TV per­for­mance demon­strated Turnbull’s delu­sion

The Weekend Australian - - COMMENTARY -


It was un­mit­i­gated, delu­sional chutz­pah for Mal­colm Turnbull — the prin­ci­pal un­der­miner of Tony Ab­bott’s prime min­is­ter­ship who turned a large ma­jor­ity to a sin­gle seat at the 2016 elec­tion — to ac­cuse his for­mer cab­i­net mem­bers on Q&A of “blow­ing up the gov­ern­ment” and be­ing guilty of an “act of mad­ness”.

Turnbull’s only claim to pos­si­bly win­ning the next elec­tion was his sup­port for same-sex mar­riage. His res­ig­na­tion from par­lia­ment, de­par­ture to New York and vir­tual si­lence in sup­port for David Sharma while his son pro­moted Sharma’s de­feat from afar, was an act of bas­tardry. He would do him­self and the coun­try jus­tice if he dis­ap­peared qui­etly into the sun­set. Mort Schwartzbord, Caulfield, Vic Mal­colm Turnbull says he is obliv­i­ous to the rea­sons the Coali­tion sacked him. The an­swer is in the num­bers. Aus­tralians prin­ci­pally rate the suc­cess of their lead­ers on the im­prove­ment in their party’s stand­ing.

In that re­spect, Turnbull was a fail­ure. The loss in 2016 of all but one of the 14 seats Ab­bott gained in 2013 un­der­scores his lack of ef­fec­tive­ness.

Fur­ther­more, the Coali­tion’s pos- ition did not im­prove as clearly in­di­cated by Newspolls for all of his term as PM. Turnbull left the Coali­tion gov­ern­ment in a worse po­si­tion than when he seized it. David Tay­lor, Newport, NSW It’s ironic that in a pro­gram sup­pos­edly de­voted to free de­bate we had scripted ques­tions but not a sin­gle one that went to ac­tions on Mal­colm Turnbull’s part that might have led to his down­fall. Ac­tions such as his knif­ing of Tony Ab­bott or his aban­don­ment of his en­ergy guar­an­tee, no men­tion of 38 neg­a­tive Newspolls or of the dis­as­trous re­sult of the 2016 elec­tion. And he has done noth­ing since to help the gov­ern­ment. Peter O’Brien, Kiama, NSW The more we hear of Mal­colm Turnbull, the bet­ter the de­ci­sion to re­move him looks. The more he tries to jus­tify him­self, the more de­cent and manly Tony Ab­bott looks. The more he crit­i­cises those he blames for his demise the more he in­vites com­par­i­son with the plot to de­pose Ab­bott.

Turnbull is delu­sional if he thinks the Libs un­der him could have won the next elec­tion. He has shown that he is an in­ept cam­paigner. He squan­dered a com­fort­able lead en­gi­neered by Ab­bott and was saved only by the cam­paign­ing of Barn­aby Joyce. That one-seat ma­jor­ity was thanks to the Na­tion­als. Frank Puls­ford, As­p­ley, Qld As a self-made man, I greatly ad­mire Mal­colm Turnbull, whose drive and acu­men led to busi­ness suc­cess. But hav­ing watched a glib Turnbull on ABC’s Q&A, I have to ques­tion why such men feel the need to dab­ble in pol­i­tics, and in par­tic­u­lar when it leads to the par­lous state of pol­i­tics with which we are now faced.

I ac­cept it is naive of me to ask this, but I won­der if in fu­ture when wealthy men come knock­ing on the doors of the main par­ties in or­der to ful­fil their po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions, th­ese par­ties re­ject such over­tures. Take their money of course, if it is of­fered. Th­ese peo­ple seem to have far too much of it any­way. But don’t take the in­di­vid­ual. Crispin Wal­ters, Chapel Hill, Qld The Q&A spe­cial was the most ob­vi­ous piece of bias the ABC has ever come up with. Mal­colm Turnbull was spoon-fed Dorothy Dix ques­tions from the hand-picked au­di­ence, never in­ter­rupted by Tony Jones, never asked any dif­fi­cult ques­tions.

