Abbott to stand in leadership vote

Just in:

Liberal Tony Abbott says he will throw his hat into the ring against Malcolm Turnbull tomorrow whether or not Joe Hockey is a contender for the liberal leadership.

Mr Abbott said after a day of discussions with Mr Hockey, who is in favour of a free vote on the emissions trading scheme, he had decided he needed to challenge whoever may be standing at the Liberal party room meeting.

The latest bombshell throws yet more confusion into the leadership debacle.

Mr Abbott had always said he would stand aside if Mr Hockey contested the leadership, but that position has changed because the shadow treasurer isn’t willing to adopt the hard line on the ETS.

Mr Abbott addressed reporters at Parliament House.‘‘I respect Joe’s position, I think that if Joe wants to run for leader on the basis of a free vote he is entitled to do so,’’ Mr Abbott said.

“But …it is just not possible for a credible party to have a free vote.”

Mr Turnbull is refusing to step aside as federal Liberal leader, saying he will contest a leadership contest if a spill vote is passed.

“I will be standing tomorrow,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Read it here.

BREAKING: Hockey backs Turnbull (for now)

There are conflicting reports, but it appears that Joe Hockey has confirmed he does not want the top job, and will support Malcolm Turnbull by voting against a spill tomorrow. With Tony Abbott the only declared candidate, it will be a Left/Right fight.

But Hockey has not ruled out standing if there IS a spill.

More to come.

Joe Hockey firms as likely Liberal leader

Turnbull lite?

Turnbull lite?

But he’s going to have to completely reverse his policy on the ETS, and that isn’t going to be particularly convincing. And Turnbull’s outburst at Nick Minchin “and the wreckers” with Laurie Oakes yesterday has backfired spectacularly as well:

IN a strong sign he is about to throw his hat into the Liberal leadership ring, Joe Hockey is holding talks at his Sydney home with Queensland Liberal Peter Dutton.

Mr Dutton is viewed as a potential candidate for the deputy Liberal leader’s spot, The Australian reports.

The pair arrived in separate cars today and made no comment as they entered the Hockey family home.

However, smiling Mr Hockey joked to the waiting media “you’re breeding”.

While Tony Abbott has also declared his intention to run, he may pull out of the race if Mr Hockey enters the ring.

Liberals say support for Mr Turnbull is bleeding away after his angry performance on Channel Nine’s Laurie Oakes interview where he attacked Mr Hockey, Senate leader Nick Minchin and Mr Abbott.

This is not looking particularly good for the party. Hockey is an ally of Turnbull’s – it’s going to be very awkward for him to stand against his leader. He will of course have to resign from the shadow cabinet before standing. The fight looks like being Turnbull -vs- Turnbull-lite, which is not what the party needs.

Read it here.

Delusional Turnbull: "I will win"

Monty Python's The Black Knight

Monty Python's The Black Knight: "It's just a flesh wound!"

Whoever leads the Liberal party after Tuesday, it must not be Malcolm Turnbull. If he wins the leadership spill, it will only put off his execution until the inevitable apocalyptic defeat at the next election. But Malcolm Turnbull is blind to all of this, and blusters on in ever more extreme rhetoric:

Mr Turnbull this morning lashed out at his critics, in particular Tony Abbott, whom he will likely face in a leadership ballot on Tuesday, and Senate leader Nick Minchin.

They are destroying the Liberal Party,” Mr Turnbull told Channel Nine. “There is a recklessness and a wilfulness in these men, which is going to destroy the Liberal Party.

I will win on Tuesday. I am unbowed.

“Joe Hockey has told me as recently as last night that I have his complete support.

“I am not interested in becoming a mouthpiece or a patsy or a tool for people whose views are completely wrong and are contrary to the best interests of our nation, our planet and indeed the Liberal Party.

“If this issue is not resolved, the climate change war that Nick Minchin and his wreckers have started will continue to destroy the Liberal Party until such time as we are destroyed by Kevin Rudd in an election.”

Right result, wrong cause, pal. That will be the result if you remain leader. And I’m glad Hockey’s backing you – we don’t want Hockey as a leader – soft left, Turnbull-lite. So with luck it will be a straight fight between a deluded leader who is finished but can’t see it, and Tony Abbott. There is only one choice.

Read it here.

Turnbull: a Rudd clone

Malcolm Turnbull is sounding more and more like Kevin Rudd every day:

Mr Turnbull said he had a message to all Australians and the Liberal Party: “We have a duty to our country, to our planet, to our children to take effective action on climate change.”

