Malcolm Turnbull Quits

Good. Strange that as recently as last week, he was vying for a front bench position… I never understood why so many libertarians liked the guy, but he may be better suited to state politics. Should Barry O’Farrell be nervous?

UPDATE: Link fixed (The Australian moved it’s location). The new headline, “Malcolm Turnbull quits politics after Abbott rebuff,” is an interesting take (emphasis mine):

FORMER Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has quit politics after Tony Abbott turned down his offer to return to the Coalition frontbench.

I find it amusing that the media continue to cast his request for a job on the frontbench as some sort of generous offer – and Abbott’s rejection as a rebuff – but it confirms that he’s quitting because he feels his political capital has been spent with the Federal Libs. As CL says over at Catallaxy, his sole political “success” was to ban the very symbol of the bright idea.

28 thoughts on “Malcolm Turnbull Quits

  1. I never actually liked him, but I could see he brought a lot of passion to his republican beliefs, and though I voted against that model, republicanism has some glamour. I want a directly-elected head of state, who would have the powers of an ombudsman, but could not make policies.
    Another factor in his appeal is that he is a self-made man, becoming rich from his own efforts, therefore a libertarian role-model.

  2. According to his statement over at the SMH, Malcolm T will pursue opportunities in the private sector AND looks forward to commenting on public policy once out of parliament.

    ( Endless gigs on Lateline and Q&A together with fellow ex-banker John Hewson bagging the Coalition ? Now there’s an image to toy with ! )

    Barring a miracle, can’t see the hard men and women of the NSW Liberal State Executive rolling out the red carpet for Mal on the State level.

    But, wouldn’t be surprised to see him re-invent himself in politics again somewhere !

  3. G’day

    Malcolm was a candidate for Mosman once but never made it through pre-selection. That an opportunity long gone. Shame, he would have been a good Premier.



  4. The article about Mal has disappeared, but the comments about him live on! A fitting comment on his political life, if you think about it.

  5. I understood his argument for an ETS but not his commitment to it. I suspect that if he had stayed he would have had a battle to hold his seat.

  6. p.s. I retain the view that income tax cuts funded by a modest carbon tax could have been a politically successful package.

  7. Of course that means he would fit in well with O’Farrell and co, who are of that same ilk.

  8. I used to have a bit of hope in Turnball.
    But Fleeced was right on that one, and now I’m certainly not sad to see him go.
    I cannot think of any politician that is interested in the principled defense of freedom and individual rights. None. Any suggestions?

    I reckon I’m even more disgusted by the Liberal party now, than when Turnball was at the head.

  9. Why did so many people like Turnbull? Because he was not a Conservative. They are all that remain of the Liberal Party.

  10. It’s all relative… “yuk” compared to what? When the Libs were in power and moving more towards the “center”, the theory was that some time out could force them to re-assess their core principles… but Rudd has been a disaster – so much so, that it’s hard to imagine any rational person favouring them over the Libs.

    Turnbull may not have been a conservative, but he was still a statist.

  11. Fleeced – wake up. Abbotts a statist. They’re all statists. You can’t win elections in Australia without being near the political centre and you can’t be near the political centre without being something of a statist. Turnbull talked more about tax cuts than Abbott ever has. I’ve yet to hear a liberal view on anything from Abbott. Even his alternative to the ETS is statist. I find Abbott more likeable than Rudd but he isn’t any more liberal.

  12. There’s no “waking up” necessary… I know Abbott is a statist. Howard was a statist (very much so), but he was a damn site better than Rudd. As for Turnbull, the ETS (and the green movement in general) poses the biggest threat to liberty we’ve seen in a long time. For all Abbotts statism, he’s the lesser of evils atm. Saying that Turnbull talked about tax cuts whilst he supported the ETS is disingenuous at best.

    You’re right that Abbott isn’t liberal – he’s your typical social conservative statist – and it makes it hard to care who to vote for. But then, it’s hard not to beat Rudd atm.

  13. I find Abbott more likeable than Rudd but he isn’t any more liberal.

    He did say he would do everything he can to roll back the current re-regulation of the labor market.

    It’s pretty simplistic to suggest they’re all the same.

