In the AFR I argue that we should have let Malcolm Turnbull run Australia like an empowered CEO, and love him or hate him, history will judge him fondly (click on that link to read or AFR subs can click here). Brief excerpt only:

Australia would have been much better off had we experimented with allowing Turnbull to run the government as a CEO would a large corporation for a single, three-year term. Rising above the politicking that seemingly suffocates all leaders these days, Turnbull could have put in place the most far-reaching and important reforms since federation.

There is certainly a credible case that Turnbull would have been a more effective prime minister as leader of Labor, pulling it to the right, rather than trying to shunt the calcified and increasingly irrational, anarchist conservatives to the left. And Labor would have been arguably much more comfortable with Turnbull's progressive reform agenda.

His son, Alex, put it best with the pithy summary: "My father fought stupid, and stupid won." That logic is hard to fault.

While a handicapped Turnbull as prime minister never remotely realised his potential – and was in the end assassinated by the far-right's suicide bombers who blew themselves, and the party's immediate political prospects, up in the process – he did stealthily achieve a great deal...

And although the insurgents left his party in tatters, there is hope that Turnbull's successors, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg, will cauterise the wounds. To the scorn of pundits, I previously argued Morrison was prime ministerial material, although the speed of his ascendancy surprised all. The good news is that the 47-year-old Frydenberg is a freakish talent and possibly the single best person in the party to run the treasury portfolio.

Read the full column here.

Simon James

IMO he will be remembered as a pseudo-Liberal, a cuckoo in the nest of the liberal party and one of the last Liberal PM's before other parties took over the conservative side of politics.

Patrick Fresne

Interesting take on Turnbull. It does seem as if the climate-change sceptic brigade in the Coalition are unwilling to give up control of the policy direction of the party, oblivious to the fact that they are steering the government right towards the precipice.

Ian Richardson

He is gone and the only thing to remind us of him is a bad lingering smell. Yes, he would have prospered in the Labour Party because her was a popularist who was attuned to giving people what they wanted, regardless of rational merit and long term prosperity of the country.


You had me until the Costello line