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Tag Archives: leadership speculation

Abbott in trouble again as Leadership speculation re-surfaces

As one pores over the plethora of MSM articles written by a number of political editors since the Bronwyn Bishop resignation, one gets the feeling that Tony Abbott might be facing another leadership spill motion before Christmas.

It would be fair to say that his performance since his ‘near death experience’ in February has been less than stellar, no doubt exacerbated by the experience itself and the realisation that he is being watched very closely.

The Bronwyn Bishop issue has been a public relations disaster for the government and Abbott in particular. It has highlighted once again deficiencies in his judgement and that since the February spill motion there has been no discernible improvement in his performance.

But overriding all of that is the consistent negative polling, a fact no Liberal party member is ignoring, one that clearly shows that both Abbott and his government are looking very shaky.

The Liberal Party has a history of showing no mercy to leaders they view as poor performers or who consistently show they are unable to lead in the polls. Right now, we can be in no doubt that Abbott is currently viewed as a poor performer.

So the question arises as to how long the parliamentary team will give him to turn the corner. Thirty nine of them were prepared to tip him out in February.

It would only take another eleven or twelve to seal the deal. That spill motion in February did not have the support of the cabinet and no alternative leadership candidate was prepared to raise his/her hand.

We can surmise that opinions have changed since then.

With an election little more than twelve months away, time is not on their side. Many now will be taking a keener than normal interest in their own seats, particularly those who came into the parliament for the first time in 2013.

There will be no fat superannuation payout for them. They will be looking to the brains trust deep inside the bowels of the party machine and asking what can be done to win back dis-affected voters.

It may be that the only answer is to find a new leader.

The recent announcement concerning future shipbuilding contracts for the Defence Department might give us a clue. It was, on the face of it, a poorly thought through gesture toward the good people of Adelaide who hold the fate of Christopher Pyne’s political career in their hands.

The very thought that such a high profile government member could lose his seat must send a shudder through Liberal party corridors. They would quite rightly be wondering if he were to lose his seat, how many others would be in the same boat.

But the promise of new contracts being let to the Adelaide shipbuilding yards will only revive memories of the broken 2013 election promise to build submarines there. South Australians are not that naïve.

Self-preservation in any setting is a strong motivator and when the clock is ticking, watch out. Anyone who thinks this is pure speculation should watch this interview with political editor Peter Hartcher at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Hartcher confirms talk within the party about Abbott’s future as leader, about the possibility of an election later this year and that even without an alternative candidate, “they are contemplating getting rid of him anyway.”

One can only guess what might be the number of late night phone calls by leadership contenders assessing their chances.


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Ides of May?

I am not sure what Malcolm Turnbull was thinking, or drinking, when he posted the following on his facebook page today:

Like most Australians, I was angry about Labor’s reckless financial mismanagement of the NBN….but then as I read another Labor press I started to feel young again. Yes, this took me back to my youth, to the 1980s, to Duran Duran, shoulder pads and the Alan Bond and Laurie Connell school of finance – borrow billions, dont worry about how you can pay the interest let alone repay the principal.

He was apparently chuffed with his theatrical posturing in Question Time today. He found himself rather witty and the smirk on Abbott’s face shows he enjoyed it too.

Well the reviews from the public show they weren’t quite as impressed with Malcolm as he so obviously was with himself. They were actually more concerned with substance than rhetoric.

The following is a very small selection of comments which overwhelmingly follow this vein:

“Like most Australians” – you’re kidding yourself if you actually believe this Mr Turnbull.

“Like most Australians, I was angry about Labor’s reckless financial mismanagement of the NBN” – Where did you pull that one from? Most Australians want an NBN FTTP, and you know that.

‘Like most Australians’, I want FTTH. Anyone who’s passed year 11 physics can tell you why.

Sorry, I can’t hear you over THE COST OF TELSTRA’S COPPER NETWORK.

LOL What you guys are doing to the NBN now is a lot bloody worst mate. Thanks for building something that will cost more to maintain and is already out dated……….The libs always thinking short term not long term when it comes to infrastructure.

I’m not surprised you’re harking back to your youth. Liberal party current policies are from a bygone era also. Archaic tech solutions, removing anti-discrimination protections, education for the rich, religious chaplains. Seriously? We are better than all of that. It makes me sad that now both majors have lost the plot.

13 percent GDP is not debt crisis. Sorry but you’re a pack of liars.

No Mr Turnbull I was not angry over Labor’s NBN plan. I was however, angry over the LNP’s second rate alternative plan. Now all I hear when you speak is ‘blah blah blah blah, turn over the record, blah blah blah blah, turn over the record, blah blah…..

