It’s been a while since I’ve written an Open Letter. Please don’t think this is due to any apathy on my part; it’s more to do with being too busy to write to you every time your behaviour warranted correspondence. In a way, it’s a sly strategy on your part; move onto the next scandal, the next mistake, the next example of gross incompetence, before we all have a chance to respond fully to the last. But today Malcolm, today I finally felt compelled to pause and type. It’s not that I think you’ve hit rock bottom – I’m too much of a realist to expect you won’t get any worse. No, it’s more that this blog has become a historical account of the political landscape, and I feel your most recent actions need to be properly condemned on the public record in a way that the mainstream media, for the most part, won’t dare to do.
Let’s get something straight right up front. You are the Prime Minister. I’m only reminding you of this because there’s no evidence of you being aware of what this means. Never before has Australia had a Prime Minister who is so scared of his own cabinet as Prime Minister Turnbull. Never before has a Prime Minister been so cowed by his backbench, so neglectful in his command of leadership to put his foot down and say ‘I’m in charge here’. Never before have we seen the games of internal division, backstabbing, sniping, placating and hiding away so destructive to the national interest.
What’s that? I hear you mumble something about Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. Not that you will ever acknowledge the fact, but really, the way Prime Minister Gillard managed to run a productive, reforming, legislatively impressive government with a one-seat majority in a minority government and an undermining rat-Rudd to contend with has just makes you look worse in comparison, not better. So I would leave her out of this if I were you.
People do say that it is the largest struggles in life which are the making of a person; that someone’s true character comes to the fore when they’re challenged. Gillard’s character stepped forward like a Daenerys Stormborn-warrior; brave, unflappable and more determined than ever to win an argument. You, on the other hand, or should I say, other planet, have shown that when nudged, you go to water.
I must say, it’s not that surprising that you’re so hopelessly equipped to stand up to your colleagues, to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing, to put the public interest ahead of your personal strategizing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the very rich is that they are deeply disappointed when life is hard. Innate wealth and privilege is meant to insulate people like you from challenges. But when those challenges just keep getting harder and less easy to buy your way out of, well, it’s no wonder you just want to shirk away into the mansion and cry into your cash. That’s the only explanation I can reasonably come up with to explain how badly you are managing the job of Prime Minister, Malcolm. It’s kind of me to give you such an easy excuse, isn’t it?
To be fair to you, of course I will never agree with your ideological positions; your corporate tax cuts, your bashing of unions and in turn the working people they represent, the cuts to pensions and attacks on health, welfare and education. We have different political values. Everything you stand for, I stand against. So, I can’t say I’m disappointed that you’ve done all this stuff I disagree with, because I expected you, given the chance, to do all those things. But what it is fair enough for me, and everyone else in Australia who either voted for you or didn’t, to feel deeply disappointed in is your total lack of morals. Your total lack of character. And your cowardice, your selfishness, and your cruelty this lack of moral character promotes.
Let’s look at your morals. Not once in your time as Prime Minister, not once, have I found myself saying ‘well I disagree with him on most things, but I respect the decision he’s made this time’. Not on climate change policy – how do you sleep at night? Not on hate speech and embracing anti-immigration dog-whistling – you’re an absolute disgrace in everything you do to court Hanson voters.
This week you’ve made the call, through saying nothing at all, by hiding away, by pretending you don’t need to comment, to support your Immigration Minister Dutton’s blatant lies, designed to demonise asylum seekers by accusing them of paedophilia. We all know it’s messy for you to call Dutton out, to say he’s lied, to take responsibility for sacking him as Immigration Minister; he’s just as dangerous to you as Abbott. But Malcolm, just because something is messy and hard and takes a bit of bravery, doesn’t mean you need to rule it out. Were you never told as a child that nothing worthwhile was ever easy?
And what about your friend, your supporter, Kelly O’Dwyer? As you no doubt have guessed, I’m no more a fan of O’Dwyer as I am of you. But for the sake of humanity, I am offended on her behalf at the thought of a mother at home with a week-old baby finding that a collective of millionaires are colluding with two people I’m fairly safe to assume you don’t think much of, Abbott and Credlin, to steal her job. I get that you must be seething about this turn of events and that O’Dwyer probably knows she has your support in private. But you’re the Prime Minister, Malcolm. The public need your support too. The public need to see you standing up for yourself, standing up against bullies, standing up against liars and haters and connivers, who undermine public confidence in the government, who undermine your ability to run the country. Photo ops wearing camouflage just show how desperate you are. What’s next, an ever-growing array of Australian flags following you around? Your desperation stinks Malcolm. It is as humiliating to us, as it is to you.
So, enough is enough Malcolm. Since you won’t say anything, I will. You’re not cut out for the job. You’re not built of strong enough stuff. There is zero evidence you have any interest in the national interest. All we see is you taking the path of least resistance to give yourself a cosy job. You’ve let me down. You’ve let yourself down. You’ve let the country down. Resign before any more damage is done.
Spot on …. in a few years, when histories are recorded of this period in Australian history, Turnbull’s few years as Prime Minister will increasingly show their lack of luster and absence of achievement. What a wasted period in the country’s story have the years 2013 – 2017 been ….
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