STRANGE POLITICS: time will tell on Turnbull's success


SO Malcolm Turnbull survived his first week in the top job managing to smile, not always convincingly mind you, through a never-ending procession of television and radio interviews.

He refused to answer questions about the leadership spill - although why he wouldn't want to elaborate on the finer points of stabbing someone in the back is beyond me - insisting instead on looking forward to a "bright future".

How bright, is unclear unless of course you are an expert at interpreting rhetoric but it does, you will be glad to know, include things like great leadership, a boost in productivity, greater innovation and more incentives to get lazy buggers off their bottoms and into jobs.

Let's hope the Prime Minister has better luck with those targets than he had with the NBN as Communications Minister. The project, far from complete, has now blown out to some $56 billion - a fair bit of money for a system that will be technologically superseded by the time it is finished in 2020.

The news was dire for asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru because while the Prime Minister is "concerned" about conditions at offshore processing networks, highlighted in a number of disturbing reports and most recently at the inquiry of children in detention, he is adamant that turning back the boats has worked.

Just how many boats is also unclear as the Abbott government restricted that sort of information under the "national security" banner and we have only their word on how many people have tried to seek refuge here.

Mr Turnbull also took time to lambast Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's questioning of the China Free Trade Agreement, dismissing him as an alarmist Trade Union supporter.

Incidentally, the Prime Minister hasn't actually read through the whole agreement, but denies criticism it will lock out Australian workers from those projects even though it actually could.

Aside from spending some time patting himself on the back for a cabinet that includes more women and putting the Coalition ahead in Newspoll for the first time since early 2014, Mr Turnbull did make a decision we can applaud this week.

He committed an additional $41 million to help tackle domestic violence. The Prime Minister is right, real men don't hit and we should be ashamed that we failed the 63 women who have been killed in those situations this year.


Topics:  opinion politics strange politics weekend magazine

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