Posted by Tom Bridge
There’s just something about Malcolm Turnbull going on Q&A, pretty much anything publicly other than talking on broadband and communications that results in the unleashing of unmitigated derp from both sides of the political spectrum. Combine this with a predictable recipe of asylum seekers and marriage equality, with a bit of a healthy and thoughtful discussion on the arts and at least some of the chaos and stupidity was held back.
You see, the situation is quite strange when it comes to Malcolm Turnbull being a part of the public debate on a broader range of issues than his present shadow portfolio.
Pretty much everyone on the moderate left at times profess some kind of what they say and act like is undying love for Mr Turnbull when he isn’t so much in the spotlight, or more rightly when he might well be saying something that they tend to agree with, like on climate change, after last night somewhat on the arts and also to a large extent on marriage equality.
There are even people on the left who shout “Malcolm for PM” but would surely recoil from that belief were there a Liberal Party government in power, even with Turnbull at its head.
And so it goes that there was all of that fake, ‘soft’ love from the left for Malc0lm Turnbull that would surely diminish again among this demographic were he to return as leader.
Some too may profess a love for Malcolm Turnbull now but forget they used to decry his substantial wealth, self-made no less, undoubtedly much of it to do with people in this country seeming to despise entrepreneurialism and success and yes that tall poppy bashing syndrome definitely rings true.
There are those however, somewhere around the centre that would and do accept Malcolm Turnbull as a sensible and at least relatively balanced choice for leader of a Liberal Party that more and more lacks the ideology in its name. Turnbull is one of the few you’d consider to be a liberal in the modern Liberal Party or at the very least, someone with strong liberal tendencies.
Then you get started on what the right of the party, though more often the more right wing supporters of the Liberal Party think of the man and that’s where things start to get just a little misguided.
Those on the right of him decry him for sticking up for markets, for advocating that for the most part, the market is by far the best response to a range of things, notably climate change, though the electoral reality with this is that the idea of a market response has lost after having prevailed just years ago.
Then comes the socially progressive stance of the former Liberal Party leader, particularly on marriage equality, which closely behind his climate change stance attracts the most ire from Liberal Party supporters. He wants a conscience vote on the matter, said so some time ago, a conscience vote being a long-term stance of the party on controversial matters.
Mr Turnbull also over the weekend backed calls for a compromise of a nationally backed civil unions scheme which will be seen by many on the right of the party again as too far even though it is just a compromise position, though some on both the left and right will not see it that way.
The Twitter response last night mirrored the public thoughts on Turnbull with some soft backing and the next minute complete disavowal of all Turnbull believes in from the left and the occasional outright condemnation, simply because he’s a member of the “evil” Liberal Party.
Of course then, at the same time from the right was the complete disavowal of all he’s ever said even though the vast majority, if not all, is fully aligned with what the Liberal Party is supposed to stand for.
The reality of the situation is that Malcolm Turnbull on social issues lies somewhere around the political centre without being radically progressive but still being open to social progress that can’t be delivered by markets.
On economic issues Turnbull is clearly of the right so that clearly makes Turnbull centre-right overall which should at least in reality give comfort to the knocker’s on his own side of the spectrum but it does not.
Stay tuned for much of the same before, during and after the next installment of Q&A featuring Malcolm Turnbull, complete with predictable leadership comments masquerading as questions and the “you have him, no you take him” fight between right and left which is sure to spawn more of the most lovely derpiest derp.