Tuesday, February 9, 2010

and so it comes to pass..

     3 months ago tSS predicted then Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull would either start a new political party or defect to Labor if he lost a leadership battle.
     Today he has announced he will cross the floor on a crucial vote on climate change proposals, defying his leader Tony 'Mad Monk' Abbott. Abbott's climate policies will turn out to be a lame duck mess when examined in full (and when he actually decides what they are). They'll receive as much impact as when he recently announced viginity was a virtue before marriage. Thousands of teens yawned , looked mildly bemused and went on rutting as before.

It has begun.

        The Liberal / National Party Coalition shot themselves in the foot when they booted Turnbull. The  Rhodes scholar, ex-merchant banker, barrister and Kerry Packer adviser has notched up bigger scalps than the current PM Kevin Rudd.
         He took on Margaret Thatcher's government when they tried to ban the memoirs of ex MI5 spy Peter Wright and his SpyCatcher book. Turnbull trounced them in the English courts. Turnbull succeeded in the Maralinga nuclear fallout trial in Britain when he led the cause for compensation for indigenous people whose lands had been bombed relentlessly by British nuclear testing in the 1950's. A few weeks after the testing ended in 1961 some signs were stuck about the sacred Aboriginal lands warning of the potential radium fallout-written in English.

     When a reluctant former PM John Howard added Turnbull to his ministry he consistently ignored Malcolm's advice. With home ownership stretching beyond the grasp of thousands of Aussie families, Turnbull introduced radical proposals for mass housing programs based on age old European and British housing societies that had served those communities so well for decades. They were ignored.
     5 years ago at a political party function tSS told Turnbull his dreams would be dashed by joining the Liberal Party. His natural home was the centre left Labor Party that would leap upon his obvious talents.
      While political pundits and timeservers on daily newspapers delight in a brief re-surgence in the Coalition's poll fortunes they ignore the quickly shifting populace that is Turnbull's constituency that no longer takes in just the well-heeled Eastern Suburbs of Sydney that house the richest in the nation, but also now include working class areas and the gay and lesbian conclaves of the inner city. Turnbull scraped in at the last election when a blue ribbon Liberal seat began turning left. Malcolm has less than 12 months before a general election to do the obvious-switch parties if he wants to retain his Wentworth seat or just leave. The line of succession has already been decreed. Rudd will serve as PM until 2015 after he increases his majority next year, wins a further election and then hands over to the first female Oz PM, Julia Gillard.
       It is then Turnbull will be in a commanding position if he joins Labor now. As it is, he is a dead man walking as is the entire Coalition for at least 10 years.

       Why will they not listen ?

# fact: Turnbull's cousin is the British actress Angela Lansbury
# fact 2. The British Maralinga tests make Australia the most nuclear bombed country on the planet with 21 major devices and many smaller ones exploded. Some areas are still contaminated.
# fact 3 'Maralinga' is an ancient Aboriginal word for "field of thunder".

Update : Crikey has done a round-up of various political writer's views on Malcolm Turnbull's speech in Parliament on climate change. Most agree his views were presented with more conviction than PM Kevin Rudd's. Has Turnbull singled the first move in a tactic that would see him placed in a powerful position and having a direct influence on whoever governs ?. The Demcrats under Don Chipp dominated in the Upper House for decades when they held the balance of power with just a handful of senators with both main political parties negotiating deals . The Greens under Bob Brown have almost claimed that position but a small break-away Senate party could scupper their plans and Turnbull with just 2 other Senators could become kingmaker.

Malcolm Turnbull has a fortune estimated at $100M. He is only interested in politics for one reason-to affect change. You read it here first.