Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Quote of the Day: On Malcolm Turnbull [updating]

“Malcolm is almost the perfect reflection of media opinion. He is like blotting
paper, soaking up every conventional opinion without any actual apparent
ability to think for himself. He is a non-entity in the Barack Obama mould,
filled with vapid thoughts and a high opinion of his own abilities and intellect
that is never at any stage reflected in anything he says or any action he takes.”

~ Steve Kates, ‘If you’re so rich why aren’t you smart?

UPDATE 1: Chris Berg: ‘The Abbott Government's Real Problem [Was] That [it Was] Not Ideological Enough

UPDATE 2: Other commentary:

  • “The anti Abbott, Abbott, Abbott campaign in the media has been relentless and successful. Turnbull has said he will stick with Australia’s carbon emissions cuts (26% by 2030) but this means nothing.”
  • How did it come to this? Start with widespread discontent with Abbott’s performance at all levels in the party. From his broken election promises on health and education reforms to his selection of Prince Philip as a new Antipodean knight to his tendency to undermine cabinet government, Abbott upset the sensitivities of not just the metropolitan sophisticates (who have always loathed him) and mainstream Australians (who voted for him in droves two years ago), but many of his parliamentary colleagues (who feared they’d lose their seats in next year’s election)… They may look like a party with a death wish, but Liberal MPs believe tonight is an act of self-preservation, not self-destruction… But the immediate future hardly looks bright.”
  • Tony Abbott was the dumbest prime minister of my lifetime. The epitome of dumb. Dumb on policy and and dumb on expressing it. Fully committed to the dumb economy in scrapping mining taxes, promoting dying commodities, holding back productivity reform, cheering on another salivating house price bubble and its rent seeking banks and doing nothing to prepare the nation for the mutual sacrifices needed to return dynamism to our productive sectors. Turnbull must turn his formidable rhetorical skills to undoing this legacy of dumb.
  • “If Malcolm Turnbull is serious about economic reform –  which frankly seems unlikely –  he shouldn’t be looking across the Tasman for inspiration and example.”
  • The punchline: Turnbull was Chairman of Goldman Sachs Australia from 1997-2001.

And from Catallaxy Files:

  • “Malcolm Turnbull, I believe, can deliver Liberal government to Australia in a way Tony Abbott cannot. To be fair to Abbott he did bring down a Labor government and see off two Labor Prime Ministers, but he never grew into the role himself.”
  • “Recall that this government has not succeeded. It reversed itself when it shouldn’t have (free speech, tax increases, medicare co-payment) and has entrenched itself when it shouldn’t have (submarines).”
  • “Tony’s a dud, a busted flush and a waste of space, but the truly horrifying realisation is that he may be the best we can do, in current circumstances. Prop him up for long enough till someone better, or at least less clueless and gutless, comes along.”
  • “The Liberal Party has always been the natural home for classical liberals in Australia … With the exception of selling Medibank and winding back the NBN, this government has done nothing that could be described as liberalising, and has ruled out reform to free speech law and IR. It is facing the serious prospect of failing to achieve trade liberalisation, even in the tepid form reflected in the bilateral trade agreements. It has increased marginal tax rates, and increased the scope of government in almost every sphere of activity. If you want traditional Liberalism – the liberalism of intellect, and achievement outside politics – however improbably and unattractive he may be, Turnbull seems your best choice.”
  • “Turnbull is the reason you can’t even choose what lightbulb you want in your house. If that’s “liberal” give me mindless conservatism.”
  • “Turnbull bayoneting another Liberal leader while ensuring Labor is a lock for next election. If he was not so consistently dreadful Abbott wouldn’t have survived so long.”
  • “I’m voting informal – I refuse to choose between three left-wing parties.”

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