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Turnbull: Crash or crash through

By Steven Bailey 15 September 2015 24

malcolm turnbull

It’s official. Malcolm Turnbull has been sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister following last night’s leadership spill.

The change of leadership is not only indicative of the ideological and cultural schism in the Coalition. It is indicative of the very same schism in Australian society today.

Malcolm Turnbull has won the Liberal leadership 54 votes to Abbott’s 44, and Julie Bishop won the deputy role with a decisive 70 votes to Kevin Andrews’ 30.

Abbott was undoubtedly one of the most successful opposition leaders Australia has ever seen, yet when the battle was won Abbott’s leadership was fraught with a genius for failure.

Regardless of his numerous attempts to atone and resurrect, Abbott and Peta Credlin chose slogans instead of narrative, authoritarianism instead of consultation, and divisiveness instead of conciliation.

Although the Nationals are no longer the tail that wags the Liberal dog, Turnbull will have to appease them with significant financial pledges and policy initiatives for regional Australia.

But his greatest struggle of all will be in appeasing the socially conservative ideologies of yesteryear that are rife within the coalition today.

Ministers will lose their jobs, but the great test for Turnbull will be to avoid a mass defection. I doubt whether Cory Bernardi will remain members of the Liberal Party. He will either defect to retirement, or defect to be an independent or to the Family First party.

For a man who echoed to our first female Prime Minister that her father died of shame, Abbott was never fit to be leader of a modern Australia. But I will say that this afternoon, at his first media appearance following the leadership change, Abbott gave the most graceful departing speech I’ve ever seen.

There is a distinct deference between Gillard knifing Rudd in 2010 and Turnbull knifing Abbott. Labor’s woes were a godsend to the Liberal opposition. Yet this time, Turnbull is the opposition’s worst nightmare.

We can expect federal Labor to repeat that a change of leadership is of no consequence, that Turnbull is just another salesman, and that there is no difference between Abbott and Turnbull. The thing is though, that the Australian people just won’t buy it.

There is a difference. A big difference.

Turnbull is a world-class intellect. He doesn’t speak in slogans, he won’t eat raw onions and he won’t knight Prince Charles. He is a republican, he believes in anthropogenic climate change, he won’t boycott the ABC and he will not appoint himself minister for women.

Bill Shorten is no match for Malcolm Turnbull. As the Election Leader of The Australian Sex Party – Canberra, I obviously won’t be voting for any of the major parties. But I will say that Turnbull is a greater talent than the entire Labor front bench put together.

The only Labor MP capable of challenging Malcolm Turnbull is Penny Wong. I hope that Turnbull reforms his party, and I hope that Penny Wong is one day given the opportunity to reform hers.

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24 Responses to
Turnbull: Crash or crash through
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HenryBaits 3:25 pm 17 Sep 15

Nice story Steven.

HenryBG 1:13 pm 17 Sep 15

watto23 said :

Zed Seselja is really what is wrong with the liberal party. He is also evidence of stacking the party with conservatives over true liberals. He lost an ACT election narrowly and spat the dummy, quit and then took Gary Humphries seat and then almost lost that relatively safe senate seat. Hopefully he loses it next election. He is the sort of politician who doesn’t deserve to have the job he has and is clearly in it for himself.

He’s not just in it for himself – as his backing of Abbott has demonstrated, he is in it for repugnant ideologies that are not shared by mainstream society.

I am very, very keen to see him get the boot. Unfortunately, many voters will be happy to overlook Zed’s failings and vote for him anyway as the representative of a Party with new-found ambitions of credibility.

rubaiyat 10:07 am 17 Sep 15

tooltime said :

I don’t generally agree with the author, but our opinions align on this article. He’ll hammer Shorten at the next election, Shorten will get the flick and around we’ll go again. And dont the ALP know it?

As much as I like Malcolm he is not going to fix what’s broke in the Liberal Party when he has to knuckle under to the extreme policies that are biting on the Australian public.

I hope he can pull a miracle off and change the nastier culture of his party, but it is far from a done deal. It is not looking good so far for 3 of the biggies, climate change, SSM, the NBN, without even tackling the real problems with the economy.

The three big free trade agreements are passing under the radar, and the Liberal’s track record on those is appalling.

The last FTA that didn’t end up costing us hundreds of billions was the one Labor negotiated with New Zealand. Every single FTA the Liberals have negotiated with Singapore, USA, Thai, Chile, Malaysian has cost us badly and trashed our industries.

The sum total added to our accumulated Trade Deficit is now over $210 billion dollars. The Singapore FTA alone saw us swing from the black into the red to the tune of well over $90 billion. The USA FTA has cost us close to $70 billion and the Thai FTA was another black to red to the tune of $50 billion.

Now we are signed up to 3 more of the same, with the Liberals hiding the details from us yet again.

You’d think somebody would analyse the results of the FTA to see if they actually worked.

Took me an afternoon and they are absolute shockers.

What fascinates me is that the arch conservatives can get so hot under the collar over a not that big a deal of the Light Rail because to them it is “waste” and yet pay no attention to what does count in the real scheme of things for our whole economy. The LNP signing away enormous sums in perpetuity with the stroke of a pen with nothing to show for it.

We are running out of holes to dig, and prime farming land and National Parks to trash, to pay for it all.

Nilrem 9:48 am 17 Sep 15

drfelonious said :

Yes, I totally agree Nilrem!

I was sickened by Zed being such a prominent supporter of Tony Abbott – Mr Slash and Burn Canberra

There they were lining up being Tony on the night of the vote – the paleolithic wing of the Liberal Party: Cory Bernadi, Eric Abetz and our very own Zed.

Obviously Zed’s choice was an individual one and he paid no mind whatsoever to the views of the overwhelming majority of the city he claims to represent.

Moderate Liberals in Canberra need to join the party; support Malcolm Turnbull and do Zed a favour by voting him out so he gets the opportunity to outgrow his awkward Ayn Rand adolescent phase somewhere out of the public limelight. He can start by working in one of those real jobs that Liberals claim to be all in favour of.

Yep. Although “Palaeolithic Wing”, might be a bit generous. How about “Palaeolithic Rump” or “Palaeoloithic Coccyx”? They really are a pretty small minority of obnoxious crazies. Thankfully. I know a number of decent and moderate Libs who get really feral when you mention these reactionaries. They hate them.

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