*This part covers the period from 1980 (the end of Turnbull’s schooling) until 2000 (when he re-joined the Liberal Party).
1981 – Turnbull returns to Sydney from Oxford, and has his eye on the Prime Ministership. He has said the particular party he would join to achieve this “doesn’t matter”. Surrounded by safe Liberal seats in his area of Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Turnbull had decided to join the Liberal Party, and now, after a short time at the bar, he would run for pre-selection:
“I contested the Liberal Party’s pre-selection for the very safe seat of Wentworth…Had I won the pre-selection ballot, I would have certainly been returned as a member of the House of Representatives.” 1
Given his known ideological leanings, many of his friends had expressed surprise that he ran for Liberal pre-selection, but he didn’t have much choice if he wanted to be Prime Minister. Finding a safe Labor seat as a well-to-do barrister and eastern suburbs carpetbagger would’ve been too difficult.35
During his run for the seat, the National Times newspaper features a story about a 1977 incident in which Turnbull is alleged to have strangled former girlfriend Fiona Watson’s cat “Nessie” to death. The article said:
“…if Turnbull is preselected he could face some hostile questions from the Animal Protection League.”
Turnbull sues the newspaper in the ACT Supreme Court, and letters emerge that Turnbull had apparently written after Fiona had ended their relationship but before the death of Nessie. The letters were obviously intended for Fiona but, disturbingly, were nominally addressed to Nessie. One of the letters said:
Tell your miss that I love her very much, tell her that when I came to see her on Sunday and she wasn’t there I cuddled you up and it broke my heart that it wasn’t her.
Tell her I know a lot of her current boyfriends will tell her not to see me, they will stroke her hair back and tell her to forget me.
But Nessie, we know she never will and you tell her, my little cat, how much we were in love.
All my love
A scan of the above letter has circulated online. See it here.
When another journalist from another newspaper raised the same matter in an article, Turnbull sued again, and received a payment. Indeed, Turnbull has repeatedly denied strangling the cat saying “no cat died at my hands” and that he thinks the cat “got run over by a car“. This had led to a theory that he killed the cat by running it over with his car.
He subsequently loses that pre-selection contest to former NSW Opposition Leader Peter Coleman, but continues to seek political office.
In 1982, the ‘progressive’ former Liberal Prime Minister Billy McMahon retired from his federal seat of Lowe. He endorsed Turnbull to replace him, but Turnbull decided not to contest the marginal seat. Then, in 1983, Turnbull ran for Liberal preselection in the very safe Liberal state seat of Mosman, but again lost, this time to Phillip Smiles.
Turnbull doesn’t run again, and allows his Liberal membership to lapse in 1983.37 Clearly he has no desire for party membership other than as a conduit to personal power.36
24th October, 1984 – Trevor Kennedy, chief executive of Australian Consolidated Press, says:
“Malcolm probably wouldn’t even be satisfied with being prime minister of Australia. He’d probably rather be prime minister of the world.” 37
8th December, 1984 – A Business Review Weekly magazine article recognises the seeming paradox of Turnbull, that he has close associations with the Labor Party but his attempts at a political career are all with the Liberals.
“…despite his cultivation of Labor politicians and Labor lawyers, Turnbull had become a member of the Liberal Party, with aspirations to a political career.”
Of course, when you understand that Turnbull lives in a very safe Liberal seat, and needs a safe seat to become Prime Minister, you can understand why he probably has no other realistic option but to join the Liberals. Finding a safe Labor seat to contest as a carpet-bagger is probably not going to work for someone like him.
17th December, 1984 – The Supreme Court of NSW dismisses a defamation lawsuit Turnbull was running for his client, Consolidated Press Holdings, saying that it was an “abuse of process”. Justice Hunt said that Turnbull:
“…managed effectively to poison the fountain of justice…”
July, 1985 – Writing in the Bulletin, Turnbull defends High Court “Justice” and former Whitlam Labor Attorney-General Lionel Murphy following his criminal conviction for perverting the course of justice. Murphy is, of course, an old friend of Turnbull’s mother and an ideological ally.
The Labor Party strongly support Turnbull’s article, with Peter Bowers writing in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Turnbull’s article in this week’s Bulletin magazine, asserting that Murphy’s conviction was a miscarriage of justice has been hailed by the Labor Party at large as the last word on the subject.” 38
January, 1986 – Turnbull becomes involved in the Spycatcher case, where he teams up with the far-left (including communists) in a lawsuit against Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative British government. I’ve put the details of Turnbull’s involvement in this case in a separate article, for the sake of tidiness.
Note: Turnbull had left the bar a few years earlier,35 and therefore had no obligation to take this case.
4th November, 1986 – Writing in The Bulletin, Turnbull praises left-wing Labor stalwart Lionel Murphy. Turnbull said history would look kindly on Lionel Murphy’s achievements – more kindly than upon his critics who would be forgotten “because of their insignificance“.
Murphy’s primary critics included B.A. Santamaria, mentor to Tony Abbott.
9th December, 1986 – British journalist Michael Davie writes about Turnbull’s left-wing tendencies in The Age newspaper, saying:
“There was evidently a moment when he entertained ambitions about orthodox politics, when he stood for pre-selection first in Wentworth. and then in Mosman. He tells people now that he has moved to the left. This is just as well, since Labor is in office in both Canberra and New South Wales.”
Davie also reports that:
“…Mr Turnbull says he is neither Anglophile nor Anglophobe. He is, I would say, a Turnbullophile.”
16th March, 1987 – Turnbull tells Australian Associated Press that he had feared a judge involved in the Spycatcher case “was a conservative judge“.
March, 1987 – Turnbull launches an investment bank with two Labor Party figures. They are former NSW Labor Premier Neville Wran (whom Turnbull would later say was his “best friend”), and Nicholas Whitlam, son of the radical leftist and former Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam. His nickname among the bank’s employees was “The Ayatollah”.39
1st October, 1987 – Turnbull attends a benefactors’ luncheon for Bob Carr, who was then a state Labor MP for the NSW seat of Maroubra and a minister in the Unsworth Labor Government. It is revealed that, while working at The Bulletin together, Turnbull and Carr were co-authoring a spy novel set around the 1980 Olympic Games. They are longtime “close friends” according to Turnbull.
