Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Listen Up, Turnbull, This Is How It's Going To Be"

Esteemed Journo Offers Broken, Desperate Liberal Party A Helping Hand

The announcement will come within hours that Malcolm Turnbull has 'won' the leadership 'battle' to apply the jumper cables to the barely flailing corpse that is the Australian Liberals.

The Liberals are in big trouble, as every columnist in the country is telling you. These are desperate times for Australian conservatives. Not only will they have to publicly acknowledge that Al Gore was right on global warming, they will have to shut the hell up about "Evil Lefties", lest the Australian public think they are the party of John "That Stubborn Old Bastard!" Howard.

If Malcolm Turnbull hadn't launched his leadership coup, Brendan Nelson would be in charge tonight. Now while that would make for some spectacularly hilarious entertainment, it's not good for Australian democracy.

There has to be the illusion, at least, that the Labor Party will not rule the land for one or two generations to come and that we have, at the minimum, a viable two-party democracy.

Turnbull will be the new Liberal Party leader, as so many in the Australian media have already made clear. The Liberals don't have a say in this. The media decided it. It's Turnbull, or it's pitiless mockery from the front pages, opinion pages and probably the sports pages as well until the London Olympics.

But even choosing the new leader for the Liberals is not enough for the media. So thoroughly shipwrecked is the party of Australian conservatives that the big players in Australia's media are even writing talking points for the very first speech of the new leader who is, on early Thursday morning, still yet to be elected.

This from Paul Kelly, esteemed Editor At Large for The Australian, funneling new policy directly into the brain of Malcolm Turnbull, who is no doubt listening carefully :

Now is the time for the Liberals to be politically and intellectually ruthless. The new leader must burn the dead wood so furiously and symbolically that a new Liberal era is signalled. Nothing else will suffice.

"The Liberal Party accepts the new industrial relations settlement as voted by the people at this election." This should be Turnbull's pledge at his first press conference.

It will be a difficult retreat, but this is democracy.

A democracy where journalists write speeches in a national newspaper for political party leaders not yet elected? Yes.

"The Liberal Party believes in Kyoto ratification and a post-2012 system that binds developing nations into the compact." This needs to be Turnbull's second pledge at his media conference.

Whatever you say, boss!

Can anybody have a go at this? My turn :

"The Liberal Party believes in free video games and cannabis for old people who won't eat and are bored mindless, and will better the Labor Party in their planned national 'Sorry' to the Aboriginal people by saying 'We're Really, Really, Really, Really Sorry'."

We'll come back later today to see if Turnbull has delivered what his political masters in the media have demanded of him.