*This part covers the period from December 2000 (when Turnbull joined the Liberal Party) until December 2009 (when he lost the Liberal leadership).
December, 2000 – Turnbull changes tactics. He joins the Liberal Party and feigns remorse over previous anti-Liberal and anti-Howard comments, no doubt conjuring some of his familial thespian abilities. He says he agrees with Howard more than he disagrees, and many Liberals seem to fall for this performance.
He soon becomes a director of the Menzies Research Centre, and refuses to rule out running for pre-selection. Having already been beaten by the conservatives as an opponent, it appears he will now try an alternative method – joining them and changing/sabotaging them from within.1
January, 2001 – Turnbull admits he is interested in running for pre-selection in the federal seat of Wentworth (with nominations due to close on the 2nd of February at 5pm), but is criticised by rank-and-file Liberals who say he should spend time proving himself a loyal servant of the party before running for pre-selection.2,3
2nd February, 2001 – There is a rumor that Turnbull had been seen inside NSW Liberal Party headquarters 5 minutes before nominations for pre-selection were to close. Nevertheless, he doesn’t end up nominating.4
4th March, 2001 – Peter King wins pre-selection and a covert campaign to undermine his candidacy begins, and runs for months, including privately commissioned telephone polling asking whether voters would prefer Turnbull. The party’s state Director says the phone polling is causing disruption, and the state President is so concerned that she writes to all senior branch officials assuring them that King’s pre-selection is secure. The polling company refuses to disclose its client.5,6,7
14th March, 2001 – A few days after Prime Minister John Howard says he thinks rich Australians should be more charitable, Turnbull starts a charitable foundation called The Turnbull Foundation, and gives a $93,000 donation to an aboriginal charity. This donation is loudly announced, and widely covered by the media. It appears to be little more than a means of sucking up to Howard and getting some positive publicity to improve his chances of pre-selection.8
5th July, 2001 – Turnbull announces his resignation from Goldman Sachs.9
12th July, 2001 – The Turnbull-run Australian arm of Goldman Sachs announces a 51 million dollar loss. By comparison, the US parent company made a profit of over 6 billion.10
28th July, 2001 – Turnbull becomes deputy party treasurer.11
August, 2001 – Turnbull sues the Australian Financial Review newspaper for an article saying that he was “part polymath, part sociopath”. This was yet another example of Turnbull’s hostility to free speech, and yet another example of his tactic of using threats of litigation and lengthy court processes to frighten people into silence and public apologies.12
10th November, 2001 – The federal election is held, and the covert campaign to undermine Wentworth Liberal candidate Peter King fails. He wins the seat comfortably, and the Liberal-National coalition win an increased majority in the House of Representatives.
13th April, 2002 – Turnbull becomes party treasurer (effectively the primary fundraiser).13
He suddenly begins promoting policies that seem socially conservative, and claims he has converted to Catholicism.14 This is, of course, absurd, considering that he publicly opposes numerous dogmas of the Church, including those on abortion and homosexuality. This so obviously appears to be a charade designed to make him look palatable to conservatives inside the Liberal Party, in spite of his past. Indeed, he is explicitly accused of this tactic by other Liberals, with one saying:
“This is just the latest in Turnbull’s chameleon-like performances. We’ve had the republic and the small ‘l’ liberal phase. Now he is trying to come across as John Howard’s greatest supporter.”
August, 2002 – Turnbull sues the Australian Financial Review for defamation over an April article about the float of FAI Insurance and the collapse of HIH.15
9th April, 2003 – Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney Lucy Turnbull becomes Lord Mayor following Frank Sartor’s election, as a Labor MP, to the NSW state parliament. She is endorsed by both Sartor and NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr. Carr even supports her over the explicitly Labor candidate, for the following council elections.
April, 2003 – Turnbull sues federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham for defamation, again putting his hostility to free speech on display. In January Latham had said that Turnbull’s role in the HIH insurance company collapse made him “unfit to hold public office”, based on submissions made by counsel assisting the HIH Royal Commission.16,17
Latham later issues a public apology to avoid the risk of an unaffordable court case, and an article in Brisbane’s Courier-Mail newspaper titled “Turnbull’s intimidatory strategy” carefully observes that Turnbull chose to sue Latham personally rather than the media outlets who publicised the remarks. The latter was a legal strategy open to him, and one that would have delivered a more substantial damages payout if successful. The article suggests that Turnbull may have targeted Latham personally, knowing that he didn’t have the financial resources to fight the case, and couldn’t risk losing, unlike a large, profitable media outlet. The article finishes by saying:
“So critics of Mr Turnbull are on notice. Whether they be talkback callers, letter writers or graffiti artists, or just plain politicians, they should be conscious of the fact Mr Turnbull is prepared to take them to court…If his potential critics do not feel intimidated, they should be.”
6th September, 2003 – NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr confirmed that, in the late 1980s, former NSW Labor Premier Neville Wran was “flogging” Turnbull to the NSW Labor Party machine as a possible state Labor leader.
Branch Stacking World Record
5th October, 2003 – Turnbull makes explicit his intention to seek Liberal pre-selection for the federal seat of Wentworth, and he had been stacking the deck since July, at least. Most believe he made up his mind to run much earlier, and that speculation in August that he would run for the Senate18 was merely a tactic to take attention away from his unprecedented level of branch stacking in Wentworth. His opponent will be first-term sitting member, and passionate monarchist, Peter King, and the pre-selection will be decided in February.
On the day of the announcement, an intervention by Prime Minister John Howard forces Turnbull to resign as party treasurer, following accusations that he was using his position as party treasurer to access lists of powerful donors to the party. The Prime Minister warned Turnbull of a potential conflict of interest between his position as party treasurer and his campaign to win party pre-selection. The Australian newspaper reports that:
“Some senior parliamentary members and party figures said they were “aghast” at Mr Turnbull’s behaviour. They decided that having this apparent conflict of interest was a greater risk than the difficulty of getting a replacement [treasurer/fundraiser].” 19
Senior Liberals further say that Turnbull’s selfish actions are a “devastating blow” to the party’s chances of raising sufficient funds to adequately fight the upcoming federal election, and the party now must scramble to organise a new treasurer/fundraiser.20
Of course, this fundraising disaster serves Turnbull’s interests. If Howard were to lose the federal election, Turnbull would be one step closer to the Liberal leadership, and therefore the Prime Ministership.
