Since he first entered the Australian political scene as a leading proponent of republicanism, Malcolm Turnbull’s career has been one long series of disappointments, which involved failing (more or less steadily) upwards. Barring a miracle, his career is now effectively over. In the unlikely event that he survives as PM to the next election, he is assured of electoral defeat and subsequent oblivion.
But, he has one last chance for greatness. It’s now clear that many of his Liberal colleagues and, almost certainly, a majority of coalition MPs, want to hand the country over to an overt racist, bigot and climate denialist*. Yet it would only take 75 votes on the floor of the House of Representatives to stop this from happening. A handful of genuine liberals in the Liberal party would be enough*.*
If Turnbull led such a group, he would be reviled by his own side, most of whom hate and/or despise him anyway, but he would finally justify the hopes of millions of Australians (including me) who actually believed he could change politics for the better.
Even if the requisite handful could not be found, Turnbull could resign his seat and recontest it as an independent, or support someone else pledged to oppose Dutton. That would give at least some electors a chance to have their say.
Of course, this is all said in bitter jest. Turnbull has never stood for anything and never will. He will hang on to the last possible moment, then capitulate meekly.
Update: Well, he hasn’t gone meekly. But rather than take a stand against Dutton’s racism, and support Bishop, or even Morrison, he’s made it all about himself. His whole political career has been a vanity project.
* I mean Dutton, though his puppetmaster Abbott fits the bill also. In his inglorious run as PM, he at least paid lip service to racial equality and climate reality, but that has now gone out the window.
** Somewhere between one and five depending on how the independents and fringe parties went. I assume that any confidence agreements made with Turnbull would lapse.