You have lost all credibility with me, and I think it’s time I changed the record.

This isn’t a company you’re managing Minister, it’s a country. A good bottom line means nothing to me. I want services for my tax dollar. People are borrowing 6 times earnings to buy a house and you are worried about a debt of between 10 and 20 percent of GDP. I was hoping for a little bit more from you. Don’t fear monger, it belittles you.

If there really was financial mismanagement why can’t you fix the problems and continue with an all fibre rollout? If you really are the superior economic managers that you claim to be then I don’t see why you can’t do it instead of lumping us with technology that is outdated before it is even rolled out.

I am Australian – like most of my friends – and I can assure you I was not angry about Labor’s NBN. If you think that the Libs can roll it out more efficiently – then I will support your policy just as I supported Labor’s. I think you should have said, “like most Australians – we all want faster internet speed”. Please stick with Labor’s good intentions and use your considerable business knowledge to get it to us in a cost effective way. It is NOT cost effective for any nation to have SLOW speeds. Copper has got to go – and I am pretty sure most Australians agree with that!

One of these days Malcolm, you will realise that people want a world class NBN. If you want to bag Labor over the NBN, how about you go on about how they wouldn’t have delivered a world class broadband network and the Libs will.

Where we’re at today, literally nobody believes that the Liberal Party cares about the digital economy. This is why people rally behind Labor’s vision, because any vision is better than what Liberals are offering us. You want to win the argument? Do it better, not worse.

The Liberal Party can go on and on about Labor’s reckless spending. Most voters understand that cuts need to be made. What we don’t approve of is the inequitable way that this government has looked to save. Malcolm, I’m happy to pay extra in tax if it’s going to our pensioners, the sick and the needy. I am NOT happy paying for CEOs to have kids, Gina’s fuel rebate, politician’s entitlements (especially like the ones that Don Randall claimed) etc. That’s just offensive and un-Australian and it makes me ill to hear the words “fair go” spew forth from Tony’s mouth.

Just wondering Malcolm….do you still intend borrowing $22.2 billion for your paid parental leave scheme and $24 billion for your fighter jets to add to the $8.8 billion you borrowed for Joe Hockey to gamble on the exchange rate going down? How many billions are you borrowing for Operation Sovereign Murders? How many billions will we be borrowing to gift to our worst polluters?

I too am happy to contribute. We do need some changes. But when I hear of amnesties for offshore tax cheats, and that Frank Lowy’s Westfield chain paid 8c in the dollar tax for the last umpteen years, and that we gave Rupert Murdoch about $880 million tax return for having accountants who are savvy enough to move profits from country to country to minimise tax and take advantage of currency exchange rate shifts, you then want to shaft our most vulnerable? How about we stop giving Gina “exploration” grants. How about you grow some balls and tell her that a condition of any approval is that she employs Australian citizens and use Australian steel and equipment. The US made it a condition for Gina’s recent $7 billion loan for her new destruction of the planet venture – she must use American steel and equipment. How ridiculous is that – they estimate it will create 3,400 jobs in AMERICA! This crew are way too scared to require anything from Gina but you say sick people and pensioners and students and unemployed need to contribute more. Not only that we will get rid of that amazing mining tax that on one hand destroys investment in this country (NOT), but on the other doesn’t raise any money. Just as it was about to start kicking in with billions (from your own estimates), you say oh no we can’t have Gina paying anything to make billions from our resources. Let’s get rid of the schoolkids bonus instead. Do you seriously expect anyone who knows the truth to think that is the way this society should go? And why are we sending $12 billion out of our economy into the American economy for jets we won’t see for a decade if they ever work out how to make them work. Malcolm, listen to your conscience. You KNOW the truth – speak out and we will back you.

It seems that “most Australians” have an entirely different opinion to Malcolm and his buddies and that “most Australians” were singularly unimpressed with his video of himself being smart and seem more concerned about the many ways that this government is making this country a worse place to live in.

The advertising isn’t working Malcolm. How about trying some truth. Who knows, you may have a chance to salvage a modicum of integrity if you have the guts to drop the turnbullshit. Remember when you thought climate change was real and that the ABC was important? Was this an attempt to gauge public opinion because you well and truly got told….remains to be seen if you listened.

“A senior Liberal Party official attended last night’s dinner with Cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson, and latecomer Clive Palmer.

The ABC has been told the Liberal Party’s federal vice president Tom Harley was at the dinner, which Mr Palmer is describing as “chopstick diplomacy” amongst “friends”.

Ides of May?