So, Turnbull survived his thirtieth Newspoll. Now he’s after Julia Gillard’s record and the media can start a whole new countdown. Yes, when Rudd called his Australia 2020 summit it seemed a long way off. However, when Turnbull made his comment about Abbott losing 30 Newspolls in a row, I’ll bet he never thought he’d see 30/30.
To be fair, the Coalition haven’t lost sixty in a row; there were a few in Turnbull’s first year where people still thought he’d actually do something. “He’s waiting until after he wins the election,” people rationalised. Later it changed to, he’s waitng until Tony Abbott leaves Parliament or he’s waiting till Hell freezes over, before those who thought he’d be a breath of fresh air had to concede that even if he had complete authority all he’d do is erect statues of himself and insist that all art galleries have a section devoted to his best selfies.
When asked about the thirty opinion polls, a senior Liberal told me, “We have no plans to do anything at this stage!”
“You mean about Turnbull?” I asked.
“Yeah, that too,” he replied. “But, you know, we don’t believe in doing anything about anything else either, because we’re a small government government.”
“A small government government?”
“Yes, we believe the less we involve ourselves in the economy the better. That way the invisible hand of the market can work its magic…”
“But what about the suggestions to lend Adani money or the idea about building a coal-fired power station.”
“Ah, well, of course, sometimes we just have to intervene because the market is composed of people and occasionally some of those people are left-wing greenie bastards who distort the market so we need to help out the…”
“Hang on. Do you believe in small government or not? I mean you can’t have it both ways.”
“Now that’s a very limited view of the world. It’s really quite simple. When Labor are in power, we don’t think that they should do anything, but when we’re in power we need to do things to dismantle everything that Labor put in place.”
“Even the good things?”
“Nothing Labor does is good! All they do is introduce things it takes us years to get rid of!”
“What about Medicare, superannuation, no fault divorce, anti-discrimination laws. the NBN?”
“But they steered us through the GFC without going into recession.”
“At the cost of enormous debt. It’ll be years before we even think of paying it back, if ever.”
“Hang on, haven’t you doubled Labor’s debt?”
“Yes, that’s right. We’ve doubled Labor’s debt, but we’ve got our own Budget back under control…”
“No, it’s not.”
“It’s a slow process. Besides, we added a record number of jobs last year. Labor didn’t do that when they were in office.”
“They were battling the GFC!”
“I think the GFC is over-rated. It never had any real effect in Australia – we never even went into recession.”
“If you’re so good at adding jobs, why hasn’t the unemploymnet rate gone down?”
“That’s because of all the lazy bastards who appear on the front page of the paper refusing to do any work!”
“You mean politicians?
“No dole bludgers. It’s really terrible the way some people expect others to support them.”
“Well, you’ve been in power four years now, Shouldn’t you have fixed that by now?”
“Why would we want to fix that? If it weren’t for people like that, someone might notice that there are actually more unemployed than there are jobs.”
“Anyway, what I really wanted to ask you was about the Newspoll and…”
“Yes, Turnbull is still well ahead of Bill Shorten and he’s beaten him in every poll since he became leader.”
“That’s got nothing to do with anything.”
“People don’t want Electricity Bill.”
“I think the preferred PM thing is irrelevant. I mean, how often has the Opposition Leader been preferred PM? Gillard was beating Abbott 46 to 32 in September 2012 but that didn’t stop Labor dumping her. And Howard was 43 to Beasley’s 34, yet Beasley nearly won that election. Look at history! There’s only been a handful of times when an Opposition leader was even close. It means nothing.”
“I think you’ll find that when the election is called that Shorten will prove a liability.”
“To Labor or to your mob? Anyway, can you guarantee that Turnbull will be leader at the next election?”
“He has my full support!”
“Has any leader ever had your partial support?”
“You said ‘full support’, has anyone ever had your…”
“Now, if you’re just going to play word games, I might as well be on the ABC.”
Note: It should be clearly stated that the above conversation is a work of fiction. like much of this government’s achievements. I have no contact with anyone from the Liberal or Labor parties and any similarity to anyone living or dead is just a really big coincidence. No, really. And I haven’t been told that the election will be called for August unless the leadership spill leads to a complete meltdown. That’s just another coincidence when it happens.