My holiday reading included a very readable book called Born to Rule, an unauthorised biography of Malcolm Turnbull by veteran journalist Paddy Manning. I enjoyed it immensely.
Paddy makes it clear he is not a Turnbull fan, but he treats the Prime Minister in as unbiased a manner as is possible in politics and journalism. However, it is interesting that, in the end, he acknowledges that Turnbull has what it takes to be a great leader of the nation if he conquers a few idiosyncrasies.
The issue is whether he can successfully assemble together his vast experience of life in law, money, journalism, politics and civic affairs to get the results of which he is clearly capable. A major hurdle is that he does not suffer fools gladly.
2016 will determine his fate.
Initially, he faces the formidable challenge of controlling the quite irresponsible right wing elements of both the Liberals and the Nationals who are opposed to all progressive change and look backwards with huge nostalgia at their vision of a glorious capitalist past that they are hopelessly determined to revive.
My expectation is that he will ignore them totally and steadily remove them from his ministry.
There is no way that the right can stage a counter coup before the 2016 Election and restore Abbott or one of his mates. The Coalition would become the laughing stock of the nation and they know it.
Turnbull can confidently go ahead and do what his experience tells him must be done to get Australia out of the hole we are in, economically and socially, and advance us to the very top echelon of the G20 where we should be.
Once he wins the election, and it is highly likely that he will, he will be on safe ground in carrying out a wide range of reforms. If he lives up to the potential that Paddy Manning’s book says he has, he could pass both Hawke and Howard in the PM Longevity Stakes and cause the ALP to rid itself of trade union dominance as it strives to regain power.
So, what do a majority of Australians want Turnbull to do. Let me list just a few in no particular order of priority.
*Create jobs in every area of the economy so that those who want to work can do so. There is huge scope to improve productivity and reduce welfare by especially creating jobs for Senior Australians who want to remain in the workforce or return to it and Young Aussies who want the start in life to which they are entitled.
*Get the Budget heading towards an early surplus and start reducing the national debt. Raising taxes will be a good start.
*Solve the housing crisis. The wrong houses are being built in the wrong places at too high a price by negative gearers who plunder the tax system for no good purpose. Social housing is a disgrace.
*Reduce homelessness and the poverty that causes it.
*Get constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, approve same sex marriage and get voter approval to create a Republic and design a new Flag.
*Calculate the Age Pension correctly for the first time in history. It is grossly inadequate as the result of a century of political compromises.
*Stop Superannuation being used as a tax haven.
*Create tough legislation for Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse and Coward Punching.
*Bring in similar legislation to control the promotion of alcohol as currently exists for tobacco.
*Get an Emissions Trading Scheme underway as a matter of urgency.
*Take long overdue steps towards drought proofing Australia and increasing rural productivity.
*Commence a massive investment in freight and passenger railways in preference to roads.
*Create a sustainable mining industry and encourage investment in clean coal technology.
*Accept more refugees and close the disgraceful hell holes at Nauru and Manus.
*Advance the practice of philanthropy and volunteering.
*Promote religious tolerance, understanding and goodwill.
Clearly, this is an impossible immediate list. If he makes a purposeful and constructive start towards eventually achieving them, he will be Prime Minister of Australia for a long time. If he achieves the lot, he will be the greatest ever.
That should not surprise too many of us because he firmly believes it is his destiny and we can assume that he will make a 100% effort to achieve it .
Can he do it?
Read Paddy Manning’s book and make up your own mind.
I reckon it’s worth an astute punt.
Yours at Large
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8 thoughts on “2016 – Turnbull year of destiny”
Everald – Happy New Year and I hope it is a very good one for Helen and you. I agree with most of the improvements that you list but not those that will do little for the economy or the other major issues we and the world face ie gay marriage, a republic, and changing the Constitution to mention Indigenous people. I wont go into them but doing nothing on them will scarcely harm Australia. Just a note though on our Aborigines. There is not irrefutable evidence that they were the first on this land. They blame all their woes on the whites, squabble amongst each other and continue to seek handouts. Of course there are reasons – there always are when one is a recipient of so much. There are many naming themselves in the disadvantaged camp doing likewise. If we change the Constitution to include Aborigines the legal profession will make even more money.
Back to Turnbull! He is clearly capable of welding different groups together and has the women’s and inner city leftie-green vote and of course he has charm and tact and intelligence. But he’s also politically correct, has so far espoused or shown few nitty –gritty subjects that need to be tackled and that would require some courage. Of course I want him to succeed but I reman questioning. The one difference between him and Abbott is that the latter’s only aim was to serve while MTs has always been about self. Some of that I posit because I have some experience of him in other fields. Of course that doesn’t make Abbott any better as PM. He muffed his chance for all sorts of reasons.
Not sure I agree with your thoughts on religion either. While some wonderful things are done by various religions I’d suggest the ills they commit are far worse from bias, wars, bigotry and ever more pontification about morals, politics, environment, education, economics, etc. The Pope’s latest publication on the environment and climate change is utter nonsense if read objectively – whether one is a climate change believer or sceptic!
Apart from railways and drought –proofing I think Government has to alter the balance between rural/regional Australia and cities. Non-city people face many economic, amenity and service disadvantages that oughtn’t to be imposed. We also need to populate the regions rather than the cities. Governments have to set that rolling.
