Malcolm Turnbull is a closet Labor-ite preparing to sell out to the Greens. And it’s not only conservatives that believe that. Turnbull has always been a natural fit for the leadership of the ALP, as veteran Labor Party speechwriter and general apparatchik, Don Watson, laments in a current article in The Monthly, “Turnbull’s Rightful Place”.
Once the reader cuts through Watson’s florid, Keating-esque prose (full of references to Nietzsche, Captain Bligh, “the Revenant grim and rictus”,” baying reactionaries”, “withdrawn fangs” etc, etc.) a clear assessment emerges of Turnbull’s fundamental political position. He is, Watson declares, “the ideological bedfellow of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton”. As leader of the Liberal party, he is a “daffodil on a dunghill”. Consequently, his deepest allegiances have precious little to do with the policy positions upon which the Abbott government was elected or to which conservatives are deeply attached. According to Watson, Turnbull has always been committed to the Green-Labor position on every one of the crucial issues of contemporary politics.
For example, according to Watson “the barrister of Spycatcher days” would have opposed and “torn to pieces” current Coalition policy on the Border Force Act, the new ASIO laws, data retention laws, and the Australian Building and Construction Commission. He laments that Turnbull, as a “believer in science and an emissions trading scheme … is joined with the non-believers and the vested interests in denial” of apocalyptic climate change. He is a republican, a believer in same-sex marriage, and the “man who defended Gillian Triggs when Tony Abbott mugged her”. Overall, Turnbull is presently “obliged to deny his own beliefs and make the case for reactionary causes against which he has defined himself and devoted part of his life to overthrowing.”
Thoroughly worked up, Watson paints a vivid picture of Turnbull as a messianic leader of a newly reconstructed Labor Party:
Just think: Labor gets Neoliberal Man, a brilliant advocate, proven in modern business and technology, and the chap most likely to draw its way all those ‘knowledge workers’ the unions failed to charm … He has a party room [he can carry] on climate, on the republic, on education, indigenous recognition, same-sex marriage.
Indeed, “win an election and he could carry it on pretty well anything, and bright young things will be joining up to follow him into the future” — a “social democracy of Labor’s late 20th-century dream”.
A new social democratic party made up of the progressivists in the Liberal Party and the less-lunatic elements of the Greens and the ALP, with the conservatives left out in the cold forever – that seems to be Watson’s assessment of Turnbull’s desired endgame.
It is an assessment supported by Miranda Devine’s own analysis of Turnbull’s plans in “Side-tracked Right missing Mal’s plot”. Instead of ‘Lord Waffle of Wentworth’, Turnbull is “a far more Machiavellian character” than people can even imagine. With the assistance of Michael Kroger, Turnbull is constructing a new alliance with the Greens, absurdly perceived to be more pragmatic under the leadership of Richard Di Natale who, not coincidentally, is currently being promoted as a sensitive new age guy in a cover article in GQ magazine.
As Devine observes, “doing a deal with … Di Natale would be as natural as mother’s milk” for Turnbull, and “if you thought Gillard’s deal with Bob Brown was bad news, you ain’t seen nothing yet”. Ultimately,
if Turnbull sells out the Liberal Party to the Greens he will return as a prime minister who owes nothing to the party’s shattered conservatives, and will set about delivering same-sex marriage, a republic, a carbon trading scheme and the rest of the Left-liberal agenda, while setting himself up as Australia’s first president.
Is this the future of Australian politics? A domineering Liberal-Greens coalition that bulldozes through parliament all the trendy issues the progressivist left can think of, while the conservative mainstream is sidelined and maligned as reactionary troglodytes incapable of seeing the wisdom of a state-dominated, LGBTI-Green society where everyone knows their place and a dozen powerful government agencies exist to regulate their every thought and action?