Turnbull: “I Will Win the Next Election”

Despite taking a hammering over his handling over the ute-gate affair, and murmurings amongst senior Liberal Party ranks, the Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull is convinced that the coalition will win the next election.

Mr Turnbull is obviously buoyed by a new Newspoll survey that suggests he has clawed back six percentage points to see his overall approval rating rise to 31 per cent.

Relishing the opportunity to appear before an audience of the nation’s powerbrokers, Mr Turnbull today visited a self-funded retiree forum at a retirement village in Sydney’s south and fielded questions about the economic crisis and income tax.

According to reports, one woman in the audience asked:

“Are we going to live long enough for you to get back into government?”

“The answer is assuredly yes,” Mr Turnbull said.

“You’ve only got to wait until the next election.”

“As I said, we’ll be back in power at the next election with their support,” he said.

“And I wish everybody in that room a long and healthy life as I do to everybody of course, all Australians.”

The Resurrection of Tony Abbott

Hot on the heels of the spectacular implosion of Malcolm Turnbull in the polls, there is a growing concern inside the Liberal party that Malcolm’s dramatic fall from grace is beyond redemption.

If these reports are anything to go by, Malcolm has until Christmas to redeem himself, or face a leadership standoff that could see Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey jockeying for the top job.

The Liberals, in their infinite wisdom, believe that Tony Abbott could hold the key to their salvation.

Tony Abbott, one of the last remaining members of the Howardesque rat pack, has been praised within Liberal ranks over his performance in recent weeks in pursuing the Rudd government over the “ute-gate” affair.

Of course, there’s nothing new about Abbott’s tactics, they hark back to the days of the Howard government when the modus operandi of the day was to keep repeating the party’s mantra in the hope that constant repitition would help make some proposerous unbelievable rhetoric somehow plausible.

It didn’t work then – think WorkChoices and the so called “fairness test” – and it won’t work now.

The only thing commendable about Abbott’s performance was that it wasn’t as abysmally catastrophic as Malcolm Turnbull’s. Apparantly that’s sufficient reason for Liberal party insiders to consider handing over the reigns to Tony Abbott.

The Liberal party is suffering from a severe identity crisis. If they are to become a relevant force they need to reinvent themselves and clearly state what they stand for. At the moment they are a spent force floundering in a sea of irrelevance.

If they believe that the future lies with Tony Abbott at the helm then they are seriously deluded and more or less conceding defeat.

The Liberal Party deserves to win the Next Election

Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says that the Coalition “deserves” to win the next election.

It’s a remarkable observation for someone who had to flee the country to the comparatively less hostile environment of Afghanistan earlier this week.

Despite maintaining a veneer of self-assured confidence, there is no denying that Malcolm Turnbull has suffered a monumentous blow to his credibility and position as Leader of The Opposition.

The trip to Afghanistan was a pointless exercise in itself and a complete waste of tax-payers money, however Malcolm, obviously buoyed with same false sense of bravado and military confidence that comes hand-in-hand with donning a bullet-proof vest and “roughing it” with the soldiers has declared that he can win the next election.

“We will turn it around on election day, that’s our commitment”

“We can win this next election and we should win the next election” he said.

It’s an interesting choice of words. “Should win the next election” infers that the Liberal party has done something to “deserve” to be in an election-winning position.

Of course the reality is a vastly different situation altogether.

Can anyone recall, in recent months, anything that the Liberal party has announced as legitimate and alternative strategies and initiatives that it would do differently from the Federal Labor Government in terms of responding to the GFC, housing affordability, unemployment or nation building?

Despite murmurings to the contrary, Liberal party members are maintaining that Turnbull continues to receive their support as the party leader. He is after all, perhaps the most moderate senior figure.

However one can’t help but feel that the Liberal party is suffering from a severe identity crisis.

They are a party torn between the far right conservatism of the Howard years represented today in personalities like Tony Abbott, who for all intents and purposes, shouldn’t be let loose anywhere near a microphone or journalist, and the more moderate Turnbull who represents the affluent, forward thinking and contemporary mindset of the seat of Wentworth.