Turnbull’s pre-selection bid is openly opposed by several parliamentary Liberals, including Defence Minister Robert Hill and Health Minister Tony Abbott. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer praises King, and Abbott says “There is a convention that sitting members in their first terms should not be challenged”. Treasurer Peter Costello also praises King, and warns Turnbull to follow not only the letter, but also the spirit, of the Liberal Party’s rules, adding that:
“You don’t want people to think large influxes have led to different outcomes,”.21,22
King himself says it appears to be “the largest branch stack in Liberal history“, and Turnbull’s brutal tactics are reported to be creating resentment with long-standing Liberal members in Wentworth, who say Turnbull should be prepared to spend his time persuading them of his merits.
Federal Liberal MP David Jull, a 28-year veteran of parliament and a former minister, was prepared to say publicly what many of his colleagues were muttering privately:
“I wonder how many of these 800 [new members] will be around in 12 months. They are not there to make any major contribution.” 23
In order to compete, Peter King is forced to respond to Turnbull’s stack with his own hastily-organised stack, yet Turnbull has the extraordinary gumption to attack him for it, whilst denying that his own actions constitute branch stacking. Turnbull said “What’s going on here is a quintessential branch-stack,” with King replying that many people in the electorate were “appalled at the unprecedented tactics” adopted by Turnbull.24
In addition to branch stacking and challenging a first-term sitting member, Turnbull also breached Liberal Party rules by using radio advertisements, direct mail and a “Turnbull For Wentworth” website to ask people to join the party. Liberal Party rules stipulate that only branch presidents and other office holders can make statements about membership drives.25,26
Former federal Labor Minister Nick Bolkus, whom Turnbull had previously approached, multiple times, about getting Labor pre-selection, says Turnbull is less a threat to the Labor Party, than to the conservatives of the Liberal Party:
“I don’t think we are as concerned as, for instance, Peter Costello might be, or Tony Abbott would be… I think probably Labor would welcome Malcolm Turnbull getting Liberal Party preselection.”
26th February, 2004 – Commenting on Turnbull’s pre-selection chances, former NSW state Liberal Opposition Leader and former Wentworth MP, Peter Coleman, who knows Turnbull well, says:
“Malcolm Turnbull carries a fair bit of baggage. He’s said some dreadful things about John Howard, not to mention the Queen, and he has also said some loving things about people like Neville Wran…”
28th February, 2004 – Turnbull wins pre-selection, 88 votes to 70.
March, 2004 – Continuing with his charade of social conservatism, Turnbull joins the Australian National Flag Association, which supports the current flag. This is despite his many years actively campaigning for a new flag (as documented in this timeline), including as a long-time director of AusFlag, the premier organisation pushing for change. Ausflag executive director Harold Scruby says:
“This man is Australia′s consummate chameleon. It brings to mind the saying that politics is like rowing, because you can face one way and go the other. Ausflag is awarding Malcolm Turnbull Olympic gold in single political sculling.”
9th August, 2004 – Turnbull tells a public “meet-the-candidates” session of the Bondi Beach Precinct Committee that:
“History will judge Bush’s invasion of Iraq as an unadulterated error,”
This was a contradiction of both government and party policy, and a comment that, made publicly, risks damaging the morale of Australian soldiers fighting in Iraq.
The comment is subsequently exposed by the media, and Labor pursue the matter, in Question Time and elsewhere, trying to embarrass Prime Minister John Howard. The Australian reports that the comment put the government into “damage control”27 and Fairfax reports:
“It’s pretty clear, however, that Turnbull and Howard don’t share the same view…Turnbull’s comments weren’t spur of the moment: he has been saying the same sort of thing when door-knocking voters.” 28
Liberal and National MP’s line up to criticise Turnbull. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says “He’s just a candidate…He isn’t a member of the government.”29 Alby Schultz says Turnbull needs a political trainer to “teach him a little bit about the politics”. Ron Boswell says “He’s going to go on a steep learning curve when he gets down I think,”. Even the leftist Liberal MP Warren Entsch says “He’s wrong, he’s wrong, it’s as simple as that,”.
It is reported that two senior Liberals plan to raise the matter with the party’s state president, questioning the appropriateness of Turnbull’s endorsement.30
Whilst Turnbull’s views may be justified, expressing them in public, as a high-profile candidate and potential leader, is either stupendously reckless or nefarious.
1st September, 2004 – Turnbull is exposed as having “reassured” a local constituent last Saturday that a vote for him was not a vote for John Howard, saying: “You’ll only have Howard for two years.” 31
4th September, 2004 – Peter King says Malcolm Turnbull “begged” Labor for endorsement.
“It is not I who is disloyal. I have never begged the Labor Party for endorsements for a seat – any seat – unlike one of my opponents, who has done so at least four times.”
12th September, 2004 – The now independent candidate for Wentworth, Peter King, has his campaign posters mysteriously disappear, and a complaint is lodged with Police. Turnbull campaigners are also seen taking down the plate numbers of cars parked outside King’s electorate office.32
9th October, 2004 – At the federal election, Turnbull nearly loses Wentworth to Labor for the first time in its history. He conjured up a swing of 10.3% away from the Liberals, forcing Wentworth to go to preferences, and turning it into a marginal seat.
29th November, 2004 – Turnbull lures a swarm of cheerleaders to fill the gallery for his maiden parliamentary speech, using free canapés & cocktails, and a convoy of coaches from Sydney. Total cost = $20,000+
One woman confessed she had never caught a bus before, but made the exception for Turnbull, reassured that the person sitting next to her would be “clean”. Another female member of the cheer squad was even reported to have “fainted” upon Turnbull’s mere arrival, and this apparent ‘rock star’ moment conveniently made its way into the media.33,34
Interestingly, among Turnbull’s merry band, was one Scott Morrison.35
16th February, 2005 – Turnbull says minimising taxes is a “black art” in a thinly-veiled attack on a “ginger group” (including Sophie Mirabella and Mitch Fifield) pushing for tax cuts.36
18th February, 2005 – Turnbull is attacked by Labor MP Dick Adams for being a Wilderness Society stooge. I would note that it’s quite a feat to be attacked by the Labor Party for environmentalist extremism.
28th November, 2005 – Turnbull tells Australians not to “demean Muslims”.37
24th January, 2006 – Turnbull appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Water.
26th July, 2006 – Turnbull campaigns against dams, which he says are “environmentally costly”. Instead, he says the Australian people should drink recycled sewage water.38
29th July, 2006 – Turnbull tries to bully parts of Australia into adding recycled effluent to their water supply, but the people of Toowoomba, in Queensland, are given a vote on the matter, and reject it.
