Turnbull & Related Matters
Much of yesterday’s political/media exchanges were about the role Malcolm Turnbull has been playing recently in trying to undermine the Liberal Party and, now, its new leader Scott Morrison. Today’s Australian reports numerous commentaries all of which are unfavourable to Turnbull and include the view of political editor, Dennis Shanahan, that he should have been sacked after the 2016 election which reduced the Coalition’s majority to one – “To borrow Turnbull’s own words, the Liberals simply left “his arse” for too long on the seat of C1 — the prime ministerial commonwealth car “(see Turnbull Should Have Gone Earlier).
In reality even News Ltd failed to identify the problems created by Liberal party members in electing Turnbull as leader well before the 2016 election. Numerous commentators, including the NSW Jim Simpson group, John Stone and self had drawn attention well before 2016 to Turnbull’s principal objective being himself and the absence of values consistent with Liberal party objectives. Attention had also been drawn to Turnbull’s attempt to first join the Labor party.
This was referred to last night on the Bolt show when Stephen Conroy (former federal Labor minister) observed that John Della Bosca (former NSW Labor minister) had “saved” the Labor party by knocking back Turnbull’s offer to lead Labor. I assume that DB then had some organisational authority in Labor.
Bolt refers to a number of Turnbull’s characteristics and asks – “Can anyone at all still doubt that Turnbull simply wants the Liberals to be destroyed, and is doing all he can to ensure it is?” (see Bolt on Turnbull). I note that Bolt is obviously concerned that, in his current mood, Turnbull may sue for defamation. That concern seems reflected in his use of the word “frank” when another word might have been more appropriate.
One of The Australian’s journalists also writes that “Malcolm Turnbull finds himself isolated from the Liberal Party’s most influential powerbrokers and senior MPs after his attempt to embarrass the Prime Minister failed. The ousted prime minister was scorned by Liberals yesterday — including moderates — in the wake of his brazen bid to block Scott Morrison over pre-selections and try to force an early election” (see Turnbull Loses Support).
One hopes so. But the only sure way of getting rid of him would be for Morrison to make a statement saying that Turnbull is no longer PM and that the policies he enunciated are being reviewed (or words to that effect). This applies particularly to Turnbull’s energy policy, which has been slightly changed but which the basic thesis remains and which the Morrison government intends to legislate to allow the big stick to be used to force the relevant companies to lower electricity prices. The one concession (sic) announced today is to provide that the ultimate decider will be the Federal Court not the Minister. But, as I have said previously, a much greater modification needs to be taken.