A PM with a heart? Turnbull gives raw interview about love and loss 426



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Last night was Malcolm’s night on the ABC it seemed, with two programs centred around our newest Prime Minister.

Not only that, but the most recent NewsPoll has already shown he’s soaring well above even the highest point of Abbott’s career, and all in the space of one week.

Already, his no nonsense, down-to-business approach has garnered praise, but there have been some questions of whether Turnbull could ever know the true plight of a struggling Australian when he has come from a privileged background and boasts a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio.

Well, all is not as it seems if last night’s Australian Story and 7.30 program are anything to go by. In an exclusive look into his life, Malcolm Turnbull was frank and raw when describing upsetting childhood events.

His wife Lucy was the first to defend her husband’s upbringing, saying “Everybody’s past and childhood is an important key to their personalities … and who they are. And … Malcolm’s life story is no exception”.

In the footage Turnbull revealed, “I’m an only child. My parents got married after I was born, so I was the reason for them being married”.

He spoke of boarding school: “I hated it. I was desperately lonely. I was not particularly popular.

“About the time I was sort of eight and nine, my mother fell in love with a man called John Salmon who moved to New Zealand. And then she left. Just essentially the house emptied and she just… she, ah, vanished”, he said.

Turnbull read a letter from his mother to his father, which said, “Dear Bruce, what might have been is not what was and that is the hardest lesson one has to learn in life. Poor little Malco, do you remember once when he was having static asthma and I gave him the white rabbit with floppy ears. He couldn’t breathe but he still smiled and put out his hands for it”.

“You know, it’s hard to imagine how terrible a kid would feel and insecure and unloved and. you know, not worthy of your mother’s love. I think it was actually a horrible, horrible thing to go through”, his wife Lucy explained.

The new PM went on to say that his father was let down by his mum and tried to make the best of the situation for Malcolm and tried to assure him that his mother hadn’t abandoned him.

“If I look back, you know, perhaps I was thinking to myself, you know, if, even if unconsciously: if I work harder and do better, will she come back? You know, is it something about me that has caused her to leave?

“Prime minister would have been, probably would have been good enough for her but… (laughs) but maybe, maybe it wouldn’t have been good enough”.

Happily for Malcolm, he did find love again in his wife, and spoke fondly of her in the 30-minute program. “I fell in love with Lucy the moment I met her, really”, he said.

The rest of the interview covered a number of sad topics including miscarriages, the death of Turnbull’s father in an airplane accident, and taking care of his estranged mother before she died.

“She kept on asking me to forgive her, which of course I did”.

Did you watch the ABC last night? What did you think of Malcolm Turnbull’s wide-ranging interviews?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Still all saying what he thinks we want to hear! Smooth talker, still a politician! Still out of touch like all the others!

    8 REPLY
    • give him a break, trust Aussies why are we turning into knockers. We have a great country and if we work hard we can achieve many things.

    • I think it so sucky, to bring and read a letter that his dad wrote when little Malcolm was a kid. What is he after, a sympathy vote?

    • The fact that he kept the letter meant it impacted on his entire life. I saw him as simply offering an explanation for why he’s driven to succeed.

    • I have memorabilia, letters etc from my Ma and dad, I have tales of hard times and special moments, but that’s just it….they are too special and private to ever use them in the manner that Malcolm has. This actually has lessened my respect for him.

    • Maureen you obviously had a bad opinion at the start and don’t want to give in no matter what is said or done.

    • I am glad I read this article, it gives me a better insight into Malcolm Turnbull, I hope he can make us proud to have him as our Prime Minister…

  2. I don’t vote Liberal and even if they had a chocolate milkshake ( love them ) as PM, I would not be voting for them, the policies are still the same, I do however think Turnbull is more presentable as PM than Abbott. BUT it is only early days yet, he may have some bad shocks in store for us too

    19 REPLY
    • Sometimes hard decisions hv to be made . Wasted tax payers money must be bought under control . The previous gov did just that wasted it all . Now we will all pay for there give aways. Surely u can c that . Other wise Australia will end up like Greece.

    • Len Hutchinson you need to contact that Liberal MP you voted for and tell them to stop wasting our money on things like Helicopter rides, The Liberal Party has doubled the debt and they only been in office for 2 years. Rather than make things better, they have made the situation a lot worse

    • Unemployment up Len Hutchinson to 800,00 the highest in 20 years , the economy has slowed, the debt is now higher and we have nothing to show for it, even the $ dropped under his Liberal Government, not to mention scores of very unhappy Australian’s

    • As I said no dif between lib and labour . They r both the same all spend our tax dollars whether they be helicopter rides or taking they family on tax payers money . Will take a lot of hard decisions by who ever is in power to get the dedicate back to when there was a 40 billion dollar credit befor the Labour Party was elected. When mr Rudd and Gillard got into power.

