The score after this morning’s Liberal party room meeting in Canberra: Malcolm Turnbull 1, Good Sense 0. How does ‘Bill Shorten, PM’ roll off the tongue? Borders opened to herds of prospective Labor voters. Electricity prices even more ruinous than now. Every fashionable theory about gender fluidity enshrined as law….
So there you have it: an impotent and empty suit of a leader who cannot muster the votes to see his own agenda passed. A leader who tried repeatedly to join the Labor Party, which had the wit to send him packing.
What next? The near certainty of electoral oblivion next year, preceded by months of instability and, if history is any guide, an inevitable further attempt to oust the man who lacks the decency to resign of his own accord.
This is your Liberal Party, conservatives, what’s left of it. Bereft of courage, abjuring principle, a’feared of a harsh word from the ABC and cravenly determined to stay the course that has charted 38 atrocious Newspolls in a row.
Almost three years ago, in September, 2015, I wrote these words at Quadrant Online to mark Turnbull’s ascent to The Lodge. They are more true now than then:
I can’t vote for him, must refuse to reward such treachery with a ballot-box endorsement. No doubt many others feel the same, and perhaps there are even some in Parliament who still believe that honesty is at the core of conservatism, that chicanery born of presumption and ambition is no winning quality.
If so, if members of such an endangered species still exist within the Liberals’ party room, here’s a suggestion: The door is over there. Leave, right now, and leave for good. We need a party that believes in something more substantial than the Turnbull chimera.
I want a new party and I want it now.
— roger franklin
Roger Underwood writes:
It is a tragedy, but a few of us saw it coming. Many years ago I wrote to Malcolm Turnbull, then head of an organisation called The Wentworth Group, who were promoting better management of the Murray River. I pointed out to him the problems for the river stemming from a lack of effective bushfire management in the forested catchments – intense wildfires leading to erosion and sedimentation, and to post-fire regrowth forests that sucked up all the water, leaving the streams at a trickle. I advocated investment in fuel reduction burning, which would prevent all these problems and others.
Turnbull wrote back rejecting my suggestion on the grounds that burning would destroy the ecosystems …. in other words, trotting out the green line.
Since becoming PM he has done absolutely NOTHING to promote/fund/invest in better bushfire management. I regard him as a failed leader for this alone.
All the other stuff, the global warming stuff and expensive electricity is just another symptom of the fact that Turnbull is our first Greens PM. Like the Greens everywhere, once they get into power, they are bloody hopeless. Look at Tasmania and Victoria.
Yes, Bill Shorten is now a certainty as next PM, and the mind boggles at what he might do. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that sometimes Labor people are more sensible in government than in opposition.
Tony Abbott’s post-vote statement:
“In today’s party room a number of colleagues denounced leaking, as they should. But even while the party room was continuing, reporters were being briefed that Warren Entsch ‘is getting stuck into Tony Abbott right now in the party room, met with some claps’,” Mr Abbott said.
“Unlike too many of my colleagues, my practice is to take responsibility for what I think and say.
“To put the Entsch intervention into context, I had just said to the partyroom that exhortations from the leadership group about loyalty and unity were all very well but ‘unity has to be created and loyalty has to be earned. They can’t just be demanded’.”
Three years ago and a few days after Malcolm Turnbull had seized power, I compared the Canberra scene with the court of Louis XVI. Echoing for a piece for Quadrant Online Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, I wrote:
“Thing move faster in the modern world, so we skipped the bit about lopping the heads of some 17,000 aristocrats (read conservatives), missed the opportunity to televise bath stabbings and spared the churches. The Illuminati prevailed peacefully. We went straight to our very own Napoleon.
The real tests for the new emperor will not be whether he heeds Edmund Burke’s warning that progress is not made by destroying the past. His dilemma will be that, because he will not be able to move as fast in the direction the chattering classes demand, the immediate euphoria surrounding his ascension will quickly dissipate.”
And so it came to pass. The only mistake I made was implying the new Prime Minister could be compared with Napoleon I, Bonaparte, whereas he turned out very similar to his son, Napoleon II, Francois Charles Joseph. Franz, as he was known, might have been emperor in title, but he never ruled France.
“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place … ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage …