Australian Politics – Prime Minister Turnbull’s Cheer Squad Number One: ‘Communication Skills’

Posted on Thu 04/05/2018 by


By Andrew Bolt ~

Let’s start holding people to account as Malcolm Turnbull hurtles to his 30th losing Newspoll next week – behind Labor for 18 months.

On the day Turnbull took the Prime Ministership I wrote:

He stole it by boasting of superior communication skills he does not have.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

This was Turnbull’s boast, the day before:

And we need a different style of leadership. We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities, explains the challenges and how to seize the opportunities. A style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans.

Here’s some of those who praised what turned out to be his great weakness.

The ABC:

As a minister in the Howard and Abbott governments, he has been known for his intellect and strong communication skills.

The Australian:

Malcolm Turnbull’s communication skills have helped him make a strong start as Prime Minister.

Christopher Joye, Financial Review:

Malcolm Turnbull … has several strengths that tilt the probabilities in his favour. The first and most obvious is his outstanding communication skills

Troy Bramston, The Australian:

Malcolm Turnbull has long been the parliament’s most effective communicator.


Mr Turnbull is known as a competent minister and confident communicator

Marketer and political strategist Toby Ralph:

Malcolm Turnbull is economically to the right and socially to the left and a very accomplished communicator.

Bendigo Business Council chief executive officer Leah Sertori:

His consummate communication skills, understanding of the economy and ability to explain complex issues to both business and the community will make him a better leader than Abbott.

Jamie Briggs, then Liberal MP:

what Malcolm will be able to bring is a fresh perspective, and he is an extremely good communicator

Or from his first big interview after becoming Prime Minister:

MT: ‘So they’ve got to – so freedom is the – freedom is the key point. I mean, it’s perhaps a bit simplistic, but one way you can say it – you can describe it is that… we believe that government’s job is to enable you to do your best.

So government has to provide the leadership, the sense that, you know, we know what we’re doing…

So everything I can say to inspire confidence is going to help the economy… It’s not just – I’m not agreeing with all of that list, by the way, but anyway…

One of the things I’m trying to do is to change the paradigm so that it’s a more rational one. You know, ‘cause you get into this crazy situation where politicians are backed up by journalists… [and] asked to say, “Will you guarantee that this policy will work?”

But the important thing is to be open-minded, consult, engage intelligently, explain the challenges to the public in a manner that respects their intelligence and then make a decision, and having made a decision, then argue, advocate, in other words, why your decision is right…

Well, look, there are – you probably can’t really – you can’t really rank them ‘cause they are very difficult. I mean, the – the – clearly the threat of terrorism, the, if you like, militant Islamist terrorist groups like Daesh in the Middle East and its various affiliates around the world, al-Qaeda, that is clearly a very – that’s clearly a big threat.

Well our Defence Force has – and this is not a revelation, Leigh. Our Defence Forces have to be able to play a role in a range of different potential conflict situations. But, you know, we’re not – we’re not seeking to, um, ah – I don’t want to – no-one – no-one, least of all the Australian Government, wants to exacerbate situations.’

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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