Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The great leaders are the ones who came back ...(or the Liberals part 4)

Wow. Now that was what I call excitement. But in all the toooing and throwing everyone is missing an important element here. Malcolm Turnbull may just have pulled off the most strategic play of all time.

Firstly let's just note that the two great Liberal Party icons - Menzies and Howard - were both ditched from the leadership (Menzies by the UAP) before going on to their reigns of glory. Both men at the point of being dismissed were reviled as divisive negative elements.

Secondly let's note that there is almost no chance of the coalition winning the next election. Most importantly on the biggest issue, managing the economy, Rudd/Swan/Tanner just are unbeatable. On climate change the issue seems to be that people don't understand the CPRS not that they don't like it. The most the coalition can mount is a fear campaign and they will need something more than that to win (fear campagns work better at keeoping oppositions out than ejecting Governments).

All parties have shown themselves relatively unforgiving of leaders who lose. The Liberals will be no different. And as long as Malcolm does stay put he will be the logical choice.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't Malcolm's objective to lose the leadership - but losing it, doing so as a matter of principle and declaring war on the conservatives was a good second best. A very very good second best.

Meanwhile Julie Bishop has retained the deputy's job. At the press conference I'll swear Tony Abbott said this was because "she is a good looking girl". My own thinking is that its because when she says "I support you" no one can tell who she is looking at when she says it!

Meanwhile it is an interesting aside that the three leadership contenders are all from Sydney, all did combined law at the University of Sydney, all went to GPS schools (I think), all are Catholics. Plus they all were active in aspects of University life - Abbott and Hockey were both President's of the SRC while Turnbull was a Director of the USU.

1 comment:

ian said...

My first reaction is to challenge the assertion that John Howard is a great leader. He was the only one left after the liberal party tried everyone else.
I can think of only one positive achievement - the gun buy back, but so many negatives.
His only strength was his longevity.

Malcolm may yet tread the same path, but lacks the manipulative skills to pull it off.

I used to think Tony Abbott was a potential future leader, but the actions of the past week lead me to think he could only emulate John Howard.

I now think of the Coalition as the "Unholy Alliance" - 3 separate mutually loathing groups, united only by their hate of Labor and love of power. It is no wonder Don Chipp left years ago - the party seems to have no place for principled liberals.

PS Hockey went to St Aloysius (CAS not GPS) Abbott went to Riverview, and Turnball to Grammar.

Turnball ("Turds" to contemporaries at USU) hasn't changed since his student days, where he managed to unite his opponents to keep him out.