In the Canberra Times, Lisa Cox assessed Malcolm Turnbull’s first 100 days as Prime Minister – his successes and problems.
She lists his 5 achievements as:
- Turned the government’s fortunes around
- $1.1 billion innovation statement
- Attended three world summits and met with key world leaders
- Shelved plans to deregulate uni fees and began a new conversation about tax
- Built bridges with the crossbench
There can be no denying the massive turnaround in the polls but it has nothing to do with policy – it was immediate. Primarily it was a huge sigh of relief at getting rid of someone who had become less popular than a dog turd but it is also a comment on Bill Shorten’s failure to capture the people’s imagination rather than any achievement of Malcolm’s.
The innovation statement is just that, a statement. It went part way towards restoring the funding to the CSIRO that had been slashed by the Coalition but it reads more like an investors’ insurance fund.
Malcolm has indeed been busy on the meet and greet, drumming up business in Germany, making promises he can’t keep in Paris, suggesting Obama subscribe to the NT press if he wants to find out about national security, and reassuring Japan about submarines, again. (Don’t mention the whales)
Regarding university fee deregulation, it has not been scrapped, just put off until after the election. Senator Birmingham said “The intended start date of 2016 for these reforms will not be proceeded with. Any future reforms, should they be legislated, would not commence until 2017 at the earliest.”
The new conversation about tax has been derailed by the revelation that companies don’t pay any. Makes it very difficult to make the case for a decrease in the corporate tax rate and an increase in GST.
Tony was never any good at small talk so he sent people like Eric Abetz, Peter Dutton and Christopher Pyne to negotiate with the crossbenchers. Is it any wonder relationships are better now that those three have been moved on? The only way it could have been worse was if he had included Bronwyn Bishop in the negotiations. Malcolm, in his wisdom, chose the latter two to inflame Middle East tensions rather than offend the crossbenchers.
So much for his achievements.
Problems are listed as:
- Appointing Mal Brough to the ministry
- Climate change
- Same-sex marriage
- The budget
The first 4 on the list all have to do with the wheeling dealing that saw Malcolm come to power.
He has rewarded backers with positions regardless of the advisability of the appointments. He has pandered to the dinosaurs by abandoning the very issues that made Malcolm a more palatable choice – his vocal support for action on climate change and marriage equality. These same dinosaurs are far from appeased. They don’t even care if they present a threat to national security let alone party solidarity – freedom of speech means they can say exactly what they want, including telling Malcolm what they think of him.
And as far as the budget goes, Scott Morrison has that covered. Any talk of disasters and emergencies was just politics. Work, save, invest. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive. We have an innovative, flexible, agile economy.
There, that should keep them happy 🙂