This has been a very important, sobering experience today. I am very humbled by it. I am very humbled by the great honour and responsibility that has been given to me today. We need to have in this country, and we will have now, an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face.
...This will be a thoroughly Liberal Government. It will be a thoroughly Liberal Government committed to freedom, the individual and the market. It will be focused on ensuring that in the years ahead, as the world becomes more and more competitive, and greater opportunities arise, we are able to take advantage of that. The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative.
His primary vision is of the freedom of the individual in the market. It's an exceptionally limited view of man and his purposes.
However, it is hard to deny that Malcolm Turnbull has an extraordinary life story. We have an election campaign running in Australia at the moment. For a while the Labor opposition chose to attack Turnbull as being an out of touch, born-to-rule type. That's a little odd for two reasons. First, the Labour leader, Bill Shorten, is not exactly a battler type himself. In 2009 he married the daughter of the then Governor-General of Australia. And he went to school with me - at Xavier College, not exactly part of struggle town (I don't remember much about him at school).
Second, Malcolm Turnbull was not exactly born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His mother, Coral Lansbury, abandoned the family when he was nine-years-old, choosing to live overseas, first in New Zealand and then in America (she was a second cousin to the actress Angela Lansbury). She became a thrice married socialist feminist academic and novelist.
And so Malcolm Turnbull was left to be raised by his father, Bruce Turnbull. It would have been easy for his father to sink, and for a while father and son lived in modest circumstances in Sydney. But his father battled his way through what must have been a personal tragedy and in later life became successful in his career field.
|Father and son|
He not only kept himself going strong, he also raised alone as a single father a future prime minister. Malcom Turnbull speaks of his father (who died in a plane crash) with great admiration as someone who loved him and who dedicated much of his life to him.
But the Australian left seems to have chosen to mock or dismiss all this rather than to respect it. Here's one response:
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my dad,” reveals Turnbull.
Which is actually true. Indeed, Malcolm wouldn’t be anything without his father… sperm being a fairly vital component in the formation of all humanoids.
There's also been a twitter campaign based on the tag #MalcolmWasSoPoor making fun of Turnbull's life story.
Maybe I'm just not ruthless enough and I should take any chance to stick the knife into my political enemies just like the leftists do. But I can't do it in this case. Father and son got through something together that must have been crushing for both. I admire the dedication of the father and the willingness of both father and son to overcome personal adversity. I don't see why this can't be acknowledged.