The Certain Demise of Malcolm Turnbull

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land…
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me…
He’s as blind as he can be
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

(“Mr Nowhere Man,” John Lennon, 1966)

I cannot listen to Malcolm Turnbull, and not be reminded of Lennon’s classic song.

Whatever Mr Turnbull thinks about the future, he’s not telling us. He wants to stay in office, but has no capacity to articulate any vision for the nation, and where he wants to lead the nation. Any leader worth their salt must realise this: you can’t lead a nation by being silent.

When he does speak, Malcolm claims he belongs in the “sensible centre.” That means you disown conservatism, and hardly identify with anyone. “Sensible” sounds too much like “sickly” or “sanitised.” Or something even worse: “Spineless.” His party won’t support that for long, and the electorate never wants a sanitised Prime Minister, let alone a spineless one.

The electorate isn’t sanitised; why should he be? It’s a totally unsustainable position.

Malcolm says he’s part of the “sensible centre,” which should be re-badged, the “losing left.”

But, there’s more bad news. Malcolm’s a millionaire, and he acts like one. His expensive harbourside residence in Sydney is worth (it is estimated by some) around $50 million. There’s nothing wrong with being a millionaire, but he never looks like he has anything in common with the average Australian, or even wants to. That’s the person who has a task to balance his budget, save money, and deal with the usual problems of life, some of which are caused by governments. No, Malcolm never gives the impression he’s walking in my shoes and understands my problems, or ever really has.

Go to the footy? Don’t think so: he might get booed.

Aloof, arrogant and untouched by the problems of others? Looks like it.

Since John Howard’s loss in 2007, it’s been an unenviable job being an Australian Prime Minister, come election time. Why?

Because if their Party didn’t get rid of them during their first term (Rudd, Gillard, Abbott), the electorate would express their dissatisfaction at the ballot-box.

If it hadn’t been for the Liberal’s Coalition partner the National Party under Barnaby Joyce picking up a seat in 2016, Malcolm Turnbull would have gone, too. Now, he hangs on by a thread, thanks to Barnaby.

Bold, confident and expressive leadership? Not from Malcolm.

A dead man walking? Looks like it to me.

Will his Party get rid of him? If they don’t, the electorate surely will at the next election, and they’ll deal harshly with his Party, too. That’s a good enough reason for his back-benchers to give him the flick.

What will electoral conservatives electorate do? Walk.

Where to? Anywhere they can find decent and articulate conservative leadership.

Does that mean Corey Bernardi? Probably.


I don’t know when, but the longer the Liberals leave it, the worse it gets. Malcolm’s polling numbers are bad now. What’s going to turn them around?


When Mr Nobody’s ship’s heading for the ice-berg at 20 knots, you either change the ship’s direction, or brace yourself for the inevitable collision. The back-benchers and the conservative electorate know this. For the Liberals it’s either act now, or prepare to be swimming in dark, icy waters later.