26th January, 1988 – Australia celebrates the 200th anniversary of colonisation. Malcolm Turnbull looks over the celebrations, and is angry that the British Royals are prominent attendees. In his book The Reluctant Republic, he later writes:
“That Bicentennial year was a year of shame. Every major event was presided over by a member of the British royal family.” 2
Considering we were celebrating the bicentennial of British colonisation, Turnbull’s dismay seems rather irrational.
30th August, 1988 – In an interview on SBS’s Speaking for Myself program, Turnbull says:
“I think I am, and most people regard me as being, very much a feminist.”
3rd September, 1988 – A feature piece on Turnbull appears in the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Good Weekend magazine [pg. 56] titled What Malcolm Wants, Malcolm Gets. The article quotes Kerry Packer saying he’d hate to get between Turnbull and a sack of gold.
7th September, 1988 – Turnbull launches his new book The Spycatcher Trial at an event in Sydney. The keynote speaker is former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Turnbull is brimming with praise for Whitlam, and even begins referring to him as “the redeemer“, a term usually reserved for Jesus Christ.
Reviewers say the book is “insufferably boastful“, has a “self-congratulatory tone”3, and is a “mixture of braggadocio and candour”4.
13th October, 1988 – Final Spycatcher judgement in UK.
November, 1988 – It is reported that Turnbull has become a director of AusFlag, an organisation dedicated to changing the Australian flag, by getting rid of the ‘Union Jack’.
December, 1988 – Turnbull is hired by the state Labor government of Western Australia as a financial adviser. He praises the then Labor Premier, Peter Dowding, for his “strength of character“, and helps WA Labor try to paint the WA Liberals as agents of the shady businessman, Alan Bond.
Turnbull says he and Dowding had a “warm personal friendship“, and Turnbull later describes Dowding as “a very dear friend”5 who even went on to move to Sydney, just a few doors down from Turnbull, in a house rented off Turnbull.
25th November, 1989 – An article in the Sydney Morning Herald reveals that Turnbull gave a speech to the Pitt Club, a grouping of federal Liberal and National MPs under the age of 40, and was given an “unexpected drubbing” from his audience.
December, 1989 – Turnbull joins Clover Moore and a gaggle of green-left heritage-mongers, to agitate against the NSW state Liberal-National government’s plans to privatise the old Sydney showground. Turnbull even threatens that the issue could “bring down” the Liberal-National government.
22nd September, 1990 – In a Sydney Morning Herald article, Turnbull is referred to as one of the “largest egos in Sydney”, and a long-time acquaintance is quoted saying:
“His style is confrontation and intimidation – he always tries to go in and bash the hell out of an opponent. The most uncollegiate person I’ve known“ 6
13th April, 1991 – In a Good Weekend magazine feature article, Turnbull’s acquaintances are quoted calling him “a prick”, “a turd”, “offensively smug”, “easy to loathe”, “cynical”, “overbearing”, “chilling”, “unnecessarily aggressive”, “vicious”, “nasty”, “savaging”, “abrasive”, “breathtakingly arrogant”, “a good exploiter of publicity”, someone who “will do anything to get what he wants”, and someone who would “devour anyone for breakfast”.
The article notes Turnbull’s hypocrisy in proclaiming to support free speech, but silencing his critics with fear via threats of litigation. Indeed the Good Weekend journalist writes that, during an interview, Turnbull threatened to take out an injunction to prevent his story seeing the light of day, and gave a mini-lecture on the Defamation Act.
This sort of hypocrisy squares perfectly with Turnbull’s contemporary lip service in support of free speech, whilst strongly supporting draconian restrictions on free speech under the Racial Discrimination Act.
It is also revealed that Turnbull nicknames himself “Satan” and his wife is quoted saying he recently “absolutely went off his rocker” over a relatively small matter, “but it became an issue of power in the marriage“. There are also accounts of Turnbull verbally abusing journalists and trying to get them sacked for supporting an opposing point-of-view to his own.
25th June, 1991 – The Labor Party’s national conference passes a resolution calling for a pro-republic propaganda campaign that would culminate in a referendum by the late 1990s. The Liberals respond saying that the republic resolution proves the “Loony Left” are controlling Labor.
7th July, 1991 – Turnbull is a founding director of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM). The organisation is a gaggle of elitist leftists and Labor Party figures including:
- Thomas Keneally – Leftist author. Gough Whitlam supporter. Member of the Advertising Standards Board that approved a “Lolita-style” jeans advert.
- Neville Wran – Former NSW Labor Premier.
- David Williamson – Leftist playwright. Gillard admirer. Carbon tax supporter.
- Franca Arena – State Labor MP.
- Geraldine Doogue – ABC “journalist”.
- David Hill – Then ABC Managing Director & future Laborcandidate.
- Faith Bandler – Feminist & former Communist Partymember.
- Donald Horne – Leftist journalist, Labor supporter.
- Jenny Kee – Hippie fashion designer who, at 43 years of age, had a relationship with a 22-year-old “toy boy” who subsequently committed suicide. Also posed nude on magazine covers and was a supporter of Gough Whitlam.
- Mark Day – Founding Editor of Australian Playboy & Penthouse.
- Harry Seidler – Son-in-law of former NSW Labor Minister, Clive Evatt (brother of the infamous ‘Doc’ Evatt).
- Franco Belgiorno-Nettis – A businessman who proclaims “Honestly, I don’t think I’m an Australian… I don’t feel Australian.” (Note that Turnbull repeatedly calls republicanism a patriotic movement)
- Ian Chappell – Token sportsman, hater of John Howard and Tony Abbott’s border protection policies.
- Fred Schepisi – Film director and (like Turnbull) a supporter of “artist” Bill Henson, who takes naked photos of children.