4th August, 2006 – Speaking outside his portfolio responsibilities, Turnbull addresses the Sydney Transport Summit, and pushes the leftist-‘progressive’ anti-car agenda, favouring socialised mass transit instead:
“If we want to enable people to remain citizens of our cities we need to maintain their mobility but reduce their dependency on the automobile…Public transport has a social dimension; the private car does not.” 39
7th August, 2006 – Turnbull says rising petrol prices are not a concern for his electorate, and interest rate hikes have been “over-dramatised”. He is branded “arrogant” and “out of touch”. When asked about petrol, Turnbull advertises his electorate’s high-density and use of socialised mass transit, saying:
“My electorate is one of the smallest in Australia and the largest percentage of public transport commuters in Australia,” 40,41,42
September, 2006 – Turnbull repeatedly says the Australian people should be paying more for water, and his plan will make it happen.
“Water has been too cheap…Just compare, if you are living in Sydney or Melbourne, or Brisbane, for that matter, compare your water bill to your electricity bill and you’ll see what I mean. Urban water has been too cheap.” 43,44,45
1st November, 2006 – Turnbull announces his plan to waste taxpayers money on taking water from productive Aussie farmers in the Murray-Darling basin, and putting it back into the river so it can uselessly flow out to sea. All for the sake of “the environment”. Turnbull says:
“…the share [of water] allocated to agriculture versus the environment has been excessive and what we’ve done…By regulating the river Murray we have turned it on its head.”
The move will lower production and increase food prices for consumers, forcing them to switch to imports.
18th November, 2006 – The federal National Party support the Victorian state Liberal-National Opposition’s plan for a dam on the Maribyrnong River, but Turnbull declines to support the dam when given an opportunity, instead saying:
“We have to increase the share of city water supplies that aren’t climate-dependent.” 46,47
22nd November, 2006 – Turnbull releases a report that effectively rules out building new dams, even predicting some will be completely dry by 2008 due to so-called “anthropogenic global warming”. The report cites the “Wentworth Group” as an authoritative source, even though the group was founded and funded by the radical green World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Further, Turnbull again says people must pay far higher prices for water so that the necessary capital can be raised to construct expensive desalination plants and recycling facilities, which aren’t dependent on so-called ”anthropogenic global warming”.48
Turnbull also pushes household water rationing with tradability, yet another regulation that would push up the cost of water.49
6th December, 2006 – Turnbull votes in favour of allowing the killing of newly-conceived human beings for the purpose of scientific “stem cell” research. His vote contradicts the dogmas of the Catholic Church that he claims to adhere to, proving his so-called “conversion” to Catholicism was a stunt to appeal to conservatives in the party.50
Turnbull in Cabinet – A Disruptive Leftist Force
11th January, 2007 – Turnbull attacks the Queensland government for allowing farmers to siphon much-needed water from the Murray-Darling to grow food for Australians and for export. He cites “sustainability questions” as the reason, meaning he would prefer the water flow uselessly down the river as “environmental flows”.
Note that the Queensland government is a Labor government at this point, so Turnbull’s position is to the left of QLD state Labor on this issue.51
11th January, 2007 – Turnbull says David Hicks has been denied justice, and that it was “irrelevant” that evidence presented by Hicks’ military-appointed defence lawyer, Major Michael Mori, was, according to US Military prosecutors, “half truths”.52,53
21st January, 2007 – Turnbull says farmers are getting too much water from the Murray river, and pushes for more “environmental flows”.54
23rd January, 2007 – Turnbull is announced as the new Environment Minister, and is brought into cabinet.55
24th January, 2007 – Al Gore’s global warming propaganda film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, is made available to all high schools, free of charge, by an Australian “green” electricity retailer called ‘Jackgreen’. Turnbull welcomes this, saying the film was a “very compelling dramatisation of the climate change issue” and he had no problems with it being distributed in schools.56
A British High Court judge later ruled that the film contained 9 key scientific errors, and could only be shown to children with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination.
24th January, 2007 – It is reported in the Canberra Times that Turnbull, when he was running for pre-selection in 2003-04, was asked by a friend why he decided to enter parliament via the Liberal Party and not the Labor Party. He reportedly replied:
“I’ve thought about it, but the Labor Party would never accept a multi-millionaire as its leader.” 57
This provides yet more evidence that it was Turnbull who actively pursued Labor endorsement, rather than Labor pursuing him, as he so often claims.
25th January, 2007 – Turnbull announces his plan to waste $10 billion dollars of taxpayers money protecting the Murray-Darling river system from a problem that doesn’t exist, man-made global warming. The plan also involves a centralist federal takeover of the Murray-Darling, and the removal of water from productive farmers so that it can be put back into the river to flow uselessly out to sea. Turnbull says:
“There has been over-allocation…We’ve been able to get away with the over-allocation, if you like, because the last half of the 20th century was particularly wet…Now the only sound expectation, sensible expectation, you can have is that the years ahead of us are going to be dryer and hotter…global warming is a fact – climate change is a fact, not a theory.”
Turnbull also says Australia needs more bureaucrats presiding over water:
“…one area where the management of the basin has been lacking…is ensuring compliance with water sharing plans…There aren’t enough scientists and hydrologists and what you would call water bureaucrats…there aren’t enough of those people out there in the field any more and there needs to be more.”
The result of this plan? Higher food prices, more food imports and farmers driven off the land and into the cities, which is all part of the “progressive” ideological agenda.
28th January, 2007 – Turnbull again pushes recycled sewage for city water supplies. The Sunday Times reports:
“Residents in Australia’s major cities will have to consider using recycled sewage to drink, wash and bathe in as part of the solution to the country’s water crisis, says the Federal Government’s new Minister for Water…Mr Turnbull’s message has been backed by Australian of the Year, environmental scientist Tim Flannery.”
28th January, 2007 – Turnbull announces that compulsory water buy-backs and forced farm shut-downs are options he will pursue as part of his “green” Murray-Darling plan. He is forced to back-track when the National Party protests, instead saying it would only be done as a “last resort”. Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce says he wants compulsory buy-backs ruled out, and also rejects Turnbull’s nefarious centralist plan for a federal Murray-Darling takeover, saying the matter should go to a referendum.58,59
Victoria Nationals leader Peter Ryan says:
“The notion of just taking water away from them by government of any persuasion is something to which we are completely opposed, because ultimately it has the capacity to tear the heart out of these towns and communities.” 60
Turnbull is so far to the left on this matter, that he is even attacked by the Labor Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks, who wants compulsory water buy-backs ruled out and farmers’ allocations protected.61
30th January, 2007 – Turnbull sworn-in as Environment Minister.
