Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Malcolm Turnbull

The election of Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the Liberal Party is a good outcome for the party and an excellent outcome for Australia. Turnbull deserves the support of the Party and all those determined the kick the Rudd Labor Government out of office.

Turnbull has much more business and life experience than Kevin Rudd and is a much more intelligent politician. Turnbull is a serious candidate to be Australia's next Prime Minister.


derrida derider said...

The man himself is OK, if a little vain. But he's gonna spend more time fighting the Howardist ultra-conservatives in his own party than fighting Rudd.

Plus there's quite a few potential wedges that Rudd can use to stir that split up. If he's ruthless enough to endanger the ETS he can certainly make a lot of mischief with it. And of course there's always the republic.

Wedges aren't the exclusive preserve of the Right, you know. ...

melaleuca said...

Sounds like a load of bull to me, Harry.

netvegetable said...

derrida derider

Very perceptive. Add to that list of wedge issues things like Turnbull's tolerant attitude to gay marriage, abortion, open mindedness about stem cell research and whole hearted support of ETS.

As someone who usually preferences Labor ahead of Liberal, I am delighted at this choice of Opposition Leader. With a bit of clever maneuvering by Rudd, the Liberal Party should tear itself apart within 18 months. If not, I won't be too disappointed, as I will probably end up with a PM who isn't that different from Rudd anyway.

How can I lose?

Sinclair Davidson said...

DD - I noticed the Republic got mentioned yesterday. It would certainly be a distraction from the main game. Whether he is ruthless enough to 'endanger' the ETS remains to be seen. I'm hopeful but not confident.

hc said...

I agree more or less with Derrida's comment. I think there will inevitably be squabbles - the Turnbull victory is a generational change in the Liberal Party.

By the way recall that Howard was kind to Turnbull - not a small thing given Turnbull's republican stance and his remarks about Howard. I think the divisions are not that great.

I don't agree with netvegetable. A stouch between the conservative and younger wing of the Liberal Party is better than a stouch between a do nothing Prime Minister and a bunch of trade union hacks.

I think support for ETS will be stronger under Turnbull. It is a crucial issue.

Anonymous said...

Turnbull is smart enough, but his tendency to rub people's faces in his smarts will be his undoing. That is why he failed as leader of the Australian Republican Movement. His Whitlam-like beliefs in his own greatness, while admirable in a way, might be off-putting in punterland.

Don't also underestimate the cultural chasm within the Liberal Party between Turnbull, who recently defended Bill Henson (to his great credit) and those in his party who would take us back to the 1950s.

And in any case Governments always get at least two terms. Only Scullin did not, and you could say the Depression was exceptional circumstances.

Turnbull is the right leader for the Liberal Party at the wrong time. He is 6 years too early. But at least you can say that unlike Nelson he is not hopelessly out of his depth.

netvegetable said...

hc u r right, the ETS is a crucial issue. But the new Opposition Leader flatly refuses to talk about anything but economics.

This is because he knows that the nearest he is going to get to any compromise on it from the antediluvians of the Party, is the old "not if it will cost the economy" cop-out. This is a handy device with which they can delay the implementation of an ETS for decades.

DD has touched the raw heart of the matter. The problem with the Liberal Party atm is not the Leader. It's that the movement itself is divided by too many wedge issues.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

Yes, I agree he looks and sounds like a credible leader; and that he is truer to the actual notion of Liberalism than his sham-Liberal predecessor John Howard (ignoring the pathetic placeholder-pretender Nelson).

This would be all very well but Turnbull comes somewhat politically encumbered by his role as advisor to Rodney Adler (later jailed), his association and eventual betrayal of Kerry Packer to the benefit of Conrad Black (later jailed), his association with Trevor Kennedy (who has some pending issues vis a vis the ATO) and his business relationship with Neville Wran, after the latter resigned as premier of NSW to take up an untendered exclusive cleaning contract with TNT courtesy of Peter Abeles.

I will be watching his political career with interest.

Spiros said...

Sir Henry,

what you've described is a pretty standard Sydney business career. If you rise to the top of the Sydney business world, inevitably you rub shoulders with people like Rodney Adler. If there's dirt on Turnbull, not just dirt by association, it will no doubt be on display before too long.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

Especially in the Eastern Suburbs - see Neil Chenoweth's Packer's Lunch - as the jacket notes state: "a rollicking tale of Swiss bank accounts and money-making adventures in the roaring 90s".

I take your point Spiros, but Kerry Packer, Trevor Kennedy, Sir Peter Abeles, Warren Anderson, the Adlers son and father, Rene Rivkin, Jodee Rich, Brad Keeling, Kevin Beck, Brent Potts, et al (or even Graham Richardson!) never put themselves up as prime minister of Australia.

If Malcolm Turnbull does become PM, he will be dogged by his past, like current and outgoing Israeli PM Olmert. I think the Liberal Party has made a mistake, although it did not have much of choice, bereft of talent as it is.