Infighting on the right in Australia

June 4th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Age reports:

Demented? Unhinged?

Call it definition of character.

, a barrister by trade and chairman of the board by inclination, chooses his words and his adversaries for maximum effect.

And so, when he lined up neo-conservative commentator Andrew Bolt for a free character assessment, he was addressing not simply the bothersome Bolt, but the jury and the shareholders of his current organisation, which happens to be the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party, of course, isn’t exactly Turnbull’s party at present. It’s ’s party, the same who stripped the chairman’s title from Turnbull a few years ago by one vote and then, glory be, took the whole show to government.

So what has happened?

had the temerity at the weekend to get Abbott on his TV show and ask him if he thought Turnbull had designs on the prime ministership.

Well, duh.

Bolt suggested Turnbull was trying to do some undermining by having dinner with Clive Palmer, a man Abbott can’t stand but whose little party and fellow travellers will control the Senate balance of power next month.

It’s not immediately obvious how such a dinner might lever Turnbull to the prime ministership, nor how this might have been a secret meeting, given it was at a popular restaurant. Clive likes to eat, and the restaurant was a few hundred centimetres from Turnbull’s luxury Canberra pad, which might have been a better rendezvous for a secret meeting.

Bolt isn’t a man who gives up easily. Next he was blogging about how Turnbull had spoken at the launch of a Parliamentary Friends of the ABC, and how awful this was, given that the ABC was no friend of the Abbott government.

Well, duh. Again. Turnbull is Communications Minister. The ABC is the national broadcaster.

I think the author is being somewhat silly. The Freinds of the ABC is a lobby group that attacks the Coalition for its funding cuts of the ABC. Turnbull speaking to them is a very big thing.

It is clear Turnbull is positioning to take over – which is very different to launching a coup. A coup would fail as he has little caucus support. But I am far from convinced Abbott will make it to the election, unless his political management improves.

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16 Responses to “Infighting on the right in Australia”

  1. Redbaiter (7,852 comments) says:

    Turnbull carried out these meeting without going through the normal channels, and failed to inform those who needed to OK them.

    He has been a curse on the Australian Liberal Party for too long and should be expelled. Like the many Progressives who currently reside within NZ’s National Party, his real political home is the Labour/ Labor party.

    Liberals should be thankful Abbot is leader rather than Turnbull. If Turnbull was at the helm, the Liberals would be just as ineffective and directionless as National is under John Key.

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  2. Tarquin North (188 comments) says:

    Sounds like an episode of Campbell Live. All smoke and no fire.

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  3. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    It says a lot that Turnbull has the overwhelming support of the Australian Left in his quest to regain the Coalition leadership.

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  4. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Turnbull is a shameless narcissist better suited to be a member of the Australian Labor Party.

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  5. pedrogarcia (52 comments) says:

    Right…because Abbott is doing just fine #gonebylunchtime

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  6. Redbaiter (7,852 comments) says:

    “It says a lot that Turnbull has the overwhelming support of the Australian Left in his quest to regain the Coalition leadership.”

    Yes, and like most on the so called right whose only defence against the left is to curl tightly into the fetal position, there’s every chance the Liberals will heed this support.

    One of the major mistakes the perceived “right” has been making for so long is that they have allowed the left to choose their leaders.

    That Turnbull is “approved” by the left shows nothing really, other than what Manolo says above. He should be leader of Labor.

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  7. stephieboy (2,455 comments) says:

    I see our rabid right here are yet having another dose of the hysterics laced with paranoia on a Liberal party sideshow.

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  8. louie (90 comments) says:

    The Age is pathological in it’s hatred for Abbott (and Bolt) so will omit/distort to smear them. The takeaway for NZ is that Fairfax owns the Age as well some NZ papers. There is a frequent movement of staff to/from The Press and The Age- so we risk this demented leftwing journalism becoming more widespread here.

