In an unlikely pairing, ex-Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull have teamed up to call for harsher climate change targets and an investigation into Australia’s right-wing media monopoly.
Kevin 07 has had a hectic few weeks. After dropping that spicy petition calling for a way overdue Royal Commission into the media monopoly of the Murdoch press, Kevin Rudd has now dropped a collab with fellow ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull, zooming in for a joint interview on ABC’s insiders.
While the two former PMs served on opposing sides of politics (Rudd for Labor and Turnbull for the Libs), the pair came together to call for the Morrison government to crack down on climate change policy and press regulations. King shit.
The pair appeared on Sunday morning’s special US election edition of Insiders, with the conversation addressing how current Liberal PM Scott Morrison should direct Australia, based on the news of Joe Biden securing presidency in the US.
Rudd argued that with Biden’s comprehensive climate change plan set to be implemented during his upcoming presidency, Australia should no longer be doubling down to appease Trumpian politics, but instead following suit and reducing emissions.
Turnbull appeared by his side, backing Rudd saying: “Morrison’s concern is that the combination of the right wing of the Liberal party and the National party, and the rightwing media, mostly owned by Murdoch, will go after him as they went after me, if he is seen to do anything that suggests he is taking climate change seriously or too seriously.”
TWO EX-PMs OF AUSTRALIA:
— Lord – Sir Thomas Wynn (@mister_wynn) November 7, 2020
Murdoch’s firm clasp on the media is not widely reported on in Australia – precisely because he owns so much of it – however, as a Government-owned news outlet, ABC is one major publication which is able to cover the issue (to an extent).
You may remember last month Rudd created a petition to try and kick-start a Royal Commission into the influence of Murdoch. Rudd accused the media head of abusing his monopoly, basically arguing that Prime Ministership has become less about leading a country and more about appeasing Murdoch.
Murdoch owns News Corp, which in turn owns almost two out of three metropolitan papers, including the likes of The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, and the Courier-Mail.
Rudd highlighted that when government policy works against what’s in Murdoch’s interests, politicians are often outed in the headlines and brought down through damaging reports which can ruin careers. Malcolm echoed this sentiment on Sunday, pointing out that now Trump is set to leave the White House, Scott Morrison is “basically walking on eggshells”.
Turnbull went onto say, “Murdoch’s man in the White House has been defeated and the Americans are going to be taking a leading position, globally, on climate action once again. Biden has flagged that this is going to be part of America’s international trade agenda, as well as the Europeans. Now, we have the opportunity in Australia to be a clean energy superpower.”
Both men agreed that the only thing now holding us back is Murdoch’s influence on political processes.
Biden’s victory looms as a game-changer on climate, where Morrison has foolishly put all his eggs in the Trump basket. I call on Morrison to stop hiding in the Trump corner, change course and adopt new 2050 and 2030 carbon reduction targets. With @TurnbullMalcolm on @InsidersABC. pic.twitter.com/OieHyxsbvY
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) November 8, 2020
Twitter was quick to back the pollies, happy that the former PMs could put aside any party-line differences to fight together against these issues.
— 🔥💧🐨🌱💓🌍 MelissaD (@D_Melissa2) November 8, 2020
it genuinely warms my heart to see people come together over a common issue like this. this is what politics should be like – not baseless name calling. thank you 💚
— Grace Stickland (@GraceStickland) November 8, 2020
Others have been quick to highlight the hypocrisy of ex-PMs calling out current leaders for inaction despite failing to implement these policies during their respective terms in office.
Kevin, you had your chance. You rightly identified climate change as the biggest challenge of our time, but you failed to see it through. I won’t hold my breath waiting for Smirko to achieve what you couldn’t. He doesn’t even think it’s important.
— Paul #Scottysnext Cunningham (@pandacoz) November 8, 2020
Malcolm Turnbull is an utter hypocrite.
As PM – Turnbull brought into being the last of the LNP “Australian Media Ownership Amendment Bills 2017” which allowed the ENTIRE Aust’n MEDIA to be owned by a SINGLE INDIVIDUAL.
How does that not rate as an act of treason on Democracy?
— Sylvie (@SylvieAlf) November 1, 2020
It’s starting to feel like our Prime Ministers might have more sway when they’re outside of office, rather than in it.