Features Australia

Turnbull’s litany of failures

25 August 2018

9:00 AM

25 August 2018

9:00 AM

Turnbull must go. With Abbott, and only Abbott, the Coalition will win in a landslide and save the nation from economic ruin.

As I warned on this page, straight after the backstabbing:

If Malcolm Turnbull is remembered for anything, it will be for his supreme act of treachery in bringing down a successful prime minister merely to achieve,  illegitimately, the office he has so long lusted after…

The fact is that (he) …has very little to offer. Almost everything he has touched in his political career has been a failure, from his costly and time-wasting republican folly, the water buybacks so beloved by merchant bankers, outlawing incandescent light globes, using Godwin Grech’s  testimony, his unilateral support for Labor’s ETS, keeping that expensive socialist folly the NBN and his inability or unwillingness to require the ABC to honour its Charter.

Knowing Turnbull would move the government to the left, I added, While committed Labor and Green voters may want him to lead the Liberals without ever voting Liberal themselves, he’s extremely unpopular with committed Liberals.’

To be immodest, this column has been wiser than most, supporting both Brexit and Trump before either won. Nor am I just another scribbler; I chaired the  engine room which was at the heart of the campaign that defeated Turnbull in the 1999 referendum landslide. We did it on the smell of an oily rag but with a military style campaign and an extraordinary team including Kerry Jones, David Elliott, three loyalist ministers of extraordinary ability and propriety, Tony Abbott, Nick Minchin and Alexander Downer, state and territory directors and well over 50,000 foot soldiers.

Soon after the political rentrée, Turnbull’s media defenders insisted that he had emerged victorious from a Coalition meeting which had endorsed, sight-unseen, the National Energy Guarantee legislation. Abbott, they said, was isolated, his influence waning.

But while everyone else is evading, avoiding, abandoning or just not making commitments under the useless Paris Agreement, Turnbull wants to legislate to lock us into his disastrous obsession to reduce emissions and ruin Australia.

Abbott responded by exposing the inherent contradiction in the NEG. This is that it is impossible, as Turnbull himself has long admitted, to reduce CO2 emissions and at the same time enjoy the  low-cost electricity we had before the incompetent global-warmist politicians  wrecked our energy market. So if these same politicians now claim they can do both, let them guarantee this personally against their assets, pay and superannuation.

Releasing a sensible seven point plan, Abbott demonstrated not only his attachment to principle and his courage, but also that he speaks in clear and unambiguous language to Australians. This was evidenced by strong support for him from callers on commercial talk-back radio, the medium of preference for the Coalition base and traditional Labor voters.

Turnbull and the now diminishing LINOs (Liberals In Name Only) would prefer a Shorten victory to an Abbott return. There is obviously a Turnbull-Shorten deal to legislate to entrench Paris, now temporarily suspended. That’s why Turnbull showed Shorten the draft legislation he’d kept from the party room. This explains the ‘concession’ that in any legislation, the emissions target could, after a couple of face-saving reports, be changed by a mere ministerial stroke-of-the-pen to anything, even a nation-destroying 100 per cent.

Perhaps this also explains the covert negotiations for a UN Global Migration Compact which will be so useful in justifying future inaction against illegal immigrants. It could even explain the targeting by the Turnbull government of the much-despised Liberal base — self-funded retirees, Catholics, farmers, etc.

Both LINOs and Labor are absolutely terrified of an Abbott return, knowing that with his obviously popular agenda, he’d win the election in a landslide.

Now that even the LINOs know Turnbull is finished, the message from those who think it better to lose the next election is: ABA, Anyone But Abbott. So when Peter Dutton stated the fundamental principle that if he strongly opposed the NEG legislation he would have to resign from the cabinet, the commentariat misrepresented this as a pitch for the leadership. Perhaps this was because they had condoned, participated in, assisted and rejoiced at the treachery of Turnbull and his clique plotting— while still ministers— to stab their leader in the back.

Just because they no longer believe in honouring this fundamental Westminster principle, they shouldn’t think everybody else does. This was all Dutton, an honourable man, was doing.

Meanwhile, the emergence of the Turnbull-Shorten deal demonstrates that voters aren’t stupid. They’ve long seen little difference between them. They certainly didn’t share the media’s euphoria when Turnbull stabbed Abbott in the back, demonstrating their utter disdain only a few weeks later at the North Sydney by-election and in every vote since then. They haven’t forgotten that the commentariat had been working hard for years to destroy Abbott. They haven’t forgotten how they portrayed the entirely proper, costless and innocuous award of a knighthood to Prince Philip, something which had happened without media outrage in a range of other countries, monarchies and republics.

The commentariat converted this minor event into the nation’s biggest scandal since the virtual impeachment of  treasurer ‘Red Ted’ Theodore, one so compelling that some conservative commentators were even persuaded to jump onto their bandwagon.

So if they want to save Australia —or just their seats— what should Coalition politicians do? The best advice comes from their colleague, the young former SAS officer, Andrew Hastie. This is to look to the fundamental Burkean principle, that they were elected for their judgement and must vote according to their  conscience, and not what the party bosses tell them. Hastie is a living reminder of the plague of treachery that has infested the Liberal party. They had hoped he’d lose the 2015 byelection to use this as a justification for their long-planned coup. But when polls indicated Hastie might win, Turnbull brought the coup forward into the very week of the by-election.

Despite this Hastie won. The point is no politician who cares about Australia could possibly support the NEG. Anyone who does will be forever remembered as one of those who betrayed Australia.

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