6th February, 2007 – Turnbull puts on such an arrogant and over-the-top performance for his first question in Question Time, that he has to be pulled aside by other ministers and told to shed the theatrics and “barristerial self-importance”. One Liberal MP even went on record, saying Turnbull was “embarrassing”.62
20th February, 2007 – As Environment Minister, Turnbull bans incandescent light bulbs (which are safe and cheap) as part of his global warming crusade. This has forced Australians into using toxic, mercury-containing, radiation-emitting compact fluorescent bulbs, that have an inferior and irritating light.
29th May, 2007 – Turnbull threatens to sue Aussie farmers over their planned campaign of civil disobedience on anti-land clearing laws designed to fight the mythical problem of man-made global warming. These laws, among others, like Turnbull’s Murray-Darling program, are destroying farmers’ livelihoods and forcing them off the land (or into suicide).63
Mid-2007 – Turnbull – plotting to take the leadership himself – becomes the first cabinet minister to suggest privately to Prime Minister John Howard that he should step down in favour of Peter Costello.
Turnbull later plots against Howard and puts on a bumbling display in question time when asked about the plotting by Labor’s Anthony Albanese, causing major problems for the Liberals in the lead-up to the election.
Citing Liberal sources, columnist Miranda Devine reported that Turnbull was the “most destabilising force” in the attempted coup against Howard:
“Seen through the prism of [Turnbull’s] ambition, the only things standing in his way are the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the Treasurer, Peter Costello. Last week, after less than a term in office, he tried to dispatch at least one.
August, 2007 – The Tasmanian Gunns pulp mill approval issue arises, and Turnbull is torn between his green-“progressive” ideology and his conservative Prime Minister. He is pressured to approve the mill, and is subsequently attacked by his green brethren in the media. He then privately pleads with these anti-mill campaigners to stop “killing” his career, confiding in them that he secretly shares their views. For instance, in a private conversation with green, anti-mill campaigner Geoffrey Cousins, Turnbull says:
“I suspect I don’t like [the pulp mill] any more than you do… I assume this is off the record.” 64
It is later revealed that, at a gardening expo, Turnbull had told the ABC’s Gardening Australia host, Peter Cundall, an anti-mill campaigner, that he hated the pulp mill.
28th September, 2007 – Turnbull changes government rhetoric on whether second and third-world countries need to be part of a binding global agreement on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Previously the Liberals opposed any agreement that doesn’t include these countries, in order to protect Australia’s manufacturing and export industries. Turnbull though, contradicts that policy, and moves it closer to the Kyoto Protocol.65
The man-made global warming fanatics welcome Turnbull’s statements, with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Climate Institute praising him. Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said:
“It’s the first time I’ve seen where Australia has dropped a pre-condition of absolute emission targets for developing countries…We think that that’s a very significant development.”
October, 2007 – Howard Government policy is to oppose signing the Kyoto Protocol, but during the federal election campaign Turnbull publicly refuses to deny that he supports it. Cabinet leaks over the issue leave John Howard and the government susceptible to the left-wing media, and damage the Coalition’s prospects of re-election (which helps Turnbull’s leadership agenda). There is little doubt that Turnbull orchestrated the leaks to damage Howard and the conservatives. Indeed, Turnbull was regarded as a disruptive influence by senior ministers, throughout the Howard Government’s final term.
Turnbull subsequently gets an endorsement from Greens leader Bob Brown, who also endorses Labor to form government as the election approaches, saying:
“Malcolm Turnbull is a very intelligent member of the cabinet. He’s thinking much more 21st century [than Prime Minister John Howard]….It has caused stress within the cabinet but it points to…how much we need new thinking on the treasury benches and in the Senate in Australia after November 24.”
18th November, 2007 – Tim Flannery praises Turnbull, and endorses him to retain the seat of Wentworth:
“I have known Malcolm for 20 years and I reckon he’s bloody good. I have immense respect for him,”
24th November, 2007 – After nearly 12 years as Prime Minister, John Howard is defeated at the federal election. Turnbull, displaying his narcissism on steroids, telephones Howard on election night, and the purpose of the call is Malcolm talking about Malcolm. He informs Howard that he has just retained the seat of Wentworth with a swing towards him (no doubt due to his pork-barreling66 and the extra money he personally ploughed into his campaign67).
25th-28th November, 2007 – After Peter Costello rules himself out for the leadership, Turnbull immediately announces that he will contest. He then starts making unilateral policy announcements, including abandoning WorkChoices, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, and apologising to the so-called “Stolen Generations”, issues where he says Howard was wrong.
Further, despite Rudd’s undertaking to be an “economic conservative“, Turnbull announces that “social welfare” would be more important than “economic rationalism” under a Liberal Party led by him, proving again that Turnbull isn’t the dedicated free-market liberal some people claim.
Comparing himself to Howard, Turnbull says:
“We’re two completely different people. My approach would be one that is much more objective about policies. I am not an ideological person.”
He adds that Howard will be judged by history to have overstayed his welcome in the Lodge:
“…that will undoubtedly be the judgement of history…the proposition [that he stayed too long] is one that will be universally held by historians.”
The day before the leadership ballot, Turnbull goes on ABC Radio National, hosted by Fran Kelly. Here is an edited excerpt from the interview:
Fran Kelly: In the past, sometimes John Howard’s leadership was described as mean and tricky. Would you describe yours, if you were Liberal leader, as more generous?
Turnbull: Very much so.
Fran Kelly: Would you support Labor in saying “Sorry” to the stolen generations?
Turnbull: Unquestionably. That was, look, that was an error….Clearly, we should have said sorry then.
That night, on the ABC’s Lateline program, host Tony Jones asks Tony Abbott about Turnbull and the Liberal leadership:
“Is the party ready for a socially progressive small-l liberal, whose policy positions are barely distinguishable from the Labor Party’s?… Here is the Turnbull agenda, as we know it. An Australian republic, a Sorry to the Stolen Generations, ratify Kyoto, he’s sympathetic to the gay agenda, and he now rejects WorkChoices outright…That’s a totally different party, it sounds like.”
Turnbull’s supporters in the party tell the media that the attacks on ‘political correctness’ will have to stop under what they claim is a new post-Howard “21st century” progressive paradigm. But, despite their so-called “21st century” outlook, they show no aversion to Turnbull’s medieval brutality, with one saying:
“In politics, you need to be willing to stick the dagger in and get covered with blood. Malcolm is willing to stick it in and twist it. He’ll get it in up to his elbow if it’s necessary.”
