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(Image via @KrONik)

#Malfunction Mal might scrub up well but given how much he's buggered up so far, Bob Ellis asks if there's a tactical brain in there.

ABBOTT ADVOCATING terrorism in Europe and Dutton defending people smuggling in our region – and cursing Amnesty, a kindly bunch, while he was at it – haven’t helped Malcolm Turnbull much this week.

But Malcolm hasn’t helped himself much either.

He’s proposed we dig new coal mines in lush fertile pasturelands though a minister, Nash, and his own electorate, Wentworth, don’t want any.

He’s claimed his navy “broke no law” when kidnapping on the high seas refugees heading for New Zealand and bribing people-smugglers to dump them off Indonesia.

He’s proposed that certain Aboriginal sacred sites become nuclear waste dumps.

Is his judgment no better than it was when he called on Rudd and Swan to resign because they’d wrongly commandeered a ute? Could be, could be.

Malcolm was never much good at policy. His Republic model (change the name of the Governor-General) he forced on the Constitutional Convention when two others would have got up easily, predictably lost the subsequent referendum and bewept, on screen, his “broken heart”. 

He buggered up HIH and NBN, the latter now doubled in price and trailing Marconi by a decade in its design.

He’s putting off gay marriage for three years and charging the public 198 million dollars to bring it in, money that might else have resuscitated, say, the ABC or SBS, or the CSIRO, or some remote Aboriginal towns in Western Australia.

He may not have been that bright to start with. He modeled himself first on Jack Lang, a real estate agent who saw himself as the Labor Party’s Mussolini. He wrecked some precious ecosystems in the Solomon Islands. He failed to acquire Fairfax. He lost two leadership contests to Nelson and Abbott. He advanced the ICAC suspect Sinodinos and retained the simian sadist Dutton. He gave the Treasury to the yapping innumerate Morrison who immediately said we should stop spending money on Australians. He now proposes to alienate China, our biggest customer, by invading in gun-boats alongside America its age-old waters around the Spratleys.

Does he know what he’s doing? He scrubs up well as an image, a figurehead, but is there a tactical brain in there?

There’s no great evidence yet, in this, his 62nd year, that he knows what he’s doing.

And we will see what we shall see. 

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