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Dec 15, 2016

Shifting political faultlines make life harder for Turnbull

Shifts in economics and role-reversals mean our major parties are in very different positions to where they were five years ago.


If we step back from day-to-day politics, it’s noteworthy that our major political parties are in markedly different positions than ones they’ve occupied in recent years.


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21 thoughts on “Shifting political faultlines make life harder for Turnbull 

  1. Richard

    Turnbull makes life hard for Turnbull.

  2. Desmond Carroll

    ” … the appalling union hack Kimberley Kitching” managed to wrest her workers’ collective from the heap of financial faeces into which the ghastly Kathy Jackson had plunged it. How frightful!

  3. klewso

    “Where they (Abbott-Hockey) tried to develop a positive agenda, such as on infrastructure, the results were frustrating and highly mixed”? ‘Successes’ including ……?

  4. klewso

    Turbott is reaping the homecoming Howard-Costello genetically modified chickens.

  5. AR

    I am reminded of the man who faced the sun and cast no shadow, he rose without trace but great report.

  6. old greybearded one

    This goes back to Howard, whom Menzies would have executed for his lack of vision. He changed the Liberals to a nasty small minded group of racist orientation, decrying many migrants while selling the opportunity to live here to any crook with money in his pocket. Turnbull is a walking ego, but he has some forward vision. What he has however is stymied by a most unpleasant collection of pseudo Christians, who are hard to describe in seemly terms.

    1. leon knight

      You have nailed it old grey fellow….

  7. bushby jane

    If Turnbull had the gumption, I reckon that he could do what he wanted and the rwnj mob would follow, as all they really want to do is stay in power. But perhaps he is doing what he wants and dills like you Bernard can’t see it.

    1. gerald butler

      I think of LBJ and his comment on being told he couldn’t do this or that. He said,” well what’s the presidency for”, and acted. Mind you he was a gifted politician (Vietnam excepted ) unlike the perplexing, supine Mal.

  8. klewso

    What a waste of ego?

  9. Phillip Lloyd

    This article is being too kind to Turnbull. His failings as PM reflect failings in his character. He is nothing more than a product of his upbringing, his exclusive education and his previous professions as barrister and investment banker. As weak and as vacillating as he so obviously is, he is uniquely unsuitable to fulfil the highest office in the land. Even more so given the very unique and serious and urgent challenges of climate change, Trump, China and the Australian economy post mining boom. So many of his comments on so many issues indicate the shallowness of the man.
    Blaming Turnbull’s failings upon the power of the conservative faction in his party room demonstrates the kind of lazy analysis so widely practiced in newspapers and other media outlets in this country.

    1. Duncan Gilbey

      You continue to be way too kind to Turnbull.
      What we’re seeing now is exactly what we saw when he was Opposition Leader in 2009: someone who is not up to the job.

      1. Duncan Gilbey

        My previous comment should be in reply to Bernard, not you Phillip Lloyd.

  10. Steve777

    The deep problem with the Liberal agenda is that it’s electoral poison outside the nation’s board rooms and executive suites, so they can’t talk about it at election time. Look what happened when they revealed their first instalment in the 2014 budget.

    So, while in opposition, they set out to get enough punters on board by working with media allies to create moral panic over boats, carbon pricing and some vague ‘waste and mismanagement’. Add to this the dogwhistle, union bashing and culture war stuff. Stop the boats, stop the batts, stop the carbon tax and the goid times roll in.

    And now in Government, they still act like an opposition because, while they have an agenda, which is basically to make life better for Big Money at the expense of everyone else, they have no hope of selling it.

  11. Aussiewatch

    We seem to be missing a leader with any kind of charisma-both Turnbull and Shorten are driven by vanity and the desire to be the Prime Minister. Certainly listening to Chris Bowen, there is some hope that there are those who are really looking at policy for the years ahead, but as politicians they still need to sell that policy and unfortunately the Labor Party don’t sell themselves enough. We have some really important decisions to be made i.e. climate change, foreign policy and the needs of our farmers and producers- it is time for real caring debate and action!!!

