem for Turnbull’s Liberals as distinct from the Liberals, caught as they are in political quicksand, is Malcolm Turnbull himself.
They say cometh the man, cometh the hour. Not this time. The job doesn’t suit him and he doesn’t suit the job.
He conveys neither certitude, authority nor conviction. His judgement is appalling and he embodies and exhibits all of the same dithering characteristics and qualities as Billy McMahon against Gough Whitlam in 1972.
If he were a colour he’d be beige. If he were a flavour he’d be vanilla.
With Malcolm Turnbull it’s always been about him.
In his scramble up the greasy pole of politics he rolled Peter King the sitting member for Wentworth, then he rolled the leader of the party Brendon Nelson, then he rolled Abbott.
It’s the epitome of the dog chasing the car and having caught the car has no idea what to do with it.
If ever there was a case of bloviating and bluster, of over promising and under delivering, of all talk and no action of pulling the wrong rein and getting things hopelessly wrong, he is the Grand Master.
He came to the job in September 2015 with all that blather about crafting, articulating and delivering on an economic narrative.
The great communicator sold himself when he rolled Abbott, as being able to “explain the great challenges and opportunities that we face” and 2 years on, here we are.
Check the scoreboard. It’s not a pretty sight and all the polls tell the same story.
The headline last Monday says it all “More voters turn off Turnbull.
The wheel are spinning and stuck with a Primary vote of 36 to Labor’s 38 and a 2PP of 46 to Labor’s 54
He’s managed to take Abbott’s 2013 landslide win and cumulative gain in 2010 and 2013 of 25 seats and turn it into a one seat majority.
As Janet Albrechtsen wrote last Wednesday, “..two years and 21 dismal Newspolls later, it’s hard to discern what Turnbull brings to the leadership of the Coalition government. That’s why more dissatisfied voters support those wildlings in the Senate. The Prime Minister is not the great communicator he thinks he is: his press conferences are waffle and smiles rather than political clout and conviction. Decisive? Determined? Politically savvy? None of the above..”
On just about everything, he’s been all over the shop. Remember early last year his thought bubbles on tax and the GST. Remember how he had all that stuff from the Royal Commission in Trade Unions and Bill Shorten and it didn’t use any of it. As recently as last week it was theatre tickets if you cut back on your electricity. Seriously!!!! If that is not an indicator to a government bankrupt of ideas then I don’t know what is.
After the campaign last year he even faced criticism in the Liberal Parties own review for “failing to ruthlessly obliterate Bill Shorten with targeted negative campaign ads. The Review found that the Liberals were far too slow to respond to Labor’s “MediScare” lie, where Opposition leader Bill Shorten claimed the Government planned to cut and outsource Medicare.
Surprise, surprise. Labor fights dirty. Very dirty. Malcolm’s charm offensive, Marquis of Queensbury rules, boo hooing and whining about Labors lies on election night just doesn’t cut it.
Turnbull thought he could get away with his well-honed Point Piper, urbane charm and prosecute Labor with his soaring and superior intellect while Labor, well versed in CFMEU and general union argy bargy, biffo, thuggery, negotiating and scare techniques, wheeled out the heavy artillery of a barrage of lies, distortion and misinformation.
It’s what they do.
The problem next time round as it was at the last election, is who do you vote for?
It’s a diabolical situation.
Here’s my brief Memo to the Liberal Party:
Pick a cliché. You can prevaricate, kick the can down the road, whistle past the cemetery or rearrange the deck chairs as much as you like but without Abbott at the helm the Liberal ship is going to hit the sand – And everyone knows it.
Everyone else is either a ditherer of the left, like Turnbull, a plodder like Dutton (who stands to lose his own seat anyway) or lacking the plugged in political street smarts and junkyard dog mongrel of Abbott.
With Turnbull you’ll be fighting for the spoils of opposition. With Abbott, it’s not guaranteed but you may still have a chance.
Some say Abbot had his chance and blew it.
Well again let’s check the score board —
This would be the same Tony Abbott who from opposition took Julia Gillard to a hung parliament in 2010 and then took the coalition to government in 2013 in a landslide. A record total of 25 seats in 3 years.
He said he’d abolish the carbon tax. He did.
He said he would do what Labor, Fairfax and the ABC said couldn’t be done and stop the boats.
He did that too.
All Turnbull seems capable of doing is stopping the votes, trashing Abbott’s landslide victory and delivering a Labor government.
If that is indeed the plan then it’s all going according to plan.
Given the politics of preening, posturing, moral grandstanding and obstruction by the senate with respect to other policy initiatives, that’s a pretty good batting average in anyone’s language.
The thought of a Shorten Labor government chills the blood but because of the gross ineptitude of Turnbull’s Liberals that’s what we’re going to end up with on the current polling trajectory.
But it is still possible to pull this thing out of the fire.
It’s time the Libs set loose the dogs of war and unleashed Abbott.
Is anyone seriously suggesting that in a bar room brawl between Abbott and Shorten with Abbott using the resources available as exposed at the Royal Commission tying Shorten to union corruption that Abbott wouldn’t win?
With Shorten’s union baggage and prosecuting Labor’s trashing of the economy under Rudd and Gillard, Abbott would barely have to get out of bed.
With his mongrel, junkyard dog political street smarts, from a standing start he’s done it all before and must be given the opportunity to do it all again as he is the only thing standing between optimistic sunny uplands for Australia and political oblivion for the Liberal Party.
The alternative should fill Australians with dread.