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|Go to - FDNC NEWS FORUMS > Australian - Latest Political Stories > Two Georges Cause Strife for Turnbull|
|Posted by: Charles Dec 1 2017, 01:50 PM|
| The tale of two Georges causing strife for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Federal Politics Editor
Friday, 1 December 2017 7:26AM
The PM desperately needs to find some common political ground.Picture: Illustration: Don Lindsay
George Brandis once walked into the pub in Roma, in outback Queensland, and ordered a Campari and soda.
“We don't have any Campari,” the barman told the silver-haired senator from Brisbane. “And actually, we don’t have any soda.”
The anecdote of the Attorney-General’s antics in country Queensland is an old one, but one worth recalling in the wake of last weekend’s Queensland election result.
That other well-known George from Queensland, George Christensen, says his pub order would be something more standard among his fellow banana-benders.
“Probably a Bundy and Coke. Or a XXXX Heavy,” the tattooed member for Dawson says.
This is a tale of two Georges.
One, the bespectacled, moderate, small-l Liberal senator, an Oxford scholar and Queens Counsel who sits in the Turnbull cabinet.
The other, the son of third-generation sugar cane farmers, the maverick backbench Nationals MP who thinks the coalition needs to shift to the Right to avoid bleeding votes to One Nation.
Brandis, also known for the bespoke bookcases he had made for his Parliament House office, has bought a dozen political tomes under his allowance in the past year, along with volumes of the Commonwealth Law Reports, the Economist, and the Literary Review.
Christensen, an avid reader of Queensland’s many regional local papers, has bought one book in the past year under his entitlement — a $60 copy of The Coalminers of Queensland.
Two Georges. Two very different world views. And yet there is a need for them to live harmoniously together in their political home of choice, the coalition.
Last week’s Queensland election result exposed the cultural fault lines these two men represent that run not just through Queensland, but through Australia’s cities and suburbs, and smack bang through the Government.
Like trying to find reading material that might appeal to both of the Georges, finding a policy platform that unites the conservative and liberal strands of the coalition has proved a challenge for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
While Christensen is a Nat, many conservatives within the Liberal Party share the former whip’s political viewpoint and fret about the direction of the party under Turnbull.
It is a philosophical tug that has long been a feature of the Liberal Party, with the conservative strand particularly emphasised by Tony Abbott and John Howard before him.
Abbott was seen by many MPs, and indeed the public, as being too far to the Right, while Turnbull is seen by many conservative MPs in his party room as too far to the Left. MPs talk about Turnbull’s “instincts”, and worry that his cabinet has too much Brandis (moderate, senator, city) and not enough Christensen (conservative, regional, MP).
While making repeated concessions to the right wing of his party, Turnbull has attempted to assert the importance of the “sensible centre” for the Liberals, and argues this is where elections are won and lost — not at the extremes. But the challenge for the coalition is how to appeal to these centrist voters while also preventing a haemorrhaging of votes to the Right. It has also struggled with how to deal with One Nation.
Christensen has become a thorn in the side of Turnbull, speaking out on contentious issues, and often successfully helping to secure a change in policy direction, whether it be on safe schools, the same-sex marriage survey, superannuation, or this week, a banking royal commission.
The banking inquiry, long and fiercely opposed by Turnbull and most in the Liberal Party and described by Howard this week as “rank socialism”, was popular in the regions, and supported by both Labor and One Nation.
It was the latest in a long line of issues that has split the party, coming hot on the heels of the same-sex marriage debate which has seen conservatives hit out at Turnbull for failing to better protect religious and parental freedoms.
The recurrent disputes have been incredibly damaging for the Government, particularly when they are fought along the cultural lines that divide MPs.
And they show no sign of diminishing. After the Queensland election, Christensen apologised to conservative voters who had voted One Nation, posting a virtual sticky-note on social media to say “sorry!”
“I'm sorry we in the LNP let you down. We need to listen more, work harder, stand up more for conservative values & regional Qld and do better to win your trust and vote. A lot of that rests with the Turnbull Government, its leadership and policy direction,” Christensen said.
