Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull called President Emmanuel Macron to talk about the $90 billion cancelled Submarine deal. Why? What’s in it for Turnbull?

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unloaded with both barrels on Prime Minister Scott Morrison regarding the cancelled $90 billion submarine contract accusing Morrison of being deceitful, sneaky and damaging Australia’s reputation on the global stage as stated by Turnbull in the below video. It raises the question of why does Malcolm Turnbull care anymore since he is no longer Prime Minister? And why did Turnbull talk directly to French President Emmanuel Macron in the last few days to discuss the cancelled $90 billion submarine contract?

This article is a follow-up to last week’s article titled “France had Scott Morrison’s mate David Gazard on their payroll for the $90 billion Submarine scam. Has Morrison pulled off one of the biggest stings ever?” (Click here to read the article)

The submarine contract was announced in 2016 by Malcolm Turnbull who was then Prime Minister and French President Emmanuel Macron and was valued at $50 billion at the time. But as soon as it was announced it was obvious there were some very serious questions that needed to be answered about the deal and on the 4th of May 2016 I published an article titled “Australian Senate corruption inquiry investigating $50 Billion Submarine contract winner”. (Click here to read the article)

But by 2019 the contract had still not been finalised and the French state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group employed ECG Advisory Solutions which was owned by Scott Morrison’s good mates David Gazard and former federal treasurer Peter Costello to help close the deal. I quoted from 2019 in the previous article:

In a statement, Naval Group confirmed the arrangement but did not disclose how much Mr Gazard’s company was being paid for its lobbying services.

Mr Morrison discussed progress on the SPA with French President Emmanuel Macron at the G20 summit in late November, and told reporters they had agreed to elevate it “back up to leader-level to ensure it’s finalised in the near term”. (Click here to read the article)

I think it is important to note that Scott Morrison negotiated directly with French President Emmanuel Macron on the submarine deal and given recent statements by Malcolm Turnbull it seems like when Turnbull was Prime Minister he also negotiated directly with President Macron.

It’s worth noting that the former South African President Jacob Zuma is currently facing trial for allegedly taking a bribe for a $2 billion defence contract with the French:

Zuma has pleaded not guilty to corruption, money laundering and racketeering related to the acquisition of military equipment. French arms group Thales has also denied wrongdoing.

Zuma is accused of accepting a 500,000 rand ($34,000) annual bribe from Thales from 1999 in exchange for protecting the company from investigation. (Click here to read more)

Prosecutors allege between 1995 and 2001 that Zuma and Thales were involved in an organized criminal enterprise. They also accuse Zuma of taking bribes from a former financial adviser as far back as 1995 in exchange for using his political power to advance the adviser’s business interests. That corrupt relationship lasted for 10 years, prosecutors said.

Among the charges, Zuma is accused of taking bribes from French company Thales to ensure that South Africa signed a multibillion-dollar arms deal with the company in 1999. Zuma was deputy president of South Africa from 1999 until 2005 when he was fired from that role amid allegations of corruption.

Thales, also accused in the trial, pleaded not guilty to racketeering and money laundering. (Click here to read more)

The French are also accused of bribing officials linked to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mr Razak was last year “sentenced to 12 years in jail over one of many cases over the misappropriation of funds from now-defunct state fund 1MDB. He has denied wrongdoing and has appealed the verdict.” (Click here to read more)

DCNS (now known as Naval Group and majority owned, 62.49%, by the French government. Thales owns 35%) is alleged to have bribed officials linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and the corruption also involves allegations of murder. This is on top of other previous allegations of bribery against DCNS. (Click here to read more)

The point about former South African President Jacob Zuma and former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is that the French owned defence companies have a long history of allegations of bribing other countries, including their leaders, to win defence contracts. That fact makes the direct involvement of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his mates and the continued involvement of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Australia’s deal with the French extremely worrying to say the least.

In the video below Mr Turnbull, in a speech given at the National Press Club in Canberra last Wednesday (29-9-21), revealed he had spoken to President Macron, who is refusing to take Scott Morrison’s calls, after Morrison’s decision to cancel the $90 billion submarine contract. Turnbull also aggressively attacks Scott Morrison in the below video calling him deceitful and sneaky etc and embarrassing Australia globally which I agree with.

While I agree with Turnbull’s evaluation of Morrison’s dodgy conduct, I have to wonder what is Turnbull’s motivation to call President Macron to discuss the cancelled submarine deal when Turnbull is no longer Prime Minister? And why would President Macron take Turnbull’s call?

As stated above, the South African President was allegedly bribed over a $2 billion deal so how much would the French have been prepared to bribe people over a $90 billion deal?

There are many unanswered questions and a lot of noses in the trough of the cancelled $90 billion submarine deal with some reports saying $4 billion had already been spent on the deal which is a lot of money to line pockets. While Morrison has cancelled the deal it is far from over and hopefully some of the truth of what really happened will eventually become public.