- Colin Lanceley – “Artist” and “committed socialist” who only returned to Australia from England due to his revulsion for Margaret Thatcher.
- Blanche D’Apulget – Then Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s then mistress (one of them, at least).
- John Menadue – Gough Whitlam’s private secretary and Department of PM&C head. Founding chair of leftist website ‘New Matilda’.
- Bruce Petty – Self-proclaimed socialist7 & cartoonist for The Age.
The Liberal Party respond by setting up a monarchist task force, and they are attacked by Turnbull. NSW Liberal President and federal Liberal MP Peter King says the ARM is an ALP-inspired organisation “as obvious as night follows day”:
“It’s Labor’s republic and nobody should be fooled by it.”
Turnbull would later admit that the prominent Labor-aligned members of the ARM deliberately kept a low profile8 even though one of them, Neville Wran, had been a progenitor:
“…the Australian Republican Movement was founded following a lunch between [Neville Wran] and Tom Keneally over a bottle of chardonnay. I just wish they had not said that, because we were always accused of being chardonnay-swilling elitists as a consequence.”
31st October, 1991 – Turnbull delivers the 5th Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture, in honour of the far-left Labor radical, Lionel Murphy, who was Attorney-General in the Whitlam Government.
Turnbull begins the speech by praising Murphy, saying:
“There is very little in Lionel Murphy’s public life that I have ever had cause to disagree with.”
In this speech he also attacks the powers of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, as “almost dictatorial” and “anti-democratic”.
18th March, 1992 – Turnbull and the Keating-Labor Government launch a public attack on the Liberal Party and National Party for opposing a republic. In a speech at the National Press Club in Canberra, Turnbull attacks opposition to the republic as “caveman conservatism“, and specifically targets John Howard. He says having a republic would help us better integrate into Asia, and accuses conservatives of “hiding behind the Royal petticoats”. [audio here]
For Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating though, he has nothing but praise, saying:
“Frankly, I am awestruck by Keating’s courage… Keating is the first mainstream politician to even put his toe into this particular pool, and he should be congratulated for his courage.”
Turnbull also praises Keating for supporting a change to the Australian flag, from which they both want to rip out the ‘Union Jack’.
2nd May, 1992 – In an article for The Australian newspaper titled Time to show our true colours, Turnbull writes in opposition to the Australian flag.
18th May, 1992 – At the launch of the West Australian branch of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) in Perth, Turnbull puts on a characteristic display of megalomania in his treatment of Peter Consandine, founder of the Republican Party of Australia (RPA), which predates the ARM by about a decade.
Instead of praising Consandine for his dedicated pro-republican activism, and bringing him into the tent, Turnbull, desperate to be considered the sole founding father of an Australian republic, attacks him. Turnbull tells the crowd that Consandine’s party was formed to cash in on the success of the ARM, which was obviously absurd considering the RPA predates the ARM by about 10 years.
Consandine confronts him on the matter, and Turnbull dismisses him and tells him that he should change the name of his party so that it isn’t confused with the ARM. Turnbull then grabbed some ARM brochures out of Consandine’s hand, and put them back on the table, and later tells the media that…
“Consandine is an embarrassment … I mean, the guy’s a flea.”
Consandine replies, saying that the ARM is a Labor Party front group:
“One thing I can say with certainty is that there’s ALP card-carriers in their ranks, but there’s no f…ing ALP card-carriers in our ranks!”
This episode is documented in a Sydney Morning Herald article.40
September, 1992 – Turnbull, who presents himself as a warrior for free speech and freedom of information, launches legal action to prevent the publication of a book called “Corporate Cannibals” which covers some of his business and legal activities. He demands some sections of the book be changed.
28th April, 1993 – For the H.V. Evatt Lecture, Prime Minister Paul Keating gives a major pro-republic speech, and admits that the republic is about “revolutionary change”, redefining Australia’s identity and Asian integration.
The lecture is named for the leftist Labor Party stalwart, H.V. “Doc” Evatt, which was yet another indication of the nature of the republican movement.
The Keating-Labor Government creates a “Republic Advisory Committee” to produce an options paper, and appoints Malcolm Turnbull as Chairman. The Liberals say it is a partisan attempt to deal with the issue.
6th June, 1993 – Turnbull is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald saying he prefers a situation where Labor and the Liberal-National coalition have the same fundamental ideology, and fight elections based only on managerial competence. He then attacks the Liberals for their conservative orientation at the previous federal election, saying:
“The one thing the last election demonstrated was that the Liberals’ attempt to differentiate themselves ideologically – to move themselves to the right – was a catastrophic mistake.”
9th July, 1993 – The Liberal Party federal executive meeting issues a statement recognising the republican movement as a Labor front:
“… we are totally opposed to the hidden agenda that Labor has in supporting the move to a republic, including its long-term plans to undermine the power of the States, to abolish the Senate, change the flag and eliminate the reserve power of the Governor-General.” 9
29th July, 1993 – The Australian Financial Review reports Turnbull making abusive comments about the Liberal Party and threatening to use his Australian Republican Movement to swing elections against them if they maintain their support for constitutional monarchism. Turnbull is quoted saying:
“A lot of the parliamentary Liberal Party suffer from a pretty profound lack of intellectual depth…Most Liberal politicians, even those who’ve been to universities, seem to have avoided reading and absorbing any books – there aren’t even any distinguished lawyers in the parliamentary party.”
Turnbull also praised Labor, saying Keating was showing leadership and “national vision” on the issue, and that the republican debate was a choice between “an intelligent and an unintelligent party“. He added that:
“The Liberals are going to go into the next election clutching coronation tea cosies, thinking they’ll win…There is a price for supporting the monarchy, and that’s the price of electoral pain.” 10
Many people, including Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, respond saying Turnbull is a Labor partisan who is only interested in ramming through the Keating agenda.
8th August, 1993 – Speaking to the Sunday Age, Turnbull again viciously attacks the Liberals, saying:
“The party is largely composed of geriatrics. They’ve become a joke…The ALP is much better educated these days than the Liberals.” 11
He further adds:
“Politics is increasingly about management, people and vision. This is where the Libs fail. Keating has a vision of an independent Australia carving itself an identity.”