“I respect the views of those who believe we don’t need to … but it is not responsible to proceed on the basis that there is nothing to be concerned about.”

Mr Turnbull said he understood the government’s frustration given an agreement had been reached on the ETS and negotiations conducted in good faith.

“What does it say about the character of the Liberal Party if, having entered into an agreement, we were to simply say we have changed our mind, we are going to renege on that deal. How could you trust us?”

Read it here.

The Weekend Australian trumpets Newspoll results… from September

Sounding like Fairfax

Sounds like Fairfax

The Australian has really lost its way on this issue, supporting Malcolm Turnbull’s position on the ETS, referring to CO2 as “carbon pollution” – they really have swallowed the Rudd/Wong spin. And now they claim that voting against the ETS will be electoral suicide, based on a Newspoll survey… from September:

THE Coalition faces an electoral wipeout at next year’s federal election if the rebels led by Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin succeed in blocking the government’s climate change legislation.

The Coalition could lose at least 20 of its metropolitan seats, including those of its leader, Malcolm Turnbull, Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey and climate change critics Kevin Andrews and Andrew Robb, according to an analysis of Newspoll results.

Newspoll chief executive Martin O’Shannessy says the most worrying finding for the Coalition is that its voters aged 18 to 34 favour the government’s legislation by a margin of almost five to one. The Newspoll survey, taken in mid-September, showed that 75 per cent of Coalition voters in this age group backed the bill, while only 17 per cent were opposed.

This is in complete contradiction to what The Australian said back in July:

Just as Malcolm Turnbull has turned the Liberal Party towards accepting an ETS before the global climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, there has been a turnaround in public support for delaying finalisation of a carbon emissions trading scheme.

And while most people are still prepared to pay higher costs for petrol, electricity and gas to cut greenhouse gas emissions, support drops away rapidly as the expectations rise of higher costs.

Eight per cent of respondents to the survey, taken exclusively for The Australian last weekend, oppose an ETS outright, taking the total who oppose the scheme or want it delayed to 53 per cent.

Unfortunately, the public are wising up to the fraudulent manipulation of climate data to fit a political agenda (widespread), the true costs of the ETS to the Australian economy (huge), and the actual benefits of the ETS to the climate (none). They are also beginning to realise that the IPCC, which is Kevin Rudd’s and Penny Wong’s only source of information on climate science, is little more than an alarmist propaganda machine (read this PDF if you want to understand for yourself, and see this post from Watts Up With That: “IPCC has run its course“).

Defeating the ETS will bring on an election, and only an election campaign will allow the required investment in informing the Australian public about this harsh realities of this issue – we certainly can’t rely on the media.

Malcolm Turnbull to fight on

Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull

Dead Man Walking. Either he knows something the rest of us don’t or he really is a bit delusional about this, as there seems virtually no chance of Malcolm Turnbull surviving as leader, after half his frontbenchers deserted him last week. But despite that, he vows to continue:

[A] buccaneering Mr Turnbull swept into a press conference to declare he would not be bowed. In a performance widely praised for its resolve and clarity, Mr Turnbull said his party would lack credibility if it adopted a policy of no action on climate change.

“It is as simple as that,” he said. “We all recognise that most Australians expect their political leaders and their political parties to take effective action on climate change. [Not if you listen to talkback radio, they don’t – Ed]

“This is about the future of our planet and the future of our children and their children. [Really, he’s just channelling Kevin Rudd now – Ed]

“Australians expect their political leaders to act responsibly, to take action on climate change, to protect and safeguard the future of our planet, the future of our children. That is the challenge for us now and I am committed to it.”

Sources said that when Mr Turnbull arrived at work yesterday his email inbox was filled with messages of support praising his determination to stare down climate change deniers.

The messages were coming in at one a minute, with 95 per cent supportive, one source said.

“Forget for a minute what the party is saying,” said another. “Malcolm is right when he says that people want action on climate change and he is determined to argue that case. He won’t back down. He won’t resign.

