Turnbull's speech starts just before 40 minutes in.
Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper describes John Howard as by far the most successful conservative politician to have held office, anywhere in the world, in the 21st century.
John Howard: Conservative at one with the common man
John Howard’s career – and his book – are invaluable guides to anyone interested in how conservatism today can win, writes Charles Moore.
John Howard is by far the most successful conservative politician to have held office, anywhere in the world, in the 21st century. From 1996, he won four consecutive elections, and was Liberal (ie Tory) Prime Minister of Australia until his defeat in November 2007. Thanks to his prudent management of the public finances and the banks, Australia has been the only important “Western” country well-placed to weather the storm of the credit crunch.
He describes himself that way too.
To beat him Rudd even adopted the guise.
Malcolm Turnbull has made the bold claim that the Liberal Party has never been a conservative party, and that Robert Menzies was a moderate, progressive leader, in a speech strongly defending his own centrist governing style.
Describing the “sensible centre” as the modern political battleground, the Prime Minister suggested a comparison between the Liberal Party under his leadership with that of Menzies, who he said had purposely rejected traditional conservative politics.
“The sensible centre was the place to be. It remains the place to be,” Mr Turnbull said in remarks likely to inflame the internal battle for ascendancy within the party between so-called moderates and conservatives.
Delivering the Disraeli lecture to the Policy Exchange think tank in London overnight, after earlier visiting the scene of the Borough Market terrorist attacks in which two Australians were killed last month, Mr Turnbull’s speech also delivered a nod to former prime minister Tony Abbott by reprising his warnings to Europe about keeping control of its borders.
But his key message was a rebuff to the growing calls within the party to return to its conservative base.
I think in the battle for who better represents the Liberal Party John Howard trumps Turnbull.
Yet another no-good no-judgement Turnbull utterance - sure to raise hackles - and just as certain to create nothing but drama.