Just over 24 hours later, Brandis had a different take-home message.
“Flirting with One Nation is poison for my side of politics,” he told the Senate chamber.
“My attitude to One Nation, with whom I deal courteously and professionally in this chamber, nevertheless is that One Nation has nothing to offer the people of Queensland.”
The two approaches show firstly why Brandis was right when he opposed the merger of the Liberal and National Parties in Queensland back in 2008, arguing that product differentiation was needed in the regions. The vacuum that has been left in regional Queensland has, not surprisingly, been filled by One Nation.
But secondly, it also shows that neither Brandis nor Christensen thinks they should be in the same party.
“After the election someone said ‘You can’t sell George Christensen in Brisbane, and you can’t sell George Brandis in Mackay’, and I think that is probably true,” Christensen tells The West Australian.
“But I would say that you can, with the right language and the right marketing, sell conservative principles to the greater Australian public no matter where they live.”
But who will be more important in the lead-up to the next election? Are there more people like Brandis in inner-city seats the Government needs to keep on side, or is it the Christensens in the bush and the ‘burbs the coalition can’t afford to lose on the Right?
Christensen says that there are more people like him that will decide the next election, while Brandis believes the Nationals and Liberals can happily share the coalition benches despite their ideological differences, as long as each can tailor their message to prospective voters.
Can Turnbull have a bet each way? While it has so far proved elusive, Turnbull desperately needs to find some common political ground.
This means moving away from the coalition’s cultural wars, and focusing instead on issues of consensus — tax cuts, immigration policy and economic reform.
And by George, if he doesn’t, the Government’s strife is just beginning.
Turnbull's own dithering, fence-sitting style of leadership is more of a problem than a couple of strong minded Georges.
|Posted by: Bear Dec 1 2017, 03:58 PM|
| Two Georges, a John, and a growing group of very dissatisfied Lib supporters, the snowball is gaining momentum - TB was a very poor choice, just as Shorten was a very poor choice, Anthony Albanese would make a far better leader than them both.
'Malcolm Turnbull is the problem' and should quit by Christmas: NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro.
On the eve of the New England byelection, where federal Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is fighting his way back into parliament, Mr Barilaro used an interview on Mr Jones' top-rating breakfast show to declare he had "lost all hope" in Mr Turnbull's ability to lead the country.
"Turnbull is the problem, the Prime Minister is the problem," he said.
Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/malcolm-turnbull-is-the-problem-and-should-quit-by-christmas-nsw-nationals-leader-john-barilaro-20171130-gzwh1j#ixzz4zz9ysDLx
TURNBULL MUST GO NEXT MONTH
The Liberals say sacking Malcolm Turnbull would just make things worse. Defeat would become a rout.
But how much worse could it possibly get than what the Liberals do to themselves every week?
Check just the past month,
Turnbull has produced a dud electricity scheme that won't cut prices for a decade, and even then by a lousy $2 a week that Turnbull could not eveb guarantee.
Then came this police raid on Bill Shorten's old union offices, highlighting a clumsy use of state power to cripple a political rival - and ending in farce and humiliation for the Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash.
Now we've got a citizenship debacle Turnbull insisted wouldn't happen, and therefore justifed him relying on the disputed votes of two ministers now ruled ineligible: the Nationals Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash.
And, of course, Newspoll keeps reminding the Liberals that they are unelectable, behind Labor 46 per cent to 54, with donations drying up and members in despair.
Turnbull must go - and go next month, when Parliament meets for the last time before Christmas.
|Posted by: scepo Dec 1 2017, 04:15 PM|
| Turnbull is almost as hopeless and inept as Gillard was.
I can't see the Libs recovering ground before the next election, so the sooner they bush Turnbull and give someone else a go the better. There is nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
|Posted by: Michael.W Dec 1 2017, 04:33 PM|
|I reckon his is more inept than Gillard was and more than Rudd.|
|Posted by: Bill Dec 2 2017, 12:34 PM|
| Apparently, Turnbull's only supporters are Curly and the Labor Caucus.