  12. gerald butler

    Don’t soft peddle on them, rip into them. Turnbull is a massive disappointment to most Australians and even the hard right, whom he is grovelling to, despise him. I almost hope for a mild ressession so he can be dispensed with quickly. Then the liberals can tear into each other and lose the next election and provide us with a government that functions for the majority of citizens.

  13. Joe Fitzpatrick

    Where was the evidence from the previous decade that Turnbull was ever capable of leading effectively?

  14. Ambrose Higgins

    “The goal — similar to his goal in smearing refugees as illiterate job thieves during the election campaign — is to convince Australians that we’re not the world’s most successful multicultural society…”

    Okay, it’s not the main thrust of the article, but please, can we can consign “Australia is [any kind of a ] multicultral society” to the bitey fish category of commentary. I mean by that: Whenever anyone refers to “football fields” (which kind of) as a unit of area or “enough energy to power X thousand homes” as a unit of energy, instead of TWhs, GWhs or MWhs, as the case may be, I consider that as the equivalent of referring to a great white shark as a big, bitey fish; i.e. a journalistic hanging offense.
    Multiculturalism in Australia has been twenty years in the grave. Its demise began about 1988. In that year, as I recall, the choice of which languages might receive a bonus in final year secondary education was confined to eight, determined by ye olde economic rationalism. Does anyone rememeber that term? If not, it would be because it has become so conceptually ubiaquitous now as to be invisible.
    Shortly after that, Bob Hawke back-tracked on a momentary, aberrant flush of magnanimity toward the victims and near-victims of the Tian An Men massacre. Then Paul Keating weighed in on “phoney refugees,” and, achieving Labor’s (sic) apotheosis, was Nick Bolkus, in I think Oct. of 1994, with his chunder about these people “imposing themselves” on Australia’s shores.
    Having lain in wait after his premature “One Nation” foray of 1988, John Howard sensed his renewed moment in 1996. With his evasive “for all of us” electoral slogan, he was able to tap into the revenant xenophobia of the electorate – this xenophobia has remained almost constant since then – also sensing the mercenary, lazy, apathetic character of the remnant multiculturalism of Labor (sic). A significant bonus for Howard at that time was the opportunityt to praise with faint damnation the psychotic rants of Pauline Hanson.
    Subsequently, of course, we had the half-intended drownings of the passengers aboard Siv X, together with thousands of others. Despite clear proof of Australian culpability in that, we have subsequently derived the perverse concusion that, rather than recognise the manifest fact of institutionalised xenophobia (more or less, here, = racism), instilled by the federal administration into the precepts of the ADF (most exquisitely expressed in the term “refugee patter”). we have accepted, unchallenged by any of the media, the idea of the validity of punishment of, or sending a message to, supposed criminals (people smugglers) by means of brutalising refugees. It’s a principle which plainly couldn’t stand up to any kind of legal examination, but it has become standard in Australia.
    In 2001, in Beijing, there was a three-way discussion among Fenians: one American, one actual, angry Irishman, just returned from Australia, and me. The middle of those was fuming: “If Australia votes John Howard back in, they should nuke Australia.” Three or four months later, I saw the then T… “tea shock”: Prime Minister, of Ireland, Haughy, essentially quoting John Howard in his own advancement of xenophobic policies.
    With our immigration points system and with our refugee concentration camps, we have provided a model for all those reactionaries of the West seeking a way to slither back from social progress and ethnic diversity. We also, twenty years before that, in the seventies, got involved, together with the Canadians, in a brave little project called multiculturalism. It has left us with some lessons and some interesting ideas, but in itself, it is long dead.

  15. Mike M

    It seems that the truly great PM that Turnbull wishes to emulate is Billy McMahon……though come to think of it, this probably too high a standard to set himself.

  16. shea mcduff

    “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” – Malcolm.


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