Turnbulls plot to bring down the Government

Via Peter Hartcher today:

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has been texting and calling Liberal MPs to urge them to refer Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to the High Court.

…Moments after Fairfax Media published revelations on Wednesday night of his texts and calls, Mr Turnbull confirmed on Twitter that he had been lobbying his colleagues, including his successor, Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

If Malcolm can get Dutton rubbed out then another bi-election will be needed. As said yesterday, the Government looks likely to lose the Wentworth bi-election, where Alex Turnbull is working to promote Labor. If that happens the Government will need two cross-benchers to see-off a no confidence motion. They will be its ally Cathy McGowan and the ultra right-wing Bob Katter.

But if it loses another seat then it would also need to find a third cross-bench ally among those hostile to it.

It’s a long shot but the Turnbulls appear to be working as team to bring down the Government.


    • Well not really, it is his offspring doing the something. He is just txting from half a world away. Is the tapping of the thumbs on a glass screen (not even pushing real buttons) doing something?

    • The Traveling Wilbur


      It’s more than he’s ever done before.

      Ask not what your Prime Minister can do for you. Ask what you can do to your Prime Minister.

      Malcolm for leader. Of Labor!

    • ResearchtimeMEMBER

      Goes to show, he never really did have the nations best interest at heart, just addicted to the power… now it taken away from him (by all accounts), he wants to bring instability and bring down the entire government…

      I remember the time when MB used to sing Turnbulls praises, that all will be right with the world…. The classic trap, government is the fix to all social ills.

      We do not need more government, and we don’t need more social engineering. Need leaders, not managers.

      • I thought he’d be good, but then discovered he couldn’t really talk coherently. I found that to be embarrassing, and just had to switch him off. I think he liked the glamour of the job, but like any elite how can you relate to the people when you really don’t know what it’s like to struggle is a key issue IMO, but he believed in climate change, yet made a mess of the energy policy, and I think because he couldn’t really think clearly about it, or stand up to the extremist in his party…what did he really stand for??

        I’m expecting Bill to win and f it up and we’ll be banging on about him next year…I just don’t believe he’ll be any better, and Tanya will boot him out, and then I need to think about moving OS seriously lol

  1. MT, typical hypocritical former member.
    How many dont do what they should while in parliment, then have an epiphany once they are an ex member.
    Malcolm should have referred Dutton, stood him down, and carried on being PM of a minority government.

  2. Here’s a hypothetical scenario I wondered about that wasn’t that unrealistic

    Can someone tell me what would have happened if Turnbull while still prime minister had defected to the ALP (like Cheryl Kernot)

    Would ALP then form government if they could get a majority ?
    Or would the GG call shenanigans

    I do wish he would have done this would have been hilarious (and he was almost going to join the ALP at one stage)

    • He would not have had the numbers so it would have just been the same result but with him still there in parliament. It would have been better for everyone if he dragged a collection of moderates with him roped in ALP moderates and formed a new party. He would not have needed many but he would have had the balance of power and able to push agenda without having to compromise to make friends in his party.

      • ALP would have 70 with turdball , Libs 75
        That’s a hung parliament depending on the independents

        Would it be too outrageous that the GG would have to call an election ? Can he do that ?

    • Pretty sure the way it works is that Parliament votes who the Prime MP of that parliament is. So the government of the day having the majority votes for their guy. They can at any point vote for someone else. The task is probably delegated to parties because realistically that is the only way it will ever go.

      So if he defected he’d no longer be a party member and therefore the party constitution that probably gives him that position would then be null. He’d basically immediately become a Labor backbencher. The LNP would then hold an internal poll to determine the new prime minister.

  3. Bob Katter ultra right wing? Get your hand off it HnH. KAP are more Agrarian Socialist than anything else if you actually look at their policies.

    He was one of the main instigators of the Banking Royal Commission and has introduced the Australian Glass-Steagall. “Right wing” indeed.

    Classic Southerners.

    • Thanks Stephen I was about to make the same Agrarian Socialist observation.

      The labeling now going on is extraordinary.
      The labeling of far right or ultra right is, on the other side of the coin, roughly the equivalent of calling EP a Stalinist just because he is a Labor bloke.

    • It’s probably tainted by the current environment.
      Trump = protectionist therefore protectionsists are right wing.

      Frankly, I think Katter and Trump would see eye-to-eye on many things, but disagree on many too.