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26 replies »

  1. Standard Operating Procedure for LNP, what’s a few $$$$ here and there for related consultants dealing with Government Contracts, no pesty federal ICAC to annoy wealthy well connected consultants, compliant media, any suggestions of corruption investigated in house or compliant AFP, nothing to see here, move along.. another day another suggestion of bribery and corruption, Australia 2021..

    • And if a fair slice of that money ends “donated” to L/NP coffers for electioneering, so much the better. It’s how the Liberals fund their elections.

    • Be very interesting as my mind boggles at the many possible reasons being a investor and seeing the french company is a private company in which the French Navy own 62% share

  2. Regardless of whatever this article implies about Turnbull’s statements, and the inferred corrupt bribes by the French, I think this article has disregarded the issue of conventional as opposed to nuclear. Putting politics aside, it made sense to build conventional submarines, then over time transition to nuclear submarines of the same Attack class depending on Australia’s future defence posture. Unlike the US subs which use highly enriched uranium that lasts the life of the sub, the French boats use less enriched uranium that has to be replaced every 10 years, when the sub is due for a refit. If this is done in France, there is no problem for Australia, because all other maintenance can be carried out here.

    Now this is where the politics comes in. The French subs deal was originally predicated on 90% of the subs being built in South Australia, and this was promised to create nearly 3000 jobs. However, these jobs, mainly skilled engineering jobs failed to materialise so the French Navel Group, in an attempt to keep the project on target, proposed a reduction of Australian content to 60%, which did not go over well in South Australian politics, particularly for Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence until 2019.

    The key point is though, the promised jobs did not and never would exist, and it was known in government that if the build had gone ahead, and this was documented with a submission from SA labor, it was feared there would have been an exodus from the Collins Class subs maintenance to the Attack Class subs, and the Collins Class would fall into disrepair. This has been known for quite some time, and finally Morrison had to do something.

    Rather than capitulate to the French and have the first subs built in France which would be sensible and would follow the Collins Class example, or at least again reduce the workforce to around 50% Australian with less Australian content, which would have been sensible, not only from the point of view of training Australians, but because of sunk costs, Morrison decided to buy/rent US nuclear subs that would never be built in Australia.

    So, at the cost of 3000 promised non-existent jobs, Morrison assured the Collins class refurbishment, killed the French deal, simultaneously sucked up the the UK and the USA and committed bucketloads of money to American built submarines. Politically, a win all round, but a loss for Australia’s autonomy and respect all over the World, and particularly in our own backyard of Asia, not to mention an opportunity to build much needed engineering and scientific skills in Australia.

    Turnbull merely brought all this to light, and in the process, once again highlighted Morrison’s political aim which is always to look after Morrison, and bugger everybody else.

    • Unfortunately Australia has been subservient to foreign powers from day one of invasion, allowing British testings at Maralinga, allowing JDSRF Pine Gap, the stupidity of Hawke to allow more testings on Australian soil only overruled when cabinet discovered his offerings, involvement in wars totally unrelated to our region or interests, I have no nightmares of invasion by China or any other nation, more likely to have sleepless nights over self serving interests of politicians from both sides..need for any submarines~none.

  3. Without making accusations to anyone in particular, I think we can conclude that the military-industrial-media-government complex is a zone of easy money rent seeking in much of the world these days. It’s not hard to suspect anyone connected to these industries could be on the junket list. There is so much money splashed around and these are mega budgets.

    Wars are now about keeping the arms manufacturers in business, not about genuine existential threats.The cart is well and truly before the horse.

    Some money actually goes into making weapons, the rest goes on highly paid outsourced payments, possible bribes to get contracts in corrupt countries, junkets, fancy dinners, golf club memberships, weekends away at luxury retreats, highly paid jobs etc etc. Who knows the extent of the obvious form of parasitism?

    One only has to look at the US discretionary budget to see that half of it, around US 750 billion goes on defence yet the result produces such things as aircraft like the F-35 JSF that even the US air force now consider lemons. Meanwhile Russia spends just under $70 billion per year and now has a series of hypersonic missiles that could easily override the US if it came to an all out war. While Russia has obvious corruption and its rich oligarchs, it doesn’t appear as a country to be loose with defence spending and it quickly produces what it commits to.

    Turnbull’s motivations are unknown. I did find what he said about Morrison to be completely fair in my opinion, but he’s also someone I feel that changes his position in questionable ways as he did when in government. That’s why people lost faith in him after he disposed of Abbott. Perhaps he put the contract in the hands of the French to stop the Americans taking over as Morrison has done with the effect of diminishing our sovereignty, but then he led the anti-Chinese charge on behalf of the US and 5 Eyes over Huawei. I guess I’ll just have to say with his comments about Morrison’s actions that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’.

    Thanks to the KCA for raising the issue again. Mainstream media are on take.

