Australian Politics – Prime Minister Turnbull’s Biographer: Sorry I Oversold Him

Posted on Sun 09/18/2016 by

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Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

Paddy Manning is the author of Born to Rule: The unauthorised biography of Malcolm Turnbull. He would like to apologise for exaggerating how good Turnbull would be.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Like millions of Australians, I fear I may have overestimated Malcolm Turnbull…

If I was too kind, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying … His low points were covered in detail – his role in the collapse of insurer HIH, often described as his Achilles heel; his morphing of the national broadband network into a multi-technology mix, or MTM, otherwise known as Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess; his relentless undermining of Brendan Nelson.

When the book came out, while others were forecasting Turnbull would now enjoy multiple terms in office, I wrote that he would need the skills of Houdini to escape his political bind: where the public was behind him, the party wasn’t, and vice versa. Innovation was motherhood, and Turnbull was an elitist who would have trouble thinking outside his Point Piper bubble, trouble understanding the everyday concerns of most Australians. In those heady days of November–December, I may as well have been pissing in the wind. Now the gale is blowing the other way.

When I’d proposed to call the book Born to Rule, it was not tongue in cheek…

During the federal election campaign … the title … rang true … because it captured Turnbull’s arrogance. The sales job was beneath him. A spontaneous wit who could mix it in the pubs was now overscripted and aloof. In the televised debates, Turnbull seemed to imply members of the audience were badly mistaken. Small-target Turnbull had nothing interesting to say – the agenda was threadbare – and beyond the obvious strain of repeating himself, it seemed he hardly tried. Instead, he relied on our inevitable good judgement. We were to elect Malcolm Turnbull because he was Malcolm Turnbull. He would not persuade us. When the verdict came back, too close to call, in his graceless election night performance, Turnbull hid and sulked and even called on the police to investigate. He pointed the finger of blame everywhere but at himself. That’s arrogance. That’s born to rule. That’s Turnbull…

But who could have predicted the combination of gutlessness, vacuity and incompetence that this prime minister has delivered?…

Having scraped over the line at the July election, with barely a mandate, a divided party room, a slim majority and a hostile senate, it is hard to see how Turnbull can or will do anything big. Strange to say, but becoming prime minister may turn out to be the low point in his remarkable life.

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.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/

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