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Thursday 14 July 2016

May outshines Turnbull

May claims the centre..

Theresa May has taken the reins of the UK with a quiet confidence reminiscent of her very successful only female predecessor. By vowing to fight the "the burning injustice" of the disadvantaged she claims the centre path and vows to rule for all the people. Glib as these sentiments may be, they show an astute politician setting an agenda for the country and her party.

In the same vein she has appointed Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, a surprise appointment but most appropriate given Boris' role in the Brexit decision. He will have the task of facing the very people who may be hostile to the move. More importantly given the divisions within the conservative party caused by the Brexit decision she is showing she wants a united party and will include all who are capable in the ministry.

Contrast with Turnbull

Contrast this to our own PM. After deposing Abbott, without a second thought for inclusivity or healing the natural divisions that such a coup would cause,Turnbull surrounded himself with his 'yes' men. The very people who had helped orchestrate his ascendance became the primary beneficiaries. Many ardent Abbott supporters were jettisoned.

Over the past 8 months he has had a free rein to win the hearts and minds of both the electorate and his colleagues. Alas the election results demonstrate that he has been unsuccessful. By almost losing the un-loseable election he has opened up a rift with the right wing of his party and yet seems doggedly unwilling to redress this problem. Where May accepted the need to ensure all extremes of her party are represented in her cabinet, Turnbull seems blind to the division he has caused and reluctant to address it.

It can be achieved in a number of ways,  either by opening up more cabinet positions for its members or by being more willing to fight for their causes.  Yet there is no sign that Turnbull is taking any action. One is reminded of the Abbott 'tin ear'.

While it is true that today these problems are but 'rumbles', a Cory Bernardi announcement of a new right wing movement, or individual MPs complaining about the Super policy. The rift goes deeper than that. Once parliament is back in action it will be exploited by political shenanigans by any of the opposition parties and the media, and has the potential to fester and grow. With the government's future hanging on just two disaffected right wing MPs this is potentially terminal.

Turnbull neglects this at his peril.

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