Apr 13, 2018

Not all of Turnbull’s problems of his own making

While Malcolm Turnbull has his flaws, many of the government's problems come from within -- and not just from disaffected former leaders.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

So Malcolm Turnbull had another bad week. Not particularly bad by his standards. Just normal bad. Where things go wrong, and the apparently determined efforts of people within the government to make sure that they literally could not go any wronger -- even though maximum wrongness had been achieved -- didn't quite come to fruition.

The 30th Newspoll arrived, with a flurry of thinkpieces about why Turnbull was so terrible and the usual limelight deprivation antics of the Three As (one saving grace -- we never have to be exposed to the image of Eric Abetz in lycra, and for that a grateful nation thanks him). But then things went awry.

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11 thoughts on “Not all of Turnbull’s problems of his own making

  1. Marcus Hicks

    Nope. This is all his own fault. He sold himself a certain way, back in September 2015, then went on to backtrack on every single thing. He is a spineless little wimp who is like the dog that catches a car…..he doesn’t know what to do with it now that he has caught it. The sooner we rid ourselves of this bunch of incompetent boobs, the sooner we can get back to getting this nation back into the 21st century.

  2. RL

    Bernard, ruok?
    This weirdness today following yesterday’s piece makes me think you might need a bit of R&R or at least a lie down with a cool cloth on your forehead.

  3. Rais

    Apparently Abbott spent his entire prime ministership powerless to influence policy, standing by helplessly as his government did all manner of things he now finds objectionable. Do you find that hard to believe Bernard? Would a former PM lie to us?

  4. leon knight

    BK, your opening phrase is one of your most sublime understatements thus far in your fruitless attempts to find the non-existent good in Malcolm’s leadership. And please give up trying to compare him favourably with Gillard.

    1. Marcus Hicks

      Gillard was able to frequently *overcome* far greater obstacles than either Abbott or Turnbull have ever faced, & she did so with great dignity. Abbott & Turnbull created over 50% of all of their own obstacles, then routinely whined & stamped their feet over not getting 100% of their own way.

  5. brian crooks

    the paper shredders will be working overtime in P.M turnips office from now till the end of the year as he plans his early retirement, for family reasons or some such will be the story and dutton gets fitted for the P.MS chair and bonkerby and abbott get ready for their return to cabinet, s minister for health, and bonkers as deppitty dawg once again.ah the glory days are back.

  6. Arky

    Unlucky? Turnbull is lucky that in the 2016 election campaign the Press Gallery seemed to have taken an oath to avoid pressing him on anything difficult. Nobody pressed him on his infamous promise concerning commitment to tackling climate change. Nobody pressed him on what his IR policies would be, or what this “plan for jobs & growth” actually was beyond the company tax cuts, or how his scare campaign on negative gearing changes fit with his promise to respect the electorate’s intelligence (but boy did we hear about Mediscare). But we did hear a lot about how Turnbull deserved a shot to govern with his own mandate; how Turnbull would be more progressive with an election win under his belt; how only Turnbull could win a majority because Labor wasn’t going to even get close (whoops!).

    UNLUCKY? This guy has had a massive rails run. To compare him to Gillard who faced the most implacably hostile press I’ve ever seen in this country is just something else. Come on Bernard.

  7. AR

    It’s hard to decide which parts of this are worst – the simple inaccuracies or the blatant misrepresentations.
    Also the dreadful writing – “The obvious comparison is Julia Gillard, obviously because of the circumstances …“of how they came to the leadership, a narrow election win and the predecessor hanging around like a particularly pungent odour.”
    That comparison could not be less wrong in every pertinent particular.
    eg “Gillard, too — she was constantly being given “crucial tests” and implacable deadlines to turn things around, and as each test and each deadline disappeared >/I>” – no BK, they didn’t ‘disappear’, she dealt with each and every one, successfully then forged on.
    Name a single achievement of Talcum, standing on principle.
    tic, tok, tik … crickets

  8. kyle Hargraves

    Frankly, Bernie, I’m unsure as to your needing a holiday or just some new friends. I think I will take it upon myself and utilise sections (or the entire piece) as a near pristine example of eclectic writing. Then there is : “Each unhappy government is unhappy in its own way” Actually, Bernie, I wonder, contrary to Tolstoy, if they are unhappy in the same way and each, given their perspectives on domestic and world order, are happy in their own way.

    Your former assessments of Turnbull and other political players are superior to what you have jottered here. As to the standard of the first paragraph – it is hardly an exemplar from an (apparently) educated person.

  9. Barry Reynolds

    Bernard, are you fishing for a job with news corpse?

  10. rebel just for kicks


    The poor souls that believed in Turnbull feel he broke faith with them when it emerged that he was going to keep all of Abbott’s policies to placate the Nationals and right wing of the Liberals.

    I never believed in him, but I thought he might raise the tone of the debate a bit. Sadly he couldn’t even do that.

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