He also makes a failed prediction:
“…the Libs will suffer a big defeat if they stick with the monarchy in the 1996 election. If the Liberal Party makes itself an enemy of the republic, it makes itself an enemy of republicans. And there are more republicans than people who vote Liberal…I mean, the Liberals’ whole strategy is to frighten old women.”
The Liberal Party maintained a pro-monarchy policy for the 1996 federal election, and the Liberal-National coalition won that election in a landslide (94 seats to Labor’s 49).
September, 1993 – In an interview with Charles Firth, for his Sydney Grammar magazine, Turnbull calls the Australian Constitution “a drab and misleading document” in arguing for a republic.
Firth also recounts Turnbull’s views of the Labor Party:
“I distinctly remember that Turnbull then went on to talk about how the Labor Party was the only viable agent of change. That only the Labor Party had the necessary progressiveness to carry the nation through such an important shift in our outlook as a nation.”
16th September, 1993 – Tony Abbott, then Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, writes about Malcolm Turnbull:
“[George] Winterton’s flippant remark that Malcolm Turnbull might be Australia’s first President, is very revealing about the Turnbull committee’s dynamics and further explains why republicanism is in deep trouble…To his credit, Turnbull could easily be making money rather than pursuing a cause. Yet he also displays a bully streak when crossed ― and his threats to the parliamentary seats of Liberal (but not Labor) monarchists have made him look like a Keating stooge.”
Abbott also makes a crucial point about the hidden agenda behind republicanism:
“…many republicans don’t want to celebrate our identity ― but to change it ― and the dump-the-Queen-change-the-flag push is just the latest expression of the “black armband” view of Australian history, that we are an illegitimate nation redeemable only by up-rooting our past.”
5th October, 1993 – Keating’s Republic Advisory Committee, chaired by Turnbull, delivers a 200-page report on the options for an Australian republic. In a subsequent Press Club speech Turnbull admits “We already live in a republic in Australia, by any sensible test…”. Turnbull also calls the Australian people “chauvinistic”, and says criticism of Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating has been “unfair”.
23rd October, 1993 – Tony Abbott says Turnbull is repeatedly making angry threats of legal action against members of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy for apparent “misquoting“.
Threatening legal action is a long-practiced Turnbull strategy designed to frighten his critics into silence, and restrict speech. Even if people are accurately quoting Turnbull, and making legitimate criticisms, a lot of them will self-censor as a result of Turnbull’s threats, simply because they don’t want to risk being dragged into a time-consuming and costly court process.
November, 1993 – Turnbull’s book The Reluctant Republic is published. In it he:
- Calls the transition to Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe a “diplomatic achievement” (Mugabe called himself a “dedicated socialist”). [pg 148]
- Attacks Liberal Party founder Robert Menzies. [pg 59]
- Praises Labor’s John Curtin and ‘Doc’ Evatt. [pg 53]
- Admits they tried to hide Labor involvement in the republican movement. [pg 186]
- Praises Paul Keating in the face of Liberal criticisms. [pg 190]
- Wants the Australian flag changed. [pg 199, 200]
- Says monarchists are racist. [pg 217, 218]
- Says monarchists are “cave-man conservatives”. [pg. 227]
- Says monarchists will use racism and sectarianism, and promote ignorance and fear, to achieve their goals. [pg 263]
- Says we should become a republic to impress Asia. [pg 86, 87]
- Attacks former Chief Justice of Australia Sir Garfield Barwick, especially over tax cases (Barwick’s judgements were almost always against the tax office, and in favour of the taxpayer, which angered the left). [pg 124]
- Threatens Liberals with election challenges. [pg 245, 247, 248]
- Expresses his anti-colonial (and therefore anti-Australian and anti-Christian) sentiments. [pg 70, 86]
- Attacks John Howard & Tony Abbott for saying the republic is a Trojan Horse to abolish the states. [pg. 105, 239]
- Says the change to a republic will “define our nationhood”, proving monarchist suspicions that the republic is part of a revolutionary change that seeks to wipe out Australia’s European colonial, Christian history, and start afresh under a so-called ‘progressive’, secular humanist, multi-cultural paradigm. [pg. 71]
22nd November, 1993 – British-Canadian newspaper mogul Conrad Black releases his autobiography. In it he talks about his former business acquaintance, Malcolm Turnbull, saying:
“Malcolm had immense agility at composing scenarios whose common feature was the happy ending of his ruling the world, or whatever part of it was currently under consideration. Malcolm’s fugues were notorious; such as the time [as a young single man] he allegedly punctuated an altercation with a friend by disposing of her cat.”
1993 – According to former Labor Senator, Graham Richardson, Turnbull came into his office and asked for his help to join the Labor Party and get a safe spot on the NSW Labor Senate ticket. Journalist Annabel Crabb, writing in the Quarterly Essay, says:
“The mid-1990s found Malcolm Turnbull discussing, with various Labor figures including Keating, the prospect of his recruitment as a Labor parliamentarian. “Initiated by Keating!” protests Turnbull, who says he refused the approach. “Initiated by Turnbull!” insists Graham Richardson, who wrote that Turnbull asked him in 1993 for a Senate spot but legged it on being told about the tender delights of grass-roots ALP membership.”
11th February, 1994 – At a Senate print media inquiry Turnbull says newspaper mogul Conrad Black is an “extraordinary egotist” who “has almost no regard for telling the truth”. Black later responds saying Turnbull is:
“…in certain circumstances a notoriously unstable man, and allegations of egotism and untrustworthiness emanating from him are, and to say the least, bizarre.”
March, 1994 – Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating’s long-serving press secretary and chief political adviser, Mark Ryan, goes to work for Malcolm Turnbull at his investment bank. Then, just a few months later, Mr Ryan is appointed chief executive officer of Turnbull’s Australian Republican Movement (ARM) organisation.
