Feb 9, 2017

Turnbull channels vintage Keating, not that it will help

Malcolm Turnbull's spray at Bill Shorten will lift his own side, but parliamentary aggression isn't politically helpful in the long term.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

A man from humble -- but by no means poor -- background climbs to power and wealth by dint of hard work, careful cultivation of the super-rich, the assiduous development of a high profile before entering public and a good marriage into a successful family -- fuelled by raw ambition and a long-term determination to become prime minister.

Hello, Malcolm Turnbull. Or is that Bill Shorten? Wait. Sydney Grammar or Xavier College? Sydney University or Monash? Kerry Packer and Neville Wran or Richard Pratt? Lucy Hughes or Chloe Bryce? No matter! Parvenus! Arrivistes! Nouveau riche!

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37 thoughts on “Turnbull channels vintage Keating, not that it will help

  1. tonysee

    A great pic. The empty suite pretending to be aggro and, behind him, Barna-wannabe, egging him on enthusiastically. The one in front thinks: ‘I didn’t join up for this’. The one in the back thinks: ‘About bloody time!’.

    1. Bill Hilliger

      Barnyards face looked like a tortured and demented tomato.

  2. magnet

    If this sad performance of someone obviously under extreme pressure goes the same way everything else this PM has endeavoured to do since his triumphant move to the top job it will be swamped by his obvious mediocrity ,lack of judgement and inability to control his party rabble within days.
    Barnaby’s obvious glee like an over excited 3 year old in the front row of a Wiggles concert emphasised how desperate the search for any sign of leadership has become.

    1. Rae Waring

      I wonder if the Coalition members need to be reminded that neither the Libs or the Nats would be there at all if each party had to stand alone at an election?

  3. crakeka

    I’m sorry but to me there was nothing Keatingesque about a childish entitled rant. No truly strong and effective leader would find it necessary to put down his opposition with personal attacks in order to make himself feel/look powerful. A powerful leader would work to bring us together for the sake of the country. Hang on, isn’t that Mal promised when first elevated to the leadership?

    1. MJM

      I agree – it was not Keatingesque at all. It went on and on whereas Keating’s strength was in the one-liner. “All tip and no iceberg” about Costello is far superior to Turnbull’s spray of yesterday.

      1. Marilyn J Shepherd

        My favourite Keating was ” a shiver looking for a spine”.

      2. AR

        True+ – invective is best served thinly sliced, with relish.

  4. sean

    Compare this nuanced, balanced analysis to the parade of euphoric guff that is currently doing the rounds in the MSM. Keane pushes my buttons sometimes but he leaves most of the Aust commentariate for dead.

    1. AR

      There’s always Mungo at the Byron Bay Echo – he may no longer have the power of speech but… words, my boy, words!

  5. zut alors

    Not worthy of Keating but I admit the line about cracking another bottle of Cristal caused a belly laugh.

    Turnbull accused Shorten of wanting “his own harbourside mansion at Kirribilli” adding that Shorten would live “at taxpayers’ expense.” So how much is the additional security cost “at taxpayers’ expense” for the Turnbulls to stay at Point Piper rather than at the official residence where security is inbuilt & constantly maintained? A residence where staff are required & retained “at taxpayers’ expense” even when the premises is vacant.

    1. AR

      The nonsensical equating of Kirribilli House with chez Talcum completely misses the point that NO-ONE, until Hyacinth, chose, nay demanded, to live there – it was always for official functions and visiting Heads of State.
      Even Abbottrocious chose his monk’s cell – to be alone with his cilice admittedly – in the AFP barracks.

  6. Dog's Breakfast

    I fortunately missed the news last night, but the commentariat this morning is a little sick making. Fine, Malcolm, have a personal go, but you have achieved nothing and so far represent the party intent on doing nothing other than further privileging the existing privileged.

    Cuts to unemployment benefits for youth while spouting tax cuts for mega-wealthy corporations on the back of some cock-eyed ideology that says that somehow that will lead to stimulus! It’s frightening how vacuous the ideology of the right is, how utterly disconnected from reality it is, and how deeply their economic neoliberalism has cut a swathe through decent society.

    Go to hell, Malcolm. Go to hell mainstream press who thought this was a worthwhile speech, get real and call it out for what it was, gutter-sniping character assassination from a man who is guilty of every crime that he labels Shorten with. Hypocrisy is your party’s brand, Malcolm.

    Thank you Bernard.

  7. Ben.

    I do find it fascinating that the same press gallery that poo-pooed Gillard for her misogyny speech, until they realised everyone liked it, is breathless over this. Are they biased or just bored by this parliament?

    Also unsure of the game here – if he does have a big hit on Shorten personally that the electorate responds to, Labor will replace him with Plibersek or Albo, both already much more popular than Shorten, and both much harder to tar.
    Albo in particular seems much more suited to the times than he did when he lost out to Shorten.
    I feel that even if Turnbull gets a big win from this, he still loses.

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      Gillard’s speech was as hypocritical as Truffles though. She was whining only about Julia while trading and trafficking refugee women to Nauru and Manus without legal rights, cutting single parent benefits for mostly women and generally being a coward and racist.

      1. Joe Blow

        Give it a rest Marilyn.

        1. AR

          Amazing – she actually made a comment above which was NOT her usual boiler plate but, as usual, returned to type.

      2. Ben.

        I didn’t say it wasn’t hypocritical or done for any other reason than to get her out of a slipp-up, just that it mostly got shrugs or disdain from the press gallery on the day it was given, whereas the lot of them wrote one or even two pieces on Turnbull’s spray.

  8. lykurgus

    Keatingesque? I know it’s been a while (and memories differ), but this tantrum doesn’t fill a blister in those shoes (but it does evoke the phrase “wound up like a thousand-day clock” – but this time we got the “one more half-turn” and “springs and sprockets everywhere”).
    I wondered what would make Truffles crack it* – spending two million to lose twenty seats, getting yelled at by the POTUS, then THIS rotten week… the small pinprick of being called “Mr Harbourside Mansion” again was more than the egotistical blancmange could take.

    *(to anyone still wishing to call Trump “thick-skinned”… you now have your case)

    1. zut alors

      An academic question, which would he find more galling: Mr Harbourside Mansion or Mr Trumble?

      1. John Hall

        I think he was finally getting over the real call he had from Trump. Can’t really rant back at the Don can he? It was a certainly not the cutting vintage of Keating mores the pithy.

      2. lykurgus

        That was just a matinee in the long line of indignities he’s been forced to endure… and I just heard he’s been forced to smooch the arse of every backbencher. I don’t think they’re finished degrading him yet.

  9. Itsarort

    Turnbull’s temper tanty looked more like what psychologists might consider to be, projecting ones own feelings of inadequacy onto others. However, the Murdoch press obviously thought Turnbull’s lack of any real wit was a major positive (for something completely different), and splashed it all over their front pages.

  10. Barry Welch

    Accusing Labor of the politics of envy Turnbull and his born to rule mob practise the politics of contempt which they have for those who are not part of their social set.Baz

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