Flat White

In the name of God, go!

21 August 2018

11:17 AM

21 August 2018

11:17 AM

The message from the Liberal Party to Malcolm Turnbull should be the same as Leo Amery’s message to Neville Chamberlain as disaster confronted not only the country and the empire but also the civilized world: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go!”

Within three days Chamberlain had resigned.

The Prime Ministership of Malcolm Turnbull is finished. If all he can get against Peter Dutton is 48 votes to 35, he has lost, especially as Dutton has honourably gone to the back bench. This means that Turnbull is losing the confidence of the party room just as he has lost the confidence of the party base and of the country.

Turnbull’s election as leader was always wrong, both morally and politically, as I explain in a piece in the forthcoming print version of Spectator Australia. He has failed on every point, both on policy and in relation to maintaining support, inexplicably targeting the Liberal and National Party base, the self-funded retirees, the Catholics, the farmers, the small business people and so on.

On the most important issues facing the country, he has failed to provide leadership whether it be the drought, energy ( and not only electricity but also gas and nuclear), defence, the rate of immigration which is beyond the infrastructure capacity of the cities, the harvesting of water, the burgeoning debt as well as dramatically collapsing standards in education.

The energy crisis is central to Turnbull‘s failure. His obsession with the unproven and increasingly discredited extremist theories about man-made global warming justified, in his mind, legislating, as no country has, to make binding our ridiculous commitments under the appalling Paris agreement.

In a world where every other country is avoiding or evading making such commitments, or not making them, or like the United States walking out on Paris, the Prime Minister is determined to bring down this country to satisfy his obsession.

While I was waiting for the result of the party room, I was called by a distressed and careful pensioner whose electricity bill was $980 and whose feeble and frugal widowed mother’s was $1300, all essentially because of their having to subsidise the foreign corporations’ wind and solar farms.

Turnbull knows you can’t both reduce emissions and keep electricity prices low; he has often said so.

As for Peter Dutton, the House should never refer his section 44 issue to the Court of Disputed Returns, as it should not have referred the previous cases to that tribunal to develop its fantasy interpretations.

It’s about time that the House and the Senate themselves ruled on these questions, as they can under the Constitution. They are more likely to give an interpretation more consistent with the original intention of the founders and the people.

The point is that if the party and the Coalition want to win (where, oh where is there a Sir John McEwan to lay down the minimum expectations of the National Party?) there is an obvious candidate.

He’s the man who terrifies the LINOs, Labor and the commentariat for the simple fact that they know that if he is drafted as leader, he will win and win in a landslide.

That man is Tony Abbott. I explain why in the coming print version of Spectator Australia.

And incidentally, if Turnbull rushes off to Yarralumla to advise an early election, a proper exercise of the reserve powers would be for the Governor-General to refuse his advice and if he does not accept this, to require him to resign. An election now is outrageously premature and with the country in crisis with the drought, not in the national interest.

Moreover, there are others whom the Governor-General can call to form a government and he would clearly enjoy the confidence of the House.

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