Here's a question for you.
If not Turnbull, then who ?
The LNP seem to think that changing the 'salesman' will fix the problem. It won't.
In trying to appease their far right base, they embark on a process of offending a new group every other week. They don't just leak votes to PHON, they leak their 'progressive' voters to Labor and the Greens.
Their flirtation with One Nation is a waste of time. No matter how One Nation 'direct' their preferences, the voters allot their second preferences on the basis of LNP - 60% and Labor - 40%. By flirting with PHON, the LNP keep Pauline in the game. If the LNP, Labor and the Greens put PHON last, One Nation would disappear in three years.
While ever the LNP channel "The Dodgy Brothers R US" sales approach, they won't address he fact that their policies are crap - badly designed with more unintended consequences than an episode of Top Gear.
I'll repeat the question. If not Turnbull, then who ?
|Posted by: Bear Dec 2 2017, 01:33 PM|
| 'Malcolm, for the good of your party and the country, just go': Kevin Rudd unloads
Kevin Rudd says Malcolm Turnbull will be "smashed" at the next election by Bill Shorten and has called on the Prime Minister to save face and quit now, saying he's become a "bad joke" who stands for nothing other than his own ego.
In a blistering address to a fundraiser in Sydney for Labor frontbencher and one-time leadership candidate Anthony Albanese, to mark ten years since the Ruddslide swept Labor to power, Mr Rudd warned that while winning government is a "hard thing," "keeping government for the Australian Labor party is even harder".
He blamed this on a "great trifecta" benefiting the Liberals, claiming: the politics of hope are harder than the politics of fear, the conservatives have more money, and that the Australian media landscape is dominated by Rupert Murdoch.
"So when Turnbull is smashed at the next election, and he will be, let us understand that holding the reins of government as a progressive political party in Australia is a precious thing, to be nurtured carefully, not to be thrown away lightly through petty personal ambition, and then for government be deployed to the absolute full in the prosecution of a reformist agenda to secure the nation's future," he said.
But he reserved his most savage words for Mr Turnbull, whom he publicly fell out with over the United Nations Secretary General nomination, when he accused the Liberal leader of reneging on a deal to formally nominate him for the position.
"Turnbull is neither fish nor fowl," he told Labor party supporters.
"Neither Conservative nor Liberal ... the final fulfilment of personal political ambition utterly detached from any real policy agenda," he said.
"Turnbull is just Turnbull - standing for nothing apart from Malcolm himself, a profound disappointment to his party, which has now become a little more than a bad joke - just being there," he said.
"Malcolm, for the good of your party and the country, just go," Mr Rudd said.
"Let the others sort out who should replace you.
"And then let the contest begin on who should form the next government of Australia," he said.
Mr Rudd's comments end a difficult day for the Prime Minister who faced calls from the New South Wales deputy premier and Nationals leader to resign by Christmas.
Bill the beneficiary
Mr Rudd said that his reinstatement as prime minister had put Bill Shorten in the winning position Labor now finds itself, via the result in 2013 and the changes he made to the Labor leadership rules to stop the merry-go-round of changes.
" Even when Bill has personally polled particularly badly, the rule change I introduced in 2013 has protected him from instability," he said.
"A little ironic given that in nearly four years as leader, I went below 50 per cent only once."
"But politics, again, definitely ain't for the faint-hearted," he said.
Mr Shorten did not attend the event.
Kev's description of the TB sounds like a description of himself.
Illustration: John Shakespeare
|Posted by: Charles Dec 2 2017, 02:18 PM|
| Bill, you ask "If not Turnbull, then who ?" Only a died in the wool socialist would fail to see there are viable alternatives to the current Liberal leader. Malcolm Turnbull is virtually a closet socialist so anyone to the right of him doesn't suit the agenda of the left.
