Jul 11, 2017

Going home: risky national security push comes from Turnbull’s weakness

The prime minister has allowed his weakness within his own party to influence his approach to national security, and there are big risks arising from that.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The government has manoeuvred itself into a problematic position on national security, propelled by ego and the weakness of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's position.

From London, the prime minister has again left the door open to a major shake-up of institutional arrangements for Australia's security agencies, referring positively to the British "integrated Home Office ... in which they have all of their domestic security agencies -- MI5, police and border protection, immigration -- is all part of that."

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8 thoughts on “Going home: risky national security push comes from Turnbull’s weakness

  1. Desmond Graham

    learning? OR Copying ?

    “We’re very always interested in learning about the British experience,” Turnbull said.

  2. klewso

    But aside from being “the people who oversaw the billion-dollar offshore processing tender debacles, the deaths, rapes and assaults of detainees, the detention of Australian citizens, the failure to properly monitor visa compliance, lack of proper checks on citizenship applications, farces like Operation Fortitude, the inability to protect their IT systems and inability to sort out their own accommodation” what have they done wrong?

  3. Tony Syad

    I am looking forward to a mega security agency led by Dutton – with ministerial powers not subject to judicial review. He will be able to cancel citizenship of any undesirables and if no country will take them can put them on Norfolk Island or perhaps Tasmania.

  4. MJM

    “Nonetheless, Peter Dutton, the most prominent right-winger in the government, wants to expand his power …”

    What a terrifying thought. We have a super department created because that’s what Dutton wants and the PM has to keep him onside.

  5. Marilyn J Shepherd

    I don’t even know what national security in our context even means, we are not under attack or siege from anyone or anything and we can’t even manage to stop the slaughter of women by partners.

    1. Charlie Chaplin

      Besieged by a bunch of Andie Foxes, perhaps?

  6. AR

    I always worry when I hear of a ‘rising star’ in party politics – it should not be forgotten that Dunnuttin was so labelled when he spat the dummy over a boundary redistribution back in the Rodent’s reign and was only persuaded to stay on by promises of a bright future, so bright we’d have to wear shades.
    As for putting all the power (which tends to corrupt) into one basket, so as to be absolute, that would work so well that no government would ever dare to gainsay it.
    Does no-one recall that Hoover’s FBI had dirt on every pollie & president, even the ultra clean war hero Ike?
    So, no problems foreseeable there then.

  7. Draco Houston

    “And because Turnbull is in such a weak position, what Dutton wants, Dutton may well get. It’s national security policy by ego and political weakness.”

    But Bernard! You told us all in your column that Turnbull is our only hope!

    Could it be that Turnbull, the Elizebethan, is actually an idiot sycophant on the same level as Tones?

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