The latest Newspoll has revealed the ALP and Liberal National Coalition (the countries only federal coalition) are locked neck and neck as preferred government, in the process wiping the smirks from the too often smug faces of messrs Abbott, Pyne and Hockey.
As the Australian public continue to tire of ‘Dr. No’ and his parties Pythonesque contradiction of the ALP government, the challenge, with less than twelve months until the election, is can Abbott move from ‘Dr. No,’ telling us daily what he is against – carbon tax, gay people, asylum seekers, carbon tax, any taxes, carbon tax and then the carbon tax, to become ‘Mr. Yes’ and reveal what he and the Liberals stand for?
On one of the most divisive issues in Australia, the incorrectly named ‘border protection,’ the Liberal Nationals maintain they will turn boats back to Indonesia. Despite failing to raise this with the Indonesian government on a recent tour of the archipelago, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison are sticking to their guns, even though they would have more chance of returning a bowl of cold mulligatawny to the Soup Nazi than they would a boatload of Hazaras to Indonesia. Nevertheless, they continue to trot out the same stales phrases about stopping the boats, turning back the boats and maintaining the ‘integrity’ of the borders. The Labour Party fare little better, with the recent revelation they are adopting communist China style internet control for asylum seekers in detention, alongside the announcement that they plan to excise the whole continent from the migration zone, in the process effectively denying any asylum seekers who arrive by boat any opportunity to claim asylum here. It is, and has been ever since Kim Beazley rolled over in 2001, a 0 – 0 draw by both major parties on asylum seeker issues.
With the Peter Slipper fire now extinguished, Craig Thomson’s supposedly ‘tainted’ vote having been sought by the government, Gillard exhausting the Slater & Gordon affair, the carbon tax officially declared boring, gay marriage a bilateral non policy and being accused of misogyny every time he opens his mouth, Tony Abbott is fast running out of sticks with which to beat the ALP. He must now rely on what the Liberals are for – what is their vision?
On the traditionally safer Liberal ground of economics, Abbott and his cohort have being stumbling like a drunk on his way home from the pub recently. Australia’s alternative treasurer, Joe Hockey, recently described the economy as flatlining, despite it having grown continuously over the past 21 years (almost half of that time with a national ALP government) and this year having grown at between 2 and 3 per cent. Further, his criticisms of recent cutbacks, particularly to the baby bonus, aka Playstation bonus, contradicted a keynote speech he gave in London earlier this year. Elsewhere, Abbott has made several economic gaffes – on GST distribution, interest rates (which in fairness was buggered up by Labour’s Bill Shorten as well), his Armageddon carbon tax predictions, the Perth pensioner electrical bill stunt – that backfired worse than a 70’s Kingswood, failing to read a key BHP report (in the process getting torn apart by Leigh Sales) and predicting Australia’s fall into a Greek-like economic black hole. John Howard must be rolling in his political grave, having made the economy his own during his Prime Ministership, alongside fear, bigotry and opposition to indigenous reconciliation.
The contemporary image of Tony Abbott, with the ALP applying the brushstrokes, is of a sexist, immoral, bully boy. An image Abbott has done much to assist with over the years. Most recently by using the toxic ‘dying of shame’ phrase while in parliament, only days after [insert derogatory adjective here] Alan Jones muttered it in yet another display of his inhumanity. For that gaffe there was no escape for Abbott, he was either a cunning, sly asshole looking to hurt Julia Gillard personally or such a buffoon as to not consider the implications of using such a phrase. Whatever the case, he made his bed, or probably his wife did, and he must now lay in it.
With a track record of…
- ‘Shit happens,’ when an Australian soldier died in Afghanistan
- Scoring political points upon Margaret Whitlam’s death
- Echoing Germaine Greer’s ‘big arse’ comments (whether or nor they are true, use some restraint and think about your public position Tony)
- Refusing parliamentary pairs so MP’s can attend the birth of their children
- In reference to Julia Gillard – ‘she has a shit eating grin,’ ‘she has a target on her forehead,’ ‘when she says no, does she really mean it?’
- Standing alongside ‘ditch the witch,’ placards
- Joking about the deaths of 11 people on the Costa Concordia
- Admitting his words cannot always be trusted, unless they are ‘carefully scripted’
- Stating he is ‘threatened’ by gay people
- And many many more which will be welcomed in the comments section below…
…it has been quite easy for Labour to paint by numbers an aggressive, anti woman and amoral Abbott, a stigma he must shake if he is to recover and become Australia’s next Prime Minister – a label he has worn confidently, somewhat arrogantly, up until recently.