I'll answer you question my saying Scott Morrison, Christopher Pyne, Peter Dutton, Julie Bishop et al would be preferable as leaders. I'd even throw in Tony Abbott. Feel free to criticise, categorise and demean each and everyone I have named. I would expect nothing less.
|Posted by: Charles Dec 2 2017, 02:24 PM|
| The key to Rudd's attack on Turnbull is to be found in one sentence.
"But he reserved his most savage words for Mr Turnbull, whom he publicly fell out with over the United Nations Secretary General nomination, when he accused the Liberal leader of reneging on a deal to formally nominate him for the position."
Kevin Rudd is a sad and bitter man. Malcolm Turnbull may be doomed but Rudd was finished some time ago.
|Posted by: charka Dec 2 2017, 02:51 PM|
|krudd still chasing power and cash https://postimg.org/image/g6cm4vsw5/ howard and rest are no better|
|Posted by: Bill Dec 3 2017, 03:05 PM|
I was expecting a list with their attributes Charles. There's no real necessity for me to "criticise, categorise and demean" your suggestions. Their own performance is sufficient testament to their electability.
All except Julie Bishop are unelectable. .
Maybe the voters will accept an unmarried, deliberately barren female as PM - or maybe not.
Pyne and Dutton will be lucky to hold their seats and Morrison has no support within the Liberal Party caucus.
Tony Abbott ? Nope, nope, nope.
There are some of the younger ones who show promise, but not before the next election. You may be stuck with Brian Trumble Charles.
|Posted by: scepo Dec 3 2017, 03:20 PM|
|How's Plucka Chooks five to ten seat majority looking Bill ole mate?|
|Posted by: Alicia Dec 3 2017, 05:40 PM|
|"Deliberately barren" Bill? That sounds a bit disapproving. Maybe, "childless by choice" would sound better.|
|Posted by: charka Dec 3 2017, 07:37 PM|
|i love plucker just substitute a letter but i would not could not get that drunkhttps://postimg.org/image/s5kg1b1ut/|
|Posted by: Bill Dec 3 2017, 08:36 PM|
I was not meaning to sound disapproving Alicia. I was using the exact words used to describe Julia Gillard's childless state.
I meant no offence to Julie Bishop.
|Posted by: Bill Dec 3 2017, 08:51 PM|
Anthony Green predicts (today) 49 seats for the Chook - a majority of two. As I explained in my other post, the distribution of PHONY 2nd preferences would decide many seats and it was largely unpredictable how that would fall.
I did predict that Jackie Trad would hold her seat, Strap-on Steve Dickson would lose his and PHON would only win one. Admittedly, I thought Lockyer was the one they would win, not the other one.
I didn't tip the Greens to win a seat, but they have, albeit not one I would have picked.
The only real miss that I had was Toowoomba North. I thought Kerry Shine was a shoe in and it turned out that he had a swing against him. Lots of money and resources went into Toowoomba North. Apparently a bus load of young Libs came up from Brisbane to work the Toowoomba North booths. Didn't see it myself, but it was on local TV.
You are a baaaad man charka.
|Posted by: Flin Dec 4 2017, 06:04 AM|
| "The tale of two Georges causing strife for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull"
Not hard to tell which one likes puddin and pie which one is from the jungle.
|Posted by: scepo Dec 4 2017, 06:22 AM|
| I know it's always hard to predict Bill. I just couldn't resist a little friendly dig. Voters are always hard to figure.
Take the previous election, in Bundaberg they threw Jack Dempsey out and voted in the useless Leanne Donaldson, then for the council election they resoundingly voted Dempsey in as Mayor and daylight second.
At least they saw the error of their ways and voted Donaldson out this time around.
|Posted by: charka Dec 4 2017, 06:25 AM|
|Funny confesses to being a liar yet still there trusted?|
|Posted by: Alicia Dec 4 2017, 10:42 AM|
|Yes Bill, I always thought that term was used as a "put down". Both women have had to put up with the media et al making judgements on their childless state. I realise you were using words which others used previously. It is one of my items. I was hoping it would come across as a "gentle rebuke".|