It would be safe to say that, as a prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull has been a disappointment. Displacing Tony Abbott, as he did in 2015, was supposed to be a new start, correcting the bizarre image of a bumbling, buffoon leading the country.
That’s how it was supposed to be.
Malcolm was seen as a move to a more statesman-like candidate, one who would not embarrass us either here or overseas. We had every right to expect, not just a more polished, professional approach to government and recognition of much needed social reform, but also a more mature approach to tackling the issues of climate change and energy.
The one social reform he did give us was same-sex marriage, but its execution was akin to extracting teeth while simultaneously amputating a limb after the patient had woken from the anaesthetic and fallen off the operating table. In other words, it was a horrible, bloody mess.
Since then, Malcolm has failed miserably in achieving anything of note during his three-year reign. He had an opportunity to be the man to drag the Liberal party out of the 19th century and effectively blur the line between Liberal and Labor party policies.
He could have been so effective, that Labor would have struggled to display its more socially-minded platform. He could even have surpassed John Howard’s tenure as prime minister.
So what went wrong?
For some inexplicable reason, Turnbull, in many ways a leftist, chose to be a prisoner of his party’s hard right. This hard right conservative element, led by Tony Abbott, operates in tandem with the highly sinister, clandestine group known as the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).
It is so committed to turning back the clock, socially, industrially and religiously, it has lost sight of the principles that gave its party’s founder, Sir Robert Menzies, the legacy he enjoys today.
And Malcolm Turnbull has done its bidding from day one. As the saying goes, “if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” There should be another saying that explains how, if you don’t cleanse yourself of fleas, even the dogs will desert you.
That’s what is happening to Malcolm now. By sucking up to the hard right he has had to compromise his own belief system and forsake any chance he had of being a great prime minister.
In return, his party have demonstrated their contempt for him, time and time again. They have bullied him from post to post. A drover’s dog could have told him it was never going to end well.
So why would he reward them any further by continuing to lead them? Would he not be well justified in calling an election now and allowing the people to decide if they want this charade to continue? Isn’t that the way bullies should be treated?
Would this not be a way to repay the Liberal party for their treatment of him; reduce their tenure from three years to just two and let that reality sink into their dim-witted brain cells? After all, he has nothing to look forward to, beyond another challenge to his leadership.
Yes, he will lose the election, but would that not be the more honourable thing, rather than sitting around waiting for the next challenge?
Cut your losses, Malcolm. Isn’t that what bankers do?