Wednesday, 25 November 2009
I hope people understand from observing me in 30-odd years of public life, that I have never run from a fight before and I don’t intend to do so now.
J Howard 11 September 2007
If people are unhappy with the leader they can do whatever … they can take whatever steps they think appropriate. But I’m the leader and I’ve made the call.
M Turnbull 24 November 2009
Turnbull’s call that the party was behind the ETS, when numbers probably suggested otherwise, is being seen as a mad act of bravado and a political death wish. In reality, he was doing no more than following Howard’s lead when support from the cabinet melted away during the APEC conference and he dared the party to sack him, because he knew there was no alternative.
Except whereas the Liberals’ alternative in 2007 was merely a vacuum, in the guise of the former Treasurer, this time the alternative is electoral suicide, in the guise of a whole host of unelectable leaders representing the opposing side of the argument.
This is the central uncomfortable fact that is being ignored by the media over the last twenty-four hours. The Coalition’s problem is not disunity, but what they are on the verge of uniting behind – a policy that is not only highly unpopular at home, but would knock Australia out of the arena of international relations.
Let’s state it again, because the media (and many in the Coalition) have forgotten it, it is inconceivable that an Australian governing party would adopt a policy that would totally isolate Australia from the global political agenda, let alone be unpopular at home, especially with business. That the Coalition are even considering it, and that key powerbrokers like Minchin are advocating such a move, is a sign of how detached the Coalition are becoming from the realities of power.
This is the “last card” that Turnbull is playing, which journalists like Shanahan can no more spell out than the fact that Turnbull called a spill several times without being challenged. It is all very well having a nice abstract discussion about ‘values’ and hiding behind a bogus scientific argument, but when it becomes necessary to put a face on it, like Andrews or Abbott, then the electoral poison that is being talked about becomes clear. This is the reason why the sceptics are talking like scientists; if they spoke like politicians, the full implications of what they are proposing would become apparent, even to themselves.
Posted by The Piping Shrike on Wednesday, 25 November 2009.Filed under State of the parties