Jun 19, 2017

Turnbull desperate to govern from the centre, but foes won’t let him

Better than his overseas counterparts, Malcolm Turnbull has read the mood of electoral disillusionment, but his opponents are succeeding in preventing him from showing it.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Keane on Turnbull

Whatever might be said about Malcolm Turnbull and his government, he has proved better at responding to the alienation and anger of voters than his counterparts in the UK and the US.

The May government, and most of the UK commentariat, were shocked by the strong level of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Old Labour in this month’s election. May’s handling of the Grenfell disaster — which may be the product of years of deregulation — has been so abysmal Corbyn now looks like the prime minister in waiting, and a damn sight more leader-like than May herself.

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19 thoughts on “Turnbull desperate to govern from the centre, but foes won’t let him

  1. Dianne Longson

    Really Mr Keane, although I have almost always enjoyed your articles, I have always recognised that sometimes you say some “interesting things” as you write but this one takes the cake. “Labor is still portraying Turnbull, …as a rogue neoliberal hellbent on slashing schools funding, destroying Medicare and taxing low-income earners while handing out tax cuts to the top end of town. ” You are making the same mistake as the LNP – everything is Labor’s fault. But you cannot blame Labor for the situation in which Turnbull and the Libs find themselves. The Libs are doing it to themselves and all of the above have been true during this government; the last continuing to be true. While Turnbull & party (?) may have done a U-turn on school funding, The issue of medicare is still out for judging and the last is an absolute, not to mention disgusting wall. I note you haven’t mentioned climate change. Turnbull has been a major disappointment. He made a deal with the devil to be the PM and now he is paying for it with his soul.

  2. Barbara Haan

    Pauline and her crew might be experiencing a brief upsurge in popularity, but surely even Queenslanders are able to see through her nonsense. My prediction is, she’ll burn baby, burn. As for Malcolm, either he develops a backbone fast, or he to is doomed baby, doomed.

    1. Dog's Breakfast

      Go Barbara, lighting up a disco inferno there! 🙂

  3. Sharon

    The corporate tax cuts show a very poor understanding of what the average voter feels. Even if he believed this was needed he should have realised he couldn’t sell it to the public.

  4. Marilyn J Shepherd

    Come off it Bernard, he’s too lazy to bother. He is not interested in doing any much and just let’s the clowns do as they will, even backs up the three morons verballing judges.

    1. CML

      I agree with your final comment…funny how the media have made it all about freedom of speech, and very few people have mentioned what it is actually about… the separation of powers laid down in the Constitution.
      Turnbull’s comments were grossly out of order…but as a barrister, he must know that. Good on Mark Dreyfus for pursuing Malcontent on this issue!

  5. bushby jane

    This gonski thing is hard to make a judgement on, as the supposed facts are so difficult to find. If a coherent set of facts was presented it would help; how much are they going to reduce private school funding, is it a substantial sum or not, are they changing Howard’s terrible funding methods, are they really funding public schools by an appropriate amount, and so on. At the moment I am inclined to think this legislation is a dud as I haven’t read anything to tell me differently.
    LNP always try to undermine Medicare, and the taxing issue is factual, can’t argue with that.
    So I don’t get your comment on ‘creative accounting and factual cherry-picking’.
    As for energy policy, the emergency of gas prices seems to have gone by the wayside as it is all the labor states’ fault anyway. Meanwhile more manufacturing business goes to the wall.

    1. Susan Anderson

      Jane Caro has written about the 3 Gonskis in todays Guardian and it explains why Labor wont back it

      1. bushby jane

        Yes, I have since read it, and it confirms my thoughts. There are also two pieces in The Conversation which are helpful with the ‘facts’.

  6. CML

    Bernard…while I am a long term opponent of funding for private schools (of all kinds), research released over the weekend stated that the Catholic Education system would be worse off to the tune of $4+ billion over the next decade. If the current funding of most schools continues, you can’t blame the Catholic system for wanting a fair share, although I agree their schools should be funded individually. NOT by block grants to the Catholic hierarchy, many of whom have already proven how irresponsible they are in other matters.
    And the so-called rich schools that will have their funding cut is around 20+…out of a total of 9,000 schools nation-wide.
    As usual, the Coalition approach is a JOKE…which you should already know about!!

    1. Wayne Cusick

      Given their backing of private schools, shouldn’t the government have a say in their operation and curriculum?

  7. Dog's Breakfast

    “It’s a mistake to call it a shift to the left; there are plenty of conservative voters who are shifting further right as part of it. But it’s a shift away from market-based policies, curbs on government spending, open borders and the mantra that whatever is good for business is good for a country.

    Fair enough BK, I have to agree. I’d only add that people are finally waking up to the fact that whatever is good for business is likely to further entrench their misery.

    In fact, the trickly down theory should be trickle -up, that money directed to the needy and low income/low wealth group actually does get spent, in the very businesses that are looking for business, thereby being good for business.

  8. Susan Anderson

    Turnbull can’t SAVE us from Hanson because he doesn’t believe in anything except money and his own vain aggrandisement. His vanity is so pathetic that he trundles around the world as the leader of this pariah state with a huge idiotic grin on his face, and pretends that he doesn’t notice when real leaders openly shun him. Its disgustingly obvious and only the losers of the Australian media seem oblivious to it.
    And while Hanson is an opportunistic racist some if the things she says about saving jobs make sense to the average person. Ive got an economics degree but I don’t need it to see that the Liberal party selling public monopolies to their mates makes up 90% of the free market economics these corrupt creatures practice

  9. gerald butler

    The attempt to rehabilitate money bags Turnbull continues. He sold whatever soul he had to those denialist bastards on the Liberal(?) right. Leave him there to swing in the breeze. Bernard Keane reconsider your position.

  10. klewso

    I reckon the only thing keeping him in/on the game is Casper Shorten.

    1. klewso

      (….. He’s sold just about everything of himself.)

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