Hewson: Turnbull is weak (meh, it’s worse)

Via Domainfax:

In a searing assessment of the Coalition’s chances of recovery, John Hewson told Fairfax Media that Mr Turnbull looked weak for failing to assert his past commitments on climate change, tax policy and marriage equality, and for refusing to call out Mr Abbott despite the growing absurdity of his arguments.

Dr Hewson cited Mr Abbott’s claim this week that global warming could be good for the world saying the statement had laid bare the former prime minister’s role as a wrecker while further isolating him from mainstream Australian voters.

…he said while Mr Turnbull failed to implement a proper policy that drove new energy investment it would be Mr Abbott’s attention-grabbing statements from the conservative right that would define the government to voters.

“It’s a bit ironic but they [voters] elect governments to take the hard decisions and when you don’t take them you look really weak,” he said.
But a senior minister defended the Prime Minister’s restrained handling of the Abbott-led climate insurgency, saying the policy, which is expected to go before cabinet within days or weeks, would aim to deliver reliability, affordability and to achieve emissions reductions consistent with Australia’s Paris commitment as a by-product.

It was suggested that the policy, likely to adopt a hybrid approach, could even land in a political “sweet spot” by forcing Mr Abbott to choose between falling in behind it, or perhaps voting with Labor in opposing it.

Pip, pip, what, jolly good, tally ho, and all of that. That’ll show him what’s what, eh?

Do-nothing Malcolm is not weak. He is an empty, tactical calculus machine that would not know strategic or values-based commitment if it ran him over in a bus.

His behaviour consistently illustrates a divisive personality, by turns charming and effusive then just as quickly cold and indifferent. He raises stakeholders and issues then drops them in a heart beat. Such high charm, mercurial thinking, inability to plan and power lust are characteristic of a lack of real empathy and inability to attach with people and issues.

This stands as a stark warning to anyone that relies upon him for anything.


  1. At this point, I’m pretty sure a magic 8 ball would be both more effective and more decisive a leader for this country.

    Vote “It is certain” Magic 8 ball!

  2. Turnbull is ambitious. His top goal is be PM. He learnt from Abbott (by being rolled by him and then working out how to roll Abbott) to do what it takes to keep the party room on side. If a majority of the party room want something, even if it rolls cabinet, MT (pronounced “empty”) will take it on and do his best to sell it. He has always been transactional and a salesman. He was an M&A advisor in Merchant Banking.
    MT is very smart and has pretty good social skill, unlike Abbott who is only moderately smart in an academic sense and either has a tin ear or just won’t take any advice and won’t adapt/evolve. When the party room starts to panic about re-election MT will adapt and evolve and have a plan, rest assured. Don’t mistake his willingness to accommodate the majority of the party room now and sell their policies with utmost (sometimes faked) sincerity with what he will do 6 months out from an election to win the electorate back.

    • Smart in law maybe, and a skilled GS division leader, but as a PM he’s a disaster. He failed to silence Abbot who is unhinged to say the least. The PM and Abbot care not for the country, but for themselves…period.

    • Completely misplaced confidence (wishful thinking) in MT’s political eptitude; he’s inept in policy formation, political strategy and tactics, and party leadership. Brandis, when MT took over from Abbott, made me laugh when he proposed that MT is one of the greatest intellects in the country. Another thing about MT which few seem to understand: in economics, finance, workplace/industrial policy he’s drier than Abbott; the notion that he is a ‘lefty’ applies only to ‘social’ issues. If he were capable of coming up trumps in the lead-up to the next election he could have done so before the last. In fact, he only won, if you ask me, because just enough voters had a small vestige of hope left in the so-called, but apocryphal, ‘real’ him, sufficient to give him another chance.

  3. Nah, he is just stalling until Finkel>> the chief scientist >>who says “well things are not working out how we planned,, so we need to change how we measure it.””
    In the realm of BAldrick: I have a very cunning plan. Sir.
    Plan B will be sure fire.(FIRE)

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Now we are bashing Do Nothing for doing nothing.
      But we knew what he would be like , look what he did to Broad Band .
      Better he does nothing.

  4. I concur with your assessment. To normal people, all politicians seem to have something wrong with them one way or another, but Turnbull seems to be a real wrong’un.

    The suave charm in particular is starting to seem more and more incongruous when compared to his actions. I’ve unfortunately had considerable experience with a variety of mental disorders in my family and personal relationships. I’m not a shrink, but based on what I know I’d say Turnbull is well out there on the Narcissistic Personality Disorder spectrum.

    From the Wikipedia article about NPD (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder):

    “Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which there is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings.People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them.”

    I know that sounds like every politician and business leader in the country, but Turnbull exhibits it in spades.

    • There is a difference. Rudd did things : mostly the wrong things. (removing cap on university places, First Home Buyer Grant, Pink Batt, etc, etc). What has MT actually done so far in his term except media releases and meaningless stuff like the Gay Marriage survey?

      • Ronin, yours is the usual harsh judgement on Rudd. I mostly disagree. Uncapping of university places was a well-intended but naïve decision but has been made much worse since then by the defunding of universities and forcing them to be more reliant on foreign and domestic student volume. FHB and the batts were GFC stimulus measures and had their intended effect on sustaining employment in that period. True though, FHB grants is especially stupid if land supply is also not also opened up – he should have pressured the states to do this.

        His big failure in my view was the cherry picking of the minerals tax out of Henry’s comprehensive report. He had the political capital and should have implemented it in full or as close to it as the possible. Then again, there was so much opposition to him even within his cabinet that he could not do this. Imagine how much better off we would be if that was the case including effects that would negate the FHB grant negatives.

      • @Hadron – He said the survey is meaningless, and it is.

        1. The survey is easily tampered with (votes taken from letter boxes, false reports to AEC in your name of not having received paper etc)
        2. The survey is easily influenced- Those who share a house with other people are able to be influenced by those others. E.g. imagine a father who wants to watch his daughter tick ‘No’, or see her ‘No’ ticked survey before it can be posted.
        3. Because of the above 2 ‘certainly uncertain’ conditions, ANY outcome of the survey can be debated. If it comes back a positive ‘Yes’, the ‘No’ camp can claim fraud, intimidation etc and vice versa.
        4. The vote responses can be easily be seen through envelope. This means they can be filtered out without tampering with the envelope (ie bin em)
        5. Because response rate may not be as high due to Aus post issues, filtering via torchlight etc, the outcome can be endlessly debated by both sides. Low response, negative – Yes campaigners will claim that supporters and apathetic types didnt feel it was necessary to reply. Which may be true. Absence of a vote shouldn’t be an automatic favour for No campaigners.

        Therefore, the survey is completely meaningless. Its a highly contentious vote cast with no anonymity or protection. A real plebiscite would’ve had booths and a whole bunch of scrutiny.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        re : Hadron. I hope you realize even if the survey result is ‘Yes’, it doesn’t mean the Coalition will vote for it.

    • They are similar in that neither of their parties consider them to be pure representations of their supposed values and goals, but that is where the similarities end.

    • Ha ha! Remember it very well. We need the commie hippie waste-of-taxpayer’s-money ABC to take the current mob to pieces (and that goes for the Labor opposition as well).

  5. “Such high charm, mercurial thinking, inability to plan and power lust” – all indicators of psychopathic tendencies. I believe psychopaths (not the murderous kind) are over represented in the political profession.

  6. Can’t someone just take Abbot out the back and shoot him? How this guy has stayed elected so long baffles me.