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The total capitulation of Mealy-Mouthed Malcolm

When Malcolm Turnbull rolled a sitting Prime Minister, he promised a different style of leadership.

“The big economic changes that we’re living through here and around the world offer enormous challenges and enormous opportunities and we need a different style of leadership.

We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities, explains the challenges and how to seize the opportunities. A style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it.”

When giving the 2012 George Winterton lecture, Malcolm asked “Have we become so despairing of our public discourse that we no longer expect that it should be civil and honest; respecting, not insulting, the intelligence of the Australian people?”

“How often do we hear Australian politicians discuss these challenges in a genuinely open, honest, spin-free and non-adversarial way? Where the intention is to clearly explain the problem, accept responsibility for past misteps if appropriate (rather than apportion as much blame as possible to the other side), allow a non-ideological discussion of possible remedies, and see if there is any common ground for bipartisan work?

Seldom, and even more rarely if a camera is rolling.

Most Australians believe we need an honest, informed policy debate. Yet I don’t see many people who believe we have that. Instead, we all hear again and again that Australians are ashamed of the parliament, that they see it as nothing more than a forum for abuse, catcalling and spin.”

In that same speech, Turnbull spoke of the urgent need for honesty and bipartisanship in dealing with the challenges posed by climate change and appropriate energy policy.

“Politicians and shock jocks, scientists and coal barons, all of them can argue for as long as they like, but they cannot change physical reality.

The reason our planet is not a frozen chunk of ice is heat trapped by greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Increasing the amount of those gases will necessarily over time cause the earth to warm.”

But now we have Tony Abbott’s director of communications and deputy chief in staff, Andrew Hirst, as Liberal Party federal director.

And our Prime Minister has completely capitulated to the Abbott attack dog approach – name-calling and blaming Labor for everything.

“I mean Blackout Bill, fair dinkum, as my old dad would have said, ‘He is so hopeless he could not find his backside with both hands’,” said Malcolm to a meeting of the party faithful in Darwin.

He railed against No Coal Joel and blamed Labor for the lack of coherent energy policy in Australia – a claim that is astonishing from a government who has been in power for four years and who tells us that they hope to have an energy policy by the end of the year.

Turnbull has even become an advocate of coal, much to the anger of other world leaders at the Pacific Forum whose very existence is threatened by the global warming that Malcolm used to see as an undeniable existential threat.

Everything Malcolm Turnbull spoke about in his speech titled “Truth, leadership and responsibility” has been abandoned. He has adopted the very strategies he decried as being destructive to our democracy.

“The politicians and parties that can demonstrate they can be trusted, that they will not insult the people with weasel words and spin, that they will not promise more than they can deliver, that they will not dishonestly misrepresent either their own or their opponents’ policies – those politicians and parties will, I submit to you, deserve and receive electoral success.”

By your own standard Malcolm, you should face the loss that was coming Tony Abbott’s way.


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  1. Pilot

    All this and more from an Australian Government demanding that overseas tenders for our Warships NOT use Australian Companies or workers. They are a disgrace!!

    A jellyback leading a pack of LIARS, BIGOTS and RACISTS!!

    But we have to remember, Australia, you asked for it!

    A bloody disgrace!!!

  2. John Boyd

    Why are we surprised. The ‘real’ Turnbull has been there all along. He has no concept of a social agenda. I am not sure he made brilliant investment decisions. He could have been just lucky. You can’t judge a strategy by its survivors. I think he just woke up one morning and wondered what he could next do to satisfy his ego. ‘I know’, he said to himself, ‘I will be Australia’s first president’. So with a bit of money, he becomes chief of the republican movement, until his mate Howard sank that option with an ever so cleverly worded plebiscite. ‘Oh well’, he thinks, I will be the next prime minister, that would do nicely’. So a bit more investment, help from his mate Scott Morrison, and a jump on the climate change bandwagon, and he is leader of the opposition. So fast forward a bit. Climate change is off the agenda for the Liberal party, so suddenly he is happy to lead a party that does not take climate change seriously. His ‘fabled’, but non-existent, debating skills have deserted him, largely because you usually need at least some facts to back up your position. Suddenly, he is looking a bit past it. The ultimate ‘hollow man’, with no principles or real policies; it’s all just about Malcolm.

  3. Ross Cornwill

    The time is nigh for a change. But will Barnaby be the catalyst?

  4. Frank Smith

    “Truth, leadership and responsibility”. Malcolm seriously lacks all three and the Australian people are paying a very heavy price for it. “Mealy-Mouthed” is not nearly strong enough, Kaye Lee.

  5. Peter F

    Ross C Time enough for change after the next election. Let him enjoy the fruits of his labour.

  6. Harquebus

    Another case of a politician’s dreams and delusions being shattered by physical realities and none wants to be the first to say that they got it wrong. Poor Bill Shorten, doesn’t know what he is in for.

  7. Michael Fairweather

    Peter F While we are giving him time he is destroying Australia and victimising good honest Australians who may never recover from his abuse. If only Turdbull could spend a couple of months living in our world instead of his.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    I wouldn’t worry about Bill. Been planning where he is now at for 20 years. The only thing that has amazed Bill, is it shouldn’t be so easy.

