February 1, 2019

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note February 2019

By Nick Feik

As the Morrison government stumbles towards electoral disaster, seemingly incapable of finding its purpose, intent instead on exploiting nationalist culture politics, surely some in the Coalition must be regretting their actions of August last year. 

The overthrow of Malcolm Turnbull will come to be seen as a defining moment for the Liberal Party: when its conservative majority finally decided that some things were more important than electability. 

Who and what was behind it all? There has never been an adequate explanation from the incoming prime minister about the reason for the coup. Or from anyone else involved.

For her major essay in the February issue of The Monthly, Pamela Williams, a doyenne of Australian political journalism, gathered 60-plus sources over several months to write the definitive behind-the-scenes account of the overthrow. Presenting new details and privileged information from inside both conservative and moderate Liberal camps – and from News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch about conversations between Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes over the leadership – Williams paints a picture of a government in chaos. Reckless ambition, pride and misjudgement collided, and Scott Morrison emerged from the wreckage, as he has done before, unscathed and triumphant. For a moment, anyway. The effects are ongoing.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

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