Federal

Sep 15, 2017

Two years on, Turnbull’s way is a confused one

After two years in power, it's not clear what Malcolm Turnbull stands for. And that's not entirely his fault -- the world has dramatically changed since September 2015.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

"This will be a thoroughly Liberal Government. It will be a thoroughly Liberal Government committed to freedom, the individual and the market."

How long ago 14 September 2015 seems, and what a different world. Pre-Trump, pre-Brexit, pre-Hanson, at a time when the verities of the Age of Neoliberalism seemed eternal. Malcolm Turnbull's promise the night he became Prime Minister to lead a "thoroughly Liberal government" (the capitalisation was his own) was rapidly broken, and not at all because of some negligence or malice on Turnbull's part, but because the world in which his commitment was made was rapidly ending. "The hour is late," he said more than once that night, and he was right in ways that he couldn't possibly know.

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