The most worrying aspect of Malcolm Turnbull’s Prime Ministership is that the longer it goes on, the more we are left the impression that he is not very good at it.
He’s mishandled the issue of import of an extremely dangerous lever-action shot gun and handed the Labor Party two opportunities to beat him around the ears.
- He is soft on gun control.
- He will do any kind of deal to get his stalled legislation through the Senate.
And the has also given another free kick to Tony Abbott, who tweeted,
“Disturbing to see reports of horse-trading on gun laws. ABCC should be supported on its merits.”
Tony Abbott trying not to smile at Malcolm Turnbull’s discomfiture
Asked if he would lift an import ban on a hyper-lethal Adler lever-action shotgun to win the Senate vote of the libertarian David Leyonhjelm for unrelated union-busting bills, the Prime Minister refused to definitively reject what, to most people, is an appalling suggestion.
Two government MPs, including the deputy speaker, have joined calls to allow the rapid-fire Adler shotgun to be imported into Australia, just hours after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared the ban was “set in stone.”… unless repealed.
Gun control is always going to be a highly emotive and divisive issue. On one hand, you have the rural community and the recreational shooters who want more relaxed gun controls. And on the other, you have the urban communities who see the effects of unlicensed firearms being used with increasingly frequent in drive-by shootings and other crimes of violence.
The problem for Malcolm Turnbull is that he has a fair proportion of the constituency of the first first group hidden away inside the Coalition.
If he had been smart, he would have hit the suggestion of the relaxation of the ban on the head in Parliament. Leyonhjelm will probably support his legislation on the ABCC without a firearms deal. He is certainly not going to vote with Labor on this issue.
And Malcolm Turnbull should know this.