29th November, 2007 – Brendan Nelson defeats Turnbull for the Liberal leadership by 45 votes to 42. Turnbull’s unwillingness to consult the party room before announcing policies, was cited as one of the reasons he failed to get the numbers.68
Peter Costello later wrote:
“In November 2007 I conducted the ballot for Liberal leader which Brendan Nelson won by three votes. No sooner had I declared the result than Malcolm Turnbull disputed it. And told me Nelson was not up to the job.
I suggested Nelson had won fairly, that Malcolm should accept the result and that if Brendan was as bad as he said then the party would turn to him. “Put in an outstanding performance as shadow treasurer and you will win over your colleagues,” I said.
Turnbull left the room and went down to Nelson’s office to give him a free character assessment. The leaks and the backgrounding started that day. Turnbull’s supporters were ruthless in tearing down Nelson.”
According to Turnbull’s unauthorised biographer, Paddy Manning:
“Turnbull pledged his loyalty to Nelson but gave him absolutely none: he simply refused to accept the decision of the party room, and the undermining began immediately.
Just after Nelson gave his acceptance speech, he was in his office with federal director Brian Loughnane, Julie Bishop’s chief of staff Murray Hansen and a couple of his own staff… Suddenly the door was flung open, with force, and in stormed Turnbull, yelling at Nelson and poking his finger at him, almost right into his chest.
One person who was there recalls Turnbull calling Nelson a wimp, telling him his address was funereal… Soon afterwards, Turnbull called Nelson’s chief of staff, Peter Hendy, who later recalled Turnbull telling him that his job was to get Brendan to resign in the next few weeks…”
March, 2008 – Turnbull makes a series of gaffes as shadow treasurer, allowing Labor to get the upper hand.69,70,71
19th March, 2008 – Turnbull withdraws from the Coalition’s parliamentary strategy talks for Question Time, parading his disloyalty.72
26th March, 2008 – Turnbull pushes the left’s centralisation agenda, saying the revenue from a federal emissions trading scheme should be used to phase out state taxes. Of course, this would only further concentrate power within the federal government by furthering the tax revenue imbalance. Furthermore, he announces all of this without telling his leader Brendan Nelson, as part of his undermining campaign.73
28th April, 2008 – Turnbull opposes budget cuts, and says the budget shouldn’t be “scrooge-like”. He justifies his position by spouting a discredited Keynesian economic analysis.
4th May, 2008 – Turnbull again opposes budget cuts, saying:
“I don’t think there’s any economic need to cut. If Wayne Swan wanted to make a real impact on inflation he would have to tighten fiscal policy and have the surplus well over two per cent. Now, I don’t think it would be a prudent thing to do at the moment. That’s my judgment.” 74
11th May, 2008 – On the ABC’s Insiders program, Turnbull again opposes spending cuts, and spouts an ignorant and discredited Keynesian economic analysis.
15th May, 2008 – Turnbull tries to upstage his own leader with a censure motion before the budget reply speech. He then provides an impotent, convoluted and contradictory attack on the budget.75
It is later revealed that Turnbull had pushed to give the budget reply speech himself, saying he would “obviously” do a better job.
18th May, 2008 – An email is leaked that shows Turnbull opposed cuts to the fuel excise tax proposed in Brendan Nelson’s budget reply speech. Turnbull also contradicts his leader on how the tax cut will be costed. The resulting turmoil stymies Nelson’s momentum after a positive response to his budget reply. The usually reserved columnist for The Australian, Dennis Shanahan, calls the email leak “a calculated act of political bastardy”.76,77
20th May, 2008 – It is revealed that Turnbull tried to convince his main leadership rivals into immediately switching to state politics. This would not only remove his competition, but put further pressure on Brendan Nelson over what would likely be poor by-election results.78
23rd May, 2008 – Following complaints from the public, Police raid a so-called “art exhibition” in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, and confiscate about 20 photographs of naked children. The so-called “artist” responsible for the photos is Bill Henson, a well-known photographer. It was later discovered that Henson traveled to primary schools in Melbourne to hunt down potential “models” for his “art”.
If you can stomach it, click here to see two examples of Henson’s “work”.
Kevin Rudd describes the photographs as “revolting”, but Turnbull vigorously defends Bill Henson and attacks the police. He says the police should stay out of art galleries, and suggests that naked photos of children should be accepted as part of “artistic freedom”:
“…before we have policemen tramping through art galleries, tramping through libraries going into newspapers’ offices, we have got to think freedom is what makes this country great.”
The fact that Malcolm Turnbull was not hounded out of politics and kicked out of the Liberal Party in disgrace as a result of supporting this pornographic filth, shows just how degenerate this society has become. Is it any wonder we have a paedophile problem in this country?
Mid-2008 – From Paddy Manning’s unauthorised biography of Turnbull:
“In his relentless campaign against Nelson, Turnbull took disloyalty to extremes. Sources say that at a one-on-one meeting in Nelson’s Melbourne office in mid-2008, after a shadow cabinet meeting, Turnbull revealed he had had some private polling done on Nelson, and he had a net negative approval rating of 9 percentage points.
Nelson replied: “If that’s true, and I have no reason to believe you would deceive me, Malcolm, then you could be expelled from the party for that”. At that, Turnbull pulled back and the polling was never produced…”
7th July, 2008 – Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson says his support for an ETS is now conditional on global agreement. This would reduce the damage on Australia’s trade-exposed industries, and is in line with the Howard-era policy. On the other hand, Malcolm Turnbull, and his leftist cabal inside the party, support the Rudd Labor Government’s position of introducing the scheme as soon as possible.
29th July, 2008 – In a shadow cabinet meeting, the Turnbull cabal (including Greg Hunt and Julie Bishop) force Brendan Nelson to go back to supporting the Rudd Labor Government’s position of introducing an ETS as soon as possible. The backbench revolts and supports Nelson.
12th September, 2008 – Former Treasurer Peter Costello says that Turnbull is economically irresponsible, and hasn’t learnt the lesson that tax cuts require spending restrictions. He also insinuates that Turnbull was behind a damaging cabinet leak to save his seat of Wentworth at last year’s election.
It is later revealed that Costello was lobbied to back Turnbull at this time, and his response was:
“I won’t back him, Malcolm Turnbull will destroy the Liberal party.”
16th September, 2008 – Turnbull’s merciless campaign of undermining and destabilisation against Brendan Nelson succeeds. He wins the party room leadership ballot by a few votes, and becomes leader of the federal parliamentary Liberal Party.
