Abbott’s 9/11

(First published by Independent Australia)

For about eight days now Tony Abbott has been in worsening trouble, and he has no hope any more of being Prime Minister. Not all of it is his fault, some of it was coincidence, but the overall effect has been a perfect storm whose hail and lightning is beating him senseless and consuming him.

Some of it, unexpectedly, is the issue of gay marriage and the momentum it has gained across the world. Some of it is things happening in America.

A week ago, it was revealed Mitt Romney said he disdained that 47 percent of Americans who did not pay income tax. These apparently included war veterans, the old, the disabled and single supporting mothers. Most may not have paid income tax, but paid, each week, various forms of salary tax, and, in some states, taxes like the GST. The secret video of this utterance not only ended Romney for good, it smashed the Tea Party, who will not now retain enough seats to hold up Obama’s financial reforms, including more taxes on the rich.

When Wayne Swan attacked the Tea Party as economic vandals, it would have been wise for Abbott’s Liberals to stay silent. But they did not, execrating Swanny for commenting on a foreign election and not concentrating on his own patch, and on the economy here.

This aligned them with the Tea Party Republicans, an already discredited bunch of loons and cranks and bigots, and with Romney, a loser, and, by any measure, a stupid man. Abbott should have repudiated his ’47 percent’ nonsense, but he did not.

And, when Cory Bernardi, fumbling, seemed to compare gay marriage with wedlock of humans and farmyard animals, he should not have merely sacked him, he should have allowed the Liberals a conscience vote on one or other (he need only have picked one) of the gay marriage bills coming up in parliament last week.

None would have passed, but he would have shown himself to be a reasonable man to have allowed a conscience vote, in the wake of Bernardi’s idiocy. His own sister after all was lesbian, and bound for a billion years of hellfire if she does not repent, and his best friend Christopher Pearson was for many years promiscuous and gay before he became celibate and Catholic, and in that wholesome condition helped Abbott write Battlelines, his memoir-manifesto.

Though a reasonable person could sort out these contradictions in his moral and sexual history, an ordinary voter will see them as the qualities of an angry, flummoxed buffoon. My sister is going to hell, and no vote I have control of will hallow her perversions and save her from her sulphurous, burning fate, I have decided, you wait and see.

On top of this came Newman’s decisions to sack bushfire fighters and nurses, and O’Farrell’s decision to sack TAFE teachers. Abbott had to promise to find money when he becomes Prime Minister in a year or so to restore and salvage and salve these good people, and he did not. He didn’t have to criticise his state colleagues, he could have blamed Gillard for the economic desperation they are in, but he had to intervene. And he did not.

And having not done that, he proposed to find swags of money for the families of the victims of the Bali Bombing, to mark the tenth anniversary. And this, perhaps, was his most idiotic thought-bubble in years.

Money for the families of the dead in Bali, and those who were injured and survived, in 2002, he now proposed. Although for five years after the bombing, when he was in cabinet, he did not think of it, and argue it then and help enact it.

Even if he got to it later (which he did), it raised the question of why we should foot the bill and not, say, the Indonesian government or Jemiah Islamia. And, if the Bali Bombing victims deserve this much, how about the parents of children forcibly adopted? How about the children themselves? How, indeed, about the Stolen Children? How about the families bereaved by the Granville train wreck? How about the children born mutant because of Agent Orange and a war we had no right to be in?

It showed in him a distance from logical connection that was actually frightening, and bespoke, perhaps, brain damage from his years as an amateur boxer. He seemed like a babbling, opportunistic fool.

…And all this on top of David Marr’s ‘revelation’ that he had as a student once bashed a wall (as telling as my confession, which I here submit, that I smashed a cup in 1966 while arguing with my wife and am therefore unfit for elective office now and hereinafter), and the upsurge of boat arrivals after the announcement of Nauru which Abbott claimed would end them, and Joe Hockey’s many, grinning, head-shaking attempts to cut eighty billion from government extravagance without sacking anybody, put him deeper in trouble than any Australian leader since Peacock proved to have got his health figures wrong and called a press conference to say so, two weeks before an election. And then came the poll figures, and the Arctic melting, which showed him hastening the world’s end with ignorant policies as well.

I know Abbott, and for time I liked him, and I urged him to get some sleep, and get his bones fixed by a chiropractor. But he would not.

And this shambles of a leader is the result. And this, plus a good deal of bad luck last week, will bring him down.

