Wednesday, November 25, 2009

an invite


A stiffy arrives with a request to share Christmas drinks at the splendiferous Point Piper mansion of Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull and his charming wife Lucy, former Sydney Lord Mayor.

Rhodes scholar Turnbull, a cousin of the famous US based British actress Angela Lansbury and Lucy, the niece of art critic Robert Hughes are under attack from within the Liberal Party as the rather odd Kevin Andrews announces he will challenge Malcolm this week for the leadership role.

Andrews-who fortunately has a head of wavy hair that grows blacker as he ages, is one of the reasons his party was thrown into the wilderness 2 years ago. It was he that bungled the Dr Mohamed Haneef debacle when the hapless Indian doctor was arrested at Brisbane Airport on his way home to visit his new-born child and incarcerated illegally for nearly 3 weeks by Federal police, following the Glasgow Airport terrorist bombing.

Haneef was a distant relation of one of the bombers and despite a Scotland Yard terrorism expert visiting Oz and declaring there was nothing in the matter, Andrews solemnly intoned there was a case to answer-as the cards came crashing down around him.

Dr Haneef now lives in the Middle East and is still negotiating a compensation settlement some say will be as high as $5M.

Turnbull-urbane, intelligent and very very rich, inexplicably  incurs suspicion from his party colleagues and the public alike and is possibly more to the left of the political spectrum than the ruling Labor Party. As a former merchant banker and solicitor to media mogul Kerry Packer he is worth about $200M. As a barrister he successfully defended former MI5 boss Peter Wright when the UK government attempted to ban his 'Spycatcher' book about his life as a top spy and prosecuted the case in the English courts for compensation over the Maralinga nuclear bomb testing site.

Although it seems unlikely he will topple the most popular PM ever, Kevin Rudd, the Liberals would be foolhardy to ditch him this soon. RSVP-invite accepted !
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footnote : The Maralinga bomb site makes Australia the most nuclear weapon bombed country on the planet with 8 major devices and numerous small ones being exploded between 1955 and 1963.