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July 04th 2016 print

Peter O'Brien

The Speech He Should Have Delivered

Confronted by the electorate's damning appraisal of his leadership, character, competence and acumen on Saturday night, the real Malcolm Turnbull sought refuge in a petulant bellicosity. In another dimension of the time-space continuum this is what we would have heard

malcolm bummerSomewhere in a parallel universe a rather different Malcolm Turnbull from the one Australia knows and rejected fronts a post-election press conference:

“First of all, may I say I accept full responsibility for this very disappointing result. It’s not clear yet whether the Coalition will be returned but there is no doubt that a significant proportion of voters rejected our jobs-and-growth policy platform which, in hindsight, I concede we might have explained better.

My thanks go to Tony Nutt for his work supervising our campaign. I sincerely wish him well in his new career, whatever that may be.

Our campaign theme, which focussed on the Turnbull Team, rather than the Coalition Team, might have been sharper and more focussed.  Perhaps having a tradesman suggest that the best motivation he had for voting for the Coalition was to “stick with the current mob for a while” might not have done much to inspire voters with enthusiasm for our cause.

And, of course, I apologise for virtually ignoring our great strength on border protection during the campaign. Why I did that has everything to do with me. Had I been more humble, I would have been able to cite it loud and often. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it because stopping the boats was an Abbott achievement.

Notes from Election Day: James Allan, Peter O’Brien, Tati Sofaris, Michael Copeman, Daryl McCann, John Izzard and more on the Turnbull debacle

Same with union corruption, now that I think about it. Because it was Abbott who set up the Royal Commission, I just couldn’t bring myself to use those revelations of thuggery and gross malfeasance against Bill Shorten. This probably has something to do with the psychological traumas of my early life and I will be working on this with a professional counsellor.

In retrospect, it also wasn’t a good idea for Mark Textor to be so frank and open in expressing his contempt for the party’s traditional base, those voters he said “didn’t matter”. As with Tony Nutt, I wish him well in his next job.

To my predecessor, Tony Abbott, I offer my apologies.  It seems that, after all, I could do no better than he might have done.

As is customary in these circumstances, I now call on my parliamentary colleagues to pass judgement on my leadership. Regrettably their numbers will be much fewer than we might have hoped.

As soon as the composition of the new parliament is clear, I will call a leadership spill.

I intend to stand and, further, I urge my party to honour our party’s conservative heritage by once again endorsing failure.

Thank you and goodbye. Whoops! I meant ‘good night.’

Comments [19]

  1. Marcus Walker says:

    Well said it’s just a shame it’s not what Lord waffle said ..I am getting sick of Liberal leaders coming out with their best material at their “we didn’t win” speech on election night … I want to throw things at the telly …. “why is this the first time we have heard this ?” I cry .. I couldn’t bring myself to vote against Lord waffle because my local candidate was such a good guy but I initially thought … “oh well at least if Mal stuffs up he will resign” but now I feel the arrogance of the man may well prevent that … It’s THEIR fault HE lost (perhaps not government but respect,seats,credibility )

  2. Lacebug says:

    In my electorate I had to choose between Anthony Albanese; a self-confessed Trot (Greens); and a Liberal who looked like he was still in high school. I ended up voting for the Sex Party and only because the volunteer handing out How to vote cards invited me to a sex party party afterwards.

  3. Gogs says:

    How do I get to live in “another dimension of the time-space continuum”? I feel I belong there.
    However, this speech could never come from a PM with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
    No, I’m not just name-calling. If you don’t recognise it, look it up.

  4. Jody says:

    Both parties need some serious reappraisal. After all, the last time Labor got a majority to govern on its own was 2007 and before that many elections past. Both parties have had failed leaders – Latham, Rudd, Hewson, Downer, Abbott and now Turnbull. Politics is littered with such individuals which screams out “try before you buy”!!

    Serious reappraisal won’t happen until both parties realize the great divide between the political class and the electorate. And the electorate needs to look at itself and its unwillingness to want to pay down debt or go without freebies. Labor’s party of separatist identity needs to be addressed too – but I think the likes of Penny Wong will prevent that soul-searching from ever happening.