And make Turnbull, perhaps, Prime Minister.

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  1. He has an odd walk, maybe it’s not too late make use of Bob’s chiropractor…he looks awfully stiff, maybe it’s all that cycling…
    To break one cup is OK, Bob. Hubby one once broke three of my best Artzberg plates because I did like the house he wanted to buy…

  2. Hellfire? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Hell in Western Christianity now believed to be “a state away from God,” and not a place of fiery torment? (I wrote Western Christianity, because Eastern Christianity has a different concept of Hell to the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican faiths.)

  3. Having gorged themselves on all of that free money banks were giving away for the best part of the past 12 years, used to bid up the price of their homes, construct bigger swimming pools next to their existing swimming pools, upgrade their Subaru Foresters on a bi-annual basis, and send their gadget addled children to the nearest most expensive private school they could fund via home equity lines of credit, Australians are now sheepishly staring at their feet in embarrassment, ready to submit themselves to whatever punitive regime of grinding austerity the Coalition sees fit to unleash for the next decade. There is no need for the Coalition to spell this out explicitly in its policy platform – it is understood implicitly by all guilty parties that they have been living out of control, and that - like a foolhardy teenager waking up hung-over beneath an overturned sofa after a sprawling week long party funded with the grocery money during their parent’s absence – it is time to clean up and face the consequences. In their deeply felt shame, Australians will vote to be punished - they will be literally begging for firm handed, fatherly discipline. And crucial to all of this is the knowing, unblinking stare of Papa Tony Abbott – leading a Cabinet of world class, belt-tightening disciplinarians in Hockey, Morrison, Pyne, Robb, Brandis, Abetz, and the sisters of no-mercy Julie and Bronwyn Bishop. Voters will spurn Malcolm Turnbull for the prissy, philosophizing, meandering, designer-jacket-wearing, milk-laden-coffee sipping, climate fearing, self-aggrandizing, manicured merchant banker that he is. Our collective bottom is being arched up for Papa Abbott, and we will not be satisfied until we feel the searing sting of his loving hands upon our rumps.

    • Pithonme,Yes! Although we have and know our own shame, we will blame the other guy for his greed, and vote for the spanking, and never find sufficient numbers of Liberal voters after the mandate to warrant the drubbing it gave the ALP, because it is always the other guy that voted Tory.

      We need an official “‘Notherguy Party”. This is the true third way. It does not need a policy platform, it needs no campaign marketing, no scrutineers, no how to vote cards. It promises to never let you down.

      On Saturday nights it hosts speed dating.

      • Indeed, Third way every day. Unfortunately, if history is any guide, its leaders - necessarily lacking any sense of discipline or self-restraint, and tormented by a sense of inferiority - will, in all of their wanton randiness and permanent dissatisfaction, end up fucking a member of the Labor party front bench and tossing the whole thing in for a safe seat and promise of a high profile ministery, leaving the Party to slowly disolve in their absence. The firm hand of a conservative government awaits us all.

        • It will be firm fists either side of our head. I blame Ellis.

          Watch carefully the heavy discounting in the price of hair transplants, the treatment is more than likely to find its way onto the PBS.

  4. Very good, pithonmy, laugh-out-loud funny…sisters of no mercy, Papa Abbott :grin:
    You have to come here more often…

  5. Bob, you are short-changing your own party.

    You should at least give some credit to Labor’s grubby smear campaign against Tony Abbott and give credit where it’s due.

    Gillard’s communication director, John McTernan once wrote in the Scotsman, “There are a lot of myths about political campaigning. Top of these is the idea that negative campaigning never works.”

    McTernan is a whatever it takes kind of muckster!

    Labor’s trotting out of Plibereck, Roxon and Collins to portray Tony Abbott as a misogynist neanderthal is an orchestrated campaign to smear him by whatever means possible.

    It seems to be working. For a while at least.

    They’ll soon be attacking the Catholic Abbott for trotting out his wife and loving family as an example of Liberal mysogony - a plot to show the childless spinster, atheist Gillard in a bad cold light.

    As McTernan correctly said, ” How do you become First Minister of Scotland? Simple. Malcolm X was right: ‘By any means necessary.’ If you’re not prepared to follow his advice, you should avoid politics as a career.”

