Feb 4, 2009

Turnbull’s stimulus suicide

Refusing to back the Government’s stimulus package is a truly colossal error by the Opposition, writes Bernard Keane.

At about 10.30 this morning in the House of Representatives the Opposition walked into a baseball bat. It caught them flush across the head. BANG. Then they got up and invited the wielder to swing it again.

The wielder -- Kevin Rudd -- won't need to be asked twice.

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58 thoughts on “Turnbull’s stimulus suicide

  1. Jen L

    Turnbull & Co have upended a nation needing direction. The Vaucluse cruiser sounds like Billy McMahon every time he opens his mouth. Artificial and tricky rhetoric is the last thing this nation needs in such a crisis. Yes we’ve got a dysfunctional two-party system that needs fixing after this depression. Meantime can the two major parties call a truce to save a nation or is party credibility their consuming passion?

  2. Graemel

    So sad to see commentators such as yourself Mr Keane, so incapable of reason and common sense. Here we see the men with the credit card going hell for leather to rack up as much debt as their credit ratings will allow, with the simple and single purpose of buying the votes of you BK and all your maddie respondents here. No rhyme or reason for the extremes of the cash splash, the thousands of houses for soldiers, the insulation thingos and so on. The only sensible bit is the school upgrades – only designed to bail out his Labor premiers – but even that is way over the top.

    Hoping for some rational thinking from you Bernard – but when???

  3. Cathy

    Malcolm Turnbull’s reasons for blocking the stimulus package don’t add up. Not one of his objections to this cash splash alluded to ‘we may need to spend more”. In other words he was blocking it because it sounded ‘too much’. All the attempts to justify opposition to the stimulus package tumbled out as simplistic excuses from a smarting Liberal Party desperate to define itself – even at the expense of a nation.

  4. JamesK

    Kevin Rudd is insane.

    Forget about Parliamentary democracy. Rudd’s is a presidential rule and as close to a dictator as Australia has ever had. The Parliamentary Federal Labor Party is not without people of ability. I have absolutely no doubt that their voices are drowned out or simply ignored.

    Adam Schwab and Stephen Mayne point out the insanity of this “package”.

    So should Bernard Keane.

  5. Luke Buckmaster

    Well said Bernard. I am baffled by the Coalition’s idiocy on this matter; perhaps it’s part of a weird new tactic: lure voters by opposing free cash handouts! Seems a little, well, Brendan Nelson esque…

    And your comments re: Whitlam are spot on – they’d connect better if they likened K-Rudd to The Beagle Boys or Drop Dead Fred. At least then the majority of the populace would know who they were talking about.

  6. S. Slamming Sam

    “At least he is trying to do something” – so any excuse will do? How irresponsible.

    We’re talking about $42,000,000,000. An expensive “don’t worry, Uncle Kevin, is Doing Something” exercise.

  7. Venise Alstergren

    #3: despicable, an exercise in total self-interest and subversive. Jes-s I hope you, Malcolm Turnbull, will fall over your own grave.

  8. Bernard Keane

    As I said to a Coalition MP this afternoon, Rudd is out to destroy you as a legitimate political force. And if he succeeds with you, then he’ll turn and do the same to the Greens, and then to whoever else is left who disagrees with him.

    We’ve repeatedly underestimated Rudd. Not even John Howard aimed at destroying his Opposition. He wedged them, and ignored them, and assailed them, and tried to destroy their main source of funds in the union movement, but I’m not sure he ever countenanced wiping them out.

    The bloke is playing for keeps and Turnbull, whom we all thought would be a pro at this sort of thing, looks in deep trouble. The Opposition’s performance in Question Time was abysmal. The Government, even Swan, was virtually toying with them.

    Fans of parliamentary democracy ought to be worried.

  9. Jonathan at Crikey

    Must say Turnbull supporters may not have reassured by the man’s performance just now on 7.30 Report. Pwned I think is the expression. Add to that unconvincing, addled, and absurdly smug and I think you get the photo. It does not appear to have dawned on Malcolm that the other lot won the last election and they make the decisions now. That’s how it rolls.

  10. Tom McLoughlin

    Turnbull is dead right to demand a consultation process over such a huge drawn down on the national wealth.

    The Senate independents and Greens agree. No opposition no senate role.

    I watched Turnbull. It was a poor performance … by Kerry OBrien. He stopped asking questions and starting arguing. He interrupted the answers and spoke longer than the interview subject. That’s not very good work. And I like KO but he did poorly.

    The role of parliamentary scrutiny is being monstered at this critical time as Alan Ramsey suggested back in his piece in October 2008. KO and his 7.30 researchers ought go back and read it.

    Albanese is projecting his own failings referring to the ‘only reason for Opposition would be to play politics’. Coming from the ALP in Marrickivlle/Grayndler, that’s rich. Pure projection.

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