Following David’s excellent post on the NBN, a somewhat related aside.

Malcolm Turnbull was interviewed on AM yesterday about the NBN review, followed by a brief minuet around some current political dramas.

What a contrast. By comparison, his colleagues still seem be struggling with the basic craft of politics. And, for that matter, with the English language.

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19 Responses to Turnbull

  1. conrad says:

    Given that the malicious and presumably internally driven leaks have started against Abbott in less than a year (fast even by recent Labor standards), perhaps it won’t be too long before Turnbull takes his job, which might be a great relief for many people, presumably excluding the Labor party who will have a lot more competition to worry about.

  2. whyisitso says:

    If Turnbull replaces Abbott, it means the only three real political parties (counting the Nats as part of the Coalition) would be left-wing. I’d vote informal rather than vote for leftists.

  3. rog says:

    I have become less and less enamoured of Turnbull, he is a skillful debater but seems to lack fundamental principles.

    • Ingolf says:

      Rog, would you mind elaborating a little?

      • rog says:

        Turnbull’s well argued and principled position on climate change appears to have been deleted and his approach to the NBN lacks support of the experts of that industry. The Godwin Grech fiasco exposed him as a man lacking judgement.

        He appears to be acting as an advocate, willing to use any argument to “give it a go”. Just who he is acting for is unclear, I suspect it is his vanity.

        • Ingolf says:

          Thanks Rog.

          On climate change, I assume Turnbull has to toe the cabinet line. It’s either that, move to the backbench or leave the coalition.

          As for the NBN, is there a widely accepted expert line? I haven’t followed the debate in great detail but that isn’t my impression.

          No doubt he screwed up big-time with Grech. Still, Turnbull is by nature a high-stakes player so perhaps it wasn’t surprising. The big question is whether he’s learnt any lasting lessons.

          Perhaps he is unusually vain; I don’t know. However, my guess is that Turnbull is playing a very long game. With all the success anyone could reasonably want already racked up, to my mind all he really has to play for in politics is some combination of principle and legacy.

          We shall see.

  4. I used to be and still am Not Trampis says:

    all left wing ??
    how come Swan brought down the tightest budget we are ever likely to see?

    you need to use both eyes not just one!

    • Sancho says:

      To the far right, centre-right means left-wing.

      It’s true, though, that if Turnbull were leader of the Liberal Party (and he managed to win the battles necessary to shape it), extremist right wing voters would have to park with minor parties and independents.

  5. Terry Cane says:

    Malcolm Turnbull is a devout capitalist he is confirmed on the user pays principle. He appears to be profoundly against fibre optics to the door re NBN. Has he considered the benefit of wiring every household via fibre optic and recovering hundreds of tonnes of redundant and degraded copper wire for recycling. Surely the recycling of the copper network would be
    a) a positive environmental consideration
    b) likely to defray the cost of fibre optics to households
    c) reduce overall maintenance costs regarding current copper network.

  6. David Walker says:

    Funnily enough, in the course of researching the post you kindly mention, I came across this transcript of Malcolm Turnbull with a bunch of journalists talking about the NBN. He very elegantly and politely rips them a new one over their failure to look at overseas broadband implementations. Frankly, if I were Turnbull, facing the regular abuse of people like the ABC’s Nick Ross, I might have lost it by now. He’s simply in a different league from the people try to interrogate him, to the point where you can sense that he’s struggling with how to make them register the points he’s making.

    • Ingolf says:

      Thanks David. Nice find.

      Lots of good bits like this amusing little exchange with Simon Sharwood:

      Hi, Simon Sharwood from The Register. We are a London-based publication (inaudible) and also in New York and San Francisco and so I took up your challenge and I asked my San Francisco bureau to find me an example of an FTTN going, or going well in the US and they couldn’t find me one.

      Not AT&T? Did they miss that one?

      They may have done. We are not the most rigorous organisation!

      You are pulling my leg here. I mean, AT&T has got a gigantic FTTN set-up which they call U-Verse; which they’re expanding . .

      I did get them after a public holiday.

      Don’t you understand? You’re basically mocking yourself here.

      Yeah, I do understand.

      Alright, okay. Terrific.

      • The U-Verse example that Turnbull used is notorious for poor connection speeds, it’s ranked #14 out of 16 in the US. See: here for a graph.

        Turnbull is an excellent speaker but don’t be sucked in by his rhetoric. The talking points he uses are well researched, but if you delve into them they often don’t hold up to scrutiny. He gives the impression that he’s a well-briefed minister with full command of an army of wonks behind him, which is understandably the sort of thing that Troppodilians get excited about. The reality is that the justifications for his positions are frequently tenuous at best.

        • Ingolf says:

          Thanks Paul.

          I confess I’d be a touch disappointed if you’ve got the man right. Still, if you have I’d rather know; there’s not much point in arguing with reality.

          So, would you provide a link to what you see as the best available case supporting your comments?

        • rog says:

          AT&T use both FTTN and FTTP technology, FTTN having limitations imposed by distance from the cabinet and quality of existing service. FTTP is universally accepted as being vastly superior with FTTN being tolerated as a transition to FTTP.

          The AT&T U-verse provides three services, TV telephone and Internet.

          I’ll happily bet Turnbull has the best service (that money can buy) to his own premises.

  7. Tyler says:

    The man is quite happily part of a government which is perfectly content to fiddle while the globe burns despite professing to take the threat posed by climate change seriously. Insofar as he could ever have been viewed as a vaguely ‘sensible’ liberal his capitulation to the reactionary anti-science fringe that is this government should eliminate this impression.

    Excuses like ‘oh well he’d lose his position as a minister’ are risible given the fact that the current government isn’t just damaging Australia’s policy response to climate change but is actively attempting to sabotage any global deal.

    • Ingolf says:

      “[C]apitulation to the reactionary anti-science fringe . . . “.

      That seems a pretty big call. Consider this recent tweet:

      The Economist | Oceans and the climate: Davy Jones’s heat locker http://t.co/8FZ7a8R05G— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) August 22, 2014

      Stands on principle can be emotionally gratifying but they’re not necessarily particularly useful. Only time will tell what Turnbull is really up to, and capable of.

      • rog says:

        What is the significance of Turnbull tweeting an article in the Economist? (other than indicating that Turnbull is capable of both running with the fox and hunting with hounds)

      • Tyler says:

        The government has already eliminated an effective carbon price, is clearly hoping to gut the renewable energy target, has attempted to axe nigh on every federal climate change programe and body. What more will it take for you to condemn Turnbull for being an active participant in this insanity?

        • Ingolf says:

          I disagree with these policy changes and I’d imagine Turnbull does too.

          What I don’t know is his plan. Maybe he is the unprincipled scumbag you guys see him as, or, maybe, he’s playing a much longer game.

          As I said, time will tell.

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