    Gillard should be warned though, as The Australian editorial pointed out recently that pursuing Abbott into his dim past, opens the doors into Gillard’s own colorful history. When the gloves come off, it’ll get ugly.

    • Abbott already brought his iown family into the limelight and exposed them to the debate. “I told Margie and the kids to expect more of this” (in relation to the fists into the wall episode) when the real questions were probably being asked by “Margie and the kids” of Tony Abbott! As in “How come you did that Dad?” and “How could you have done that!?”

  6. “Labor’s trotting out of Plibereck, Roxon and Collins to portray Tony Abbott as a misogynist neanderthal is an orchestrated campaign to smear him by whatever means possible.”

    Frank, I don’t think Abbott needs any help from Plibersek and co to be perceived as a misogynist neanderthal…

  7. Please excuse the following length and breadth.

    I take Abbott to be finished, his troops, thin on the ground. Like Piers on Insiders, these individuals whom are stuck in a Howard hole of delusion, will slowly, one by one commit career suicide spouting views so outrageous, logic so cooked, the resulting twitter campaigns so virulent that they will not survive, why else would the Daily Telegraph start an anti-troll campaign?

    Regardless of all the above, I blame the GFC for tying Labor’s hands, limiting their offensive options; as telling the truth would have amounted to economic vandalism. But for Abbott, and his cronies, economic vandalism is nothing to shy away from. Remember the projected unemployment rates for 2009-10 were 9%.

    I’m sorry Mr. Ellis, to go slightly off track. I’ve always taken Abbott as a bumbling idiot, and like many politicians from all sides, rationalised this out and equated his success with the perceived stupidity of the Australian people, not to mention Bush, 9/11… and so on and so forth. One would think that a mere mention of illegal wars, obscurantism of democracy in that process, ignoring diplomats and advisors, ignoring intelligence, skipping red tape; would provoke such anger in the community; automatically disqualifying all of those right of Obama as crooks, thieves, criminals, blights; never to be elected again. But alas, despite the fact that all modern economic theory is fudged, the ALP will continue to stand behind deregulation and rampant capitalism, drone strikes, assassinations…

    Without listing them, all of the reforms since 2008 have emerged, in the most, without teeth. I won’t blame the media for the Government’s seeming and continually reported lack of ability to effectively deliver and explain a message. The massage gets through loud and clear I reckon, it is just that the message has almost zero potential political capital attached to it.

    I appreciate the increasing veracity of Wayne Swan and his weird brand of communication. Springsteen was a poor choice but what can ya do? It worked, Emerson should be praised, as he has also been remarkably brilliant of late. I just want more, Bob. Projects like the roof-bats could and should have been; almost were giant successes. It was free market ideology that prompted the stimulus, the urgency, it was not socialism; not in its inception or delivery and hence it failed like most efforts of privatisation inevitably do. What if?

    You can have this one for free. It works for me, it makes sense. Make public education the gold standard, at a time when cultural and ethnic tensions are being used by the NSW Liberal Party to emulate Howard and get themselves reelected. By raising the standards of public education to a level that the private sector cannot emulate, without going into the arguments surrounding education, we will have a jewel in our multicultural crown that will see us grow in economic strength, as well as growing closer together as a community and more relaxed with each other. In a time when three word slogans are at the zenith of political reality, why is it not a valid exercise to remind the nation of the importance of public education and align this directly with the ALP. More specifically, aligning the ALP’s public education policy with a vision for a future multicultural Australia, comfortable in its national identity, multilingual; the place the global market comes to employ the best and brightest the world has to offer.

    Political capital, I contend, is very much an under utilized resource in Australia. Turnbull is one hell of a speaker, but the party he represents…they don’t exist anymore. It’s all astroturf folks. Howard ripped up and did away with the real stuff, and every leader since has stumbled and slipped into failure and defeat. I see both of the parties, as walking corpses. I am starting to see the potential political capital both parties are sitting on as the election moves closer. If Gay marriage stays in the bag, then Turnbull is almost guaranteed not only the Prime Ministership, but also the chance to resurrect and rebuild his entire termite ridden party.

    Throwing a coffee cup against a wall? If Abbott played it well, there would be nothing to be ashamed of, but he didn’t throw a coffee cup Bob, he punched a wall next to a woman’s head. It’s not the same, there is on top of the situated frustration, an added layer of malice and …instability. In a nation of twenty two million, Cory Bernardi has a seat in the senate, today, here, in twenty twelve. Thirty five years though, is a lot of water under a bridge, and it is that I see the discussion as bearing little fruit.