Liberal shadow minister John Howard said Mr Ryan was a “Keating puppet” and Liberal backbencher Tony Abbott said the appointment confirmed…
“…that the republican movement takes its orders directly from the Lodge…It also demonstrates that the movement is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wran-Turnbull financial conglomerate.”
11th June, 1994 – Turnbull writes an article for the Canberra Times saying that the Australian flag should be changed:
“…I have urged advocates of a new Australian flag to produce an attractive and exciting alternative flag.”
3rd July, 1994 – A NSW State Liberal MP and member of the party’s State Executive, Marise Payne (Turnbull’s future Defence Minister), becomes vice-chairman of Turnbull’s Australian Republican Movement (ARM). She is the first Liberal of any significance to join the ARM, and her actions contradict official Liberal policy. She is called out for her betrayal of the party by the federal Liberal MP for Warringah, Tony Abbott, who says:
“The first plank of the party platform is support for the constitutional monarchy…[This contradicts] the constitution, the platform and the policy of the Liberal Party.”
Meanwhile, federal Liberal Leader Alexander Downer says Malcolm Turnbull is “dishonest” regarding his claim that Downer is not vehemently opposed to a republic.
5th July, 1994 – John Howard says the Australian Republican Movement is “a body whose sole aim is to fight the Liberal Party” and is “dominated by Labor sympathisers“. He added that:
The Australian Republican Movement’s chairman, Malcolm Turnbull, threatened some time ago to campaign against sitting Liberals if they didn’t support a republic.”
23rd August, 1994 – The federal Labor government appoints Turnbull and business partner Neville Wran to the board of a failing government-owned shipping line called Australian National Line (ANL). The Liberals criticise it as a “deal for mates” and Turnbull and Wran are said to have “close links” with the NSW Labor Party. Opposition finance spokesman Peter Costello refers to Turnbull and Wran as “jackals” who will “pick the carcass” of ANL, and says Turnbull has “been working so hard for the Labor Party…”.
29th August, 1994 – There is speculation that Turnbull will form a new party with the leftist elements of the Liberal Party, in order to co-operate with Labor on the republic, and oppose the classical liberals and conservatives in the Liberal Party and the National Party.
8th September, 1994 – Turnbull debates Tony Abbott on the republic at Old Parliament House in Canberra.
11th September, 1994 – Democrats Senator, and future Labor MP, Cheryl Kernot confirms that Malcolm Turnbull has discussed with her the possibility of forming a new party together that would split the Liberal Party.
19th September, 1994 – Peter Costello attacks the federal Labor government over the massive salaries they are paying to their newly appointed Australian National Line (ANL) board members, Malcolm Turnbull and Neville Wran. Costello says it is “money for mates” and is otherwise pointless considering the government has already done a deal with the Maritime Union of Australia over the future of ANL.
17th October, 1994 – Turnbull attacks the Liberal Party amidst reports that he had discussions with Democrats Senator Cheryl Kernot, about forming a new party. He said:
“…our political system needs a viable opposition and we don’t have one at the moment….The Liberal Party, as currently structured, is basically finished at a federal level…. The reason there is not more activity to form a new party is that the business community is basically comfortable with the present [Labor] Government.”
10th December, 1994 – In a debate at Sydney University, Turnbull calls Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, an “up-market dole bludger“. The reality, of course, is that the Queen has an exhaustive schedule of public duties, meetings, receptions and ceremonies.
2nd October, 1995 – The committed republican and prominent Australian poet Les Murray, condemns Turnbull’s Australian Republican Movement(ARM) as part of an “ugly elite” who are rushing Australia towards a “republic of celebrities and hectoring and social scorn“. So contemptuous was Murray of Turnbull’s ARM, that he made these comments while launching Tony Abbott’s new monarchist book, The Minimal Monarchy.
9th October, 1995 – The Australian newspaper reports that elements within Turnbull’s ARM have produced an internal document calling the organisation “anti-democratic, elitist, and under the control of a Sydney dinner-party set.” The leaked document explicitly mentions Turnbull, saying he has a “brash, egocentric and sometimes bullying personal style“.
The Executive Director of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, Tony Abbott, comments on the document:
“It shows the Australian Republican Movement has too many kings and not enough commoners”
1996 – Turnbull continues to campaign for changing the flag, with his investment banking company, ‘Turnbull and Partners’, sponsoring an exhibition of alternative national flag designs.12
December, 1996 – Turnbull organises a series of nationwide anti-John Howard rallies.13
29th January, 1997 – Turnbull attacks John Howard and Nick Minchin as engaging in “an exercise in North Korean political science“.
April, 1997 – Turnbull is hired by the Carr Labor Government to advise on the sale of the TAB.14
July, 1997 – Turnbull and Wran sell their investment bank to Goldman Sachs (Australia & New Zealand) and Turnbull starts working for them as chairman and managing director, with Wran as a senior adviser.15
30th August, 1997 – In the midst of attacking the Howard strategy on the republic, Turnbull is spotted dining at the trendy Oxo restaurant in London, with former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating.16
27th October, 1997 – Turnbull says Australia’s constitutional monarchy is bad because it is anti-multiculturalism:
“It is demeaning to have a foreign monarch as head of state. It sends confusing signals to the region, it is a relic of the colonial days and it is the very antithesis of multiculturalism,” 17
He admits that it will be difficult to persuade an “innately conservative electorate” of this fundamental change to Australia.
7th February, 1998 – Sophie Panopolous writes about her experience as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention at Old Parliament House in Canberra:
“At the end of each day, I have been recording a diary for our national broadcaster. Malcolm Turnbull’s demeanour has been my barometer of proceedings. On the first day he was all smiles and robust with confidence. As a greater diversity of views was expressed on the second day, he just turned into his usual smug self – the public face of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) as we have come to know it.
After attacks from other republicans and accusations that he was trying to railroad the proceedings, Turnbull faced the reality that non-ARM republicans would not come to the fold.
His abuse of ACM (Australians for Constitutional Monarchy) and the untruths he attributes to our involvement at the convention has embarrassed many ARM delegates, who have privately apologised on his behalf. They say they would like their leader to apologise publicly. We will wait a long time before we hear “I’m sorry” from Turnbull.
