Abbott Throws Out Challenge To Turnbull
This morning I sent out a Commentary which referred to a Weekend Australian article in which Paul Kelly argued that recent policy announcements suggest there has been “a repositioning of Turnbull”. I suggested he may have realised that “something has to be done” to reverse Labor’s favourable polling and to minimise the risk of a challenge to his leadership by Abbott during the Christmas-New Year period.
Shortly after the distribution of that Commentary a report appeared in The Australian on remarks made by Abbott, apparently in an interview on Sky News, suggesting he was seeking a recall to Cabinet and outlining issues on which the Coalition should focus in the period ahead (see attached Abbott is Repositioning Too).
I did not see or hear the interview but I understand Abbott did not in fact seek a recall to Cabinet. He did however propose
- A big new push on budget repair through spending restraint rather than higher taxes;
- The mounting of an attack on Labor’s policy for a 50% renewable energy target based on having lower power prices than would occur under Labor;
- That the cessation of talk about “innovation and agility” be continued.
Abbott also argued that more attention be given to the need for having a Senate that allows the Government to govern.
The proposals/comments made by Abbott certainly raise the temperature of the debate on Turnbull’s leadership at the start of the last week that Parliament is sitting this year.
Trump’s Policy on Climate Change
This morning’s Commentary also referred to the report that Trump had eased his stance on climate policy. This prompted Richard Lindzen, an Emeritus Professor of Meteorology in the US with a second to none authority on global warming, to send me the full transcript of the interview Trump had with the NY Times. This shows that, while Trump said he was keeping an open mind on climate change, his comment that “I think there is some connectivity. There is some, something. It depends on how much” suggests he is more on the sceptical side. He also challenged some of the points made by the NY Times journos. The full transcript is available here and I have highlighted the sections on climate change (as well as a couple of those on other important issues).
The interview is of interest in showing the importance which the NYT journalists attach to the issue and an apparent inability to acknowledge that there may be no dangerous warming. It also reveals that Trump himself appears to have done some research on the issue. That characteristic comes through in regard to a number of other matters too. Contrary to the many scathing comments in the media, Trump has done a lot of homework to back up his views.