Turnbull’s son names top LNP party ‘crazies’
MALCOLM Turnbull might be conspicuously quiet ahead of the by-election in his vacated seat, but his son Alex is only becoming more vocal.
Turnbull junior, 36, has been publicly urging voters in Wentworth to send the Liberal Party a message by voting against it. This week he suggested they should choose independent candidate Kerryn Phelps.
A victory for Dr Phelps would rob the government of its one-seat majority in parliament.
Mr Turnbull spoke to Triple J radio last night, again hammering the Liberals' right wingers. He said a big part of his father's record was "fighting the good fight against the crazies".
Asked who he was referring to, Mr Turnbull proceeded to list the top five "crazy" MPs and senators by name.
Tony Abbott was at the top of that list. Mr Turnbull described him as "a singularly destructive human being".
Peter Dutton, the man whose ambitions sparked the leadership chaos that brought down Mr Turnbull's father, was second.
He was followed by Energy Minister Angus Taylor, whose stance on climate change and renewable energy clearly bothered Mr Turnbull.
"Despite being very intelligent, he can't get on the right side of events," he explained.
Conservative faction leaders Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz rounded out the list, tied in fourth place.
Mr Turnbull appeared to sympathise with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying he suffered from "the same problem my dad had".
"He's got some very, very crazy people to deal with who are not particularly rational political actors," he said.
"Being the leader of the Liberal Party and being sane is like being Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie. It's always crazy and bad but hopefully you come out and get some stuff done."
While he paid particular attention to a group he called the "Triple-A" of crazies - "Abbott, Andrews, Abetz" - Mr Turnbull admitted that "frankly, there are people in the Labor Party who are a bit nuts too".
"It's just that they're not dog-whistling to Nazis," he added.
Mr Turnbull struck a mournful tone regarding the state of the party his father so recently led, suggesting it was following the trend set by conservatives in the United States who were seduced by Donald Trump.
"I honestly wish I could say I was more surprised, because we've seen this happen in the US. That's what's so disturbing," he said.
"The US is further down this road, particularly the Republican Party. They've more or less abandoned any classical Liberal values."
He said his intervention in the Wentworth by-election had nothing to do with his father, who has conspicuously said nothing in support of Liberal candidate Dave Sharma for weeks.
Mr Turnbull said the former prime minister did not approve of his stance, but was "dealing with it".
"I'll just leave it at that," he said.
"I've been silent for five years. The collapse of climate policy with the government was very closely related to my dad's ousting. I've had strong views about this stuff for years, but sometimes it's better to shut up and let the government make some headway."
On Monday, he told ABC radio he was "absolutely not" doing his father's dirty work.
"He's out of office, I'm a private citizen, we can both do as we please," he said.
Last week he posted a video telling Wentworth's voters why they should not support the Liberals.
"We're going to have an election in 12 months anyway, so if you want to send a signal as to which way the Liberal Party is going, and your displeasure with where it's going, then this is your opportunity," Mr Turnbull said.
"If you want to pull the Liberal Party back from the brink, it's the one clear signal you can send."