He has been grumpy and sulky since he realised he had to share the republican platform. Just like another patrician, Dorian Gray, perhaps Turnbull can commission his own portrait of the soul and deprive me of my daily barometer.” 18
February, 1998 – Turnbull approaches Kim Beazley at the Constitutional Convention, regarding his interest in gaining a Labor seat in parliament.
18th February, 1998 – In his column in The Daily Telegraph, Mark Day, a director of the ARM, writes that Turnbull should quit the leadership of the ARM because the next stage of the battle for a republic required “less abrasive, confrontational leadership”. Day added that:
“A number of people from both inside and outside the republican movement have expressed the view that Malcolm should go…” 19
21st March, 1998 – An editorial in The Canberra Times says:
“The Australian Republican Movement’s Malcolm Turnbull is fast becoming the biggest asset in the monarchists’ armoury. Arrogant and increasingly intolerant of anyone with a contrary view, he has now moved on to Britain with the message for the natives that his “inevitable” republic is nothing to do with them….He also demonstrated his extremely frail ego by launching out once again at those sections of the media which choose not to fall down fawning at his feet.” 20
23rd March, 1998 – The Sydney Morning Herald reports serious internal divisions over Turnbull’s leadership of the ARM:
“Despite attempts by senior ARM members to paper over the divisions, it is clear that many people, while appreciating Mr Turnbull’s efforts, believe he will have to relinquish authority as the republican campaign moves into the next phase. Even some of his own supporters now say privately that his dominance of the ARM is proving counterproductive to attempts to draw other community groups into the republican fight.”
Turnbull’s critics are said to be “growing” within the republican movement, among them Peter Costello, who is reported to have “problems with Mr Turnbull’s style and tactics”. Despite this, Turnbull retains the support of former NSW Labor Premier Neville Wran.21
18th December, 1998 – Committed republican Ted Mack says Turnbull’s desired version of republic is “authoritarian”:
“The Turnbull republic is a move towards corporatism and guided democracy favoured by elitist and authoritarian regimes everywhere.”
Early, 1999 – Turnbull approaches John Della Bosca regarding gaining a Labor seat in parliament.
18th January, 1999 – Tony Abbott says Malcolm Turnbull is part of a “Sydney chardonnay set” who regard Australians as:
“…yobs with cans in their hands, in urgent need of cultural re-education…” 22
28th January, 1999 – Victorian Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett calls on Malcolm Turnbull to step down as head of the republican campaign, saying he has a “crash through or crash” style and can’t relate to average Australians:
“I’m not sure that Malcolm Turnbull is the best public face to try and convince average Australians to vote for change… I just think you could find someone who probably can articulate the position better and relate better to the community as a whole.”
Peter Costello responds to Kennett saying:
“I think what Kennett is saying is right at one level. The real test for the ARM is whether they are now prepared to hand this issue over to a yes coalition.” 23
May, 1999 – An article in The Bulletin magazine quotes a member of the republic referendum ‘Yes’ Committee saying:
“I think if Malcolm is directly involved in this thing, it will fail… [due to his] autocratic and unpopular style and his refusal to tolerate dissent.” 24
30th June, 1999 – Turnbull donates $15,000 to the Labor Party in financial year 1998/1999 through his company Wilcrow Pty Ltd.
31st July, 1999 – Turnbull tells the Sydney Morning Herald that he and wife Lucy are “swinging voters“.25
August, 1999 – Future NSW Labor MP Frank Sartor is running for re-election as Lord Mayor of Sydney. He is endorsed by the Labor Party, including NSW Premier Bob Carr (Malcolm’s “close friend”). Turnbull’s wife Lucy is running on a joint ticket with Sartor, for the Deputy Lord Mayor position. Their opponent is Liberal Kathryn Greiner, wife of former Liberal NSW Premier Nick Greiner.
Nick privately tells Malcolm that he has damaging material on Sartor, including a staffer’s official complaint that he is a serial sexual harasser. Turnbull tries to protect Sartor, and warns Greiner not to attack him or there will be consequences26. When the allegations are made public, Turnbull attacks the Liberal Party, calling them “rank amateurs” and the allegations “outrageous”.27
11th September, 1999 – NSW local council elections are held and the Sartor/Turnbull ticket is successful. Sartor is re-elected Lord Mayor and soon agrees to make 1,000 Sydney flagpoles available exclusively, and free-of-charge, to carry Turnbull’s pro-republican “Vote Yes” banners (pictured below).28
10 October, 1999 – Turnbull says Prime Minister John Howard, Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin are all lacking in “objectivity and intellectual integrity“.29
Late, 1999 – In the lead-up to the republic referendum, Turnbull approaches federal Labor Senator and shadow Attorney-General Nick Bolkus, asking about gaining pre-selection for Labor. Bolkus recalls:
“Malcolm, on more than one occasion, raised with me how he could get preselection in the Labor Party. It wasn’t something that I raised with him. I must admit I never thought Malcolm would be comfortable in the faction that I’m part of, the left, but it was something that he raised with me on a couple of occasions… I can remember at least two when the matter was raised by Malcolm, a genuine inquiry, I think it was an honest inquiry at the time. You know, he would often reflect about how Labor, he thought, was not going all that well under the leadership of Kim Beazley at the time, and whether someone like him would be able to add value to us and so on, but it was very much something that he was raising.”
Another Labor staffer, and senior figure in the republican movement, Tony Pooley, said he had discussions with Turnbull about his Labor ambitions at the time of the republic referendum, and that Turnbull:
“…had reflected on the fact he had some general discussions with Paul Keating about representing Labor federally.”
