In a remarkable series of statements, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended his successor Scott Morrison’s ‘approach’ to climate change. It truly is amazing that Mr. Turnbull can continue to defend the dinosaurs in his party. The statement you can take the man out of the party but not the party out of the man is truly vindicated. I want to delve into his remarks and deconstruct them, for they say much about the nature of the current liberal party.
Australia has, as we are all too well aware, created problems for Pacific Island nations at the recent forum by preventing consensus on climate action. This even led to the amazing criticism that Morrison was ‘putting politics ahead of Australia’s island neighbours’. Really? Nah. When has Scott Morrison ever put politics ahead of everything else? When, I ask you?
Malcolm Powder Speaks, Part One: Defend to The End
Seriously, Mr. Turnbull went on ABC radio and said the following
[Turnbull said Morrison] had to operate in the real world. Emissions reduction is a very difficult issue for the Coalition, and you’ve got to cut Morrison some slack on this, or give him some understanding.
Careful, Mr Turnbull, your battle wounds are showing. The current Prime Minister has to operate ‘in the real world’: translation, he has to do as he told by the same right-wing nutjobs who dictated policy under your administration. There is something profoundly conservative about the fact that the same ill-informed troglodytes who dictated policy in one administration do so for the next. Nothing changes just the date. It is to the eternal shame of the nation that the ill-informed, politically (and financially) motivated minority dictate policy rather than, you know, experts!
Emissions reduction is a difficult issue for the coalition you say. I imagine it would be for a party that is so heavily funded by an emissions-intensive industry. You would not want to place in jeopardy that sweet, sweet corporate cash. Finally, for this quote, the fact that Mr Morrison values his poxy political career (or he actually believes the crap he spouts) over the future of the planet is not, in the strongest possible terms, not grounds to ‘give him some understanding’. The man is wrong on the facts; that he does so with a gun to his back is not important. We are not required to give him understanding or sympathy. He is (or claims to be) the leader of the party. The final decision, by that logic, is his. The buck stops with him.
Malcolm Powder Speaks, Part Two: You Say More than You Know, Sir
The former Prime Minister went on to speak more truth than has come forth from a liberal politician in some time. He said
Mr Morrison was “alert to the political realities”. “There is a very strong minority within the Coalition and the media and community that is ferociously opposed to taking action to reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Alert to the political realities? Translation he knows where his bread is buttered and the line he has to toe in order to keep his political head. This is either a pathetic display of political weakness (an unwillingness to buck party orthodoxy) or he actually believes it. Neither resounds to Morrison’s benefit. Does that remind you of someone, Mr. Turnbull?
As for the ‘very strong minority…ferociously opposed to taking action to reduce greenhouse emissions’, the operative term there is minority. We live, for the moment at least, in a democracy. Democracies are about rule of the majority. If the majority of a population wants a policy, in a democracy it is done. The opinions of the minority are considered, but ultimately rejected. The minority, no matter how vocal it may prove to be, is not allowed to dictate policy.
Less diplomatically expressed, I do not care what the minority thinks! I am sure there are minority populations out there who would like to wipe out the Jews! But we do not allow them to dictate policy! Specifically, on the climate issue, the scientists, you know, the people with the PhDs, have spoken. There is a clear scientific consensus. The time has come for politicians, who are so obviously corrupt, to be excluded from the conversation. Their role is to pass the legislation experts formulate. No amendments, no corporate giveaways, no incentives to bring them on board.
Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Stockholm
We may ask why Malcolm Turnbull continues to defend the aforementioned ill-informed troglodytes even after he has left politics. I would suggest the answer is quite simple. Turnbull is acting like a classic abuse victim. In other words, he has Stockholm Syndrome. He has bonded with his captors and is now defending them, even in the face of ever-mounting evidence that contradicts what they say. This is happening even after the hostage crisis is over.
Conclusion: The Liberal Party as Hostage Situation
The fact that Turnbull continues to defend his former masters in the party says much about the Liberal Party. Their leaders are, in the modern era anyway, mere puppets whose lines are scripted and positions already formulated before they assume the leadership. The conditioning is so effective that, even after they leave, they still defend their former captors.
The cause of this is not immediately obvious, but I would place some blame at the feet of one Anthony John Abbott. Since becoming Opposition Leader in 2009, Abbott instituted a particularly vicious and highly rigid brand of politics that has not really left the LNP to this day. I have quoted this before, but it deserves repeating. The extent of the change in the party when Turnbull replaced Abbott was best summed in Abbott saying that Turnbull was ‘in office, not in power’. That turned out to be true, and Morrison is seemingly in a similar position. The difference is, he learned the lesson: he toes the line regardless of the consequences.
Long Live the Idiot King
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!