The Fifth Estate: Turnbull’s Turn
Six weeks into Turnbull’s turn as leader, host Sally Warhaft is joined by revered political journalists Michelle Grattan and Laura Tingle to discuss the new-look Liberals, the weight of expectation – and Australian political culture more broadly.
‘Here’s the rule in the Liberal Party – if you win, you did the right thing.’ Those are the words of former treasurer Peter Costello, describing the brutal party dynamics that allowed Malcolm Turnbull to seize the leadership from Tony Abbott on 14 September.
The Labor Party turned switching leaders into an unedifying team sport, but the Liberals promised Australians something different: stability and ‘grown-up government’. So, how are they doing? Prime Minister Turnbull wants to be a new kind of leader – with a more optimistic outlook and greater respect for the public’s intelligence. The new cabinet, we’re told, will be consultative, communicative and no longer subject to ‘captain’s calls’. The old guard has promised ‘no sniping, no wrecking’.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its fifth year. She is a former editor of The Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Laura Tingle is the author of Quarterly Essay 46, The Big Whinge: Politics, Affluence and an Angry Nation and the political editor of the Australian Financial Review. Her next Quarterly Essay is due for release November 2016.
Michelle Grattan AO is one of Australia’s most respected and awarded political journalists. She has been a member of the Canberra parliamentary press gallery for more than 40 years, during which time she has covered all the most significant stories in Australian politics.