Annabel Crabb, writing in the Quarterly Essay:
“A force of nature” is how Tim Costello once described him, and this is a variation on an oft-repeated theme among colleagues, many of whom, from the moment of his nomination for the seat of Wentworth, have viewed Turnbull as a sort of galloping inevitability – something to be got through, like puberty or chickenpox.”
Former Treasurer Peter Costello says:
“Turnbull’s supporters were ruthless in tearing down Nelson. Weakened by this campaign and suffering poor polls, Nelson called another ballot. Turnbull won by four votes. In total, only three votes moved. It was an ominous sign. He got there, but not by building support among his colleagues.”
Brendan Nelson later says:
“Most of the people who supported him [in the Liberal party room ballot for the leadership] voted for him to get rid of him… If you had any idea of what he said to me over those 10 months [of Nelson’s leadership], you would be shocked…. You need to look up narcissistic personality disorder. There’s about 5 per cent of the population who are born with narcissistic traits, and about 2 per cent have narcissism. He’s got narcissistic personality disorder. He says the most appalling things and can’t understand why people get upset. He has no empathy.”
Turnbull though, in an interview on Channel 9’s A Current Affair program immediately after the knifing, tells an outright lie. Host Tracy Grimshaw asks the following question:
“…you and your supporters have been the key destabilisers of Brendan Nelson these past 10 months haven’t you?”
“That is completely untrue. That is absolutely untrue.”
21st September, 2008 – Turnbull loses his first Newspoll. It would be the first of 30 straight Newspoll losses.
23rd September, 2008 – On the ABC’s Radio National Turnbull says his favourite Australian Rules football team is the Sydney Roosters.
1st October, 2008 – Far-left comedian Catherine Deveny writes an article for the Sydney Morning Herald that is supportive of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. It is titled “Why us lefties are glad Mal’s taken over the Libs“.
12th October, 2008 – Turnbull loses his second Newspoll.
13th October, 2008 – Turnbull launches an attack on John Howard for not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, and laughably claims that the Coalition lost many seats in Queensland as a result of it.
“I think Queenslanders expect governments and leaders to take climate change seriously. I do take it extremely seriously,”
17th October, 2008 – Rudd Labor introduce a bill to effectively equate homosexual couples with married couples. The bill also calls women “incubators”, rather than mothers, in order to appease leftist-progressive gender ideology, and it is supported by the leftist GetUp! organisation. Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi denounces the bill as a “pernicious form of social engineering”, but Turnbull attacks him with a “verbal spray”.79
8th November, 2008 – Turnbull has the gumption to go to the Australian Christian Lobby’s national conference and push abortion and homosexuality, effectively slapping his hosts in the face. He also says everyone should pray for the success of US President-Elect, Barack Obama.
All this while he pretends to be a Catholic.
9th November, 2008 – Turnbull loses his 4th Newspoll out of 4.
23rd November, 2008 – Turnbull loses his 5th Newspoll out of 5.
24th November, 2008 – In a speech at the Canberra Press Club, Turnbull attacks executive salaries and proposes government-imposed restrictions. He urges Labor to legislate his restrictions and pushes the matter in Question Time. A comment in the Daily Telegraph provides a succinct criticism of Turnbull’s statist tendencies:
“Mr Turnbull ought to be on the side of those defending the freedom of companies to decide how they will spend their money…As for his argument that executive wages be set by shareholders, there is already a way for shareholders to indicate disapproval. They can sell their shares.” 80
25th November, 2008 – Turnbull says Liberals will support Labor’s workplace relations laws. Meanwhile, one of Turnbull’s lieutenants, Scott Morrison, pushes anti-conservative, anti-Howard era rhetoric:
“There’s enthusiasm to define a new Liberal agenda for the next Coalition government…A lot of us are talking about Liberal agendas in areas like social justice, the environment…” 81
Further, the far-left columnist, ABC radio host, and former Communist Party member Phillip Adams says he has “long supported” Turnbull’s ascendancy within the Liberal Party because he thinks Turnbull has the “clout” to fundamentally change the party, and move it away from conservatism:
“With Turnbull’s proven ability to stack branches, now’s the time for him to stack some more…The Liberal Party must attract a new generation of comparative progressives to its ranks…” 82
26th November, 2008 – Former Liberal leader Brendan Nelson (hardly a right-wing extremist) condemns Malcolm Turnbull’s weakness regarding his submission to Labor over workplace relations laws.83
1st December, 2008 – Turnbull’s pro-Labor stance on workplace relations is publicly defied by several Liberal MPs, and he is forced to change his position.84
Meanwhile, Nationals MPs defy Turnbull on his deal with Labor to pass extra tax benefits for carbon sinks, which will lock up agricultural land, put farmers out of business, increase prices for Aussie-grown food, and result in more food imports. Four Nationals Senators cross the floor on the issue, including Fiona Nash, who is subsequently sacked from the front bench by Turnbull.85
Despite sacking Nash, Turnbull stand by Shadow Treasurer Julie Bishop, who was responsible for a series of gaffes, and was failing to do any damage to Treasurer Wayne Swan. One newspaper even labelled Bishop the “Shadow Minister of Gaffes”.86,87,88
Liberal MPs point out that Turnbull’s poll numbers are as bad as Brendan Nelson’s, despite Turnbull having the “clear air” that he himself denied to Nelson via his relentless undermining campaign. They also complain that Turnbull is rushing to embrace Labor policy, with one saying:
“We’re not going to take voters from Labor by pretending to be Labor,”
Despite his Labor-Lite policies, polls have Turnbull losing the popularity contest in a landslide, even when put up against Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The polling agency Essential Media says:
“When more people would rather see the deputy prime minister as prime minister over the opposition leader, I would suggest that is something to worry about.”
4th December, 2008 – Writing in the Canberra Times, prominent republican and political science professor John Warhurst says:
“Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, while they differ on some issues, are not very far apart ideologically when their beliefs are taken as a whole…Conservative Christians in Australia might be faced with an interesting choice between Rudd and Turnbull…The party of the centre left may have a more conservative leader than the party of the centre right. This was certainly not the case when John Howard was prime minister…” 89
4th December, 2008 – Turnbull equates Australia’s relationship with the United States with that of China, saying both are “allies”. He is corrected by Kevin Rudd, who explains that China is not an ally, a term with specific treaty implications:
“It’s extraordinary that Mr Turnbull equates US and China as allies of Australia…China is a long-term friend of Australia; the US, by contrast, has been, for more than half a century, an ally of Australia. That’s a term which has a specific definition as a military alliance containing reciprocal defence obligations. Australia simply doesn’t have that relationship with China. There are only two possible explanations for Mr Turnbull’s statement – it’s either an extraordinary national security policy blunder by a person without any national security experience, or he is fundamentally redefining Liberal Party alliance policy.”