    In the tradition of adhering closer to the teachings of Jesus than Tony Abbott, the left should recall the plight of young men, in country towns and in suburbia, whom are socialised behind what can only be described as a wall of sorts. I’d forgive any man or woman that lashed out in violence against any inanimate object and I would hope, that a person who struggles will grow and become a greater leader for their struggles. Poor Grant Hackett, his entire life crumbles away after staring at a black line on the bottom of a pool for nearly thirty years and he destroys his bullshit-pre-fab house, and is crucified. Would I vote for Grant Hackett? Would you? Who is the Grant Hackett you know, and who would you rather follow over the top?

    It is as if, in this fight, there are weapons and ammunition in great stock, but the ALP continues to pick up the most warped and misshapen projectiles to hurl at its…malevolent opponent. Accuracy is increasing though, they are learning slowly. The ground the beast stands over is crumbling, I say let them have it. I say move now, unleash all of the political capital you have at your disposal, dip your fingers into the immense cache and let loose as it is not mud, it is reality and we have them on their heals. In the wake of the onslaught, as Turnbull, leather jacketed and without a scratch emerges from the rubble that was the Liberal Party, quoting Voltaire and smiling wryly but now less sheepishly, the game will have changed and you will have changed it.

    Where is Gillard’s Redfern speech?

  8. Whether or not Tony Abbott punched a wall back in his student days, he now seems to be hitting a brick wall with increasing regularity.

    Today he said Julia Gillard should not be “swanning” around in New York “talking to Africans” , rather she should be in Jakarta talking to the Indonesian head of state about border security.

    First of all, the language and the tone he used once again draws attention to the bitter envy that has congealed in his arteries since his failure to form government; I’ll overlook the accidental (I hope) colonial tinge which garnished his venom.

    Secondly, he was clearly unaware of the fact that President Yudhoyono arrived in New York for the United Nations summit yesterday.

    Memo to Maintenance Department: Urgent re-plastering job. Opposition Leader’s Office. Repair indentations in shape of fist. And forehead.

  9. The only thing keeping Abbott as opposition leader is the lack of any half-decent replacement. Turnbull is unacceptable to most of the LNP. Hockey is buffoon quality, Morrison is severely disliked already. The others . . .

    who knows? who cares?

    • Doug good to see you coming around to my way of thinking, when you say “half decent replacement are you referring to ” plugs” or follicular unit micro grafting?

      The second method is somewhat incapacitating, involving drugs, sedatives and the like because of the associated discomfort. But swimming, weightlifting and bike riding can be resumed after a week.

      I am arranging a comb drive, we send a truck, a convoy of trucks to Canberra and unload a million combs on the front lawn of Parliament House.

      I have permission from Yoko Ono to call it “Comb Together”.

  10. Bob, you forgot to mention Premier Baillieu, taking a 600 delegate trade junket to China, to sell any opportunity from Victoria capable of attracting Chinese Investment. Will Abbott or Joyce have a go at Ted, I doubt it, cake and eat it too policy options.

    Follicle shortage aside, I will be voting for Tony if he makes it to the election, I want to see the world economy punch the wall either side of his head.

    • allthumbs, I just watched the Four Corners program about Australian children living in spiritual and material poverty, heart breaking…
      I wish some of those 1500 Claymore children will somehow make it ,but I doubt it…
      Some lucky country we are.
      If anyone thinks that Abbott will do anything to improve those children’s lives, then think again…I feel terribly terribly sad…
      I hope you all saw the program, I could barely watch it…

      • It’s quite a bad report Helvi. Claymore is but a suburb of Campbelltown. There is Airds, Rosemeadow, Ambarvale…I found it quite frustrating. My family moved to Campbelltown in 1986. Nothing has changed.

        • I was hoping someone was going to comment on the Kerby film in comparison to the 4 Corner’s piece of Garbage.

          Sarah fucking Ferguson decided it best to approach the “social issues” thing of Claymore as nothing more than the personal fault of mentally soft alcoholic wife beating drug taking proles. Three thousand families on the estate and she couldn’t find one sober angry, politically astute, articulate resident, such as the bespectacled Kerby woman or the bloke in the courtyard, not one?

          Politically free, Economics free, Socially issue free neighborhood, who would have thunk it?

