Peter May 31, 2012 at 10:20 am
I don’t understand the fuss. It’s a brutal game and Abbott is a first class fighter. You would expect any opposition to go as hard. The charge seems to be that he’s too effective and therefore a ‘bully’.
As someone said before, Labor have relentlessly been after the personality of Abbott as soon as he took over – throwing anything and everything at the man.
Ellis, amongst all the other prurience and swipes at the most powerful and popular faith in this country (merely mad ‘Christ eaters’ carrying on a 2000yr tradition in accordance with the will of their founder, God’s Son) makes the charge that he is now homosexual…
The difference is that Labor obviously lack the skill to craft any message that cuts through with truth and Abbott is a man of extraordinary resilience, stamina, thick skin and spirit. Exactly the man you want in parliament and in line for PMship
Frank Willmott May 31, 2012 at 10:28 am
Sorry, Peter, but I want a leader with character, not one peppered with hypocrisy, ego issues and insecurities. Did you catch Gillard’s speech to the mining fraternity? That was character. That was leadership.
She is far more the man than Abbott could ever be. And I don’t even vote Labor.
Verily Nostradamus May 31, 2012 at 10:37 am
Gillard is playing both sides and will get burnt sure enough. She was an individual of character, or at least until she became PM. Anyone who has to declare the ‘Real Julia’ is now in the fray has a few issues.
Helvi May 31, 2012 at 10:52 am
Peter, we on the Labor side are more civilised, we don’t want an embarrassing bully as our BM.
They might have bullies as leaders, but possibly only in the darkest places in Africa, and Syria and countries like that…
Peter May 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm
I’m not irrationally anti-labor, Helvi, but you’re in fantasy land if you think that any major leader of anything (except maybe the Church) gets to where he/she is without a certain ruthless instinct…
If men are to be led and governed, sometimes in war when life and death are at stake, niceness does not go far enough. You need spine, nerve, self-belief and conviction. Otherwise people will not respect you or carry out your orders. You cannot lead.
For all Gillards’ constant talk about being strong and tough, I think most people see someone deeply unnerved by events and unsure of herself…
Has Abbott gone too far with Thompson? I don’t know. If Thompson is guilty, then the pressure has been just. If he is innocent, then he has paid a high price in a culture where the media go to great lengths to cover and prolong personal scandals.
Abbott needs to play the game and all politicians need to have the psychological resources to deal with any and all accusations. But there is decency and strength and conviction behind Abbott which will prove itself in government. The meantime is about quickly finishing off a truly pathetic parliament which has shredded Labor’s credibility
Polybius May 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm
Oh dear, where to start?
If Tony Abbott truly had ‘spine, nerve, self-belief and conviction’, then he might have presented some actual policies to the Australian people. He hasn’t. His various pronouncements and interventions form a monument to economic illiteracy and political expediency.
His book ‘Battlelines’ was well-written and thoughtful, whether you agreed with the conclusions he came to or not. Of course, as soon as he got within a sniff of power he reverted to the usual political melodrama we’re all so heartily sick of. It’s very poor theatre – the performances are unconvincing and the lines have gone beyond cliche into a kind of proud and surreal block-headedness – but the show must go on, because that’s all our parliamentarians know how to do.
Thomson’s guilt or innocence is hardly the point at issue – all we’re seeing is an opposition using every political trick they can muster to wrest a vote from a minority government. And the government uses every trick they can to fightback, and the whole thing resembles nothing so much as a bunch of seven year old boys tussling in a sandpit about who gets to play with the Big Red Truck.
If you truly perceive ‘decency and strength and conviction’ behind Abbott, inside him, or anywhere within shouting distance of him, then you form part of a small and odd minority. Abbott is as low as he is in the polls because his Muscular Dorkishness makes people feel disconcerted and fidgety.
And by the way, if you really believe that leaders of the Church managed to attain their positions without ‘a certain ruthless instinct’, then you can’t have opened a history book in your life.
M Ryutin May 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm
While some commentators are claiming that Tony Abbott might be the best opposition leader that Australia has ever had, they are not accounting for history. That aside, a more modern example is Gough Whitlam who was a great opposition leader, capable of destroying PMs but he, like Abbott, had miserable examples to destroy (Gorton, McMahon as against Rudd and Gillard).
