Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Quotes on Turnbull

When Malcolm Turnbull pushed aside the then Leader of Her Majesty’s Australian Opposition Brendan Nelson, the media welcomed him frantically:

Sydney Morning Herald, 16th September 2008: The rise and rise of Malcolm Turnbull

The Daily Telegraph, 17th September 2008: Australia's conservative opposition elects republican as leader

Australia's conservative opposition party has elected a staunch republican as its new leader in a move which increases the likelihood of the Queen being dumped as the country's head of state.

Republicans now head both of Australia's main political parties after multimillionaire former merchant banker Malcolm Turnbull was named leader of the opposition.

Mr Turnbull chaired the Australian Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000 and led the failed 1999 campaign to make Australia a republic in a referendum.

But very soon after his assuming of the new position, the honeymoon turned sour.

The Age, 23rd October 2008:
Turnbull's poor judgement puts the spotlight back on him

The Age, 20th February 2009:
Turnbull's authority takes a battering after a week from hell

Malcolm Turnbull had some tumultuous times when he led the republican movement but there could have been none worse than this week from hell. His Liberal Party turned cannibalistic. ... Turnbull can only be appalled at the havoc, especially as much of it is his own creation.

The Australian, 20th June 2009:
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.

The Age, 18th September 2009:

Indeed, the week of Turnbull's first anniversary as leader has turned into a total disaster for him and a celebration of the man he ousted. Nelson, whose leadership was undermined by Turnbull over emissions trading, gave his successor a double blast on the issue - warning against any deal on the legislation before the Copenhagen conference, first in the party room and then in his last parliamentary speech. A deal is just what Turnbull is battling to get.

When he delivered his valedictory to a packed house on Wednesday, Nelson was treated like a hero. Turnbull was forced to sound gracious to the man who recently described him as having ''narcissistic personality disorder''. These farewells can often be surreal but this one was extraordinary. It was the same later at the party room drinks. The affection for Nelson was obvious. Turnbull knows that's not how his colleagues feel about him.

Sunday Herald Sun, 28th November 2009: Malcolm Turnbull's biggest mistake was joining the wrong party
Liberal Party members see Turnbull as brilliant, brash, multi-skilled and charismatic on one hand and arrogant, divisive and a spiv always looking for deal on the other.

The Age, 29th November 2009: When being the smartest man in the room is not enough
Turnbull's lack of political skills has let him down.

The Age, 2nd December 2009: A mad era best forgotten - along with Hewson and Latham
Turnbull inflicted more damage on his colleagues than Kevin Rudd ever did.

In November 2007, I [Peter Costello] conducted the ballot for Liberal leader that Brendan Nelson won by three votes. No sooner had I declared the result than Malcolm Turnbull disputed it. And told me that Brendan Nelson was not up to the job.

I suggested that Brendan 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.

Malcolm left the room and went down to Brendan's office to give him a free character assessment. The leaks and the backgrounding started from that day. Malcolm'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.

The past fifteen months have shown, how a darling of the media, a republican messiah even, fell from grace and is now seen - even by his republican mates - as a disaster!

Turnbull is gone - and Queen Elizabeth II is still Queen of Australia!

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