Opinion

Malcolm Turnbull vs Bill Shorten: ’I like angry Turnbull'

IT WAS the moment we'd all been waiting for.

Finally Australians could rejoice after Malcolm Turnbull got fired up and let loose in a heated exchange in Parliament.

The usually measured Prime Minister delivered a serious smackdown to Opposition leader Bill Shorten yesterday as the debate got heated over the Government's proposed social welfare reforms.

Calling Mr Shorten a "social-climbing" sycophant to Melbourne's billionaires, the PM accused the Labor leader of double standards and of lacking integrity.

"There was never a union leader in Melbourne that tucked his knees under more billionaires' tables than the Leader of the Opposition - he lapped it up," Mr Turnbull said.

"He was such a sycophant, a social-climbing sycophant if ever there was one.

"He will say whatever suits his purpose from day to day - no consistency, no integrity.

"This sycophant, blowing hard in the House of Representatives, sucking hard in the living rooms of Melbourne - what a hypocrite."

Malcolm Turnbull fires up... finally
Malcolm Turnbull fires up... finally

And it didn't take long for Twitter to erupt with excitement over the fact that Mr Turnbull got really, really angry.

Mr Shorten responded to yesterday's extraordinary attack on his character, telling 7.30 host Leigh Sales it wasn't just the PM's comments that got him fired up.

"There were two arguments today. I was fired up about one million families losing family payments... and Mr Turnbull was clearly fired up about saving his job," he told 7.30.

Were you impressed by Malcolm Turnbull's comments?

This poll ended on 28 February 2017.

Yes. He finally showed a little fire in his belly - 37%

No. He's a hypocrite given his wealth - 21%

No. I don't like personal attacks - 15%

I would prefer more action than words from pollies - 25%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"This may sound a little incongruous, but I feel a little bit for him at the moment as he is under great pressure.

"You would know as well as I do that the drums are beating in the corridors of Canberra about whether or not he will remain as Liberal leader and I think he is showing pressure.

"I don't think Australians have seen that sort of anger from him since his famous election night speech."

Mr Shorten had grilled the PM on how many Australians would be worse off under the Government's proposed changes to family payments and push for corporate tax cuts.

Mr Shorten said the government was reaching into the pockets of a million Australian families, rather than the rich, to make budget savings.

He also moved a motion condemning Mr Turnbull for "being so out of touch that his hopelessly divided government punishes family, pensioners, carers and new mums while giving $50 billion handout to business and big banks".

Mr Turnbull unleashed, saying the Opposition leader was a parasite who enjoyed drinking champagne with the likes of billionaire Richard Pratt.

But Mr Shorten told Sales the reference to Mr Pratt, who died eight years ago, smelled of desperation and proved he was someone under pressure.

When asked how tight he was will Melbourne's millionaire elite and how much influence they had on him, Mr Shorten responded that "Labor took its orders from the middle and working classes of Australia".

But Sales wasn't letting the Labor leader off so easy, pointing out that while he calls the PM 'Mr Harbour-side Mansion' he too could be accused of being out of touch given he earns $400,000 plus perks.

"I don't begrudge Mr Turnbull's wealth," he said.

Mr Shorten said he took issue with the PM's "out of touch policies".

However while many were happy with the PM finally letting loose, others called his attack ironic and patronising.

Others pointed out how hypocritical the attack was given Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce's connections to the country's richest person, Gina Rinehart.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  bill shorten editors picks federal politics malcolm turnbull parliament


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.