'The sensible centre is the place to be': Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claims the Liberal party is NOT conservative and never has been
Turnbull is certainly speaking of himself when he says that the Liberals are centrist. And it may be that his centrism has given him surprising success at getting his legislation through a fractious Senate. He has enacted most of his initial agenda, notably the building industry watchdog.
He also quotes Menzies accurately but overlooks that what Menzies described as liberalism is conservative today. The Left have drifted into a hate-filled Marxist party that no longer gives any real respect to liberalism as Menzies saw it. They support the thuggish building unions, for instance, whereas Menzies emphatically believed in individual liberty and the rule of law. I quote:
"We are told today that the parliamentary system is antiquated, that it is slow, inefficient, illogical, emotional. In the presence of each charge, it may admit to some degree of guilt. But with all its faults, it retains a great virtue, alas! in these days, a rare virtue. Its virtue is that it is the one system yet devised which ensures the liberty of the subject by promoting the rule of law which subjects themselves make, and to which everyone, Prime Minister or tramp, must render allegiance. We British people still believe that men are born free, and that the function of government is to limit that freedom only by the consent of the governed."
It is Mr Abbott who is the chief defender of individual liberty in Australia today
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made the sensational claim the Liberal party was not a conservative party, and never has been.
Speaking in London on Monday, Mr Turnbull said the Liberal party was moulded by former Australian prime minister Robert Menzies, who 'went to great pains not to call his new centre-right party a conservative party'.
'The sensible centre was the place to be. It remains the place to be,' Mr Turnbull said, according to The Australian.
'In 1944 Menzies described our party as the Liberal party, which he firmly anchored in the centre of Australian politics. 'He wanted to stand apart from the big money, business establishment politics of traditional conservative parties, as well as from the socialist tradition of the labour movement embodied in the Australian Labor Party.'
The Liberal party has been embroiled in scandal in recent months amid rising tensions between conservative and moderate ministers.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott said last week he would 'continue' to stand up for conservative voters. 'There is, it's no secret at the moment, a bit of division inside the ranks of those who have regarded themselves as Liberals,' he said.
'I've made the judgement that at least for the moment, and obviously there's a limit to how far this can continue... it's important for someone to stand up for those Liberals feeling a bit let down and disenfranchised.'
Mr Abbot feared the conservative members would leave the Liberals to join a different party - due to the growing moderate voice led by Mr Turnbull.
Mr Abbott was slammed by South Australian senator Nick Xenophon for criticising his own government. 'I think Tony Abbott's being a huge pain in the a*** right now,' he said. 'I need to use the sort of cut through language that Tony Abbott is renowned for.'
His comment was in response to Mr Abbott's criticism of the federal government's May Budget.