  9. Zathras

    In return for being handed Abbott’s job and because of past failures, Turnbull was kept on a very short leash by his handlers/party supporters.

    I assume he thought he would be able to call his own shots once he consolidated the Liberal Party position electorally.
    However, his near-defeat at the last election has only made his position worse and the Government continues to struggle and eat itself from within.

    I’m not surprised and not disappointed.
    Turnbull was always an egocentric narcissist with no plan for the country beyond him simply being its leader – like a local version of Trump but without the rabid support.

    Shorten may not have the Turnbull media razzle-dazzle but at least he has Party support (for now) plus a feeling he will be able to get things done.

    Meanwhile as we sink even further into financial ruin the “debt-and-deficit disaster” hasn’t been mentioned for months.

  10. Florence nee Fedup

    The only thing that the PM is is in love with is that phone with it’s little added keyboard of his.

    At least Shorten doesn’t travel around doing little more than taking selfies.

  11. SGB

    Once again the ‘Right’ take the clusterf#ck way, create chaos, and lose government so that the real adults come back to repair the damage.

    And so it goes

    Jees, I really hope it is Joyce, who brings this clusterf#ck down!

    S G B

  12. Kaye Lee

    Australian Government Securities on Issue as at Sept 8 $501,881m

    They predicted a deficit of $37.6 billion for 2016-17. At the end of May it was $30.4 billion. Last year it was $39.6 billion.

    Government spending in the June Quarter was $7 billion higher than in the March quarter,

  13. Kronomex

    SGB, let us not forget that once they get the boot the entire federal LNP will develop selective amnesia within weeks and then they can blame Labor for everything that has gone wrong in the past, present, and future. Turnbull will be knifed and sent to the back bench next to Abbott and Dutton. Oh, wait a minute, didn’t he mention something about quitting politics if he loses at the next election? We can only hope.

    LNP – Loads of Non-Binding Promises.
    LNP – Load Noxious Poots (farts).

  14. Terry2

    Barnaby was again telling us this morning that when he speaks to real Australians they never mention marriage equality – presumably they will not be voting in the coalition’s fake plebiscite [?].

    They do however talk about electricity prices but they never mention the lack of an ongoing coalition energy policy for the nation.

    These people tell Barnaby that the old coalfired power stations must be kept open but they fail to mention to Barnaby that it was ideological coalition policy under the asset recycling program of 2014 that virtually gave away the likes of Liddel with no thought to future energy needs and that now we may see taxpayer dollars going into subsidising Liddel for another five years.

    Evidently the folk who talk to Barnaby in the front bar of the Woop Woop Hotel are anxious to see more coal mines and more coal-fired power stations and they want to see renewable energy targets eliminated and subsidies cut. Yet these same people seem to be oblivious to climate change, the warming of our planet and the related impacts on global weather systems.

    These people talk to Barnaby in glowing terms about the surge in live cattle exports but they fail to talk to Barnaby about the closure or meatworks and the loss of our meat processing industry.

    I don’t think that we should be listening to the people that Barnaby talks to. Indeed, I don’t think we should be listening to Barnaby at all !

  15. helvityni

    Maybe those ‘real’ Australians that Barnaby speaks of, are his beer-guzzling mates from the Woop Woop Hotel; if so, then I rather talk to and listen to some ‘unrea’ Aussies….

  16. Harquebus

    Bill Shorten slips again in the preferred Prime Minister poll. Combined with his failure as P.M., he will drag the Labor Party down with him just like Abbott’s and Turnbull’s failings have dragged down the Coalition.

  17. guest

    Thank you, Harquebus, for your message of misery. I think it is time you actually revealed to us the solutions to all problems. Do it without bucketing on present politicians. Tell us in your own words, without heaps of website references. I am sure that the AIMN would be happy to give you space to reveal your secrets at length, rather than having us all endure your interminable pot-shots that achieve nothing of any use. You show promise at times, then slip into old habits.

  18. Harquebus

    The only viable solution to “all problems”. Unrealistic has been the main criticism.

    Depopulate . . . or perish

    I says it how I sees it.

  19. Jack Straw

    That your an egotistical wanker Harquebus. Had you produced a volume of articles maybe we could give you some credit.

    But your a very lazy writer using hyperlinks all the time instead of using your own words.

    Malcolm Turnbull is a disgraceful Prime Minister.

  20. guest

    Not a good score there, Harquebus. You have told us before about depopulation. The UN claims that world population will peak by 2050. So what are you up to? What is your game?

    It could be said that the idea of population control is a highly conservative outlook that treats other people as the problem. The idea is we get rid of the unfit, the poor and the rebellious. It is a distraction from actually doing something about ecological destruction and climate change. Get rid of the undesirables and we can continue with business as usual. Is that it?

    Population has been talked about for yonks, Malthus early, Paul Ehrlich in the 1960s. China more recently had its one child policy – and it has turned out badly.

    In economics terms, there is a huge gap between the Northern hemisphere and the Southern. This wealth gap creates poverty and rebelliousness, which in turn leads to migration on a massive scale which some say can be controlled by contraception, or tough laws, big walls, or imprisonment – or genocide.

    Anything but actually do something about poverty itself, economic growth and climate change.

    Now I know that you can do better than that, Harquebus. But you have gone to your fall-back position: short statement + hyperlink. Not good enough.

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