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  9. kowtow (7,871 comments) says:

    louie

    “…..becoming more widespread here.”

    Pretty pervasive as it is.How much worse could it get?

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  10. gravedodger (1,527 comments) says:

    Malcolm Turncoat is a mans body with all the Machiavellian skills of a narcissistic spoilt child.

    He has all the traits of a liberal Kevin Rudd.

    Turnbull has made no clear efforts to sell the highly unpopular budget recently brought to the House By Joe Hockey and the man has a history and an inflated opinion of a previous finance spokesman.

    He and Abbott hate each other and his oh so coincidental dinner was but a thinly veiled signal to Liberals that he alone has the skills to make the budget pass the Senate with the four? votes Palmer supposedly controls.

    Clive Palmer is a complete boofhead.

    One of the widely acknowledged successful Liberal Prime Ministers, John Howard had a similar path to the top.

    Time is Abbott’s best friend with wee willy Shorten still to get past his rather murky background in the very corrupt and thuggish Australian union movement at present under the microscope of a Royal Commission and his not inconsiderable reputation as the only man to knife three sitting Prime Ministers in three years.
    Oh yes he was little assistance to KRudd the second either.

    Shorten, Turnbull and Palmer, if successful, will turn the Lucky Country into the ‘PIGS’ of the South Pacific, Abbott is the only obstacle in their path.

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  11. Paul Williams (877 comments) says:

    Bolt’s shilling for Abbott to secure his position given his appalling run of the last couple of months. That its necessary speaks volumes. Liberal backbenchers will be deeply troubled by the reaction to the budget and will be doing the numbers on the risk of losing treasury benches after only a single term. Making the ABC the issue, in preference tax hikes and endless broken promises is what Bolt’s hoping to do.

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  12. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    gravedodger says:

    Turnbull has made no clear efforts to sell the highly unpopular budget recently brought to the House By Joe Hockey

    My butcher has made no clear effort to sell the pile of rotting offal awaiting collection out the back of the shop. Must be a traitor too. Or perhaps he realises it’s wrong, no one’s buying, and if he tries to pass it off it’s consumption as a necessity just because most people can no longer afford prime rib he’ll look like a liar or a fool.

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  13. Gulag1917 (765 comments) says:

    Tony Abbott is centre stge and nobody is going depose him that easy. Whats his name Turnbull will just cause chaos.

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  14. coge (179 comments) says:

    Ten percent Turnbull? “Not think so!” Most of what’s being said on the net & the MSM is just a big shameless leftist beat up.

    I believe Clive has been made a quiet offer by the Libs, evidenced by his meeting with Turnbull. Palmer (who loves attention) will enable support to axe the carbon tax next month. Then Tony has fulfilled his two key election promises. The beat up will die down, & the paradigm will change. Make no mistake the LNP is not anywhere near as riven as the ALP.

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  15. ChardonnayGuy (1,169 comments) says:

    Might I say that merely because Turnbull is (gasp!) a republican (!!!) and a social liberal does not mean that he wouldn’t make an excellent leader, whatever Abbott’s sycophants and Howard era relics might think. He seems more akin to David Cameron and John Key and mainstream centre-right politics than Abbott does. Also, Abbott bounced Turnbull by a single vote as former Liberal leader. And given current developments in Victoria, it would be excellent if David provided us with what this prospective Australian PM actually stands for in terms of concrete policy stances.

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  16. ChardonnayGuy (1,169 comments) says:

    Two incisive pieces on Victoria’s developing political crisis…

    Henrietta Cook and Richard Willingham: “Geoff Shaw will support no confidence motion against Napthine governmment” The Age: 04.06.2014: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria-geoff-shaw-will-support-no-confidence-motion-against-napthine-government-20140603-39gsu.html

    Mark Hawthorne and Richard Willingham: “The call that did the deed” The Age: 05.06.2014: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/the call-that-did-the-deed-20140604-39jh6.html

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