You could tell by the ex­pres­sions on the faces of the au­di­ence as the cam­era panned over them they were all Turnbull groupies. Bob Vin­ni­combe, Sefton, NSW I have some sym­pa­thy for Mal­colm Turnbull and the man­ner of his oust­ing. I re­ally do. But to hear him pro­claim same-sex mar­riage as a legacy of his gov­ern­ment was ris­i­ble. H. Jensen, Padding­ton, Qld It beg­gars be­lief that Mal­colm Turnbull doesn’t know why he was dumped. I also find it ex­tra­or­di­nary that no one ques­tioned why Turnbull — if he was such a pop­u­lar PM — man­aged to re­duce a ma­jor­ity of 14 seats to one in the 2016 elec­tion.

Fur­ther­more, Turnbull claims he sup­ported Lib­eral Dave Sharma in Went­worth in pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions. Quite how that would en­cour­age vot­ers to sup­port the Lib­er­als is a mys­tery. As al­ways, the Q&A pro­gram was all about Mal­colm, ably as­sisted by the fawn­ing Tony Jones. J. Har­g­reaves, Kew, Vic


Mal­colm Turnbull says he is mys­ti­fied why the lead­er­ship coup oc­curred be­cause, to his think­ing at least, the gov­ern­ment was per­form­ing well un­der his lead­er­ship and head­ing to­wards vic­tory in 2019. A dose of re­al­ity, and a bit of in­tro­spec­tion should pro­vide the an­swer. John McLeod, Sun­shine Coast, Qld

Mal­colm Turnbull knows no one is in­dis­pens­able. He be­gan his reign in an out-of-touch fash­ion, and ended it in the same way. Scott Mor­ri­son isn’t prov­ing to be much chop, but at least he saved us from Peter Dut­ton. David Hall, Coom­babah, Qld

Mal­colm Turnbull de­serves an Os­car. What a plau­si­ble and com­pelling per­for­mance he gave, played to an ador­ing Q&A au­di­ence. J. G. Kell­away, Uran­gan, Qld

Watch­ing Mal­colm Turnbull on Q&A, I was re­minded of the satir­i­cal cou­plet of Alexan­der Pope: “Like Cato, give his lit­tle se­nate laws, and sits at­ten­tive to his own ap­plause.” This could only hap­pen on our ABC. P. C. Wil­son, Mi­ami, Qld

Mal­colm Turnbull epit­o­mises the say­ing that there are none so blind as those who will not see. In his three years as PM, he did more dam­age to the Coali­tion than any leader be­fore him. Thou­sands of the Lib­eral base de­serted the party caus­ing struc­tural dam­age that will be dif­fi­cult to re­pair. Les­ley Beck­house, Quean­beyan, NSW

Mal­colm Turnbull on Q&A: per­fid­i­ous still; now delu­sional. Ge­of­frey Luck, Kil­lara, NSW

As a Vic­to­rian voter how can I be ex­pected to cast an in­formed vote un­til I know what is in the Chi­nese agree­ments the Premier has signed? Antony Blake­ley, Winchelsea, Vic

Al­though we might won­der just what the in­cen­tive is for Daniel An­drews in cosy­ing up to Bei­jing, on the bright side, once Vic­to­ria be­longs to the Chi­nese we can bet they will re­store law and or­der. Deb­o­rah Mor­ri­son, Malvern East, Vic

I hes­i­tate to give ad­vice to young women but too many of them are com­plain­ing long af­ter suf­fer­ing bad be­hav­iour by men. That de­lay causes all sorts of prob­lems for women in get­ting jus­tice. The golden rule is to im­me­di­ately ob­ject — loudly. Peter de Leper­vanche, Clon­tarf, Qld

A poignant piece by Christo­pher Daw­son (“Sol­diers’ brief lives shocked into po­etry”, 9/11). Who can for­get Ru­pert Brooke? The Greeks haven’t. If Greek soil can cover Brooke in a field that is for­ever Eng­land, then the Greeks here must be con­tent with Aus­tralian soil that is for­ever Greece. If the lo­cals on Sky­ros is­land where Brooke is buried can call him Brookis, Aussies can call the likes of me Arthur. Athana­sios Giannopou­los, Mitcham, SA

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