Malcolm Turnbull Quits Politics

I Love Being Right (As In Correct, Not Political Persuasion)

Malcolm Turnbull is quitting politics at the next election.

Talking to the Herald after announcing he would end his six-year ”wild ride” of a political career and step down at the election, Mr Turnbull said there was no option but to put a price on carbon.

”The reality is if you want to efficiently and effectively cut emissions, you’ve got to do so with a market mechanism and that’s what an ETS is,” he said.

Mr Turnbull will stay in his seat until the election, after which he plans to invest in start-up Australian technology, including the green energy sector.

”Some people don’t like a venture capital investment because it’s risky. I’ve always enjoyed that and that’s the area I imagine we will be focused on.”

The multi-millionaire’s resignation sparked a preselection stampede for his eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth with 10 Liberal names in the mix yesterday.

These included John Howard’s former chief of staff, Arthur Sinodinos; the executive director of the Menzies Research Centre, Julia Leeser; and Gabrielle Upton and Peter Doyle, both of whom are in the running for the state seat of Vaucluse.

The seat, a crucial marginal which Mr Turnbull holds by only 3.9 per cent, is now firmly in Labor’s sights.

The Sydney lawyer Stephen Lewis is the only firm starter for Labor preselection thus far.

Mr Turnbull lost the Liberal leadership to Tony Abbott by one vote in December because of his support for an emissions trading scheme. He made no apology for putting principle before politics.

”I remain absolutely convinced that it is in Australia’s interest to start cutting emissions now and to do so by means of a market-based mechanism,” he said.

Mr Turnbull, who was overlooked two weeks ago when Mr Abbott reshuffled his frontbench, made the final decision to quit during the Easter break.

He said his two main regrets were losing the leadership and trusting the Treasury official Godwin Grech over the OzCar affair.

”I regret having made criticisms of the Prime Minister based on the email that Grech created.”

Oh well. There’s also this bit of analysis:

So how could it have gone so badly for him? Paul Keating’s assessment of Turnbull is that he is “brilliant, fearless, but he has no judgment”.

It was his judgment that was exposed when he made his decision to hit the nuclear button – demanding that the Prime Minister resign, based on nothing more than a fake email concocted by a public servant. From then on Turnbull’s leadership was hollow. Coalition discontent over the ETS finally collapsed it.

So it comes down to the fake email no matter what, and for all the talk of his high principles of sticking to the ETS plan, he was undone by not having enough principles to go and check the veracity of the Godwin Grech email.

Back in this post I wrote:

Now, it is true that if the allegations raised by the Opposition were indeed true, then it would amount to the scalp of the treasurer Wayne Swan. But if the e-mail was fake, then whoever stood up in parliament and lobbed it going to take the maximum heat for the slander. The really amazing thing is that it in this case, it is the latter scenario, with Malcolm Turnbull himself lobbing the accusations.

Something tells me that this is not going to go well for Mr. Turnbull, no matter which way they spin this. I’m not saying that Mr. Turnbull is going to commit suicide, mind you; I’m saying this thing might end up taking his political career away from him.

I sort of can’t believe anything so stupid is going on in Australia, but there you have it. Our very own faked e-mail scandal. Then again, I can see how politicians might have fallen right into this whammy. The Opposition should be moving to damage control within the week. This is ridiculous that they’ve run this up their flagpole without having done their verification and due diligence. It’s Amateur Hour with a good dose of incompetence there.

I’m more appalled by the low standard of rigor and the intellectual laziness of these polticians. It’s exasperating.

And here we are seeing the end of Malcolm Turnbull’s shining political career, less than a year later.

As a side note, I like this bit in the Hartcher article:

The man he brought down as leader, Brendan Nelson, has said of Turnbull: “He says the most appalling things and can’t understand why people get upset. He has no empathy. He’s got narcissistic personality disorder.”

That’s a likely story, but then I thought it was one of those prerequisites to be a Liberal Party leader.

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