“In the next couple of days he will take his campaign to the public and he will use their support next week. Don’t assume he will lose.” (source)

And, disappointingly, The Australian appears to be supporting Malcolm Turnbull on the need for an ETS, in an editorial today:

This week, Mr Turnbull was savaged for understanding what his opponents cannot comprehend, that whatever the science ultimately shows, Australians of all political persuasions believe humanity is responsible for global warming and the government has to act to reduce its impact. Mr Turnbull realises that the Rudd government’s ETS is not so different from what John Howard planned to put in place when he realised in his last term in office that the electorate wanted action on climate change. Mr Turnbull responded to the political realities by accepting it was the task of a responsible opposition to find the flaws in the government’s plan and demand improvements rather than reject it outright. He was right to do so. The Weekend Australian has always called for hard scientific evidence on human-induced global warming and has been criticised for publishing critics of the environmental orthodoxy. But the planet must be given the benefit of the doubt and the relatively low-cost ETS is the sort of market-based solution this newspaper has always advocated. Given the way the world is moving to limit emissions, it is important for Australia, as a major exporter of energy resources, to demonstrate an early commitment to cutting carbon pollution, if only to avoid the possibility of international sanctions [what?] in the future. (source)

Wrong, wrong, wrong – in so many ways, wrong. You say you want hard scientific evidence, but then “give the planet the benefit of the doubt” – have you not seen the CRU story? And now they are really toeing the Labor line by referring to carbon dioxide in the misleading manner Penny Wong and Kevin Rudd refer to it, as “carbon pollution”.

We all expect Fairfax and the ABC to peddle misinformation and alarmist propaganda about climate change. But there is little chance of the public truly understanding this issue when even The Australian does it too.

Julie Bishop "tells Turnbull to resign"

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop

Breaking news from The Australian:

Julie Bishop has told Malcolm Turnbull he must resign as support grows for Joe Hockey to take over the Liberal leadership.

But Liberal MPs report a defiant Mr Turnbull was unmoved by her request.

The Deputy Liberal leader has understood canvassed the option with Mr Turnbull after support for his leadership collapsed.

There’s also speculation that other trusted lieutenants including NSW Liberal MP Scott Morrison may call on Mr Turnbull to stand down.

Turnbull clearly in denial…

Read it here.

Turnbull must go

Arrogant contempt

Arrogant contempt

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for the good of the Liberals and for there ever to be a credible Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull must go.

He has demonstrated nothing but contempt for his colleagues, and for the grassroots views of ordinary Australians, who can see through the sham of Kevin Rudd’s ETS “abomination”, preferring his own personal and deeply green views on taking action on climate change. Being a former merchant banker, he can no doubt see the benefits to his own industry of the ETS – a licence to print money.

And, true to form, and despite ten resignations from his front bench, he still arrogantly believes that he can railroad the ETS through, and at the same time, pander to Kevin Rudd’s demands:

Despite the uproar within the Liberal Party, the ETS legislation, officially known as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill, might still pass the Senate.

Government Minister Anthony Albanese last night said there would be a vote on the ETS legislation at 3.45pm today, and he said Mr Turnbull had agreed to that yesterday.

Mr Turnbull said he had been assured by the Liberal Senate leadership they would not unnecessarily delay the Bill’s progress.

The Government needs just seven votes to get it through.

The crisis erupted just after Question Time yesterday when Mr Abbott and Senator Minchin – fiercely opposed to climate change measures – met Mr Turnbull and asked that he defer a vote on the ETS until 2010.

Mr Turnbull rejected the advice, and Mr Abbott handed in his notice of resignation from the Shadow Cabinet.

He was followed by Victorian MP Sophie Mirabella, Senator Minchin and Senator Eric Abetz. Liberal Whip in the Senate Stephen Parry also said he would not vote for the Bill.

Three junior Liberal shadow ministers yesterday resigned for the same reason – Matthias Corman, Mitch Fifield and Brett Mason.

“This is not about leadership,” said Mrs Mirabella – but that’s the way most of her colleagues saw it.

I cannot see how the Senate can possibly vote on the ETS at 3.45 today, except to reject it. The Liberals cannot, must not, allow this bill to pass.

Read it here.

PS. This story even made Watts Up With That – see here.

Abbott set to resign

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott

Another blow for Malcolm Turnbull:

MALCOLM Turnbull’s leadership is about to be thrown back into turmoil with the resignation of frontbencher, Tony Abbott.

Mr Abbott is expected to announce his resignation from the frontbench this afternoon to allow him to vote against the Rudd Government’s ETS.

Other Ministerial resignations may follow and trigger another Liberal party room meeting to challenge Mr Turnbull’s leadership.

It is likely that Liberal Senate Leader Nick Minchin will vote against the CPRS bill in the Senate and means that he too has to resign from the frontbench.

Mr Abbott’s resignation will throw the Liberals into further chaos and bring fresh doubt as to whether the CPRS bill will pass the Senate.

At least some in the Liberal party still have principles. Remember them?

It ain’t over yet.

Read it here (h/t Andrew Bolt)

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