“Steve Kates on Malcolm Turnbull”

If you google, “Steve Kates on Malcolm Turnbull”, these are the first two items that come up:

Malcolm Turnbull for PM | Catallaxy Files
catallaxyfiles.com/2015/09/16/malcolm-turnbull-for-pm/
Malcolm Turnbull for PM. Posted on 9:36 am, September 16, 2015 by Steve Kates. Every political … 375 Responses to Malcolm Turnbull for PM. « Previous 1 2.

I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull
catallaxyfiles.com/…/i-would-never-vote-for-a-coalition-led-by-malcolm…
Posted on 9:01 am, February 27, 2015 by Steve Kates. Andrew Bolt says that Malcolm Turnbull is about to have his final go at taking over the leadership of the …

The first of these, written just as he became PM, ends like this:

The Liberal Party is filled with others like Malcolm and it is a problem. But here is where we are. There are the 44 who are still in the party room, and there are the Coalition National Party also in the government. And Labor is a disaster in the making of such massive proportion, of the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn variety, that not voting Coalition at the next election is unthinkable. Malcolm has now got this to add to his CV, everyone in the party room knows the extent to which he is an empty vessel, but the stakes are too high even to think about Bill Shorten, never mind Tanya as PM.

The second, written a few months before, begins like this:

When I used to work in Canberra, our offices backed onto the Liberal Party headquarters, and I was asked one time, even before Malcolm entered Parliament, what I thought about him. My answer was that if I was in the constituency that would decide the fate of the next election, and my vote was the one that would put him in or out, that I would hesitate about which way to go. That was then. Today I would have no doubt.

So here’s the deal. We have the likes of Gary Johns, with so many others over at The Australian, following company orders in trying to convince the rest of us to take the switch to Malcolm as a fait accompli about which nothing can be done, so just lie back and enjoy it. But things don’t work like that. And there are two reasons for me not to sit back and take it.

First, what’s the point of blogging if you don’t say what you want about the things that interest you? I think Malcolm’s political instincts are dreadful and his personal values a disgrace. I am angry he is now PM, and I think the Coalition is less likely to win the next election than if Tony had remained. He’s barely ahead and he hasn’t done a single unpopular thing. Tony only did what was ABC-unpopular and was within easy striking distance. He was a mile ahead in Canning, which is why the coup happened when it did. Tony was odds-on to win in 2016.

The second derives from the first. If we all become pragmatists, then Malcolm and his slimy crew can get away with anything they want, since they can always say that Bill and Tanya are worse. The challenge now for Malcolm and the 54 is to keep us onside who are now offside. You know, there is this meeting in Paris, and then there is the need to keep the boats stopped, and there are lots of other things just as important to people like me. And on this I rate the economy high. I don’t think Tony did get it, but I also don’t think Malcolm gets it, and he doesn’t get it even worse than Tony didn’t get it. The NBN has been my standard test, and Malcolm is a capital-F Fail.

Tony was not perfect, but he was far more perfect than Malcolm. I could give you the list, but I am pragmatic to my back teeth. I take each of those who are leaders and accept that they come as a package deal since what else can you do? Malcolm now has his work cut out for him to convince people such as myself that he thinks our views matter. If he doesn’t end up showing he is responsive to the political wishes of conservative voters, he may find out all too soon how much it really mattered after all.

UPDATE: Alerted by CL, we have this from The Oz this morning, Ousted PM Tony Abbott speaks to Ray Hadley. From which we learn:

“If you judge things by the polls, I’ve never been very popular. All through the days of Opposition my personal ratings were poor, but it didn’t stop us,” the Prime Minister told 2GB’s Ray Hadley in his first broadcast interview since being ousted as prime minister.

“Our politics rightly or wrongly is more and more presidential. You can be not especially popular in these personal approval or disapproval ratings and at the same time lead a very effective political operation.

“We saw with David Cameron in Britain just a couple of months back the British conservative government was behind in the polls the entire time – absolutely the entire five years they were behind in the polls – and then they had really quite a convincing victory.

“I am confident that had I continued at the head of the government that’s exactly what we would have had,” he said.

My view as well.

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