    • Yep. KAP is as old-school Aussie as they come. Left of the Greens on issues like trade, unions and bank regulation and more conservative on social policy than the Nats or Liberal-right.

      The simplistic left-right scale doesn’t apply.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      It probably doesn’t matter much, any political label put on Kater could be way-off within a week or two.

  4. The treachery of Turnbull.
    He wanted to be a minister in labor but the hard left wing rejected him.
    So we got Turncoat Turnbull and his left wing globalist clique destroying the Liberals.
    The whole lot need to be culled out.

  5. I’ve got a suggestion – Get rid of anyone in the Parliament who currently receives any payments from the government!

  6. adelaide_economist

    So basically the only knifed PM we’ve had who was actually able to just walk away from the job and mean it seems to be Gillard.

    • She’s also the only one who could keep government running. Her reputation is the inverse of Howard’s. His is overrated and hers is underrated.

      • Yeah . It’s a pity she couldn’t wait her turn and listened to the pro mining , anti Climate Change trogs in the ALP
        Martin Ferguson, Gary Grey etc

      • Huh – ?????

        Gillard’s first order of business was to front an industry consortium and genuflect e.g. I’ve got your best interests first and foremost and am not swayed by populism. Who bloodly appointed Greg Medcraft as chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – !!!!!!

    • For all that’s been said about Gillard I think she did a reasonable job given the circumstances. Much better than Howard, rabbot, rudd, turdball etc although she definitely had her faults too. She didn’t deserve the terribly bad wrap that she got imo

  7. its a BY-election.

    BI-election is something that Reusa does when he is feeling adventurous at his relations parties

  8. It’s actually kinda funny when you think about two statements by two former PMs.

    Keating in ~2007 on Turnbull: He has no judgement

    Turnbull in a magazine in the 90s responding to the question ‘which party would you join?’ : It doesn’t matter.

    Turnbull probably would have been a half decent Labor PM, but one lack of judgement 25+ years ago doomed him.


    Can’t help but wonder if Alex is as ambitious as his father, but with the benefit of a proven example that it *matters*.

    • A Banker/Lawyer from the Eastern suburbs was never going to be any good for anyone and will never be any good for anyone.

  9. Turnbull’s problem is that the job of being PM isn’t the most important thing in the world to him. Really. Whatever you say about Howard, it was- that’s why he stuck it out for as long as he did. Turnbull is too rich and has too many other potential distractions. Peter Costello was the same- didn’t have the stamina.

    If Turnbull seriously wants to go after Dutton he would have been better off not quitting parliament. Surely the timing would have been: get Dutton referred, then go for a by-election.

    Am I the only one who is fascinated how the whole bullying issue went silent? Both Banks and Guichi suddenly changed plans.

    I am strongly of the belief that you should never make threats. You should just go ahead and do what it is you’re going to do and surprise everyone.

      • fer sure, but you’ve pointed to the issue: what was said to Banks and Gichui to make them shut up? Were they threatened or promised something?

      • adelaide_economist


        I sense a special envoy for women role and maybe another for multiculturalism in the near future…

    • Referring Dutton requires majority. The second Turnbull tried referring him his party would vote his bill down then hold a spill and it’d be the end of him. He’d be seen as a twice over traitor (For stabbing Abbott then stabbing his own cabinet minister) and coward.

      No this is how he does the party in. ScoMo can’t afford to go to war with Dutton’s faction, but he can’t do any more than Turnbull as long as there is unresolved tension between the factions. With this much turmoil the MPs have to choose sides. Going for the usual status quo won’t work, because any quote they make right now might burn them in less than 12 months during a campaign.

  10. I find this hard to believe and feel like it’s more to do with trashing Turnbull once and for all. I know he’s full of himself and is a self righteous prick, full of his own self importance, BUT, I doubt even he could believe that Gov MPs would cross the floor and potentially end their time in Gov.

    What would they gain from this, I doubt any give a rats arse about the citizenship issues? They’re not going to do anything that prematurely takes the trough away from their snouts.

    • Lotta ppl thought there would be no way Turnbull goes to DD because all the polls said it would make things worse and his honeymoon period had passed. Yet he did it.

      There is also the not-insignificant problem of a crashing dollar, weakened banking sector, rising unemployment etc. Whoever is in government when that happens is going to cop it for a long time. For the financially focused factions of LNP it’d be a good idea to get out before it becomes impossible to blame someone else. Obviously for the less economically inclined (ie the social types, the religious etc) they’d want to cling to power no matter what. So force the issue.