The fact that he crashed and burned in office should never negate any of that and some of his legacies are still with us (Trades Practices and Family Law Acts plus one vote one value Australia-wide), but even Gough had “outbursts’ such as throwing a glass of water in the face of Hasluck (on the floor of the parliament) and abusing an MP minister of religion by falsely claiming he had been de-frocked etc.
Totting up ‘incidents’ in and out of parliament by politicians is no party-specific thing as you will find if you look it up (8,000 pounds in bribes to get a seat in parliament and a future convicted murderer having an opposing candidate disappear forever are just some that come to mind.)
Frank Willmott May 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm
Sorry, Peter, just a follow-up. Not to harangue you, but two people stand out to me as representative of the Liberal Party in its recent history, Abbott and Howard, one a toading bully with all sorts of issues, the other a war criminal.
Did you know that throughout the years since the War in Iraq, Glenn Floyd, a Victorian senate candidate, and John Valder, a former Liberal Party National President (& NSW State) President, have been relentlessly pursuing Howard through the ICC. Glenn sent me an email setting out his platform for a shot at the next senate as an Victorian independent, his 4 main focuses being – a Private Senator’s ‘Bank Mortgages Equity-Restriction’ Bill; a ‘Subversion of the Australian Parliament, Illegal Declaration of War’ Senate Select Committee Private Senator’s Bill; a Private Senator’s ‘Australian Citizens’ Rights Repatriation Bill’: or ‘Assange Amendment’; and a ‘War Crimes Amendment Private Senator’s Bill’ to bring justice down on Howard once and for all. At the base of the last three, human rights, human dignity, human freedom.
What Bills do the Liberal Party stand for? Do they represent the people or an oligarchy? If you are a Liberal voter, do you support the people or an oligarchy, and if it is the second, please explain why because I need to understand. The Liberal Party’s whole thrust has been to make out Labor is covered in mud when the truth is the opposite.
The liberal Party is in dire straits. The bluster is about to clear. The media can do no more than lie and cheat for them. The Liberal Party can bring Turnbull back to re-invent some dignity but will the party’s moral platform be any different?
Peter May 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm
Ah yes, the ‘people’, comrade. How many murderous, hateful acts have been propagated in ‘their’ name, this last century. It means nothing more than the ruling government, who always claim to supposedly represent the ‘best’ interests of everyone. The most dangerous oligarchy around.
No party holds a monopoly over morality, unfortunately. I was against the war in Iraq too. But I’d remind you that our present leader got to where she is by deposing a man enthusiastically elected by the people – our nations most popular leader, by some polls.
Frank Willmott May 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Peter, the first part of your response is difficult to comprehend. I am talking “common good”, you introduce “exploitation”.
The second part doesn’t recognise our political system; electing a president as against a party. Our system says you choose a party, the party chooses the leader, even in mid-stream. In either case they are difficult at times to differentiate from a one-party system that we bash others for having, no real counter choices, apart from the Greens, The Pirates, and the Indies who aren’t about to form govt.
In my fantasy world your local member would represent his/her constituents. A round table. No politcal parties. No State governments. At times voting would be public [internet], a short test at the beginning to make sure you comprehend the issue.
But this idea is nothing new. What worries me is Abbot is the furtherest example from this. Wouldn’t even allow a conscience vote on gay marriages. We may have got to know a few Liberal parliamentarians instead of the three nasties in the front row.
Peter May 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm
In my fantasy world, Frank, true morality is not subject to the fickleness of public opinion.
I’d even go more fantastic and say that their are policy areas which no political authority has the competence to legislate upon – marriage being one of them. Rather, there is a political realm and a spiritual realm. Both are distinct authorities with different areas of competence. No man should be compelled in conscience to follow the usurped authority of either, but should, in the meek obedience and teachings revealed by Our Saviour, defer to both.
But I’m a strange medieval minority, about to be pelted with rotten cabbages and tomatoes, i know.
Frank Willmott May 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm
Peter, I cannot conceive a connection between the Liberal Party and Christianity in a purist sense. One says love your neighbour, the other screw your neighbour.