Tuesday 13 March 2018
On this day in 2016 I wrote: “I have been writing daily about Malcolm Turnbull’s takeover of the Liberal Party leadership. In the passage of months, indeed years since, I have constantly expressed my view about Turnbull’s failure as a leader.”
Anyone who follows my writing will attest to me, at first, embracing him as a new light on the hill. I said that Australians would be eternally grateful to him for removing the greatest liar of a politician the country has had to endure. He would bring a new era of reasoned political discourse.
For the ensuring months it became apparent that despite his eloquent, articulate and grandiose presence, he had no plan, no economic reform agenda and his only motive has been one of self-interest. There was nothing to reasonably debate.
Some said I was overreacting and he just needed more time. Well, I’m pleased that at the time one of his own in former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett let it be known openly and with forthright manner just what he thought of the new Prime Minister. Jeff, whether you liked him or not, could never be accused of holding back.
I got to ask him a question at a function many years ago. I asked him why he was going to an election when there was no reason to do so. His answer was a lie, but forcefully put.
Anyhow this is what he had to say about Malcolm Turnbull during a 2UE radio interview:
”When they changed leaders, I thought we were in for a period of government, a period of stability, a period in which policy was going to be enunciated.”
”This talk about an early election is an indication, sadly, that the government does not have a plan for the future of the country and they are trying, I think, to use this talk of a double dissolution, an early election, simply to cover up their own failings.”
Mr Kennett said the Prime Minister ”did not have any plan at all’ when he took the leadership for his own self-interest”.
He added that Turnbull had received much public goodwill in taking over the leadership but had squandered it with his failure to create a narrative when the public was ‘craving good leadership’.
”What they can’t stand is vacillation where politicians don’t have the courage, in this case in my opinion, to put the interests of the country well before their own and their own party”.
He went on to say that he had failed to stand by his beliefs on negative gearing and same-sex marriage.
”We don’t need a plebiscite on this. We don’t need to waste another $139 million on a vote.” If Malcolm had any courage, he would have simply stood up and said ”I’m going to put this through the Parliament.” What he’s saying now. ”This decision, this policy position was decided by Tony Abbott and we’re going to stay with it,” he said.
Back then it was a good example of where Malcolm set himself apart from Tony Abbott and yet, when he took on the leadership, he hid behind Tony’s clothes and did not have the courage of his conviction and that applies right across the board.
Nothing different in all that than what I have been saying for some time. At the risk of repeating myself the fact is that he never had a narrative to express, nor the conviction of his own beliefs. We had a “yes” man, a hypocrite doing what he was told to by the extremists in the coalition. Nothing has changed since.
We still have Abbott’s policies with Abbott’s problems. They may have cunningly gotten rid of Barnaby Joyce for obvious reasons. To give Turnbull a singular voice but that aside the Nationals leadership is still in the hands of the extremists.
After his masterful elimination of Joyce, a slight hurdle at Newspoll’s 30th, you can expect the PM to re-emerge as the best economic manager the country has ever seen. And Murdoch will back him to the hilt.
We have now gone into a pre budget period minus Joyce and we can expect the voices of Turnbull and Morison to become a crescendo that will join with the presses of Murdoch to tell us what good economic managers JUST AS OUR DEBT REACHES $517,987 million.
With a negative outlook on the credit rating.. is there any adult in the government who can make a case for permanently reducing our tax intake and blowing this out further? I don’t think so. Deficits should fund productive capacity not enriching the super wealthy.
Net debt in the next year is expected to reach 19.2 per cent of GDP — 0.6 per cent or $12 billion lower than forecast in the May Budget — while gross debt is on track to be $23 billion less in the forward … But Australia’s debt this year is still a record-breaking $517 billion, with an interest bill of $18 billion.
My thought for the day
“It is a pity that fact in journalism cannot be made compulsory and decency legislated.”