The elephant in the room (quite literally) is Joe Hockey. Clearly he sees himself as leadership potential, and despite my own personal opinion of the man, is actually perceived by some as quite likeable, or “avuncular” so we are told.

However, one thing is clear, if Turnbull’s ratings are not resurrected in the polls in the next few months then his position and the relevance of the Liberal party overall, will become increasingly tenuous.

The question is, in the context of a Government that has been universally praised by economists from around the world for its response to the GFC, does the Liberal Opposition really have anything left to offer?

By all accounts, their hugely unnsuccessful attack on the Prime Minister over the entire ute-gate affair would suggest that perhaps the answer is “no.”

Turnbull told to “Bring out Your Dead”

It looks like Malcolm Turnbull has a major internal battle on his hands with revelations today that a number of leading business figures and supporters of the Liberal party have threatened to withdraw their financial support unless a number of “Howard era” MPs get the boot.

On the basis of anonymity, the leading Sydney business figure says Mr Turnbull and the Liberal party must be prepared to go through with “a full-scale public bloodletting” if those named on the list refused to budge from their seats.

According to The Australian, the list of 14 MPs includes Philip Ruddock, Bronwyn Bishop, Kevin Andrews and Bill Heffernan.

However, other sources suggest the list also includes: Wilson Tuckey, Andrew Laming, Alby Schultz, Joanna Gash, Margaret May, Bruce Scott, Michael Johnson, Alex Somlyay, Judi Moylan and John Forrest.

The list of names is being circulated within the Liberal Party accompanied by a commentary which says in part:

“The emerging issue federally for both the current leader and any other potential leader is team composition.

“And it is an issue. And finance donors from key players expect an upgrade.”

The screed from business says it is Mr Turnbull himself who must drive the renewal process, rather than “the slow moribund party organisational leadership”.

The author makes it clear the hit list was drawn up in consultation with like-minded business figures and says, ominously, that it is not exhaustive.

In response, senior Liberals yesterday described the call for renewal as “justified”, confirming that fundraising for the party had become much more difficult in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Perhaps what they really mean is “in the wake of a catacylsmic election defeat.”

However, in other reports, Mr Turnbull has denied that he has received any such list.

“Nobody sent that list to me,” he said.

“We have a strong team, a mixture of youth and experience, a mixture of people who have been in Parliament for a long time, people that have had long careers in other areas and have been in Parliament for a shorter time.”

It Mr Turnbull hasn’t seen the list, could it be because his name’s on it? An unlikely, but novel idea, given that he could represent a new, more youthful and more moderate persona in comparison to his Howard era counterparts.

Either way, it looks like the Liberal party are in for yet another rollercoaster week of internal bickering played out in the public domain.

The last Newspoll had the Coalition on 42 per cent behind Labor at 58 per cent and Mr Turnbull has sits at just 19 per cent compared to Kevin Rudd’s 67 per cent as preferred prime minister.

I imagine there will be a lot of frantic phone calls going on right now…

Costello “Lazy, Disloyal, Unelectable” says Hewson

In what can only be described as a major body blow to Peter Costello, Malcolm Turnball and the Liberal Party, former Liberal Party Leader John Hewson has lashed out against Costello in an “open letter” published in the mainstream media attacking Costello’s style, conduct and questioning his competency as Treasurer during the halcyon years of the Howard Government.

The severity of this attack and the effect it will have on the Liberal is potentially catastrophic. Following Julie Bishop’s effective sacking from the Shadow Treasury position, Costello’s refusal to accept it and the leadership tensions that are clearly palpable between Turnbull and Costello, it would appear that Costello’s steadfast position to remain on the backbench is now becoming rapidly untenable.

This is Hewson’s letter here.

“Enough is enough. If your few remaining mates won’t tell you, I will. You’ve had a fair go. If you now won’t give others a chance and pull your weight as a member of the team, you should move on. It is most unlikely that you will ever be drafted as leader of the Liberal Party and even less likely that you will ever be prime minister.”

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