    • Lot of lies among the pollys. Who can u believe. Guess both party’s hv plenty of liers in them . After all it was Rudd and Gillard in the Labour Party now it’s tony and Scott . In the liberal party . Not one honest one between any of them.

    • Well Morrison and many of his staff did back stab him . After all they all got promoted. If they are happy to do that to save there jobs . So be it . Like Rudd and Gillard . He will get a nice pay out for the rest of his life . Wish I had a job that would pay me for the rest of my life on tax payers money. Like Rudd needs it he is only worth 180 million.

    • He has never forgiven his Mother. She is the reason he has to keep showing others that he is better than they are. Ironically our just gone PM is greatly affected by his parenting. They actually told their son that people were mean to him because they knew he was better than them! That is on record. That is why he felt compelled to carve his initials into the duco of his neighbours cars!! Mal just keeps seeking a Mummy hug. We just got our second emotional cripple on board, I find it absolutely hilarious. Especially as so many women want to extend their shoulder to him. What maketh or breaketh the man, apparently it’s the woman. We can’t win, ever! It is very humorous though.

    • Watched Shorten on Q & A last night and can’t believe people would trust him with anything! Never answers anything straight out!
      We have to wait and see how Malcolm shapes up! Politics attracts strange people indeed.

    • Heidrun Kneebone that is your opinion while I respect you have one put in the forum , and let it be judged by others

    • Len get your nose out of Murdoch’s papers and re read what Libbi and Rozzy had to say. Slowly. Take it in.

    • Don’t agree Heidrun Kneebone, I watched it as well & I liked what I saw, I think he answered questions well, & gave good insight into the direction he wants to take Australia, I have never been all that keen on him personally, but he impressed me last nigh.

    • I thought Shorten was the most confident I’ve seen him in a long while. He needs more exposure to harsh situations to get himself inured to the battering. The current mob will be so busy trying to look credible, Shorten needs to be out and about and objectively challenging them, and articulating how Labor will govern. We are so far behind the ball after just two years of Right wing Neo cons looking after their personal futures, while demonising the vulnerable.

    • I enjoy witnessing the absolute lack of an irony gene in those who vote conservatively. Maybe that is why religion is taken as ‘gospel’ ha ha ha.

  3. he is a Gillard backstabber and he is out for what he can get not the people

    8 REPLY
    • glad to see you comparing Turnbull to Gillard but will he be as good at negotiating ?..time will tell

    • Robyn Quickenden , Robyn it must be nice to live in a kind of stupor, a parallel universe where all the fanciful delusions of your mind happen . Wake up to the reality that there are arseholes in ALL political parties and all walks of life, excluding myself of course.

    • Robyn Quickenden, Rudd/Gillard/Rudd, Turnbull/Abbott/Turnbull. What exactly is the difference?

    • Not sure of your point Sue .. But I was answering Karl re there are many A holes in all walks of life ! My original comment was to Pamela who said Turnbull back stabbed Gillard !!!!!

  4. Let’s see what he does I’m a labour voter always so hoping he is more in tune with the Australian people

    1 REPLY
    • Well Malcolm’s more of a Labor member than a Liberal, so I’ve no doubt the socialist Left will be happy.

  5. Lovin’ the limelight, can’t get enough – such vanity & self promotion – so, what about ‘The People’???

  6. Absolutely he can and I think the 730 Report interview was one of the
    Better episodes with Leigh Sales showing respect
    ( as she used to )

  7. From interviews way back….I feel there was a reasonable amount left out in Australian Story….he came across as an ‘ordinary’ struggler last night…..not sure he can feel for general Aussies….then …..the wife….she was all charm too….have seen her swear at reporters just doing their job….lets see how it goes

    8 REPLY
    • Lovely couple. BUT Turnball has lived a privileged life. And a millionaire. He will still be out of touch with the bulk of Australian’s he does not know financle struggles so how can he govern with any equality

    • Actually, he hasn’t lived a privileged life. His mother left the family when he was 9, they lost their home and his father, to his credit, inisisted that he have a relationship with his mother. Through education, scholarships and hard work, he achieved the position he has in life. I would say he is more in touch than many.

    • I’d rather have a leader who has made something of his life. Would it be better to have someone who is a failure ?

    • Not a privileged life, Alison Richmond? Vaucluse Primary School, followed by Sydney Grammar? Then given 2 properties by his father when in his 20s. Happens to all average Aussies.

    • Appears to me that his father was the one who did the “working hard”. originally an apprentice electrician? Supported a son through Sydney Grammar [even on a scholarship, there would still have been expenses], rented flat at Bellevue Hill [still more expensive than say, one at Leichhardt in those days], and he managed to leave a beautiful country property to his son. A good start for anyone. That said, he is a far better leader than Tony Abbott, so a change for the better, no matter to which side of politics you belong.

    • Ken McLennan Yeah, I’d love to have had twice the struggles Turnbull had coming up. I’d still be miles ahead of where I am today.

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