Paul Murray: Election now only way to fix citizenship mess

Paul Murray.
Paul Murray.

THERE comes a time in all Prime Ministerships when we just stop listening. We have hit that moment for Malcolm Turnbull.

No one can blame Turnbull for so many MPs and Senators not getting their dual-citizenship house in order. But we can judge him for ignoring the public mood and failing to see that this situation is beyond spinning, distractions or kicking down the road.

We want an audit, now.

The citizenship saga became a farce when the now ex-Senate President Stephen Parry admitted he was a dual citizen. He did it after sending six fellow senators and Barnaby Joyce to the High Court and he knew all along he should be with them.

He even told a member of Turnbull's Cabinet he was worried back in August, but everyone just sat on their hands and hoped they wouldn't get caught.

Parry's situation becomes a direct problem for Turnbull because we all expected that when those two Greens got caught back in July, the PM would have read the riot act to his own team, demanding everyone in the LNP show their papers to his office.

But he didn't. In fact he claimed he only knew about Parry when we all learnt about it last week. Strike One.

Turnbull then completely misread the mood of the moment, post Parry, by comparing a simple audit of all MPs and Senators to a witch hunt that was un-Australian.

All we wanted was for someone to take over because the politicians couldn't be trusted any more. Strike Two.

I would have given Strike Three to a misguided meeting with Bill Shorten where Turnbull apparently offered a deal where Parliament not deal with any contentious legislation until it was all sorted out.

A desperate attempt to buy time and an admission at the growing illegitimacy of the Parliament's decisions.

But the final straw for me was news late in the week. Turnbull gave advice over the phone to NTX MP Rebekha Sharkie that she too should be headed to the High Court, but he has offered no such advice to his own Liberal MP John Alexander whose father was born in the UK.

There can't be one rule for Liberals and one rule for everyone else. Especially after Parry changed the game. He is clearly stalling for time.

People don't trust Canberra because it looks like a game where keeping power is more important than anything else.

A real leader should be unafraid of an election.

Unafraid to face the people and show a hunger to build a better country with big ideas and a passion to get them done.

Sadly this Prime Minister has lost his ability to light up a room.

He looks like every other disappointing Prime Minister desperate to hold on no matter the cost to their party or the country.

There are some very good people in Turnbull's cabinet and on the LNP backbench and sadly they are paying the price for their leader's endless failings.

Sure, he will hold on for a while to come with factional warlords and plenty of mates in the media fighting the losing battle.

But it's clear now the public have given up. They just don't care.

You can imagine people all over the country saying to themselves: 'Wake me when this is over'.

*Joining Paul on the program this Monday are Graham Richardson, Ross Cameron and Janine Perrett.

Topics:  column opinion paul murray

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Pensioner whose backyard sank into hole robbed

ANOTHER BLOW: Lynn McKay, the Basin Pocket pensioner whose backyard sink hole made headlines around the world in 2016, had her handbag stolen in the Ipswich CBD. She's appealing for the thief to return the bag.

And police give her even more bad news after reporting it

GRAPHIC IMAGE ALERT: Water skier's grizzly river discovery

A Goodna resident has taken a photograph of an animal that was possibly the victim of a shark attack in the Brisbane River.

Bull shark suspected after carcass left with chunk missing

OPINION: The NRL's hypocrisy over Matthew Lodge and racism

Should Matthew Lodge be playing football after assaulting and abusing five people?

Is allowing Matthew Lodge to play football redemption or hypocrisy?

Local Partners