6th November, 1999 – Australians defeat Malcolm Turnbull’s republic referendum. Utterly ungracious in defeat, Turnbull spews a diatribe so laden with bile, that even the leftist, pro-republic ABC couldn’t stomach parts of it, and edited them out in replays. This contrasted starkly with the speech given by Mrs. Kerry Jones, leader of the official “No” campaign, who said:
“The ‘Yes’ campaign is full of good Australians who want the best for their country too… It is my wish, and the wish of all those involved in the ‘No’ campaign, that Australians who voted ‘Yes’ will join together with us so that we can celebrate the centenary of Federation as a united nation. All of us want the best for our country. All of us are proud Australians”
The primary target of Turnbull’s bile was the then Prime Minister, John Howard, the very man who republicans had applauded for allowing the referendum to go ahead, despite his personal opposition to a republic. Turnbull screeched:
“Whatever John Howard achieves, history will remember him for only one thing. He was the Prime Minister who broke the nation’s heart.”
This was a delusional statement considering Australia had just voted to support Howard’s position. Further, 15 years later, polling shows that 39% of Australians consider John Howard to be the best Prime Minister of the past 40 years.
So much for Turnbull’s prediction.
On the night of his referendum defeat, Turnbull approached former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke, with a desire to join the federal Labor Party and become a shadow Minister. Hawke claims Turnbull said:
“Bob, the only thing I can do now is join the Labor Party.”
Turnbull also tells senior Labor staffer David Britton that he is “deeply pissed off with Howard” and that he had a “very different social agenda” to the then Prime Minister. He then allegedly asked Britton:
“Don’t you think Kim Beazley would like somebody like me as his finance spokesman?”
Turnbull is also said to have canvassed becoming a Labor MP with the then ACTU Secretary, Bill Kelty.
29th November, 1999 – Just three weeks after losing the referendum, Turnbull’s book, “Fighting for the Republic”, is released. It appears to be a pre-cooked attempt at controlling the historical narrative. The major villain of the story is none other than the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the entire first chapter is dedicated to a full frontal attack on him. Other major villains include Tony Abbott, Nick Minchin, and a large swathe of the Liberal Party.
In the book Turnbull compares John Howard to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il , saying:
“It seemed that the Prime Minister had finally begun to embrace Asian values, but unfortunately he had started with North Korean political science.” [pg. 20]
He also says Howard is not patriotic…
“Prime Ministers are expected to be patriotic and as a consequence to have a lively interest in their national institutions. John Howard plainly did not.” [pg. 22]
…and is not acting like a legitimate Prime Minister:
“Howard has the office of Prime Minister, but he will not act like one. There are few politicians with a more short-term focus than him, and his only objective is winning the referendum.” [pg. 117]
He further claims that Liberal ministers Tony Abbott, Nick Minchin and Peter Reith “joined in the chorus defaming our democratic institutions.” and “had no interest in enlightening the people”, and that they did so “with the Prime Minister’s blessing”. [pg. 247]
Turnbull also reveals the ALP-nature of the republican movement, saying:
“A vital element in the campaign was to maintain the solid support of the Australian Labor Party. We needed their foot-soldiers to distribute how-to-vote leaflets into letterboxes…both the participation rate and the support for the ARM were highest in the electorates where the ALP was most effective in distributing our literature.” [pg. 25]
“The ALP…has decided to treat this referendum as though it were a federal campaign. Beazley will be exclusively devoting his time to it for the last three weeks of the campaign. We agree that the ARM and ALP should work in close liaison.” [pg. 131]
Other Labor figures closely involved with Turnbull include David Britton, Tony Burke, Gareth Evans and Michael Lavarch. Turnbull praises all of them to the hilt. [pg. 25, 58]
Turnbull even mocks the idea of mateship, and the quintessential Aussie bloke, when referring to John Howard’s proposed preamble, saying:
“Howard tried to argue that ‘mateship’ was not a masculine term, but women were not convinced. Mates and mateship were as blokey as you could get. The was a preamble wearing thongs, stubbies and a blue singlet.” [pg. 89]
In the book, Turnbull also…
- Further reveals the ALP-nature of the campaign. [pg. 108, 171, 246, 247]
- Attacks Howard many more times. [pg. 17, 19, 89, 129, 149, 150, 161, 199, 219+]
- Attacks Sophie Panopoulos very personally. [pg. 143, 235]
- Says voting ‘no’ will offend Indonesia & Asia. [pg. 160]
- Takes the side of unionists over the Howard Government. [pg. 187]
- Supports targeting young people with a republican line of condoms & merchandise containing slogans with sexual double entendres like “Give an Australian the Head Job” and “Rooting for the Republic”. [pg 109] Republicans even try to get model Jodhi Meares to wear a T-shirt with one of the slogans, but she refuses out of disgust.
- Says monarchist-direct electionist coalition is like Nazi-Soviet pact. [pg. 188]
- Despite having two children, Turnbull says the referendum is the “proudest day of my life”. [pg. 242]
- Hypocritically attacks Liberal Senator Nick Minchin for Minchin’s criticism of two pro-republic High Court judges. [pg 181] Turnbull himself has a long history of attacking High Court judges, including calling on a Chief Justice to resign.
- Presenting no evidence, he accuses monarchists of hacking the ARM website and interfering with the telephone system. This is despite his criticism of monarchists as largely composed of geriatrics (who aren’t noted for being tech-savvy). On the other hand, Turnbull is an internet entrepreneur with connections, who is desperate to make monarchists look like cheaters. [pg 204]
- Complains that there hasn’t been enough school education about the constitution, but embraces children who say the Queen means nothing to them, due to that same lack of education about Australia’s history. [pg. 237]
2000 – Turnbull’s mentor, the radical homosexual High Court Justice, Michael Kirby, joins the ‘Board of Governors’ of the Kinsey Institute, a so-called “sex research” organisation in the United States that has been accused of co-operating with paedophiles and child sexual abusers for “research” on child sexuality.
The institute was founded in 1947 by American ‘sex researcher’ Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956) with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and support from Indiana University. Its original name was simply the “Institute for Sex Research” (ISR), but it was renamed in 1981 to honour its founder.
Kinsey is widely considered to be one of the primary initiators of the ‘sexual revolution’ (i.e. the normalisation of sexual immorality), which largely came to fruition in the 1960s and 70s, and continues unabated.