          Kerby woman or Julia Gillard or Sarah fucking Ferguson, Kerby woman was smarter, sassier, funnier, even prettier. I’m gonna find her and writer her a love letter.

      • “Some lucky country we are”

        Don’t want to REMIND you of ANYTHING darlin but YOU managed to get RESIDENCY HERE didn’t YOU.

        I’d say that makes YOU pretty darn LUCKY and US pretty damn WELCOMING.

        The ones that manage to GET residency here and then start the ONE BIG WHINGE ABOUT EVERYTHING make me SICK.

        • Oh Broomy my sweetheart MWAOH, if only you would think a little deeper and used your coight for goodness instead of evil.

          Goodnight sweet Hilde!

          • As my first hubby used to say, my mind is deeper than the Great Salt Lake in Utah my love xoxoxox

            PS: He died before we could get there.

            • “He died before we could get there.”

              To Utah or the bottom of your mind?

              Hidden depths Hilde, but the salt keeps you buoyant and floating on the surface, the secret is to exhale and let yourself sink.

              Kerby woman touched the bottom of the Mersey in winter, against the rushing current and climbed back up the cast iron shore before breakfast. Des Renford was a big girl compared to Kerby Woman.

              That’s my plane, gotta go.

        • Broom, if you think that this is a lucky country why are you so unhappy and vindictive, were you bullied at home or at school, or were you just born a bully?

          What do you feel for those 1500 Claymore children, do you despise them as well, there many more in other campbell towns across the country, nothing lucky thare..

  11. It’s be interesting to know with more certainty the degree to which US politics affects our own. Certainly some hard-headed punters draw a parallel, each way. Whether any parallel grows into a cause so to affect electoral decisions here is hard to imagine.

    This Abbott dereliction I don’t think has any cause whatsoever from the US. It’s very homegrown. Differ with you there, R.E. Perhaps there are underlying similarities, effects and causes, but what’s going down in the US isn’t affecting Abbott’s circumstance. He created this himself, ultimately.

    What is truly disturbing is Abbott’s disgusting treatment of the Australian public: his view is clear that our national people are lowlifes, in his relentless appeal to this element.

    Not a day goes by when he doesn’t lower national dialogue to this damaging, gutter state.

    Some might argue Keating began this, unwittingly, by losing his grip on our national conversation: the one he wanted, particularly. Howard, of course, slithered in and stole the fucking lot. Now, Abbott carries on.

    Someone in power and influence should call the bastard on it.

    • Apologies for the language.

      No excuse to call Abbott a bastard. He’s using the system he has available, according to his own personal compass settings.

      What is hard to take is a mainstream media allowing it. Grattan, for example, the staid writer of so long, barely calls him on it. She’ll back him, like others, all too often instead. This was an opportunity lost, today, as part wrap up.

      What’s missing is a stake in the ground. The whole political/media interface with and ‘for’ the public merely floats along the top. We know how it goes.

      The Chaser is the only real media countercheck we have: yes, that’s it. The only serious, researched, open ledger. Yes, satire, yes, not all politics and yes it’s not their job. But that’s it, in real, effective terms, such as it is.

      If we have as a nation spawned polling companies to monitor and ‘account’ for public views, commercially viable and a focal point of immense influence, surely a vacuum now exists for a company to commercialise media views not so much in a similar manner of operation but one of similar focal influence and viability.

      Commercial viability? That’s the key.

      On first blush, a company researching and documenting media views - a ledger of them, for a period - would not get a run. Which media business would run it? They’d be highlighting their own inadequacies and hilarious, tragic, failures.

      But a second look: what a story that network or newspaper would have!

      Let’s say NewsNewsPoll, the new company, published its figures. This media outlet said this, and this, this many times. And so forth. And it’s all seen as mindless, useless, damaging rubbish. (Which we know here it is). What then? And let’s say Channel X ran it. Yes, they’d take a hit.

      But imagine the viewing engagement, all of a sudden. They want viewers and readers? Here’s the scoop of the day: the ‘media’ ledger of the last month, come to light and broadcast and published. Not opinion, not chat (insiders), not satire. A simple* ledger.

      Would readers and viewers await the next (media, not public) poll? I believe so. And it would grow.

      And it would play against the public polls, similarly published.

      And things would change, for the better. Much better. Reporting would change, pollie comment would change, bit by needed bit.

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