    • “he’s also someone I feel that changes his position in questionable ways as he did when in government.”

      Rudd and Turnbull are both bitter narcissists who both changed their position in questionable ways on a range of issues FROM what they said in government too. There’s nothing like not actually being in power to loosen the tongue and let you speak your mind eh, Mal, Kev?

  4. “Why? What’s in it for Turnbull?”

    A simpler explanation might be hubris. He was PM when the deal was done with France, and Morrison’s move is just another reminder of how irrelevant Turnbull now is.

    “Why would Macron take his call?” Why not, if it presents a chance to rub Morrison’s nose in it?

    For once, Shane, I think the explanations might be a little more straightforward than you imagine.

  5. Mr Morrison did what any thinking person would have done. He squashed a contract that was a money pit for the builder and hangers on, that is if the French ever got to welding two bits of steel together in this contract. Morrison then went to America where the first recommendation was for and went ahead with that deal. The American deal is safer and more stable then any French deal could ever be. The French are well known for their three way deals and underhanded payments. Leasing subs to fill the gap until our own arrive is a smart move for training and increasing crew in take. If you don’t think that China is a threat to Australia, then I believe that you are still searching for fairies in the bottom of the garden.

    • It might have been a money pit for the French but what do you think the new setup will be for the US? Do you really think that they will hand over all the latest info on their nuclear subs to Australia who could one day be governed by a government which is honest?
      I well remember the Whitlam episode and how both the Brits and US got rid of him!

    • Never bothered searching for fairies in the garden or elsewhere…if it was suggested that another foreign power may be planning to pounce on homeland Australia, what would they attack first?
      Guessing JDSRF Pine Gap, probably take out Alice Springs, not much point destroying our cities as we’ve sold our assets and any worthwhile infrastructure etc to all the foreign powers, can’t imagine China destroying their own assets in Australia which are most considerable, or killing their own citizens here, we’ve given so many foreign powers access to our communications, military secrets etc, memories of McCarthyism building in Australia, rebadged by Dutton as Chinaism, no longer reds under the bed, but Chinese knocking at the front door, even though they hold the door keys, nothing like a good fear campaign encouraged by News, C7 C9 C10 etc, guessing KCA on the radar under all these security regulations supported by ALP/LNP.. guessing all the alphabet agencies reading this right now…sleep in peace now..

  6. the idea of the French military industrial complex being built on bribes is hardly surprising, given that ALL of this business (Military Industrial) has similar foundations! Andrew Feinstein’s ‘The Shadow World’ details at least some of it…

  7. How`s the extradition going, Shane? Are the bounty hunters stopped at the border because they haven`t brought their vacc certificates? Interesting times.

    • Before The French Submarines there were The Japanese Subs. ordered by the P.M. at the time Mr. Abbot and I seem to recall the Japanese were not too happy when the order was moved to France. Do we really need them? Or is this us just giving money to the muscle ~ just in case !

  8. Turnbull, like Rudd, is a very bitter man since being pushed out of the PM job. He will take every advantage to sling off at Scott Morrison & any LIB. politician whenever there is opportunity to do so. Also, why, as the ex-PM who dealt directly with PM Macron on the original French submarine deal, does he call Macron direct & stick the knives into Scott Morrison ? Has the bitterness overridden his common sense or is it a guilt thing because there were “brown paper bags” involved ? We’ll probably never know !

  9. Turnbull was an ignorant opportunist who had no experience or credibility in assessing Engineering projectsextra . The decisions he made while in office and his Party disloyalty now bear this out. He seemed desperate to sign off on something while he held office, He was stupid to sign off on the emasculated French submarines but he fell back on the expediency argument so he could bypass normal procuirement processes. Naturaly the French were happy as it meant years of redesign work and cost overruns before the subs would gain final Naval approval. Turnbull also rushed into his Snowy 2 pumped storage sceme without a formal engineering feasibility study was made. It would not be feasible then and it still is not. He and Costello would have fared very well out of what he did. I would not be surprised if he was backtracking to Macron to have his involvement covered up.

  10. It is indeed curious why Malcolm Turnbull phoned French President Macron directly about the Submarine contract. While Turnbull announced the then $50 Billion contract in 2016 it wasn’t with President Macron ,as he only became President on 14 May 2017.

    • Who else would Turnbull contact now? He has to go to someone who is able to listen and act (maybe), not whover has already moved on. Turnbull can’t wait to get off to Gasgow and push himself forward as the Global Warmists’ saviour.

  11. Politicians are nothing but opportunist people in power,,,they always look for a cash advantage which boosts their bank balances,,,they usually enter Gov’t with mediocre means and leave millionaires,,, a blind man with a seeing eye dog can see all is not kosher there,,,as for Turnbull,,, he made heaps being the squirrels barrister,, and I’d very nearly bet that he was involved with the same dealings which named the squirrel as being involved

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