Australian Politics – The Turnbull-Rudd Admiration Society Is Over

Posted on Mon 08/01/2016 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

Remember four years ago, when these two characters were once on a unity ticket – Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd, both united in admiring each other and disparaging Tony Abbott?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: … those people who say they’d rather I was the leader of my party or Kevin the leader of his and there are, apparently, a handful that do, those people know that if they vote Liberal and Tony Abbott becomes Prime Minister, I will be part of his team, influential at the cabinet table, involved, part of that collective leadership. Regrettably, if they are Kevin fanciers and they nonetheless vote Labor and Julia Gillard becomes Prime Minister, Kevin, to the loss of his party and I think to the loss of the country, will remain not so enigmatically on the backbench…

KEVIN RUDD: How you get on with Tony is a separate question. I say that in all sincerity. These guys are chalk and cheese, they really are. I’ve known Tony longer than I’ve known this bloke. This bloke, you know, you’re more at home on our side of politics, mate…

MALCOLM TURNBULL:  Your mob poleaxed you because you stood up to the factions. That’s why they got rid of you. The faceless men couldn’t put up with you anymore and that was a it was a shocking betrayal. And that is – you know, now, look, you’ve set out some great visions and so forth… The issue is competent management and, with great respect, that hasn’t been a strong suite either for you or Julia but the fundamental thing is you were poleaxed because you tried to stand up to those guys and they showed you and the nation, to its horror, who was really running the Labor Party…

KEVIN RUDD:  Malcolm’s far too the left of me. I just couldn’t, you know… Malcolm has smart ideas for the country’s future. I’ve got a few as well…

MALCOLM TURNBULL: It remains a matter of complete bafflement to me why the Labor Party doesn’t put Kevin back…

KEVIN RUDD:  Our central asset is Tony Abbott.


But now the two plotters have fallen out:

Katharine Murphy & Helen Davidson:

Senior government players are contesting a claim that Malcolm Turnbull gave Kevin Rudd an explicit undertaking of support during a meeting in December 2015 to discuss Rudd’s now thwarted ambition to be nominated by the Australian government for secretary-general of the United Nations…

But Rudd is standing firm, reiterating his record of the meeting. He says on 23 December the prime minister stated his support for his candidature, told him the issue would go to cabinet, but reassured him the cabinet process would not change the outcome..

In the lead-up to the cabinet consideration, which was a process initiated by Turnbull, Bishop argued publicly that Rudd was qualified for the post, in coordination with her own department and the prime minister’s office, apparently believing she had the support of the prime minister to make that case.

Jennifer Hewett:

Kevin Rudd and Julie Bishop are right to feel aggrieved at being misled by the Prime Minister over a protracted period and then dropped from a great height in a humiliating and public way.

Phillip Hudson:

Turnbull’s decision to take [Rudd’s nomination] to cabinet, instead of sticking with Tony Abbott’s already announced rejection, required Julie Bishop to present a formal submission…

Bishop was collateral damage and ministers are mixed in their views about her role…. Others believe she was too close to Rudd and being rolled by the PM will bring her down a peg… [She] has learned, as Scott Morrison did earlier this year on his advocacy for the GST, not to get too ahead of Turnbull on a hot issue.

The leaked letters provide only Rudd’s version of events but raise questions for Turnbull about his three secret meetings with Rudd last year and endorsements, including the claim he sent at least one message to Rudd through the PM’s “preferred” encrypted Wickr system where he said he was “as one” with Bishop in supporting Rudd.

Turnbull has humiliated Rudd, who will repay.

Turnbull has humiliated Bishop, who may repay.

Turnbull has shown inept leadership to his Ministers, who will recalculate.

Oh, and by the way: it is now a month since the election. Any sign at all of Turnbull getting to work on our most pressing problem: the growing debt at a time of slow growth?

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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