The work of Prof. James H. Jones, a Pulitzer Prize nominated author, and Dr. Judith Reisman, a meticulous American researcher, exposed Alfred Kinsey as a sado-masochistic homosexual who was involved in pseudo-scientific sexual experiments on children.30 It is also said that Kinsey:
- Had an “open marriage” with his wife Clara, so he could indulge in homosexual activities.31
- Had sexual relationships with his male students and colleagues at Indiana University.
- Had a fetish for tying rope around his scrotum and sticking objects in his urethra, for example: toothbrushes, drinking straws and pipe cleaners. He would then tug on the rope.32
- Was addicted to masturbation, impotent and had serious orchitis.32
- Was a misogynist who viewed women as “parasites”.33
- Circumcised himself, without anaesthesia, using a pocket knife.34
Turnbull’s mentor, Michael Kirby, has openly praised Dr. Alfred Kinsey, and says he was “honoured” to serve on the board of the “sex research” institute he founded. We should also note that Kirby has previously been accused of picking up underage male prostitutes by Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan, but Heffernan couldn’t produce enough evidence and was ordered to apologise.
Dr. Reisman has written six books on the subject of the sexual revolution, two of which specifically focus on Kinsey. If you want further information, I highly recommend these books.
There are also four documentaries on the disturbing activities of Kinsey and his associates:
- The Kinsey Syndrome (2007, Adullam Films)
- The Kinsey Coverup (2006, Coral Ridge)
- Secret History: Kinsey’s Paedophiles (1998, Yorkshire Television)
- The Children of Table 34 (1994, Family Research Council)
30th June, 2000 – Turnbull donates $10,000 to the Labor Party in financial year 1999/2000 through his company Wilcrow Pty Ltd.
2000 – On two separate occasions, Turnbull is said to have enthusiastically sought Labor endorsement on the grounds that he’d do a better job of leading the Labor Party than Kim Beazley. The alleged locations where this took place were dinner parties in Sydney and Adelaide.
Next Part: A Change of Tactics (2000 – 2009)
Back to Homepage
1. Turnbull, M. (1988). The Spycatcher Trial. (p. 5). London: Heinemann.
2. Turnbull, M. (1993). The Reluctant Republic. (p. 3). Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia.
3. Freeman, S. (1988, Oct 16). The Establishment in the dock. Sunday Times (UK).
4. Grove, V. (1988, Oct 16). Famecatcher grows rich and looks for new worlds to win. Sunday Times (UK).
5. Turnbull, M. (1999). Fighting for the Republic. (p. 222). Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books.
6. Wilkinson, M & Syvret, P. (1990, Sep 22). Malcolm Turnbull’s Trial By Television. Sydney Morning Herald, p. 71.
7. Petty, B. (2008). Foreword. Petty’s Parallel Worlds. Melbourne: High Horse Books.
8. Turnbull, M. (1993). The Reluctant Republic. (p. 186). Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia.
9. Ibid, p. 243.
10. Republicans Declare War. (1993, July 29). The Australian Financial Review, p. 16.
11. Aiton, D. (1993, Aug 8). On monarchists, mates and mum. The Sunday Age, p. 3.
12. Steketee, M. (2004, Aug 20). Turnbull stars in double-cross on flag. The Australian.
13. Turnbull, M. (1999). Fighting for the Republic. (p. 19). Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books.
14. Mychasuk, E. (1997, Apr 25). CBD. Sydney Morning Herald.
15. Maiden, M. (1997, Jul 30). Turnbull takes Wall St turn. The Age, p. B1.
16. Mychasuk, E. (1997, Aug 30). CBD. Sydney Morning Herald, p. 95.
17. Walker, T. (1997, Oct 27). Constitution fomenting royal dissent. Financial Times.
18. Panopoulos, S. (1998, Feb 07). Barometer is falling. Sydney Morning Herald, p. 38.
19. Loane, S. (1998, Feb 19). ARM director calls on Turnbull to quit. Sydney Morning Herald, p. 2.
20. Turnbull’s Australia a Very Insular Place. (1998, Mar 21). The Canberra Times.
21. Millett, M. (1998, Mar 23). Turnbull moves to oust opposition. Sydney Morning Herald, p. 3.
22. Rollins, A. (1999, Jan 18). Liberal ministers clash over republic. The Age, p. 5.
23. McKay, S. (1999, Jan 28). Turnbull Must Quit: Premier. The Age, p. 2.
24. Gordon, M. (1999, Dec 05). Who Wrecked the Republic. Sunday Age (Agenda), p. 1-2.
25. Guinness, D. (1999, Jul 31). Saga of the City – Lucy Turnbull. Sydney Morning Herald (Spectrum), p. 3s.
26. Turnbull, M. (1999). Fighting for the Republic. (p. 118). Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books.
27. Ibid, p. 152.
28. Ibid, pp. 158-159.
29. Rollins, A. (1999, Oct 10). Howard stalling on republic, says Turnbull. Sunday Age, p. 11.
30. Reisman, J. (2012). Kinsey: Crime and Consequences (4th ed.). (pp. 132-180). United States: Institute for Media Education.
31. Ibid, p. 12.
32. Ibid, pp. 285-286.
33. Ibid, pp. 26, 107, 282.
34. Jones, J.H. (1997). Alfred C. Kinsey: A Public/Private Life. (pp. 604-607). New York: W. W. Norton.
35. Manning, P. (2015). Born to Rule: The unauthorised biography of Malcolm Turnbull. (ch. 3). Melbourne University Press.
36. Wright, L. (2000, Dec 22). PM Backs Republican Turnbull For Spot On Think-tank Board. Canberra Times.
37. Manning, OpCit, ch. 6.
38. Bowers, P. (1985, Jul 13). Innocence is an article of faith for the ALP. Sydney Morning Herald, p. 27.
39. Manning, OpCit, ch. 6.
40. Robson, F. (1992, Jul 25). Battle Hymn of the Republicans. Sydney Morning Herald (Good Weekend Magazine), pp. 16-21.