Everald I know you think I’m right wing but you’re actually wrong. I work hard at staying open-minded and love debating especially if it helps me consider matters in different ways. So for instance, I supported Abbott – first because he is actually a decent bloke, secondly because the previous Labor leaders mostly weren’t achieving much for the future and thirdly because we needed a change. However, he disappointed me just as he did many of his supporters by poor leadership, not listening and stubborn self-belief above others’ opinions. Unlike you I applaud his success in stopping the boats and safeguarding our borders. Look what’s happening in Europe now! Their failure to manage the refugee situation will be disastrous for the entity’s future and hopefully any way will see the demise of the European community which I’ve always believed to be a very artificial construct. None of that is against migrants or refugees but a country must always be able to control its intakes of such disadvantaged people. But back to Abbott – as a person he should never have been subjected to such bitter hatred – especially by women.
Excuse my response and discussion points Everald and of course I know you won’t respond in discussion. Of course you’re a busy man I realise but I also sense you’ve become less amenable to talking with those who respect you but have different views on various fronts. Your left wing think tank affiliation may have emphasised that. Still – not much point in reading your sheets if we agree with everything! Regards carlo
rom: Everald Compton [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, 5 January 2016 9:50 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: [New post] 2016 – Turnbull year of destiny
everaldcomptonatwordpress posted: “My holiday reading included a very readable book called Born to Rule, an unauthorised biography of Malcolm Turnbull by veteran journalist Paddy Manning. I enjoyed it immensely. Paddy makes it clear he is not a Turnbull fan, but he treats the Prime Minist”
Sorry I’ve failed you by ‘early Feb’ and your up-coming ACT visit….but I’m laid up with post-operation Shingles and a bit more, so life is somewhat restricted.
Will be in touch when I feel able………..meanwhile, no need for reply at all
Malcolm is joining the Greens?
Hello Everald..today is so much cooler thankfully, I am weakened by such prolonged heat and feel for others..especially for the poor Birdlife. Everald I find myself in a very concerning situation re my Housing situation..No I am NOT asking YOU for help BUT have just found the following in my searching for answers..of which I have few!This ARTICLE is absolutely SPOT ON and I wonder IF you have read it OR would care to…With your so many contacts in Senior Affairs (What a different meaning that takes on as one ages!!) I feel you should be aware, if not already, and SHARE IT with THOSE WHO CAN and DO make things HAPPEN…take care Gabrielle Drinkwater..
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 12:16:24 +0000 To: email@example.com
New Year Greetings Everald…. I have a Question…Naive as it seems now, I contacted Malcolm T’s
Electoral Office to ASK HOW I could write to M.T.late last Year..Lovely lady assured me that IF I addressed it to the SUPPLIED BOX NO..HE ..WOULD…RECEIVE it..!!! Months later, I enquired again, to be told,NO that info was incorrect..it would have been sent to “SOME” DPT. for assessment…WHERE???? IT HELD URGENT COMMERCIAL INFO..to Give Australia a new and INNOVATIVE
product an ORDINARY Family Man in Italy had created…IT WAS URGENT ..WELL UPSHOT.!!!!
Thanks to WRONG INFO and LACK of expediency THE CHINESE SEEM TO HAVE TAKEN THE BUSINESS OVER!!!! AUSTRALIA we NEED to WAKE UP!!!!!
IF YOU M.T. DO READ TWITTER as I HOPE…please help stop misinformation being given out from YOUR ELECTORAL OFFICE in future…PLEASE…. respectfully but disgustedly.!!!!
Unlike Rod Foster, I find myself agreeing every single one of the ‘wants’ which you list.
I also recognise that it is an impossible list for any human being to achieve, but if Malcolm Turnbull could aim for 75% of them and achieve, say, 50% of them over, say, the next 10-15 years, we would emerge as an even more wonderful country than we already are. We would also find ourselves punching (always for good) even further beyond what would normally be expected of us.
An interesting exercise would now be to put this list into some sort of ‘group order’ of priority. This may sound to be an impossibly ridiculous task, but someone has to do it………. Why not us, the people, get the exercise started? Might just be helpful to the PM to see our priorities, even if one can assume that his own batting order will not of course tally exactly with what we put forward……..
Thanks Everald for this review as I ordered the book through one of my Children for a Christmas present but it hasn’t come through as yet. I’ll have to get it myself perhaps. If anything I’m disappointed it seems to be a left wing wish list which I don’t want to read actually – I get enough of that from other sources. I had hoped it was more about the man Malcolm Turnbull. Your comment about that item I agree with. Many of the others I don’t. Seems like the wish list given Obama and he never could have made it. He is only a man and what these people expect suggests they think the man is God (yet many are aetheists – perhaps that’s why they think these are acheivable by humans). Although I suspect some of the items may not be on God’s. The poor fellow Malcolm and when he falls short of their unreasonable expectations they’ll be out to “Crucify” him. Maybe the best thing is to get it from the library and then I can read it and take it back. There is another recently by a woman journalst whose name I can’t recall at the moment so I should wait a while. Maybe there’ll be a good one by top authors like Paul Kelly or some other biographer. By the way I have been a long time supporter of Malcolm Turnbull except for his Godwin Grech affair and support for Rudd’s ETS for Copenhagen. He is supposed to have learned from his time waiting – I think he may have as he didn’t take Abbott on in January but waited that 6 mnonths. if Turnbull keeps his ego under control and does what he says he will do then we’ve got a winner and a leader.
Time will tell. I agree make homelessness history. We need much better mental health facilites for those over 25 yrs. when Headspace cuts out. Cut out all welfare after the first 2 children get mums into work/education. Legalized Medicinal Marijuana on medical card will bring jobs and industry and pain relief without the adverse events by Australian companies paying tax. I don’t agree on more refugees (Centrelink is not infinite) until we have industries they can work in not 95% stay unemployed.
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