7th December, 2008 – Turnbull has his biggest Newspoll loss yet.
18th January, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 7th Newspoll out of 7.
8th February, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 8th Newspoll out of 8.
February, 2009 – Turnbull tries to remake the party in his own image by purging Howard loyalists, including the party’s federal president and executive director, as well as Senate leaders Nick Minchin and Eric Abetz. A long-serving Liberal is reported saying:
“He is trying to turn the Liberal Party into the Turnbull Party…This party was founded by Robert Menzies and any attempts to turn it into a personal fiefdom will be resisted,” 90
16th February, 2009 – Julie Bishop is removed from the shadow treasury portfolio after a spectacular series of failures and gaffes.
19th February, 2009 – Turnbull sacks Senator Cory Bernardi from his junior shadow ministry after Bernardi criticized Liberal MPs without values, who merely join the party for personal ambition. In his email newsletter, Bernardi recounted a story about an unnamed Liberal MP who told him:
“I live in a Liberal seat so I had to be a member of the Liberal Party to get into parliament. If I lived in a Labor seat I would have joined the Labor Party’.”
Given this is exactly what Turnbull did, it is not surprising that Turnbull was unhappy about it and sacked Bernardi.
22nd February, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 9th Newspoll out of 9.
23rd February, 2009 – Turnbull says he will be even “greener” than Labor by making deeper cuts to emissions. Rudd Labor committed to carbon dioxide cuts of between 5 and 15%. Speaking on ABC radio, he says:
“…certainly we should cut our emissions by more than what Mr Rudd has proposed and I have set out how we can do that.”
Turnbull’s climate change spokesman Greg Hunt echoed his leader, saying he was committed to:
“…significantly more ambitious targets for Australia than that proposed by the government” 91,92
26th February, 2009 – Turnbull pushes a massive tree planting scheme to reduce carbon dioxide, that would lock up large swathes of agricultural land and raise the price of Aussie-grown produce.93
27th February, 2009 – Turnbull again pushes for government-imposed restrictions on the salaries of private company executives. He says the Rudd Labor Government isn’t doing enough restrain these salaries.
He also attacks Pacific Brands for giving executives pay rises whilst sacking workers, saying it was a “poor” decision that “horrified” him.94
8th March, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 10th Newspoll out of 10.
14th March, 2009 – In a speech at the Liberal Party’s federal council meeting, Turnbull says it would be reckless to pass the ETS legislation before the Copenhagen Conference in December. (Note: Later in the year he flip-flops on this position, and becomes pathologically obsessed with passing the ETS before Copenhagen.)
Turnbull is praised by then frontbencher Tony Abbott, who tells the media:
“I just think that everyone who was here today has witnessed a really commanding performance from Malcolm Turnbull… It was a masterly effort, it was full of political fire, but it was full of deep insights. It was really a terrific philosophical exposition of the position of our party.”
Compare Tony Abbott’s glowing support for Turnbull as leader, with Turnbull’s needling and undermining of Abbott as leader, which will be documented in this timeline.
22nd March, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 11th Newspoll out of 11.
5th April, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 12th Newspoll out of 12.
19th April, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 13th Newspoll out of 13.
3rd May, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 14th Newspoll out of 14.
7th May, 2009 – The illegal boat invasion ramps up under Rudd Labor, and the Turnbull-led Coalition is failing to hurt the government on the issue.
WA Premier Colin Barnett says the boat people represent a significant disease and quarantine risk, and when asked about Turnbull’s approach to the problem, he refuses to comment. Some Liberal backbenchers say Turnbull has gone soft on the issue. Columnist Andrew Bolt notes that Turnbull’s approach on asylum seekers, global warming & workplace relations is “timid, and too apologetically left“.
Meanwhile, Turnbull refuses to clarify whether he would reintroduce the tough Howard-era policies, including the crucial Temporary Protection Visa.
14th May, 2009 – In his budget reply speech, Turnbull announces his support for an increase in taxes on tobacco, and later supports Labor’s new “alco-pops” tax, again defying his undeserved reputation for economic liberalism.
Labor Health Minister Nicola Roxon and the Greens speak out in favour of Turnbull’s tobacco tax hike, but many Liberals are opposed.
17th May, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 15th Newspoll out of 15.
31st May, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 16th Newspoll out of 16.
14th June, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 17th Newspoll out of 17.
15th June, 2009 – Liberal veteran Peter Hendy condemns Malcolm Turnbull’s weakness on workplace relations, saying:
“Certainly, on unfair dismissal laws the Liberals have surrendered to the government…This is a disgraceful backdown and should not occur.” 95
19th June, 2009 – In an act of pathetic desperation, Turnbull recklessly accuses the Prime Minister of corruption, and calls on him to resign. The allegations are based on very weak evidence, including an email from a treasury official that was investigated by the Federal Police and later found to be a fake. Turnbull is humiliated and the polls nose dive for the Liberals. It is later revealed that Turnbull made these accusations despite being warned against it by Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.
20th June, 2009 – Writing eloquently in The Australian, Christopher Pearson makes an important point:
“The notion of a conservative republican has always been an oxymoron…Malcolm Turnbull, the preferred candidate of everyone in the left-liberal commentariat from Phillip Adams to Michelle Grattan, is now ensconced as the least conservative leader to head the conservative side of Australian politics.” 96
28th June, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 18th Newspoll out of 18. His voter dissatisfaction rating is the worst for ANY political leader in 25 years. Despite this, Tony Abbott fronts up to the media to defend Turnbull.
12th July, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 19th Newspoll out of 19.
26th July, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 20th Newspoll out of 20.
28th July, 2009 – Tony Abbott launches his new book, titled Battlelines. In the book he praises his leader, and quotes him on several occasions. He also goes on ABC radio and says:
“Malcolm was our choice. I think he was the right choice…My job – all of our jobs – is to help Malcolm and our party to be as competitive as possible at the next election.”
6th August, 2009 – Turnbull praises Australia’s multicultural cesspool, and says Australians should change themselves to suit the immigrants, rather than the other way around.
9th August, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 21st Newspoll out of 21.
23rd August, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 22nd Newspoll out of 22.
6th September, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 23nd Newspoll out of 23.
20th September, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 24nd Newspoll out of 24.
