Turnbull see-saws Government Actions

Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, witnessed himself dragging his own government to conduct a royal commission. The same government had opposed the action with all its might even until November 27. U-turn was due to the fear of an utter, humiliating loss on the Parliamentary floor. The move was certainly forced. The Australian PM and Scott Morrison, the Treasurer, did not try to hide their contempt when they were forced to initiate an inquiry process where they had allocated money to the tune of $75 million a few days back. The government was also forced to dedicate a lot of government resources and attention.

U-turn rationale

Both the PM and the Treasurer rationalized such a decision on the less-than-convincing grounds that there is no point to resist royal banking commissions. If this is continued, they said, there is more than an even chance that the confidence in the Australian finance system may break. This is a complete about-turn from the government's earlier stance that such an inquiry may put the whole system at risk. During the phase when the government fought gamely on, the PM would have been pleased to see John Howard expressing the opinion that he would be shocked of any royal commission into banks as asked by the Coalition government.

When it came to the banks, who have asked for the inquiry, it is believed that their political antennae are more attuned to the politics of the day compared to the ruling party itself.

Political surrender

The Australian Government could not reassure the taxpayers on whether the money will be spent wisely. It was not even said that the government will satisfy the narrow deadline of 12 months. PM Turnbull has already admitted that royal commissions take a lot of time. Their scope also expands along the way.

It is clear that nobody believes in the Turnbull-led government any longer. The Prime Minister was concerned about the trust deficit concerning banks. However, it is clear that the trust deficit exists for the government more than the banks. The Prime Minister is now afraid of a revolt from his own party.  The result of this fear is complete surrender. This was marked by an aggressive attack on the opposition when they backed the royal commission. This move did not fool anyone. It was clear that the members of his own party have forced things to such a pass.

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