web analytics
≡ Menu

Is Malcolm Turnbull unhinged?

Malcolm Turnbull is the Freddy Krueger of Australian politics

Chris Kenny writing in The Australian about the bizarre actions of Malcolm Turnbull leaves the average punter wondering if Malcolm’s overthrow has tipped the ego driven sod overboard. Every time Turnbull opens his mouth now he further suggests what sort of a person most of us knew him to be. It is good that he conducts himself in such a manner. It cements a persona that makes any form of comeback to public life, especially as king of a Republic completely out of the question.

In his Twitter flurry and Fran Kelly interview Malcolm Turnbull dropped any pretence. He has kissed goodbye to his promise not to be a “miserable ghost’’. Instead he confronts Scott Morrison as the Freddy Krueger of Australian politics. It wasn’t easy to write on the weekend that Malcolm Turnbull and his “Malcontent” supporters were actively working to destroy the Coalition government. It is a tough reality to confront when you once worked for the man, enjoyed a friendship and aspired for him to be successful.

Source: News Corp

Besides, writing those words was bound to generate tough responses from the many Liberal moderates, media commentators and Leftist activists who will always support Turnbull as a bludgeon against conservatives, pretending he is blameless in his own demise. But who could doubt my conclusion now?

In his Twitter flurry yesterday and interview today he dropped any pretence. He has kissed goodbye to his promise not to be a “miserable ghost.” Instead he confronts Scott Morrison as a vengeful spectre — the Freddy Krueger of Australian politics.

He lost the prime ministership the same way he seized it and in return plunged the government into minority by quitting parliament and cruelling the pitch for the Liberal candidate, Dave Sharma. The former prime minister refused to lift a twitter finger or sign a letter to help Sharma during the campaign yet tweeted up a storm yesterday to try to kill off his conservative backbench critic Craig Kelly.

The organisational issues at play are complicated and longstanding. Suffice to say the systems of the Liberal Party ought to be such that preselection interventions are unnecessary. But the last time Kelly was threatened, it was Turnbull who intervened to help him.

The NSW Liberal Party is corrupted by factions and needs fixing — urgently. For Turnbull to pretend otherwise and urge Kelly to take his druthers is disingenuous. The biggest laugh Turnbull ever got as prime minister was soon after he rolled Tony Abbott when he told a NSW Liberal state council meeting that the party was “not run by factions”.

Turnbull rightly says the party should not give in to blackmail from its own preselected members yet he was the prime minister who delivered a one seat majority then said he would quit parliament if he was overthrown. He was and he did — and he helped ensure the seat was lost.

There is no purity in this argument. There is no moral high ground to be found.

While reform of the Liberal Party and expurgation of the NSW branch form the backdrop for this latest conflagration, and might well have played a role in its genesis, the pressing question for the government is how to deal with this Nightmare on Capital Hill. Turnbull is in a scary mood and no longer cares for niceties.

His floating of an election date is an open plea to have the federal government put down before the NSW Liberals wear the wrath of voters. The way the Liberals are heading they could see a Freddy Krueger state election nightmare, quickly followed by a federal election sequel.

One Liberal branch is pushing to expel Turnbull from the party. He must now be sailing close to the party rules that saw former MP Ross Cameron expelled last year for criticising colleagues (rules, admittedly, that were absurdly implemented for a party that is supposed to valued free expression and debate).

Such action would only inflame the situation. Morrison needs to find a way to ignore Turnbull – which will be very difficult given the ABC will offer him a national, uncritical megaphone anytime he chooses.

It is deeply sad to watch a man writing himself into history in this way. Think of Kevin Rudd, who should be remembered for a national apology but instead is remembered for bitterness and recriminations. Turnbull should be remembered for same sex marriage and the US refugee resettlement deal but instead seems intent on a reputation for demolition.

Morrison’s only hope is that voters soon tire of the circus. And he might finally stop getting asked that silly question about why Turnbull is no longer prime minister.

Common sense has not been sufficient to prevent the Liberal Party from inflicting the same leadership self-harm we saw from Labor. Post-election, serious rule changes around leadership selection are imperative. Whatever is left of the party will need to guard against future nightmare scenarios.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Aktosplatz 05/12/2018, 7:22 am

    What annoys me about this Turnbull Thing is the fact that people seem aghast, seem taken aback, seem shocked.

    (I exclude MM readers BTW), But for most people:

    Why is this a big surprise????

    Has nobody ever read the site ‘stopturnbull.com?’ What did they expect?

    The real enemy though are the ABC/MSM for giving this oxygen thief a platform. He’s delusional and irrational as anyone I have ever seen, worse than even Clive Palmer ( and that’s saying something).

    As for his son, Alex, he needs a good thrashing.

    • DT 05/12/2018, 7:27 am

      You can lead Horses to water Aktosplatz but you cannot force them to drink.

      • Neville 05/12/2018, 11:25 am

        or as the old joke goes .. “you can lead a horticulture but you can’t make him think”

  • Albert 05/12/2018, 8:22 am

    There are suggestions that the Liberal party is corrupted by factions and only those with their heads stuck under a rock would argue about that. The suggestion that I put forward is that the Liberal party is broken beyond repair and should be abandoned for the good of the country. They haven’t got the backbone to expel Turnbull and stop him from loosening the last remaining nuts and bolts so the Liberals deserve everything that is coming to them.

    • Biking Voter 05/12/2018, 10:43 am

      I think it safe to say that ALL parties are corrupted by factions and yes, I agree that he current Liberal party is broken beyond repair and needs to completely reinvent itself by deciding what values it really stands for and who it really supports.

  • Lorraine 05/12/2018, 9:46 am

    Its Goodbye to the Liberal Party and after the election we should see a carve up .Sitting members if there is any will need to become a new Party a new beginning. one hopes it is the conservative side that is still there.

  • Penguinite 05/12/2018, 12:22 pm

    This guy is so deeply financially invested in renewables that he desperately needs to see Labor ascend to power and install their 50% renewable power/carbon tax options. He may even be on the payroll of one or more wind/solar manufacturers/energy companies.

Leave a Comment