the ultimate insult...
Malcolm Turnbull’s stoush with the rightwing megaphone commentators went another round on Thursday morning in a 23-minute interview with Sydney radio announcer Alan Jones in which each accused the other of undermining Tony Abbott.
After an ongoing slanging match with columnist Andrew Bolt, the communications minister did a prearranged interview with Jones, who also saw nefarious intent in Turnbull’s dinner last week with Clive Palmer.
Jones told Turnbull that because he had had dinner with Palmer, a trenchant critic of Abbott, “people” were suggesting that “precisely because you have no hope ever of being the leader again – you have got that into your head, no hope ever – that because of that you are happy to chuck a few bombs around that might blow up Abbott a bit, that is what they are saying.”
Turnbull replied that it was Jones who was undermining the Abbott government and “doing the work of the Labor party”, a charge not usually levelled at the Sydney announcer who is an ardent supporter of the prime minister.
“That is what you are saying and that is what Andrew Bolt is saying and it is doing the Labor party’s work,” Turnbull said.
“This is the most united, cohesive government we have had in this country for a long time and I think it is just very sad that you and Bolt are doing the work of the Labor party … You are seen by people who are loyal to the Liberal party as undermining Tony Abbott’s government at a time when we are trying to sell a difficult budget … this sort of stuff you are going on about is a distraction, it is a non-issue and I think it is so sad that someone who has put so much effort into supporting Tony Abbott, like you, would not be undermining his government, it’s heartbreaking to listen to you do it.”