Hockey or Turnbull

The election that brought Abbott and the LNP to power is so three months ago, and the Christmas plotting season is nearly upon us, so it’s time for some good old-fashioned leadership speculation, with the Libs as the target this time around. According to Laura Tingle, most of the interest in the business community is in Turnbull. I think that would be a bridge too far for the Liberals, having dumped him once. So, my money would be on Hockey as the replacement if Abbott keeps messing things up as he has done almost continuously since taking office. While the accuracy of my political judgements is pretty variable, this one from a year ago is looking fairly good.

Hockey has indeed backed off the surplus, showing more good sense than Abbott. I’m nearly alone in this view, but I think he is under-rated. Not a towering intellect, but still among the stronger performers on the LNP front bench.

38 thoughts on “Hockey or Turnbull

  1. @m0nty

    There are a bunch of people who think they have the answer to your question:

    “Campbell Newman” – seriously.

    They believe that his hop from Mayor to Premier is just a step to becoming PM (I’m not joking).

  2. Hockey does not impress me at all. He’s a lightweight, a flake and a bluffer. Actually, he’s perfectly suited for the populist dilettantism that is now the Liberal Party’s brand. Whether it’s him or Abbott, neither is a man of substance or vision. Sidonis impresses me, but he is not really a professional politician. What stuns me the most are the expressions of surprise coming from the mainstream media about the combination of dog-in-the-manager ideological destructiveness, shallow opportunism and sheer incompetence being shown by the new regime. It was all evident when they were in opposition. Turnbull does not belong in the Liberal Party as it stands. You almost have to start all over again and form a centrist, liberal democratic, rational political force with grown-ups running it. Any takers?

  3. No idle political speculation in Australia, the UK or the USA is complete without a bet on Rupert’s Murdoch’s active life expectancy, and the funeral games in the family that will follow his death or medically imposed retirement. This may be the 21st century not the 16th, but some dynasties still matter. Did Anne Boleyn sleep with Mark Smeaton? Did Tony Blair have an affair with Wendi Deng? Stay tuned.

  4. @Mr Denmore

    You almost have to start all over again and form a centrist, liberal democratic, rational political force with grown-ups running it. Any takers?

    Well the ALP have quite definitively ruled themselves out.

    The Greens have been doing it for about 10 years now, but the establishment media and sepia-ALP nostalgics can’t accept that fact.

    No offence Mr Dinmore, but are you seriously suggesting we should vote for Bill Shorten?

    I certainly won’t, but I’m interested in the arguments that would seek to persuade otherwise. “Abbott would be worse” just didn’t work out so well for the (extreme Right) ALP.

  5. @Mr Denmore

    I agree with eveything you wrote (except I do not know anything about Sidonis). The Liberal Party is shallow and empty. But then so is the modern Labor Party. The Greens are well-meaning, correct about the environment in broad terms but they too buy into the whole neoliberal economic (mis)construct.

    The voter has no real alternative. No matter who you vote for you get a neoliberal.

  6. I think Hockey is an male version of Jai’me King. He pouts, he flounces, he is petulant and arrogant, shallow shallow shallow and of course, it’s all about him.

  7. There are prediction market contracts on whether abbott will be PM at the next election. Who plans to to their money on the table?

  8. I doubt Joe Hockey has what it takes to lead a party that is already in power; I’m not even sure he could handle one in opposition. Turnbull could perhaps, but his support base is very unstable as far as I can tell, and that would eventually spill into the public arena, just as happened in the ALP’s case. Nope, I’d say the Liar Friar won’t stick as an epithet, but Tony Abbott will stick as the Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the coalition. If the ALP are smart, they should be able to capitalise on that, directing a long term campaign based on the post-election policy U-turns. The thing about the Liberals policy U-turns is that no one had a gun to their (collective) head; there was no minority partner with the power to demand a policy U-turn as happened with the ALP/Greens/Indep coalition: nope, the Liberals made a choice to lie to the people and to ditch the policies they never did like, however much they claimed they were at one with them.

    Liars…sad as it is. Hard to have democracy if you have no assurance whatsoever as to the policies you will actually get post-election, as opposed to what was promised during the final days before the election.

  9. Julie Thomas :
    I think Hockey is an male version of Jai’me King. He pouts, he flounces, he is petulant and arrogant, shallow shallow shallow and of course, it’s all about him.

    What, you think Joe Hockey is played by a female in drag?

  10. this thread reminds of something george will said: American politics is littered with the bleached bones of those who underestimated Ronald Reagan.

    Abbot and Thatcher were also underestimated by politicians they then ate alive.

  11. @Jim Rose

    Hmmm, methinks the world will be littered with the bleached bones of people who underestimated climate change and resource depletion and persisted too long with “endless growth” capitalism.

  12. All pure speculation, John! You know full well that the Government couldn’t possibly knife Abbott in the back and install anybody else! Why that would be treacherous! The Liberals would never do that, would they?

  13. @John Brookes

    Hockey is a bit ‘feminine’ now that I think about it, and vain – lap-banding rather than diet and exercise to achieve his weight loss. What does that say about his character and ability to do the hard yards?

    I think the ‘elite’ private school system has been producing male Jai’me Kings for yonks. When the sons of the rich act like spoiled brats apparently it is admirable and is the type of upbringing that leads to men of character with leadership potential (obviously not).

    Oh Jim, nobody could underestimate Abbott’s ability. What has he done or said that gives you the idea he has character and ability? Why did he only get B’s and C’s as the Rhodes Scholar? Did be have the intellect, and got mediocre results because he didn’t take it seriously perhaps?

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