Friday, October 13, 2017
On the eve of a fresh Newspoll early next week and a run of bad news days it is unlikely to be good news. As things stand it is also unlikely that the Coalition can win the next election.
Former Liberal leader John Hewson has recognised this and urged Malcolm Turnbull to defy Tony Abbott in the party room over climate and energy policy. Hewson and others are right in their advisement. Tony Abbott’s latest visit to London has been greeted with astonishment by everyone with half a brain with his only support coming from like-minded people of no brains at all.
Crickey.com (paywall) says that “Keeping track of Tony Abbott’s views on climate change can be a tough task. So they assembled the most comprehensive list of climate positions since the days of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth.” They went on to note 17 different positions he has taken on the subject.
Although he is a self described liar of prodigious proportion he still holds sway in the party room. It’s time for Turnbull to confront him. But I bet he won’t.
Even the nation’s peak business group has rejected calls for Australia to walk away from its pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
My tip is that that’s exactly what they plan to do. Abbott and the mad hatters will win the day and it will be announced the day the High Court announces its ruling on citizenship.
The mystery of why Turnbull won’t confront the climate denier fanatics of the Coalition is really not a mystery at all. To do so would simply cost him his job. The letter of agreement between he, Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals stipulates that he must toe the line with the nutters on a “Renewable Energy Target.” Although he has in the past been a strong supporter of the target and the means by which we approach the issue of climate policy, he is willing to be seen as a weak, hypocritical leader to retain his job.
He is also a coward for not standing up for what he knows and believes is right. He even gave a couple of million dollars in support of his own candidature.
But what has he to lose? To sack him would be a disaster because the other candidates are about as popular as Nick Kyrgios having a bad day. What if he did? He would have broken an agreement worth nothing, made himself more unpopular internally than he already is, but restored the public’s confidence in his leadership. The more astute in the party know that to change leader at this stage of the election cycle would be political suicide. And of course he could resign and threaten a by-election.
It’s easy to make a case for him. If he doesn’t show some character then maybe he is just a weak individual with no spine at all.
The mood of the electorate as we approach Christmas is one of anger and I suspect that the resulting high turn out in the Marriage Equality survey is as much a protest about the standard of governance we have been forced to endure for far to long, as much as it is, about spending $120 million to find out something we already knew.
There is still much to happen before the nation goes into its annual hibernation. Will the future of the Liddell coal mine be announced? The government will be doing everything it can to see that the run up to the festive season is smooth, even using some misery to cover up other miseries or to camouflage others.
Who knows, we could even have a bi-election for Joyce’s seat. But all theses issues will be random and take no particular order. Every issue has its own set of complications. If the YES vote wins there will be arguments about religious protections, dual citizenship, a bi-election with a resulting swing against the government. Brandis might even resign and we will have a cabinet reshuffle mid January. Now that would bruise an ego or two but accomplish little without any quality personal.
Whatever happens there are plenty of cluster bombs ready to explode and cause further damage to a government in a permanent state of shell shock.
The Coalition might even surprise with a narrative for the future, a plan or even a blueprint. But heck, they have tried all those before.
Some say with all these issues out of his way the Prime Minister will have a fresh start in 2018. But beware the “residue” of 2017. Yes, it is difficult to forget or forgive the residue of 2017.
My thought for the day.
“In the recipe of what makes a good leader there are many ingredients. Self-awareness is one. The innate ability to know who you are and what your capabilities and limitations are. The need to have the aptitude to motivate people with your vision. Often the art of leadership is the ability to bring those otherwise opposed to your view, to accept it. It is also about delegation, empathy and understanding. It can also require from time to time the making of unpopular decisions. Decisions like going to war. However when they consistently imply the leaders own morality and spiritual beliefs they are more akin to autocracy.”
How about being involved in increasing the already large readership of The AIMN? Register a friend’s email address (with permission of course) on our website. We are wanting to do amazing things but it’s all relevant to readership and how much money we have for promotion and paying the bills.