  14. Both TerjeP and JC are right- politicians are not the same, so they all disappoint in different ways.
    Abbott talks about deregulation, but I hope he isn’t a big-government conservative. Will he do anything if he gets in? Only time can tell.

  15. Nuke:

    The only hope I have for Abbott is that he wouldn’t spend as much as these clowns, wouldn’t burn people’s houses down with stupid policy, wouldn’t advocate dumb stupid shit like grocery watch, wouldn’t be spinning bullshit to cover up for some really incompetent stuff and wouldn’t lie as much is this woeful sack of turd currently occupying the lodge.

    That’s really all I hope for.

  16. JC – you clearly have a lot of hope. I’m not convinced that Abbott is from a mould fundamentally different from Rudd. He talks some of the right talk some of the time but so did Rudd in opposition. Both seem to be populists who just blow where they think there are some votes. And liberal noises coming from Abbott seem to be more about keeping part of the Liberal base entertained rather than actually any real liberal convictions.

  17. I think Abbott does have more principles, but those principles are entirely based around collectivist ideology probably based on his religious convictions (i.e. like his statement that the defining of an individual only being relevant in the context of a group). So the end result between the two isn’t that different, one just doesn’t mind poofs getting married and the other will probably end up giving more handouts to the traditional family. Choose according to your own preferences and prejudices.

    I’m really tossing up whether to go out supporting the Libs or just donkey vote. If Humphreys is running I might support his campaign and donkey vote in my electorate, if I can identify which one I’m registered in.

  18. What liberal noises from Abbott? (with the possible exception of a willingness to free up the labour market a bit, if politically viable). The only liberal noises were from Big Cuddly MIddle-of-the-Road Joe in his speech to the Grattan Institute, which was clearly a blatant attempt at throwing people like us a bone while Abbott had the reigns pushing his conservative values. I don’t believe Hockey believes in this stuff himself – he’s the true populist.

  19. Abott appeared OK at the start when he opposed the Labor ration and tax scheme on omissions, unfortunately he then came up with his own scheme. Since then he appears to have the same agenda as Rudd only differing on the mechanics of it.

    Abott is no friend of liberty. He has tossed his chances of appearing to represent a genuine alternative to the current regime with his persistent statist agenda. In my view his crazy ideas on taxpayer funded parental leave says it all. The idea that we should pay for the personal choices of others to the tune of up to 75,000 dollars for six months off work is ludicrous at best.

    To then pay for it with a massive tax hike on the most productive businesses in the country is selective taxation at its worst. If the vast majority of australians were to be in favour of baby bonuses then the lot should pay for them. To pick on one small sector, businesses earning more than $5m a year to pick up the tab is playing the old Marxist agenda for social engineering purposes.

    Anyone here who remembers Whitlam will recognise his government as one of the worst we have ever had.

    Gough was better than Abott.

  20. Ouch, Jim – that’s quite an insult.

    The current lot (on both sides) are worse than Whitlam in the sense that they want to move to even greater statism – but Whitlam was worse for the sheer magnitude of his shift.

    After Abbott’s initial promise (whacking the ETS), he has been rather disappointing – we really need a Tea Party movement in Australia. The Abbott situation reminds me of that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa (who just became a vegetarian) sabotages Homer’s pig bbq… “It’s just a little dirty – it’s still good, it’s still good!… It’s just a little slimy – it’s still good, it’s still good!… It’s just a little airborne – it’s still good, it’s still good!”

  21. Personally, I have been disappointed at the Libs silence on internet censorship and their stance on immigration (I think quotas should be increased).

  22. The immigration thing doesn’t bother me, but the lack of opposition on the internet filter is appalling. They’re basically giving the Greens a free kick there, since they’re the most vocal against it…

  23. And giving the Greens a lot of free votes.

    The IT/ geek demographic is growing and you do NOT want that demographic to feel like the Greens are their party.

    The Liberals need to try and capture technologically knowledgeable voters, or the Greens will.

    My hope for the election is the Sex Party, actually. They are the party that has been the most outspoken against the filter.

  24. I have been meaning for a long time that too many people write very unkind and insulting comments and it’s really unnecessary. The terrible part is that some of them are hilarious and give me great laughs. Que hacer?

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