Nov 7, 2017

Turnbull’s faux-audit not the temporary fix he desperately needs

The Prime Minister's judgment deserted him on the citizenship issue -- a problem not helped by his tendency to paint himself into corners with his own rhetoric.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

For a man who is, by far, Australia's best political orator in generations, the Prime Minister has been getting into a lot of trouble over his words lately. There was his "and the court will so hold" pronouncement in parliament on Barnaby Joyce's citizenship, which seemed to dare the High Court to say he was wrong, something the justices were happy to do. There was his forthright rejection of the proposal for an Indigenous voice in the constitution as "undesirable", a specifically and very poorly chosen word that threw into sharp relief the fact that white Australia had asked Indigenous communities what they wanted through recognition, then told them to go jump when they got back an answer that some didn't like. Then there he was on Friday, furiously (and correctly) defending Josh Frydenberg, attacking the idea of a citizenship audit and equating it to a "witchhunt".

Not the sort of language it's easy to row back from, shall we say.

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48 thoughts on “Turnbull’s faux-audit not the temporary fix he desperately needs

  1. jenauthor

    I’m sorry Bernard but your opening line is utter rubbish.

    If Malcolm EVER decisively begins a sentence I will eat my hat. I’ve watched him flounder for words, starting sentences 3 or 4 or even more times before he eventually spits out what he is going to say.

    Also, any school kid can quote Socrates or Marcus Aurelius, but that doesn’t mean he/she can actually explain their ideas.

    I deal with ‘intelligent people’ a lot and I am sorry, nothing I have seen from this man denotes superior intelligence. His reputation hangs on a couple of ballsy instances of strength but I would suggest he is street-smart rather than brilliant.

    1. MJM

      I fully agree. I don’t think he is a great orator at all and he has no shown zero ability since he became PM. Some of his earlier statements might have been better but, even then, orator?

    2. Wallywonga

      “by far, Australia’s best political orator in generations..”Are you seeking a job Bernard? The only other person in Australia who would believe that is MT himself, so that bit of ego fluffing on your part will certainly do it.
      Poor leader, orator and communicator (despite him telling us regularly otherwise, but that usually means someone is trying very hard to convince themselves?). I would place him in the same ability class as Billy McMahon, except that even he had all those rumours which gave him a bit of colour. Turnbull doesn’t score on any level.

    3. Woopwoop

      “Best political orator?” Where’s his misogyny speech, his Redfern speech, even his “Well may we say God save the Queen….”

    4. AR

      Agree except that he has demonstrated no street smarts whatsoever.
      I am constantly amazed that this man is a barrister yet cannot utter a coherent sentence ad lib.
      And he is too arrogant & convinced of his eloquence – people keep extolling it – to learn a script.
      Even the Drumpfster, who sounds human when speaking off the lip, reads scripts like an undertaker on a 6V battery.
      Talcum can’t even manage that.

    5. blenda

      Turnbull is the fluff on the underbelly of a beast.

    6. lykurgus

      He was referring to a previous Malcolm Turnbull – the Malcolm Turnbull who got the Spycatcher bloke off, and risked (and lost) his job selling an ETS to us.
      Not this one.

  2. frey

    While I can appreciate that many would like this whole mess over and done with, why should the taxpayer foot the bill (because who else would pay for such an audit) for the failure of candidates to properly fill out a form (or, because certain parties couldn’t be bothered to do the check properly?
    Maybe the cost of the audit should be taken out of any payments made to (or be required to be sought from) those candidates and parties that failed to do their due diligence?

  3. electme

    Surely not even this Liberal party would be so careless of Fate and (recent) history that they would even contemplate a change of leader? That would be merely a signal to the baseball-bat importers to stock up big for the next federal poll, surely?

    1. CML

      It doesn’t really matter if they change the leader or not…the “baseball-bat importers” have already stocked up big…and with good reason!!!!

  4. Mike Smith

    Not an audit, but only not an audit because it was suggested by the Greens (I think) and he’d die before accepting an idea from us.

  5. Persistently Baffled

    Oh yes, I knew MT was the best orator since Billy Hughes dropped a brick on his foot when he told me he is a strong leader. Very convincing. Sign me up.

  6. Nudiefish

    The idea that trying to enforce s44(i) on parliament is somehow a “witch-hunt” is nonsense in the light of the hectoring that Centrelink recipients get where they are considered guilty of financial abuse of the system without any review. If these overpaid political clowns can’t follow a few simple rules then they shouldn’t be in the pig pen lording over the rest of us.

    1. 124C4U

      Talkbull says that having “witch hunts” is not the Australian way!!!!!
      I hope he will be explaining that in some detail to his fellow LNP pollies. With Micky Cash being the first recipient.
      Her anti union witch hunts are classics in the genre.

  7. [email protected]

    Turdbull is a good orator of the annoying salesman type. Proper good orators are articulate and not full of shit waffle. The msm has a lot answer for in their blind support if his style over substance. Especially the fairfax faux lefty tossers.

  8. klewso

    “Screw the form guide” says Tosser?
    This rig has spent months – and millions through the ABCC and Roc -telling, and trying to prove to us that “You can’t trust Shorten and Labor” : but now, suddenly we can trust them?
    And, what’s more, we can trust his own bevy of Muppet illiterates (with their score in this illiteracy test – for clowns to oversee the flushing of millions of our $tax?) to self-regulate?
    At least Labor hasn’t been caught out in this shambles yet.

    1. klewso

      “ROC” and roll on.

  9. 124C4U

    I was watching our Mal Talkbull when that reporter in Israel asked him if “he was sorry about becoming a Pollie”.
    Talkbull replied that ” he had never had so much fun in his life”. Watching his face and body language, I think he was sincere in that reply. This worries me somewhat. Does this mean that he has given up in trying to run Australia? Is he just prepared to go along for the ride, enjoy the perks of office and strut on the international stage soaking up the accolades ’till it’s all over? While leaving the rabid dogs in “his” own party to brawl among themselves. After all he is a multi millionaire and doesn’t need the job and crap which goes with it. That crap which I don’t think he had expected, he seemed to expect that it would be plain sailing, with everyone bowing to his superior intellect and judgement.
    I’m sure he was enjoying himself in Israel with his “friends”. The very best friends anyone can have, are those trying to sell a couple of billion dollars worth of the latest people killing machines, to you.

    BTW. I think something similar happened with Bob Hawke. When he found that no group of people or organizations were prepared to make any concession to any other for the greater good of Australia.

  10. Paul

    The Aus media clearly believe Turnbull is an orator, the problem is that they do not listen to his interviews. Even you have described some of them as unintelligible. It has got to a point that even Penny Wong and Bill Shorten have a more exciting delivery style and on top of that they actually make sense, something that has eluded Turnbull, Abbott and their senior Ministers since their election win.

    So, as we have discovered that Turnbull has no core beliefs, other than his entitlement and belief he is the only intelligent person in the room, we have also discovered that he is intellectually lazy and a pathetic excuse for a orator.

    I concede he is better when someone writes down what he has to say, you know like a grade 3 student giving a presentation to their class.

    Time for our media to catch up to the real Turnbull.

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