22nd September, 2009 – Turnbull gives a speech titled “Progressive Politics in Australia and the UK” in London. The speech was for a think tank called “Policy Exchange”, which is known to be a favourite of the pseudo-conservative British Opposition Leader, David Cameron.97
1st October, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 25th Newspoll out of 25.
11th October, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 26th Newspoll out of 26.
5th October, 2009 – Turnbull achieves 4th place on Zoo Weekly‘s “50 People We Hate” list, as voted by readers. He is slightly more likeable than notorious Austrian rapist Joseph Fritzl but less popular than North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. The list is topped by Kyle Sandilands.98
12th October, 2009 – A survey for gardening company Yates found that Turnbull was one of least popular would-be guests at a barbecue, polling just one per cent of the vote of 420 respondents.
18th October, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 27th Newspoll out of 27.
22nd October, 2009 – Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey warns that terrorists are likely to be entering Australia as asylum seekers and refugees. Malcolm Turnbull responds to this, saying:
“I reject any person, any statement, which suggests that asylum seekers are, or are likely to be, terrorists, full stop… I make no criticism of asylum seekers.”
Tuckey is later proven correct, with Muhammedan “refugees” involved in several terrorist attacks and planned attacks.
1st November, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 28th Newspoll out of 28.
2nd November, 2009 – Kevin Rudd speaks out in support of Turnbull, publicly urging Coalition MPs to back an agreement on emissions trading:
“I’d appeal to those on Mr Turnbull’s backbench, and some of his frontbench, to make sure that we have every possibility of delivering an agreement.” 99
5th November, 2009 – Turnbull is a keynote speaker at a conference of the “who’s who of Australia’s Twitterati”. Other keynote speakers include ABC managing director Mark Scott and ABC ‘journalists’ Leigh Sales, Chris Uhlmann and Mark Colvin. Turnbull was also interviewed, on stage, by the ABC’s Fran Kelly. Other speakers include Mia Freedman, Annabel Crabb and Margaret Simons.100
Fast forward to 2015, and you have conservative columnists like Andrew Bolt (accurately) referring to Twitter as a leftist “sewer of hate” and former SAS soldier, and now Liberal MP, Andrew Hastie, rebuking a reporter’s badgering on Tony Abbott’s leadership, saying:
“I am very busy on the ground. I don’t have time to take counsel from the east coast Twitterati. There’s a significant disconnect between what people are saying over in the east and what is happening here in Canning,”
Unfortunately, Mr Hastie, you are now being led by the epitome of the east coast Twitterati.
15th November, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 29th Newspoll out of 29.
24th November, 2009 – A Liberal party room meeting is held, and all MPs give speeches on their views of the Emissions Trading Scheme deal. Despite the fact that most MPs speak against the deal, Turnbull makes a “leader’s call” to continue supporting it. Stories later emerge of Turnbull verbally abusing colleagues in the meeting.
25th November, 2009 – Loyal until the end, Tony Abbott goes on ABC radio and explicitly expresses his support for Turnbull, even after Turnbull fudged the numbers in the party room meeting of the previous day. Tony says:
“I think Malcolm is a good leader. I think he’s a very substantial figure in our public life, and I’d like him to stay as leader…He’s a good man and he’s doing a good job in difficult circumstances.”
27th November, 2009 – After stubbornly refusing to reconsider his erroneous “leader’s call” in the party room, Turnbull’s frontbench collapses, with mass resignations. Despite this, he maintains support among the more left-leaning elements of the party, including, curiously enough, one Scott Morrison, whom the media refer to as a “key supporter” and “loyal lieutenant” of Turnbull. (NB: Has Morrison changed?)
Turnbull goes on ABC radio to launch a vicious public attack on the conservatives who have resigned. Meanwhile, the Labor party praise Turnbull for his co-operation on their Emissions Trading Scheme, with Julia Gillard saying:
“I would like to pay a tribute to Mr Turnbull. Mr Turnbull has been acting constructively, in the nation’s interests, on this matter.”
28th November, 2009 – In the Financial Review newspaper, Tom Switzer writes about his experience with the grassroots of the Liberal Party:
“As I found out during my recent preselection run for the safe Liberal Party seat of Bradfield in Sydney’s North Shore, the true believers are overwhelmingly opposed to this ETS. In fact, during the month-long campaign, I met no Liberal small-“l” or conservative, local branch members or delegates from state council or state executive who supported the ETS. Not one.”
29th November, 2009 – In a hysterical interview with Laurie Oakes on the Sunday edition Channel Nine’s Today show, a rabid Turnbull attacks Liberal Senate leader Nick Minchin:
“The climate change war that Nick Minchin and his wreckers have started, will continue to destroy the Liberal Party until such time as we are destroyed by Kevin Rudd in an election…if Nick Minchin wins, if he wins this battle, he condemns our party to irrelevance… if we put the party back together, in accordance with Nick Minchin’s wishes, then we will end up becoming a fringe party of the far right.”
In giving such an interview, Turnbull is desperately trying to protect the Emissions Trading Scheme, and his leadership, by sabotaging any future Liberal Party leader who would oppose the scheme. So fanatical is Turnbull, that he would rather see the Liberal Party destroyed, than be led and controlled by anyone other than him.
Former Treasurer Peter Costello later says:
“I have never seen a Liberal leader attack senior colleagues in the way Turnbull did on the weekend. Turnbull’s attacks have been sharper and inflicted more damage on his colleagues than Kevin Rudd ever did.”
Veteran Liberal Party adviser Grahame Morris says:
“…some of the interviews [Turnbull has] done…Last week he burnt a few bridges, but at the weekend he was throwing around napalm and agent orange…[Liberal members] just got really angry that a leader could say that about his own party and his own colleagues. They just didn’t understand it.”
30th November, 2009 – Turnbull loses his 30th Newspoll out of 30.
1st December, 2009 – Turnbull loses leadership to Tony Abbott, and the media immediately begin smearing Abbott with words like “lunatic”, “nutter”, “crazy”, “extremist”, “lunar right”, “crackpot”, “Taliban”, “head kicker”, “bobba boy”, “captain catholic” “mad monk”. Here’s a short video mashup.
Fairfax’s Latika Bourke and Neil Mitchell even go so far as to say that Abbott is unelectable, despite that fact that he’s obviously been elected, numerous times, to his seat in parliament.
Next Part: Relentless Undermining (2009 – 2015)
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100. Jackson, S. (2009, Nov 02). Turnbull drawcard at Twitterati talkfest. The Australian.
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