    Meanwhile our credit rating will go to hell and, you know what, nobody cares anymore! Debt and Deficit might be characters in a low brow American comedy for all the electorate cares.

    • mags of Queensland says:

      Jody I think your hatred of Abbott has coloured you comment. He didn’t lose an election in 2013. He also didn’t lose in 2010 – it was a draw. I think if you went back and listened to his speech after the 2010 election it was vastly different to that of Malcolm Turnbull. One has integrity and the other hasn’t.

    • Just A View says:

      Jody – I don’t wish to appear unkind but don’t you have anything else to do in your life other than comment on this website? And more particularly bash Mr Abbott. I only speak for myself but I suspect most are sick and tired of your constant negative comments about Mr Abbott. You might not like Abbott – that is your choice – but can I ask you to give it a rest please? It has become so utterly boring and predictible to the point you are removing my will to live. Turnbull has been the disaster many who read and write for this website expected he would be. So if either of those aren’t good enough then please name some names as to who might be. If you say Morrison or even Bishop then I will just point out that they have been too damaged by Turnbull and superannuation and simply don’t seem up to the job. And finally I accidentally saw yesterday you said Andrew Bolt would become irrelevant given his not unreasonable call to have Abbott back as Coalition leader. Good luck with that irrelevant point becoming reality!

      • Jody says:

        You’re so right; I don’t have anything else to do in my life except read, listen to classical music on my brand new B&W CM10S2 speakers, write up and present lectures on classical music, complete a Coursera program on the String Quartet through Curtis Institute of Music and run a home with a husband and babysit 2 young grandchildren. An empty life indeed. Still, somebody’s got to do it!!

    • PT says:

      What about Gillard? Krudd won an election. Abbott won an election, but also managed to bring down a supposedly “unbeatable team”, which Turncoat failed to do.

  5. Warty says:

    Your heartfelt ‘Turnbull speech’ almost made me consider rejoining the Liberals, but, unfortunately, it was a ‘speech he should have delivered’. There are a few things I feel he ought to have included: an abject apology for favouring a 2% section of our population, by inviting them to Kirribilli House (ultimately OUR house) for a bloody Iftah celebration, and including hardcore Sharia followers amongst the guests; an abject apology to Pauline Hanson for announcing, on national radio and television, “Pauline Hanson is, as far as we are concerned, not a welcome presence in the Australian political scene’, not least because he might be forced to negotiate with her when parliament resumes; an abject apology for not attacking (Abbot style) Shorten’s ridiculous assertions about favouring the ‘big end of town’ with regards to company tax cuts for small business, followed by medium business and finally, many years hence, large businesses, she main reasons being to stimulate the economy, boost unemployment, increase manufacturing and going ahead with the exact sort of stimulus Labor itself had advocated. Turnbull (or Wormpill) made period bleats about this issue. Finally, he ought to have apologised for having an unusually tiny pair of testicles, only in so far as he was foolish enough to display them in public and thinking he could get away with it.
    My apologies to Jody for mentioning Tony’s ‘attack dog’ characteristic ‘attacking (Abbot style) Shorten’s . . .

    • Davidovich says:

      I wonder if Turnbull’s diffidence about tackling union corruption had anything to do with the likelihood that tackling corrupt unions would also expose corrupt big business?

      • Warty says:

        Could well do: as you know, Shorten kept rabbiting on about Royal Commissions into the banking sector, and we all know they cost an arm and a leg.

      • PT says:

        Hmm. And what about HIH?

        • Jody says:

          It’s extraordinary just what a get-out-of-jail-free card Shorten was dealt at this election. He’s never put the interests of the people in unions before his own!! I blame the shocking Coalition election campaign where all of this should have been front and centre.

          Turnbull for the chop. And I agree with PVO on Sky this afternoon, “the Coalition behaves like cats when in disarray and it’s not possible to herd cats”. LOL They should go to another election and at least lose standing on their feet rather than dying in the trenches like dogs (parliament).

  6. Keith Kennelly says:

    I reckon Nikki Sava wrote ‘Malcon’s’ whiney speech on Sunday morning.

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    Sorry Malcontent’s speech